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Happy Earth Day everyone! I'll admit, I've got mixed feelings about the contemporary celebration day known as Earth Day, simply because I feel strongly that EVERY day should be approached with the love and respect for Mother Earth that Earth Day promotes. Nonetheless, once a year is better than nothing. We all have our own connection to this great planet and there's no shortage of cool gadgets, gear, and apps to help us get out there and enjoy all that this bountiful planet has to offer. I've put together a roundup (presented in no particular order) of some of my favorite items. This roundup features accessories that will encourage you to spend more time romping and frolicking outside, and that will support doing so with your modern-day tech in tow. The gear featured here isn't necessarily produced by any award-winning Eco-friendly companies, but they might inspire you to spend more time outdoors and perhaps develop a greater connection with this great planet and Mother Nature.
The popular Kickstarter project from PhoneJoy is now shipping and I had the opportunity to try it out. This is a Bluetooth controller that expands to fit just about any phone, in landscape or portrait. By any phone, that includes Android and iPhone, and thanks to the expanding nature of the device, the next generation of larger iPhones should fit as well!
Bluetooth headsets have come a long way since the old days of those small, thumb-sized, in-ear stick devices that weren't good for much more than talking on the phone hands-free. These days we can enjoy an ever-increasing selection of high-fidelity, acoustically precise Bluetooth headphones. Still, there aren't that many to choose from, relative to the number of wired headphones on the market. In this newly emerging market of quality Bluetooth headphones, the SuperTooth Freedom ($149) have become one of my favorite Bluetooth headphones currently available. That said, there's still room for improvements. Read on to find out where these headphones shine the brightest, and where they could use some polishing up.
Steve Jobs encouraged us to Think Different, and at least one company has named themselves after this motto. They even spelled it differently, as in "diffr3nt." Their name isn't the only thing different. Their products are made in the USA, which is certainly different. They use unconventional materials, like canvas for their iPhone cases. And the inside of the case is lined with a grippy rubber material that looks like it came from an inner tube. All of this goes together to make a compact, comfortable, and colorful case that nobody else is likely to have.
I'm a big fan of using over-ear headphones for the personal enjoyment of my iDevice media. When it comes to authentic sound reproduction, whether it's games or music, it’s hard to beat the noise-isolating comfort of a good pair of “circumaural” cans. Even more than over-ear headphones though, I am a fan of environmentally friendly products. So when a product manages to be a high quality hybrid of both over-ear hi-fi headphones and ecologically conscientious business practices you can guess that I would want to share the news with all of our readers. Without further adieu, I introduce you to the Troubadour from LSTN ($150.00).
This is the season of the Watch, and I've had the opportunity to review at least five SmartWatches lately, from Pebble, Martian, Phosphor, i'mWatch and now Cogito ($129.95). Each brings something different to the table, in terms of apps, screen, battery life, style, and functionality. Cogito's Pop may have just enough "smart" to go with plenty of style and battery life to be your primary watch.
The wireless speaker market is completely saturated, so its hard to know where to start when looking for a quality, yet affordable option that is rises above the sea of cheap Bluetooth speakers. I have listened to a metric ton of them, and the gold standard for streaming and quality to me is Sonos, but their products are not cheap, and do not include a simpler Bluetooth option. Nyne has a uniquely shaped line of Bluetooth 4.0 speakerphone devices that give the solid sound quality that approaches the Sonos level, but without the price (and WiFi fuss.)
There is always need for more battery life, and power banks are a must-have in my gadget bag. I often carry several in fact. So it was cool to see the Add series of Power Banks from Lepow. There are several features that set this product apart.
My car doesn't have integrated Bluetooth, so I'm always on the lookout for a convenient add-on. The Syren ($39.99) from longtime Apple accessory vendor
iLuv has a lot to offer. In fact, it might have too much to offer! In addition to traditional Bluetooth pairing, the
Syren offers NFC (Near Field Communication) so you can pair it with an NFC-enabled smartphone just by touching the speaker with your phone! But Apple doesn't have NFC yet, and may not as they promote their
Not too long ago, if you wanted to enjoy your iPhone or iPad's audio through a speaker, you either had to utilize a connector cable or invest in a speaker with a built-in dock connector. These days Bluetooth speakers have become all the rage and the most convenient way to pair your device with an external listening source. There is a seemingly endless array of excellent quality Bluetooth speakers, however out of the multitudes of Bluetooth speakers on the market, only a limited and select few can lay claim to being rugged and heavy duty. As folks begin to gear up for warm weather adventures, I've compiled a list of some of the best, most durable and rugged Bluetooth speakers available right now. What follows are the cream of the crop of ultra-durable, shock-proof, and waterproof speakers. Read on to find the best rugged Bluetooth speakers for those who are adventurous or accident prone.
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