Archive for Gadgets

Gadgets :: May 24, 2017

By Gregg Ellman
(@Greggellman)

With the summer just about upon us, headphone season is in full force. If you’re about to make a new purchase, don’t get fooled with fancy marketing, colorful boxes or hype. Instead, consider these features when shopping around (the order of importance depends on you): wireless vs wired, earbuds vs over the ear, cost and sound quality (which would be number 1 for me).

User reviews are also critical, but don’t get too caught up in them unless they lean totally toward one direction.

I always liked over-the-ear Marshall headphones for many reasons. All at the same time, they look modern and retro, have great sound, and are affordable.

Their most recent offering is the Monitor Bluetooth headphones, with padded cushioned speakers sitting comfortably on your ears. The sound is more hi-fi, neutral and with a wider frequency, which adds up to smooth, crisp sound with the right amount of bass for any type of music at any level.

The embossed Marshall logo is designed into the black vinyl exterior along with attractive brass accents to give the sound system an attractive look.

The headphones are loaded with many more features including a collapsible construction for easy storage in the included carrying pouch. You also get a detachable coil-cord for a wired connection if you don’t want to go wireless. The headphones have an extra 3.5 mm port, which can be used to daisy chained to share your music with similar headphones.

A cable with in-line controls and a microphone for handsfree calls is included. The built-in battery is good for about 30 hours of use before a charge is needed.

www.marshallheadphones.com $249

Sennheiser’s HD 569 is a high-end performing headphone, referred by Sennheiser as “The best in class. Remastered.” And after listening to them for a few hours, I wonder how a headphone can sound any better.

Senheiser products sound great, no matter what product you use from the company. I tried the new HD 569 noise-isolating over-ear headset, which lets you manage handsfree calls with an in-line remote, and listen to your tunes in dynamic sound.

Large ear cups are included with soft replaceable ear pods.

My advice for anyone when trying Sennheiser products: just listen to them for a few minutes right out of the box without changing a thing. The odds are, you’ll never change anything.

While sound can be adjusted by the type of music you listen to or with apps, I found no reason to change. This is something I’ve come to understnadin about the consistency of Sennheiser sound.

A few different plugs are included for connecting the headphone to your music source and using a plug to answer calls or control music.

https://en-us.sennheiser.com/ $179.95

Creative Technology’s newly announced Creative Outlier Sports Sweat-proof Wireless In-Ear Headphones should be a big hit during the hot seasons.

The IPX4-rating and sweat-proof designed ear-tips are made of soft, flexible silicone to ensure the earbuds perform at all times during your workout, with or without sweat.

To ensure the right fit, there’s a bunch of accessories to help you before you start. So take some time to try the different ear hooks and tips for your ear sized to make sure it fits tight and secure before your workout.

While the earbuds are packed with features, they are still mainly a source of sound, and they do a great job. Powerful bass and clear audio sound perfect for the active enthusiasts.

A built-in and invisible microphone is there for handsfree calls.

Creative Technology has built the earbuds to support high-definition aptX Bluetooth codec, ensuring the highest quality wireless playback when Creative Outlier Sports is used with your Bluetooth media source.

You’ll get about 11 hours of use before a USB charge is needed.

www.creative.com $69.99 with choices of midnight blue, neon green and fiery orange

Gadgets :: May 17, 2017

By Gregg Ellman
(@Greggellman)

Jabra calls its Elite Sport wireless earbuds the most technically advanced true wireless sport earbuds, with features far beyond just great sound making these an amazing product.

True wireless means really wireless; there’s not even a cable connecting each earbud. They sit in your ear independently and are paired with Bluetooth 4.1.

Sound quality is obviously first and foremost in importance and they have outstanding passive noise cancelation sound, which I’ve come to expect from Jabra products.

Multiple sets of silicon gels, foam tips and secure fit wings are included to ensure the right fit, which is especially critical when exercising.

Each earbud is sweat- and water-resistant (IP67 rated) and microphones with advanced noise cancellation technology are built-in for handsfree calls. Register the earbuds to activate a 3-year warranty against sweat damage

You can use the earbuds as a pair of just one. A feature I really like is audio pass through. With the press of a button it’s activated to hear the ambient sound around you, while also hearing your music selection.

The features beyond the sound really make these stand out, which in a way is like having a fitness monitor in your ears. The wireless earbuds work as an in-ear heart rate monitor, along with the Jabra Sport Life to keep on top of various health features.

The iOS and Android app provides in-ear fitness coaching and integrated training management on times, speed, distance, calories burned, workout goals and results.

You’ll get up to three hours of music/talk time before a charge is needed and the included pocket sized case doubles as a charger for providing power for an additional 6 hours.

Controlling music, calls, pairing, Siri/Google Now and app controls are done right on the earbud.

www.Jabra.com $249.99

tog-whtThe Switchmate light control system has to be the easiest smart home accessory I’ve found for controlling standard household like switches.

The installation is promoted to take one-second, which is accurate since all you do is snap it over an existing light switch and it magnetically stays in place. Just as the instructions say: no tools, no wiring, and no WiFi needed.

The connection from your smartphone to the Switchmate is done with Bluetooth, so you’ll have to be within range for a connection. According to the Switchmate site, they are working to expand the range, so it can be used anywhere with an Internet connection.

Download the app for your smartphone from the App Store or Google Play to set up when you turn the lights on or off and set up schedules with preset times. The app walks you through the full installation and setup.

You can allow the Switchmate to know when you arrive home, enabling it to have the lights come on, which can be really helpful enabling a home’s outside lights to be on at night. Or you can choose to have lights come on at sunset and off at sunrise.

I used the Switchmate with a standard toggle light switch and it’s also compatible with rocker switches.

http://myswitchmate.com $39.99, available in white or ivory

Olloclip is the undisputed leader for iPhone photography lens accessories.

The Core lens set has gotten an upgrade, giving the multiple lens set improved optics. Interchangeable lenses in the connect lens system include a super-wide angle (120-degree view), fisheye (near 180-degrees) and macro (15x) lens.core-horizontal-exploded-black-01

Each lens has a premium multi-element coated glass options, which help create high-quality images.

If you’re not familiar with the Olloclip system, it’s incredibly easy, with lenses that slip on and off your iPhone’s front and rear-facing cameras.

www.olloclip.com $99.99 for the iPhone 7/7 Plus Core Lens Set

Gadgets :: May 10, 2017

By Gregg Ellman
(@Greggellman)

dreamwave_1.00_00_38_09.still007All the Dreamwave Genie needs is a command from one of 21 languages to perform a variety of features including many morning chores.

The new, innovative, multi-function device is simple to use. It’s lightweight and portable (3.94 inches in diameter by 1.81-inches deep) with a topside powerful 5W Bluetooth speaker, pumping out 360-degree sound.

It pairs with your device using the power button on the bottom and volume is controlled on a side button or on your media source. Speaking of the side button, it’s also used to answer handsfree calls and activate the virtual voice assistant.

The voice assistant responds to a press of the button or voice commands in 21 languages with operating systems using Siri or Google.

Languages recognized are: Arabic, Chinese, Taiwanese, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Norwegian (Bokmål), Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, and Turkish.

Using an iPhone 7 and English commands, I could get the weather forecast, respond to a few text messages and launch my playlist before my coffee started to brew.

The Genie is splash-proof and dust resistant with an IPX5 rating and with an 1,800 mAh lithium battery, you should get about 10 hours of use.

http://dreamwaveus.com available for pre-order with an expected July deliver for $45, 35 percent off the expected retail price of $69.99

Terk OMNITWRThe Terk OMNI TWR amplified multi-directional HDTV antenna helps cord-cutters get instant access to local broadcast network TV channels in high-definition for free.

Dual stage amplifier technology lets you receive HD channels with the best sound and picture possible for what’s available in your area. You can see what is available on the Terk website by entering your area code.

Set up is simple after you find the best location for the antenna in your house. It’s recommended to put the antenna on a flat surface within reach of your TV and facing the direction of the broadcaster’s tower.

Then with the TV off, plug the included coaxial cable from the Terk to the TV and then connect the power cord to a power outlet. Turn the TV on and put it in scan mode to find your channels.

A three-way (dual, preamp, bypass) switch lets you adjust the amplifier for different TV signals and is explained in the manual. It’s recommended for most users to keep the switch in the dual position for best performance.

A blue LED light ring on the bottom of the 4.62 wide by 10.83-inch tall antenna lights up for no reason other then appearance.

www.terk.com $59.99 available May 15

smartshoe_digitsole_wearable-technology_dezeen_936_3So if you were like me, you had no idea what a smart shoe is, but a company called Digitsole introduced the first-ever complete collection of connected footwear showcasing 10 new models.
This includes a full functional auto-lacing smart shoe, which also sends critical data via Bluetooth 4.0 to a smartphone app (iOS and Android). From the outside, the shoes are as fashionable as any, but it’s what’s inside that makes them a gem. athletic_shoe_app
Just a tap the app to heat the insoles to 113-degrees Fahrenheit, track steps, distance, count calories burned, a well as automatically tighten the fit. Some models will analyze walking and posture while others will control the height of the telescopic heel.
Models range from womens high-heels, mens dress, athletic and kids models. Each shoe has a rechargeable battery, good for about 500 charges. Heating will run the battery out in 6-8 hours, while most other features will last for a week
www.digitsole.com expected out in September with prices ranging from $149 to $349

Gadgets :: April 19, 2017

black_sport_gt_side

By Gregg Ellman
(@Greggellman)

black_sport_gt_sideFoldable electric transportation was a new category for me and I was more than impressed with the 30 pound URB-E Sport GT motorized bike I got to play with at CES earlier this year.

You can take it up to 14 MPH on a single charge of the 36V 30-cell lithium-ion battery, which gives you about 16 miles on a single charge. When folded up, it measures 39.5-by-15.5-inches. Expanded it is only 36-by-26.5-inches and the seat is 29-inches off the ground.

The bike features a race car inspired pushrod suspension system and increased torque via our improved performance speed controller. A built-in front vertical kickstand parks it nicely with highlights that include leather carrying straps in the overall design.

You also get Eddy, a powerful removable battery, which can charge five devices simultaneously via four USB port or a single USB Type C, that charges an iPhone 7 up to forty times.

www.urb-e.com/sportgt pre-orders are being taken for $1,099 with a late March delivery

crosley_vinyl_rocket_prototype-aWith the new-millennium vinyl resurgence in the past few years Crosley has gone retro with the release of the Rocket Vinyl full size Jukebox. This is the only jukebox currently being manufactured anywhere in the world within the past 25 years according to Crosley.

It will hold 70 of 7-inch records for a total of 140 selections with the A/B sides and has all the beauty of the jukeboxes of yesterday with song sections made with big red buttons or simply go modern with the remote control. If you don’t want to make a selection, just hit shuffle.

The sound comes a D4 digital amplifier using two independent stereo channel outputs (60W RMS per channel for audio junkies). Titles of the tunes are on the140-selection rotating title display viewed through a front glass display.

If records aren’t your thing but you want the cool look of the jukebox, just pair your Bluetooth smartphone with the Rocket Vinyl or use the auxiliary input to broadcast your personal playlist.

It’s an attractive machine, which is guaranteed to be the talk of the room you keep it in. You’ll have to make for the 30.7-by-55.5-by-27.5-inch sound machine on the first floor since it weights 264.5 pounds.

www.CrosleyRadio.com $11,995.95, the first shipment of 16 jukeboxes will be available for order in April

solpad_3SolPad takes personal power to a new level, allowing you to not only charge any portable electronic gadget, smartphone or tablet but it even lets you make a frozen margarita beachside.

The worlds first fully integrated solar energy solution is designed to use anywhere; home, an apartment, dorm room or outdoor recreational activities. The back of the panel has 2 standard AC power ports along with 3 USB ports, which can all be used at once.

When the panel is in direct sunlight and charging up, you’ll get unlimited charging from the USB ports. The SolControl app lets you choose when a device (light, TV, appliance, etc.) runs off of the stored solar power.solpad_malibu_1

Even more fun is when the SolPad talks to you with alerts for how much power you’re using and reminders to turn connected devices off. Another way to get an update on power consumption from the panel is built-in tap technology, tapping anywhere on the SolPad.

The 25 pound 22-by-28-inch 600 W battery has a carrying handle portability.

http://solpad.com expected to be $1,395 when pre-orders are taken in May – first units ship in September

Gadgets :: April 12, 2017

By Gregg Ellman
(@Greggellman)

Walking the Tessco One trade show last week in Nashville, my eye caught some innovative and creative products for everyday use.

Gear4 smartphone cases are made with D3O military-licensed technology, proving to me that all protective case are not equal.

A company representative shared with me that the D3O protection is so trusted that NYC police vests are getting designed with the technology along other with global brands in sports, motorcycle, defense and industrial workwear.

The slim-profile cases have a scratch-resistant finish. The D3O impact protection is a durable black lining on the perimeter of the case. According to the Gear4 site, D3O has freely flowing molecules that lock together to absorb energy on impact before returning to their natural state. I found it interesting to read that the greater the impact force, the greater the locking and the greater the protection.

He added: the protection is about providing the consumer more (protection) with less (bulk).

I wouldn’t intentionally test the drop protection, but I don’t know anyone who hasn’t had their smartphone accidentally hit the ground. Gear4 testing had D3O cases outperforming six top competitors and are also 53 percent lighter.

The cases are made for most all of today’s smartphones and iPad/iPad Pro tablets.

www.gear4.com $39.99 to $59.99

Apps are great for exercise and fitness but keeping your smartphone attached to you is cumbersome for following the app’s data. Adidas has a solution with the upcoming launch a line of performance sport iPhone cases.

On the back of the lightweight case is an anti-slip grip hand band that to keep the phone in your hand while on the run. When you’re done working out use the phone’s case to watch your workout results handsfree with the case’s magnetic stand.

The case is built with a polycarbonate back shield and TPU bumpers for extra protection.

A release date and pricing is expected later this year.

www.Adidas.com

Urbanista was my find for the day. The company was formed in Sweden in 2010 with the motto of producing headphones for urban people.

They want to make it easy for people who commute, easy to hear sound and be affordable.

The Rome is a hybrid tech earbud headset with magnetic tipped earbuds attached to a flexible rubber and plastic neck band. The magnets keep the earbuds attached securely around your neck when not in use but ready for your tunes or next call.

The technology allows you to hear noise behind you for safety and hear through the headset while you’re mobile. The unixes headset lasts about 16 hours before a USB charge is needed.

www.urbanista.com due out in late April for $79.99 in black, white, blue and rose gold

Flavr iPhone cases are truly unique; each case is one of a kind.

The translucent cases offers impact protection and are referred to by the company as the ultimate fusion of runway-inspired fashion and device protection.

One series has a printed flower design on the back with each case having a different order, design or placement of the hand laid flowers.

New patterns of floral designs will be out by the summer with pricing of $21.19 to $26.50.

www.shopflavr.com

Gadgets :: April 5, 2017

By Gregg Ellman
(@Greggellman)

Jabra’s Sport Pulse special edition Bluetooth 4.0 headphones are do-it-all when it comes to earbud features.

They are touted as the world’s first sports headphones with automatic fitness technology. The health-related features include a built-in heart rate monitor and automatic VO2 max tracking, a scientific way to measure your absolute fitness. This includes tracking the maximum rate of oxygen your body consumes during exercise.

With sport earbuds, it’s critical that they stay in place during your workout and the Sport Pulse is perfectly secure. You get several sizes of ear tips to ensure a tight fit.

The sound is great and includes passive noise cancellation, which helps eliminate surrounding noise.

While it’s not really considered exercise, I used the lightweight earbuds during an intense afternoon of outside lawn mowing and gardening. During the whole afternoon they stayed in place, unlike many other sport earbuds I’ve used for the same chores. They also helped keep out some of my lawnmower noise while supplying my ears with great sound.

The Jabra fitness app works with the sport earbuds to track your performance and even coaches you with in-ear feedback on the workout. Distance, speed, your pace and time are all recorded within the app.

The batteries lasted the whole afternoon before a USB charge was needed. Bluetooth 4.0 lets you connect up to eight devices to the earbuds, with two connected simultaneously. They include in-line controls with a built-in microphone.

www.Jabra.com $159.99

The Altec Lansing Mini Life Jacket 3 Bluetooth wireless speaker didn’t accompany me during my lawn mowing like the headphones above, but they do float in your pool while pumping out great sound

With an IP67 rating, the rugged speaker floats in water and is sand, dust, dirt and shockproof. You can pair two Mini Life speakers for stereo sound and charge another USB device with the built-in charging port, while the speaker plays music.

The powerful sounds comes from a pair of neodymium drivers and a passive radiator behind a black speaker grill. The sound has a nice amount of bass and sounded great at any level, in and out of the water.

You can use the speaker ( 2.5-by-6.5-by-2.125-inches) for handsfree calls and 16 hours of sound before a USB charge is needed. A universal accessory mount is included for mounting the speaker on a bicycle, lounge chair, etc., and there’s a aux port for a 3.5 mm wired device connections.

All the ports have a removable waterproof covering so it’s worth mentioning the obvious; when changing or using any of the ports you have to be water free.

www.alteclansing.com $99.99
Smartphone cases bore me unless there’s a cool feature worth mentioning, which is the case with the Wally Ether Wallet from Distil Union.

The iPhone 7/7 Plus case is built with a slim hard shell crystal-clear polycarbonate frame and a hidden card carrying compartment built on the leather backside. It stores a few credit cards or even cash.

To access the contents, there is a Wally Pull-Tab you tug to get everything to slide out. When you push your credit cards in the thin compartment, the tab retracts.

A microfiber cloth lines the inside frame to protect your phone from scratches and there are cutouts to for the phone’s camera, speakers and charging lightning port.

www.distilunion.com $34.99 in color choices of ink, hickory, slat and rust

Gadgets :: March 29, 2017

Skybuds Charcoal and Nimbus

By Gregg Ellman
(@Greggellman)

Pivot PhoneOlloclip, a company that has mastered iPhoneography with a series of attachable lenses, recently launched another great accessory for the smartphone photographer.

The Pivot is a pocket-sized articulating grip that easily attaches to your device to improve video and still photography. Photographers would understand the comparison to a smartphone gimbal, without a stabilization motor.

I tried the Pivot using a cased iPhone 7 along with an Olloclip 4-in-1 lens kit and found the grip was a great help keeping my smartphone steady for all types of photography. It’s built with an ergonomic grip and lets you rotate 225 degrees, with locking positions to ensure the right angle.

After filming a video without the Pivot and then doing the same with it, I was sold.

You can easily store the Pivot in a camera or computer bag; it’s pretty light and mostly made of plastic.

Phones with screens up to 5.5-inches will attach to the mount. The top features a standard attachment for a video light, mic or other accessories including GoPro mounts.

It’s also water resistant and can be taken for a swim when using a waterproof camera or GoPro.

http://olloclip.com $49.99 in a black/red color combination

Skybuds Charcoal and NimbusSkybuds, from Alpha Audiotronics are wireless-wireless earbuds, which puts great sound in both ears.

The tiny Bluetooth earbuds pair with your device like any other wireless accessory and send your audio to each ear, without a wired connection.

As for the fit, I’ve tried several of these independent earbuds and some just didn’t fit right. I like how the Skybuds really go into my ear and fit securely without the fear they will fall out and get lost.

You’ll have to work the volume on your device but the Skybuds do have a microphone for handsfree calls and they directly access Siri or other assistants.

The Skybuds app monitors battery levels of your buds and the Skydock along with a range finder to help you find misplaced Skybuds

I used the Skybuds on a recent flight and they worked for all three hours; the specs have them lasting up to 4 hours before a charge is needed. The included Skydock case stores the earbuds and has a built-in battery for charging several times before the battery needs a boost of power.

https://skybuds.com @19.99

HUB Plus QC 6700 HeroThe myCharge is as versatile a portable USB power source as any and even allows you to charge cable free — sort of.

It’s built with 6700 mAh of portable power inside a slick looking aluminum body. When it needs a charge, just fold out the wall prongs and plug it right into any standard AC wall outlet.

On the side is a pair of attached cables for charging anything with a USB-C or microUSB connections. If you have a different charging port, just plug your own cable into the standard USB-A port.

The battery is built with Qualcomm Quick Charge technology, which along with the myCharge SmartSense technology ensures that any compatible Quick Charge 3.0 device will charge 75 percent faster vs devices that use standard charging methods.

www.mycharge.com $79.99

Gadgets :: March 22, 2017

By Gregg Ellman
(@Greggellman)

greg2You’ll really appreciate a good night’s sleep after using the Sound+Sleep Suite from Adaptive Sound Technologies.

The audio sleep device provides the right amount of ambient noise with natural sounds for the perfect shut eye environment. Technology called Adaptive Sound, which uses a built-in microphone that allows the volume to adjust to ambient noise is a key feature.

For the most part it looks like a standard nightstand clock radio without the clock features. It uses AC power to broadcast sound from a smooth-sounding 3-inch high fidelity speaker on the top. You can have the sound play all night or a timer shuts it off in half hour increments up to 2 hours.

Sound is broadcast in 10 unique, non-looping programs, each with richness levels for 30 layers of sound.

On the back is a line-in (3.5 mm) port to connect an audio device to play through the system and a line out port for headphone or external speakers.

The Sound+Sleep measures 7.5-by-5.5-by-4.5-inches, weighs 2.6 pounds and is available with a black finish.

www.soundofsleep.com $99.95

gregg1I never thought I’d be talking about my teeth brushing habits in this space, so here are my details. I brush regularly, several times a day with an electric toothbrush. The habit was drilled in my head growing up with a mother who worked as a dental hygienist.

These days I maintain the child habit but I have to admit changing the worn out brush head doesn’t happen as often as it should. That’s just one reason why the Goby electric toothbrush caught my attention.

The toothbrush was launched late last year and claims to be first ever direct-to-consumer rechargeable electric toothbrush.

In addition to working perfectly as my regular toothbrush, an inexpensive subscription service keeps my brush head fresh and clean.

For a one-time charge of $65, you’ll get the electric toothbrush, base/charger and one brush. You then choose a brush head subscription to receive a new brush head every 1,2, or 3 months for $6 each.

As for the brush, it works great and has a cool timer feature where for 2 minutes the brush does its thing, ensuring I don’t cut any corners in my mouth.

The brush is charged in a small freestanding base and has a USB attachment, enabling it to be cord free when you’re not charging. Goby recommends charging it twice a month.

There’s a replacement brush head indicator on the brush for alerting you when it’s time to change, a button to toggle between sensitive and standard modes. It should last 28 uses, 2 minutes each use before a charge is needed.

The system comes with a 60-day trial and a two-year warranty.

www.Goby.co available in goby blue, midnight blue, magenta and orange

greg3Don’t drop your phone and especially in water. Well, the fact is we all drop our phone and sometimes it survives and other times it doesn’t, especially when it takes the wet plunge.

Pelican Products, a company that develops what I call indestructible products for military and emergency personal, has the Marine case to protect your smartphone on land or sea.

Just put your iPhone in the case, which is built with five-layer protection constructed of impact-absorbing materials and a rigid polycarbonate shell. This includes a waterproof IP68 rating, which allows it to be submerged underwater for 30 minutes up to a depth of 4.92 feet. The case also blocks dust, dirt or anything else from the outside.

Cases like this in the past have been big and bulky and I was happy to see the marine doesn’t really give your phone a bigger profile with it’s 5.98-by-3.09-by-0.48-inch size.

I tested it with an Apple iPhone 7 and loved it. I’m a front pocket carrying person and I had no problem adjusting with the protective case on.

I’ve been a big fan of no headphone port so that wasn’t an issue for me since the iPhone 7 doesn’t have one and works Bluetooth only. You can connect a headphone port to the Lighting charing port, but obviously when that is in use the case is not giving you full protection.

www.Pelican.com $69.99, available in clear, teal and black

Gadgets :: March 15, 2017

By Gregg Ellman
(@Greggellman)

When a new product from V-MODA arrives, I instantly anticipate opening it, just as I would a holiday or birthday gift. I know there is a cutting-edge audio product tucked inside, even though I never had my hands on it or heard it in use.

I’ll take you right to the end; there was absolutely no disappointment after opening, seeing and testing the hot-off-the-press Remix wireless Hi-Fi speaker.

The Remix is the company’s first venture into bluetooth speakers. The sound that flows out is nothing short of superb. This holds true whether you like to enjoy music at a comfortable volume or if you like to punch it up to concert level.

The Remix’s solid construction coupled with its size makes it a perfect travel companion. It measures 8.07-by-2.55-by-2.67-inches. Sound projects smoothly through its front facing grill mixing perfectly with a rear mounted bass reflex port. According the V-MODA, the sound is “powered by a newly designed glass-fiber diaphragm and long coil drivers.”

Typical for V-MODA, they emphasized the design, look and features. My test unit was designed with CNC aluminum. An optional vegan leather finish is also available.

When it comes to customization the Remix is unique. V-MODA touts the world’s first 3D-printed custom speaker so all six sides of Remix can be personalized. You can change the sides, front grill and the C-shell with into a variety of materials. They include “lightweight matte fiber to raw, gold-plated or precious metals including 14-karat rose gold and even platinum,” according to Val Kolton, V-MODA Founder and CEO. The 3D printing is done with V-MODA’s renowned jewelry-grade 3D-printing, which I’ve seen in the company’s headphones.

The VMAP port takes the Remix to a new level for wireless speakers, transforming it into a headphone amplifier. For the most part it’s just plug-and-play with the V-MODA VAMP technology to give your headphones a boost of power and sound.
Connect an audio device to the aux-in port with the included 4.5-foot V-MODA 24k gold plated plug cable, turn the speaker on, connect your headphones to the VAMP port and hit the multifunction button on top once to get everything going. You’ll be amazed at the sound.

You can connect two Bluetooth sources and also use an unlimited number of Remix speakers simultaneously. Just daisy chain them with 3.5 mm audio cables.

Controls for power, volume and pairing are well placed on the top; the back has a USB-C charging port (5.6-foot charging cable included), an auxiliary port and a VMAP/auxiliary out port.

It has a 3400mAh internal rechargeable battery, good for more than 10 hours of tunes and a built-in microphone for hands-free calls.

The speaker also works with Amazon’s Alexa via the Echo Dot (wirelessly or wired) and is also compatible with Google Chromecast Audio.

http://v-moda.com/REMIX $300, 3D printing customization ranges from $40 to $370,000
If there’s a keyboard that’s more compact, portable and useful than the Kanex MultiSync Foldable Travel Keyboard, I haven’t seen it.
With the Kanex keyboard you can sync up to four devices to the keyboard at once with Bluetooth 3.0 and toggle between the four to use what you want at the time, with the push of a key.
It’s built with a durable construction and folds shut to cut the size in half when it’s not in use. A magnetic closure keeps it shut tight. When closed it measures 6.42-by-4-inches and weighs just 6 ounces. 
As for typing, once you get it set up it’s a perfect ergonomic keyboard in a V-shaped layout. An LED alerts you when it’s time to charge the internal battery and also shows you when you’re connected to a device.
You can sync the keyboard with devices using these operating systems or newer; Apple iOS 7, Mac OS 10, Android 4.0 Windows XP/7/8/10.
www.kanex.com/foldable-keyboard $49.95

Gadgets :: March 8, 2017

By Gregg Ellman
(@Greggellman)

I’ve always thought that you don’t have to be an expert to know good sound from bad. You just know it when you hear it.

So after I put on the Beem BeMe D200 earbuds a few weeks ago I knew they weren’t just good because they were great.

A press release sent to me before they were available to the public touted them as a new dance line for Beem United company, known for innovative products with quality design and looks.

But this got my attention before a sound was played; they are the first Apple Lightning-connected earbuds I’ve tried.

The D200’s come loaded with features, including ergonomic ear-tips (four sizes included) for a secure and comfortable fit, a great sound with lots of bass, and an LED light to bring your sound to life.

An aluminum housing covers the 10.66 mm drivers, which also have a dual mic with active noise cancellation in each ear to ensure your sound is from the earbuds and not unwanted outside noise. There’s also an in-line remote control for selecting music and calls.

You can make the sound experience even better with the free Beem app, which lets you to customize your tunes with a 10-band equalizer. Presets are loaded in the app or you customize to you’re liking.

A carrying case is included.

www.beemunited.com $169.99. available in black, flash green, rebel purple and rose gold

Urbanears Plattan 2 is another new great sounding, stylish and colorful choice.

They are a new version of the Plattan, updated and redesigned with a new sound for the over-the-head headphones at a friendly price.

The sound sits on your ears with extra isolating ear cushions, and a customized 3D hinge adjusts how it fits over your head.

Urbanears says the 3d hinge gives your headphones impressive flexibility so they can adapt to the shape of your head for a perfect fit and sort of like double-jointed kneecaps, which I thought was a unique description. When they are not in use, the flexibility allows them to fold up and fully collapse for storage.

Once you get past the looks and feel, you’ll be equally impressed with the sound, which is obviously the most critical aspect of the message headphones deliver.

The Plattan 2s are equipped with a ZoundPlug, which is a term I never heard of until I used Urbanears. It’s a socket on the cord that allows you to daisy chain your music to share with others.

An inline mic and remote works perfect for calls and music controls.

www.urbanears.com $49 available in black, blue, comet green, dark grey, Indigo, powder pink, purple, snow blue, tomato and white

The SpiderLight Backpacker kit is a strapless, innovative way of securely fastening a camera to a backpack or messenger bag strap.

While it’s attached, the spider system gives you instant on/off access with its easy quick snap in-out connection. It’s ergonomic design lets you wear the hardware and even attach a bulkier digital SLR camera with ease.

Setting it up takes just seconds. I tried it with a medium-sized SLR camera with the SpiderLight camera plate security attached to the bottom of the camera’s tripod connection, which is then attached to the backpack holster on the front strap of my backpack.

I tried it with a few different brands of backpacks popular with photographers and it worked perfect on every one.

I will add, before I even attached anything to my camera, I was impressed with the durable construction of the hardware, especially since you are trusting it to carry expensive camera gear.

Accessories for the system are available. One, which I’ve seen, is used to capture front facing point-of-view videos with a GoPro.

The backpacker kit can also be used for belt access.

http://spiderholster.com $125