Generally speaking, I consider Braven to be one of the top manufacturers of Bluetooth speakers. Its products are usually well-made and sound good, and its product catalog is fairly expansive for what it is (in other words, the company offers a speaker for most needs). Having spent time with past Braven speakers, I grabbed the 710 review unit expecting what I'd get. After using it for a while, however, I have to say I'm actually kind of disappointed with the 710.
The Ouya killed it on Kickstarter, but the reviews of the final product (including ours) were not overwhelmingly positive. Here we are six months along and it can no longer be said that the device is still too new to judge. There have been OS updates, new games, and feature tweaks. So is the Ouya a better gaming experience now?
This holiday season, I have little doubt that over-the-ear headphones will be a big seller. Among those sold, it's hard to deny that the bulk will likely be Beats by Dre, because that's what all the cool kids are wearing. If you're more concerned with what sounds good and is practical over what's "popular," however, Phiaton is a brand to keep an eye on. I've been using the company's two newest offerings, the Bluetooth Chord MS 530 and the compact Fusion MS 430 for the last several weeks, and definitely recommend both for those looking for such a product.
You know what can be fun if done in moderation? Most things, actually. Among those things, alcohol is probably high on the list for most people. While drinking, it's also fun to be able to quantify how intoxicated you actually are – something a little more than "my face is numb" or "Nah, I'm OK – I've only had 12 shots." That's where this nifty little Bluetooth breathalyzer from BACtrack ($150) comes into play – it can tell you exactly how drunk (or not drunk) you are in about 30 seconds.
Last year, PowerA tried to change the game (quite literally) with its MOGA (later changed to MOGA Pocket) and MOGA Pro controllers. While the idea was great and execution was decent, there was still a lot of room for improvement with both. This year's models – the Hero Power and Pro Power – not only look to improve the overall form factor and experience over last year's models, but also bring more juice and the ability to charge your device while you play using the internal battery.
Back in mid-September, we reviewed the G-Project G-Boom, a killer Bluetooth boombox that easily slaughters everything else in its price range. It's a beast.
Since it's so good, we decided to check out the rest of G-Project's offerings: the G-Go, G-Grip, G-Pop, and G-Zip, arranged from largest to smallest (the G-Boom is the largest of the bunch). In short, they're mostly as good as their biggest brother, albeit on a smaller scale.
I like headphones that sound good, and as such, I really enjoyed the RHA MA350s when I reviewed them about a year ago, especially given their extremely reasonable retail price of about $40. For the money, I'm still not sure there's a headphone out there that's going to clearly best them. I actually bought a pair for myself as my backup travel headphones, and they've held up admirably.
But while the MA350s are indeed a good headphone, they are still not truly great - compare them to good IEMs (in-ear monitors) in the $100-200 range, and the difference rapidly becomes apparent.
Home automation is a pretty cool thing, and it's becoming more popular and encompassing every day. The ability to turn off a light from the other side of the house (or world) is a pretty cool feeling, but it also provides peace of mind – the days of wondering if you shut everything off before leaving are quickly coming to an end.
Belkin has been working to make this sort of automation simpler and more accessible to everyone with its WeMo line – a small group of devices that connect to Wi-Fi and make easy work of automating simple tasks and provide remote access to whatever unit they're attached to.
About a month ago, Dropcam released Dropcam Pro ($199), an upgraded version of its previous camera, the Dropcam HD ($150). This new version boasts quite a few improvements over the HD version (which is now simply known as "Dropcam" and nothing more), like a wider field of view, increased zoom, improved low light vision (night vision), and better audio quality. So, basically everything. Well, everything that matters anyway. The real question is "how useful is it?" – it's not only useful, but versatile.
The amount of Bluetooth speakers on the market is mind boggling. Not only has every brand that ever made a speaker in the past throwing its offering into the arena, but the category has brought forth many new contenders as well, each of which claiming theirs is the "best." That's actually a silly assertion, as best is completely subjective. But I'm getting off topic.
The way I see it, finding the right Bluetooth speaker for you isn't all that daunting of a task.