Like many technophiles, I have a soft spot for wireless audio gear. While cord-free is moving in the direction of Wi-Fi and mesh networks at home, the world of portable gear still belongs to Bluetooth. Earbuds, headphones, portable speakers - they're all different, and so far none I've tested are perfect. Once I find the perfect one in each category, I'll be sure to let you know.
A few months ago, I reviewed the MEElectronics Air-Fi AF32 - a full-size over-the-ear set of wireless headphones that ended up scoring surprisingly well while at the same time not breaking the bank. Read More
Bluetooth may be a mature technology, but it's far from perfect. It follows, then, that headphones that use the standard would share the same imperfections in addition to their own. Such is the case with the Mobiband Bluetooth Headphones made by BBP; while they're certainly not bad, they're not good, either. Unfortunately, the performance simply doesn't justify the $60 price tag of the headphones. In fact, mediocrity is the theme across the board, which is unfortunate if not entirely surprising. Read More
You know what I can't stand about packing to stay away from home? Having to bring 40 different chargers to power all of my gadgets. Camera, smartphone, tablets, laptop, etc. - and they all use a different chargers. It seriously drives me nuts. Then I heard about the AViiQ Portable Charging Station ($99, direct from manufacturer), which combines a cable management system with a USB hub and a single charger for charging up to four devices at once. Read More
The portable Bluetooth speaker is fast becoming a standard accessory in our increasingly tablet and smartphone-centric world. But with so many options out there, how do you know which one is actually the good buy? Having used several, when I saw Braven's line unveiled earlier this year, I was intrigued. Not only did they look good, Braven promised high functionality to go with that sleek form factor. What did make me a little suspicious is the fact that Braven isn't actually a new name in the business - they previously marketed their speakers as the Spar Zephyr line, and have undergone a makeover for their next generation of hardware (which looks exactly like the previous generation). Read More
For most, a generic off-the-shelf microSD card is probably just fine. It may slow things down and take a little longer to access, but that's alright in return for lower cost. For some people, though, having their device slowed down by a budget microSD card isn't an option. Other people need high performance for recording 3D and 1080p video. It's those two groups that the SanDisk Extreme Pro microSDHC UHS-I card is for. Read More
While earbuds and wireless headsets are an ever-expanding consumer electronic market thanks to the proliferation of smartphones, on-ear cans remain something of a niche (unless you count Beats - I don't). Even more niche than that are smartphone-friendly on-ear headphones. And somewhere between particularly obscure red wine varietals from Germany and Super Audio CDs lies the selection of specifically Android-friendly wired on-ear headphones. (Not really, but I wanted to make a ridiculous analogy.) The point is, if you're looking for wired on-ear headphones with Android in-line controls, your options aren't exactly endless. Read More
The portable Bluetooth speaker market is rapidly heating up, and one of our favorite designs in recent memory in the super-portable range was the Geneva Model XS. It's sleek, minimalistic, and so retro. Unfortunately, one crippling design flaw (along with some strange control choices) means this $250, almost art-like speaker / clock-radio just doesn't work in the real world.
The flaw? The hinge on the outer case is made of like, paper-thin plastic. Read More
Although I've dropped a phone a total of about three times in my life, and although manufacturers are continually touting more and more durable glass, polycarbonate plastic, and even metal that's 3x stronger than stainless steel, there lingers in the back of my mind the question of what may happen if and when that fateful day comes – the day when I finally drop my phone onto an unforgiving concrete, asphalt, or otherwise hard surface. Read More
If you own a tablet, then you probably realize a good tablet stand is clutch. The thing is, though, there are so many stands on the market, it's almost impossible to find exactly what you want. Personally, I want something as minimal as possible, functional, offers a variety of viewing angles, and doesn't take up a lot of room in my bag. Enter the Arkon Desk & Travel Stand for Tablets. Read More