Gadgets :: February 1, 2016

By Gregg Ellman
(@greggellman)

The new Magellan eXplorist TRX7 GPS navigator system takes mapping to a whole new level for off-road navigation.

When you first open the package it’s hard to not admire the 7-inch color touchscreen (6.7-by-8.7-by-5.2 inches 1.3 pounds). The extra-large display is enclosed in a waterproof, drop resistant and dust-proof casing.

Right out of the box, the TRX7 is preloaded with more than 44,000 (and growing) off highway vehicle routes.

Once you find a trail to explore, just click ‘follow’ and you’re set to go. If you decide to veer off the trail, the system can record where you’re going so you can capture the route or just find your way back to where you started.

Maps can be filtered by difficulty, distance, name or rating.

If you find trails that are unique and not yet published, Magellan has a great feature to let you share your findings with the world.

The TRX7 can create and personalize routes and then connect to Wi-Fi and go to a site within Magellan to publish it. This lets you name the trail, tell about any unique attributes and any other points of interest you find.

The maps are displayed with 3D terrain and 2D topographic maps, showing features you encounter on the routes along with the elevation.

A heavy-duty high-strength genuine RAM suction cup mount is included for use on any smooth non-porous surface.

www.magellangps.com $649.99

Lola high fidelity headphones from Blue Microphones have the total package; great looks, amazing sound and a fair price.

When you first see the headphones, they almost have a retro look, which I loved. So many of today’s headphones look the same, so it’s nice to see a company thinking outside the box.

According to Blue, the Lola headphone was inspired by Blue’s radical holistic design for optimized performance, a personalized fit, and a new lighter, slim-fit headband. They stated in a press release that the headphones were designed without any preconceived notions about what headphones are ‘supposed’ to look like

The slim headband has pivoting arms and what they call a four-point multi-jointed linkage system. This system makes it really easy to get a comfortable fit.

Another neat feature is the ear-cups. Ear-cups are almost always rounded on headphones but how often do you see round ears? With the ear-cups on the Lola headphones, they are shaped with a more vertical design in big cabinets to mimic the shape of the common ear. This is a great help to get a natural fit and ensure you don’t have any sound bleeding away from your ear.

The sound comes from 50 mm drivers (frequency response: 15Hz-20kHz), which delivered incredible detail to any music I tried. This included my personal iTunes playlist, satellite radio and other online sources during my week of testing. I even had it connected to a turntable I started testing and the vinyl sound was awesome.

You also get a soft-sided travel case, a three-meter audio cable and a 1.5-meter cable with built-in microphone and Apple controls.

http://blue-headphones.com $249.99 available in charcoal black or pearl white

Music junkies who want to create and combine tracks will love the Braven Fuse Bluetooth hand-held mixer.

This enables you to combine multiple sources of music, sounds or any audio to create single tracks

Everything is really easy to access on the top. These include control knobs (low, mid and high range), volume controls, Bluetooth connections (two devices and two Bluetooth speakers), and cross-fade controls. All this lets you splice tracks together, while letting them fade in and out with perfection.

Headphones and aux-in and out ports are on the side.

If you’ve never mixed before (like me) it takes some getting used to and making some bad tracks in order to learn from your mistakes.

After a while I did some simple things like taking 10 songs from my playlist and combining them into one. An easy answer for why would I do that, because I can with the Fuse.

An internal rechargeable battery should last for about 12 hours of use.

http://braven.com $99.99

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