I've been on something of a hunt for a good set of Bluetooth earbuds lately. While my small collection of wired headphones has served me well at the gym, the airport, and on public transport, Bluetooth headphones offer a key advantage in their lack of a big, tangle-prone cable getting in the way of things. They also increasingly are more practical, as more and more smartphones seem to be phasing out the 3.5mm headphone jack (a move which I will continue to argue is dumb and bad).
The JLab Epic2 earbuds may not come from a brand you're familiar with, but these earbuds have received their fair share of critical praise in a space that is becoming increasingly crowded and competitive. Read More
Sitting on my desk is currently the third pair of Satellite headphones Blue Microphone has shipped me since the company first sent them. In May. It's been a long time coming, and I'll let you know why, but our review is finally here, months later. Unfortunately, even with this third and final refined pair, I just can't recommend Blue's attempt at a premium wireless headphone. It's too compromised, too dated, and too expensive to justify.
To be clear, I've loved Blue's headphones to dates - the MoFis, Ellas, and Lolas all impressed me. In particular, Blue's efforts to integrate high-quality analog amplifiers directly into its headphones (aside from the fully-passive Lolas) have been of great interest to me, and I've generally been very satisfied with the results. Read More
Motorola kicked off the era of Moto Mods last year with the Moto Z and Z Force. The latter was only available on Verizon in the US, but this year the Z2 Force is coming to all US carriers. It's also the only flagship phone the company is releasing this summer—there's no regular Z phone at all. That makes the Z2 Force a critical phone for Motorola as it seeks to convince consumers and mobile carriers that Mods are a good idea. Read More
Motorola is set to launch the Moto Z2 Force in a few weeks on all major US carriers. Those carriers are doing their part to make the launch a success with various promos, but you ought to look upon these deals with skepticism. Our full Moto Z2 Force review will be ready in a few days, but I thought it would be prudent to expand on something I touched on in the hands-on: the ShatterShield display. I'm afraid this screen will be a deal breaker for many people. While it doesn't crack, there are plenty of other issues with it. Read More
I think that I've made my opinion of Bluetooth audio accessories clear by now. However, in case you haven't heard it yet, here it is: I don't think highly of them. The convenience factor is often eclipsed by lackluster sound quality, battery life, or both. Until now, I never considered any of the pairs that I have used to be outright awful. Unfortunately, today is the day that I must amend that because Urbanear's Stadion represents the most disappointing pair of Bluetooth earbuds that I've ever had the misfortune of using. Read More
As far as headphones go, LG's TONE Bluetooth headsets look pretty strange. They don't really follow the standard in-ear or over-ear design, instead opting for a battery base that sits around your neck. However, they're still surprisingly popular; I see people wearing these a lot more often than I'd expect. LG's done something right here.
The new LG TONE Studio (HBS-W120) puts a spin on the TONE line by introducing a second method to listen: speakers. That's right - within this base are four speakers that aim to create a "personal sound experience" (LG's words, not mine). In theory, this sounds like an interesting idea - listen with the earbuds in quiet areas, and rock out with the speakers at home or while you're outside. Read More
Motorola is now into its second generation of Mod-enabled phones with the release of the Moto Z2 Play a few weeks ago and now the Moto Z2 Force. As far as we know, there won't be a regular Z2 variant this year, so Moto seems to have split the difference between the last-gen Z and Z Force. The Z2 Force is a bit slimmer than its predecessor with a smaller battery, but it still has the shatter-proof POLED display.
We'll have a full review later, but let's see if this phone makes a good first impression. There's also that new 360 Camera Mod launching on the same day. Read More
Google-owned Nest gained notoriety for its smart thermostat, but Google's acquisition of Dropcam instantly catapulted Nest to the forefront of this product category. Nest has traditionally made very good cameras, and they come with a premium price tag to match. That's still the case with the new Nest Cam IQ, which packs a 4K image sensor, new software smarts, and a $300 price tag. You could get two cameras from another maker for that price, and I think most people probably will. However, the Nest Cam IQ is leading the pack when it comes to facial recognition and image quality. This might be the camera you've been waiting for in terms of features, but it also might be far too expensive as a long-term commitment. Read More
Today the well-known developer Francisco Franco has released a new app: Gratus. It's a bit hard to describe, but it's meant to provide you with appreciation and motivation when you might be feeling a bit down. The name itself means "grateful" in Latin, and it's an apt summary of the intended effect. Think of it as a repository for all the things you enjoy. Read More