When I reviewed the Ultimate Ears BOOM back in July of 2013, it quickly became my favorite portable speaker, and held that title all throughout last year. To this day, in terms of portability, form factor, and sound quality, I don't think you can get a better all-around package. Sure, there are more robust speakers (like the Fugoo speaker), and there are even speakers that sound better (like the Bose SoundLink Mini, which is amazing for the size), but when it comes to one do-it-all monster, the BOOM is it.
Naturally, when Ultimate Ears announced the MEGABOOM at CES, I had to jump in line to check it out. Read More
When it comes to IP security cameras, Dropcam is (and has been) one of the biggest names in the game. It's easy enough to use, sets up quickly, and can basically be left alone once everything is in place (most of the time, at least). That's the kind of simplicity that most home and small business owners want, which is what Dropcam has been offering since day one. Add in the fact that the company is constantly adding new, useful features to its apps, and you have a winner.
Naturally, challengers are going to come. There's clearly a market for products like this, so why let one manufacturer own it? Read More
One of my favorite Bluetooth earphones of all time is Plantronics' Backbeat GO 2. Ever since I got it over a year ago, you'd rarely find me outside of home or work without seeing it around my neck. It accompanies me on my walks, my shopping, and most of my daily activities. It is small and minimalistic, easily fits in my purse, and lightly hangs around my neck when not in use. It's also quite comfortable to wear for 2 or 3 hours continuously, enough to entertain me on all of my outings.
The one problem with the Backbeat GO 2 is its fit, especially when engaged in more energetic activities like running. Read More
While I don't personally do a lot of work from a tablet, the option of a keyboard has always been appealing to me. I'll occasionally use my tablet to take notes for whatever review I'm working on at the time, pen a quick email, or some other third thing that I can't think of right now. For anything more than a short sentence or two, the software keyboard just doesn't cut it for me. I've reviewed several hardware keyboards designed for Android, but none seem quite as elegant as Google's Nexus 9 Keyboard Folio ($130). The overall design is well thought-out, and thanks to the magnetic connection to the tablet, it's super slim. Read More
I've always loved accessories for my mobile gadgets, and docks are typically some of my favorites. But in a world packed with more docks than you can shake a stick at (I oftentimes shake sticks at docks for whatever reason), it's difficult to find something new and compelling. In fact, the last dock I was truly impressed by was 2040's Arq Dock, a pretty versatile little dock in its own right.
When I found out about the Sarvi dock - a sort of progression of the Arq Dock in a way (the guys from 2040 teamed up with the gents from Sarvi for this one) - I knew I needed to check it out. Read More
Back in August of 2012, I reviewed a set of Bluetooth earbuds from Phiaton called the PS 210 BTNC. At the time I found them quite pleasant to use, that huge clip-on "remote" be damned. Fast-forward two years and Phiaton is back with the 210's successor, the BT 220 NC ($160). Here's the questionable part: the design is basically the same. While most Bluetooth earbud manufacturers have moved to a much smaller, more practical design, Phiaton is sticking to its guns with the wired remote. The good news is that the in-line donglemote has been dramatically improved over the 210, so at least there's that. Read More
The set-top box market has basically exploded over the past couple of years, with companies like Google, Roku, and Amazon leading the way. The good news is that there's no indication it's going to slow any time soon; in fact, it keeps getting better. Amazon's Fire TV stick is the perfect example of that – it's essentially a Fire TV crammed into an HDMI stick, but at a fraction of the price. I kinda fell in love with Fire TV back when I reviewed it, but for $25-40, Fire TV Stick is the best streaming "box" that you can buy for the money. Read More
The RHA T10i are the latest headphone from the Scottish firm, and their most ambitious (and expensive) yet. The T10i (and controller-less T10) are seeking to win over customers on a value basis, even though they cost what some might call a rather staggering $200. The reality, though, is that the market for in-ear headphones in the $200-500+ range is actually a very large one, and that's not even counting wireless systems.
The likes of Ultimate Ears (a Logitech brand), Shure, Sennheiser, B&O, Westone, Bose, and many other brands are all competing in this space, which actually seems to be heating up considerably in recent years. Read More
When asked which speaker company I think offers the biggest bang for the buck, the answer is pretty easy: it's either G-Project or Soundfreaq. Both are great companies, and each offers a lot of speaker for the money. They both target very different sets of users, however, so I don't really feel like they easily cross paths in the market. For example, Soundfreaq makes killer "around the house" speakers - they're not necessarily designed for ultimate portability, and they don't have a super robust look or feel to them. G-Project speakers, on the other hand, are built tough. They're made for outdoor use, to be thrown in a backpack, and to generally get beaten to death (not literally, of course). Read More
These days, there are tons of way to store files. Locally, in the cloud, on the network...or any combination of those. Personally, I'm a cloud storage kind of guy - ever since Dropbox and Drive have been a thing, I've relied on them to keep everything in sync across all of my computers and mobile devices. Keeping my most-used files accessible whenever and wherever I want has changed the way I use my gear (for the better).
One area where I haven't had a lot of experience, however, is with network attached storage (NAS). Before the cloud, I loved the idea of being able to grab my data regardless of what device I was on, and I always wanted to build one up, but it's just something that never happened. Read More