As a parent, I'm terrified at the thought of my kids driving. We're still at least seven years away from that, but it's still something I think about almost daily. It's becoming all too common to hear horror stories of how someone lost of loved one due to things like using email, texting, or other cell phone usage while driving. I'm hoping there's a better solution than we have now before my babies get behind the wheel, but for those who are going through that very thing right now, Scosche has a solution. Not just any solution, either - one that should actually work.
Running out of juice in your smartphone or tablet is a part of life. An unfortunate part, no doubt, but it's something that we all have to deal with. As if a depleted battery isn't bad enough, we're not always in an ideal place to recharge, either. In order to combat this annoying quandary, I never leave the house without a portable charger. Having an extra battery that can quickly top off my tablet or phone at any given moment has saved me more times than I can count, and I think everybody should have one. I've spent the last few weeks using the Mophie Powerstation Duo as my go-to charger - let's take a closer look at all it has to offer, shall we?
I've reviewed several sets of Bluetooth earbuds. With each one, there are things I would change about the design. On some, the buds are huge. Others forgo the massive bud size in exchange for a remote/receiver that needs to be "worn." Why can't someone just build a set of BT earbuds that look and feel like wired buds? is the question I find myself asking with each new headset.
Then I got my hands (and ears) on the Plantronics BackBeat GO. Without giving too much away up front, this headset is a breath of fresh air in a market filled with "I guess I can make these work" solutions.
At $400 (I know, I know - stay with me here), the Logitech UE900s are well out of many people's perceived reasonable price range for a set of headphones. Especially earbuds. But I'd like to remind everyone that there is a definitely a market for headphones at this level, and it's not just reserved for the well-to-do and audio geeks. The fact of the matter is, when it comes to sound, you can spend thousands of dollars to find the "ideal" system. Audiophiles amass huge collections of equipment over their lives devoted only to reproducing sound - setups that can be valued at more than the cost of a nice midsized sedan.
Back at IFA 2012, Logitech unveiled its new series of Ultimate Ears accessories. Among those were a couple of portable speakers: the Boombox and Mobile Boombox. I've spent the last few weeks using both, and have been quite impressed for the most part. Without giving too much away right off the bat, both units sound surprisingly good compared to Logitech's previous Bluetooth speakers (and the competition), and are priced pretty aggressively for the features offered.
It seems like headphones have become more of a fashion statement, most commonly demonstrated by the Beats-equipped youth that traipse around as if their $100 Bluetooth headphones are a premium product. They've become as much of a fashion statement as clothing, with a pricing system to match - that is, many of the more expensive fashionable brands are simply the same materials with a fancier name. Short story long, the focus isn't so much on sound and comfort anymore, but rather on panache.
The THRONE headphones from I-MEGO seem to blend both form and function better than most competitors. Do they stand out in a crowded playing field of visually loud headphones?
Bluetooth speakers are rapidly becoming a thing that people, you know, buy. And because of that, a lot of companies have started making them. One of those companies has become the unabashed leader of the pack with a little device called the Jambox. But the Jambox is over a year and a half old. Competitors have started springing up, and some of them are actually quite awesome. And we know Bluetooth speakers aren't a "one size fits all" affair, so we're going to give you some of favorites in a variety shapes, sizes, and styles.
The Scoring System
Unlike some numerical scores, these scores are not cumulative - they're meant to compare multiple aspects of similar products on an absolute scale (battery life gets its own measurement, for obvious reasons).
While GoogleTV still hasn't really taken off, the idea of an Android-powered set-top box is still a good one if properly executed. Diamond Multimedia recently tried its hand at such an execution with the AMP1000 (Android Media Player), its first venture into the Android realm.
But, like with any new project attempt, there is plenty of room for failure. As we've seen so many times before, what seems like a good idea on paper can easily be a disaster in execution.
While I wouldn't go as far as calling the AMP a "disaster," Diamond's attempt at an Android box is... not very good.
Satechi is known for offering good products for a good price. Recent examples: an awesome $30 portable Bluetooth speaker, a high-quality headrest mount for tablets, and a whopping 10,000mAh portable charger for just $50. So when the company announced some new lightweight Bluetooth headphones (creatively named "BT Lite Headphones"), it caught my attention.
With the promise of light weight, good features, and quality sound at $45, I cracked open the package with high expectations. At first, the sound produced by the BT Lites is impressive. But run through a range of songs and you start to notice a fatal flaw - one severe enough to prevent a buy recommendation entirely.
Wireless headphones are a rapidly emerging market, thanks to the continually growing proportion of the population that own Bluetooth-enabled smartphones and tablets. On-ear wireless headphones, in particular, are picking up. We've reviewed several of these style of headphones, and found performance and price to vary wildly. You can spend $30 on a bargain-bin set of wireless headphones, or upwards of $400-500 for some of the name brand audiophile products out there. And at those extremes, it's a little easier to weed out the "real deal" from the junk. But in the middle of the road, around the $80-150 mark, things get a little less clear.