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Wow! That's the word that first comes to mind when trying to describe just how amazing 50 Cent's new SMS Audio Street ANC headphones ($279.95) are.
50 Cent is know for his hardcore gangsta rap and controversial lyrics, as well as some seriously heavy bass lines. Discovered and managed by none other than Eminem himself, 50 Cent has gone on to transcend his rap star status and become a successful actor and businessman as well.
I got a chance to chat with 50 Cent at this year’s CES in Vegas. He was in town promoting his new line of headphones. We didn't get around to talking much about his headphones (it was Vegas after all), but I enjoyed our one on one a great deal, and he did offer to sign an autographed copy of iPhone Life magazine for me. It was only later that I came to realize what an amazing pair of headphones 50 had attached his name to. Look out, Beats by Dre ($299.95), there's a new contender on the block!
Tylt came out strong at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, with eye-catching designs, packing NFC smart features into its gear. Hopefully, new iDevices will be able to take advantage of NFC technology, but even without it, smart products like the Capio ($34.99), let you easily attach any device to your dash or window using a clever adhesive.
The Joy Factory's aXtion Go ($49.95) is the best deal on an IPX5 rated, military-standard iPhone case market I'm currently aware of. Not only will it provide an exceptional level of protection from drops, liquids, dirt, and compression, the aXtion Go just looks super awesome! It sports one of the slickest designs I've seen in a waterproof iPhone case. Its back consists of a series of highly shock absorbing, diamond-shaped, air-filled cushions, which resemble fancy, geometric bubble wrap. It looks cool and feels even cooler. I found myself continually kneading the diamond bubbles on the back, mesmerized by their soft yet firm squishiness.
One of the newest rugged cases for the iPhone 5 is from a company that's been in the business of designing heavy-duty, impregnable protective gear for more than 40 years. And yet, the Pelican ProGear Vault ($79.95) is Pelican’s first foray into the increasingly competitive field of full-time use, rugged iPhone cases. And with the new ProGear Vault, Pelican certainly is making quite a splash.
Pelican is certainly no stranger to designing heavy-duty, rugged protective gear. The company has made a name for itself fabricating some of the toughest cases, designing them to withstand extreme degrees of abuse and hardship. Now with its new Vault case for the iPhone 5, the company has brought its exacting standards of quality and near impervious, rugged durability to the iPhone case market.
I sometimes review fancy wireless speakers that cost a load of cash, have slick AirPlay capabilities, as well as multi-speaker/room playback. I never dreamed that my iPod and iPhone coupled with some old 30-pin speaker docks could create an immersive music experience. The secret is TuneMob, a free app that works with Bluetooth. So next time you throw a party, you and your friends can string together as many as seven iDevices to amp up the sound.
Lately I've been more into co-op, multiplayer gaming than ever. Our iDevices (in my case, my iPad mini specifically), have given gamers the flexibility and convenience of engaging in multiplayer mayhem wherever we are, whenever we want, and in a console caliber format. And now, more than ever, there's a plethora of awesome multiplayer games to choose from, where we can engage in competition and challenges with other real-world folk.
A new game, 2013: Infected Wars ($6.99), set to hit the App Store in a couple of weeks, will redefine the co-op battle genre once again as well as what a traditional, console-quality FPS can be.
I review a lot of iOS games, and as a side effect, it takes a really good game (one with unique features and captivating gameplay) to impress me. The latest game to blow me away is called Bloodmasque ($6.99), by award-winning developer Square Enix. Bloodmasque is a complex and layered game, set in the 1800s in Paris. It follows the tale of an elite and ancient group of half-breed Vampire hunters as they endeavor to rid the world of the darkness and tyranny of the powerful Vampire clan. This game is not just another hack’n’slash a la Infinity Blade II. Rather, Bloodmasque is a legitimate contender for 2013's iOS Game of the Year in my opinion, bringing to the table a rich, well-told story, beautifully rendered visuals, diverse graphic styles, and gameplay that is deep and interesting. It's not too complex for a casual gamer, nor is it oversimplified for hardcore gamers. Read on to learn more about this great new iOS game and to find out one of this game’s most unique and surprising features!
The Skullcandy Navigator ($99.95) is a pair of compact and stylish on-ear headphones that won't break the bank and is completely compatible with your iPhone. Like all of Skullcandy’s products, sound quality takes top billing, but design is every bit as important. These headphones pay tribute to the classic aviator headphones, which pilots have used generation after generation.
These low profile, on-ear headphones combine the classic styling of traditional aviator headphones with the latest in audio technology to deliver a great auditory experience.
As a product reviewer who gets to try out all the latest gadgets and accessories, I should be grateful and should not be jealous. But one gadget I don't get to use often is skins. I try new cases all the time, and having a skin on my iPhone would get in the way.
Nevertheless, I daydream about carrying my iPhone 5 without a case. A skin would be a nice compromise, affording protection for the glass back without adding bulk. I also am partial to the real wooden backs and skins several vendors have released. I love the juxtaposition of natural materials against high-tech glass and aluminum.
I'm a skeptic by nature, so I wasn't sure what to expect with the HeartMath InnerBalance sensor for iOS ($99). The device clips to your earlobe and detects your emotional signals, transmitting them to your iOS device. Well guess what... the darn thing works! I was surprised to see that as my breathing, pulse, and emotions changed, the app registered those changes. There is something to this, and physicians, therapists, and researchers need to take note!
The sensor is more comfortable than I thought it would be... I thought it would pinch, but it just sort of sits on your earlobe. A wire tethers the sensor to your iOS device with a 30-pin connector. If you have devices with Lightning connectors, you'll need an Apple adaptor. The connection is a bit tricky, and it took me a few tries to get everything plugged in just right. I would prefer a wireless solution, but it does work.
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