Archive for the ‘Tech’ Category
The Mass Fidelity Relay Hi-Fi Bluetooth DAC is a fantastic solution for anyone who’d like to stream music from a computer, tablet or smartphone but doesn’t want to replace their current audio system with a Sonos or other wireless speaker or even “upgrade” their vintage receiver or preamp to a new one with AirPlay or Bluetooth built in.
The Relay promises a one-minute setup and it delivers: you take it out of the box, screw the antenna into the back, plug in the power cord and plug the RCA jacks into an open slot on your receiver or preamp. Hit the power button, pair with your device and you’re playing music. It’s a $249 addition to your system, but look at it this way: that’s a lot less expensive than a top-end wireless speaker and definitely cheaper than a new receiver that you might not want anyway. +Continue Reading
The Cambridge Audio Go is an all-around improvement to the Cambridge Audio Minx Go portable Bluetooth speaker. You can start with the name: someone realized (or “realised,” since they’re British) that “minx” has some less-than-flattering slang connotations for women.
The Go retails for $179 and a fantastic-sounding speaker for the price. If you search for “Cambridge Audio Go” online, you’ll get a lot of links to buy the still-available Minx version. You want the new one. Click here to order the right version from Amazon via the Cambridge Audio website. +Continue Reading
The A-Audio Legacy headphones cost $299 direct and feature Active Noise Cancellation and a bass boost mode. There’s a lot of padding and a faux-skin carrying case. They’re blingy and they’ve received some rapturous reviews elsewhere online. +Continue Reading
The Lumia 1520 Windows phone is a monster with a 6″ screen and a 20 megapixel camera. It comes in red, yellow, green, black or white and never fails to start a conversation when you pull it out of your bag. It’s probably not going to fit into your pocket. As Tiny Elvis would say, that’s a huge phone.
Frequent Delta fliers might recognize the device. The airline just started issuing the 1520 to flight attendants as new Windows mobile devices. I’ve already seen one of these in action on a cross-country flight this month.
Outdoor Tech have launched an Indiegogo campaign for an expansion of their Kodiak Waterproof portable battery line. I’ve been using the currently available Kodiak 6000mAh model and it’s working fine, even after I threw it in the pond out back and left it there for a half hour.
Soundfreaq makes a lot of well-designed wireless speakers that sell at a reasonable price and the Pocket Kick fits right into that tradition. It’s really small (6″ x 2.5″ x 1.25″ and weighs 9.3 oz.), retails for $99 and comes in black, gray and gold. +Continue Reading
If you want to use your iPhone camera underwater, the Optrix PhotoProX case and lenses for the iPhone 5/5s are going to get the job done and protect your phone. The set sells for $149.95 direct with free shipping.
Testing waterproof products is always a leap of faith. There’s a lot that can go wrong and there’s not really a “testing-related phone accident” clause in my employment agreement. Optrix advertises “Military-grade” protection and IPX8 water immersion protection. Once I made the commitment, the case was 100% effective through my testing. +Continue Reading
The NewerTech Wireless Aluminum Keypad corrects a major Apple error: the elimination of the numeric keypad from its wireless keyboard a few years back. They still sell as wired keyboard with a keypad, but that severely limits where you can position yourself at your computer. The NewerTech retails for $54.95, matches the Apple wireless keyboard and does a great job. +Continue Reading
The Ooma Telo uses your Internet connection to provide telephone services. You can buy the device once for $129.99 and use it forever. This sounds a lot like the Vonage pitch from a few years back, but with a crucial difference. The Ooma sounds great, way better than the other VOIP (voice over Internet Protocol) services on the market. If you’re tired of paying your local phone company for a land line, this is a great solution if you know exactly what you’re getting into.
Anyone under the age of 30 whose first phone was a cell phone may not really see the need for a home phone number, but people alive back in the ancient times of the ‘70s and ‘80s often feel like a shared family phone is a necessary part of a civilized lifestyle. Ooma wants to talk to you people.
I had a chance to meet with Noel Lee, the founder and head engineer at Monster Audio for a preview of some upcoming projects that I’m not supposed to talk about yet. Noel built a massive business from scratch, starting with the idea that a good audio setup requires higher quality cables. He later gave Dr. Dre his start in the audio business as the original manufacturer of Beats by Dre headphones.
Since Beats left Monster, it seems like Lee’s been on a mission to compete on both fronts. Monster makes several lines of lifestyle headphones that out-bling almost anything on the market, but they’ve also put out the DNA line that can compete with any headphones at their price point and the excellent iSport workout earbuds. Let’s just say that some of the new products sound even better.
I’ll be reviewing the new products once they’re released, but, in the meantime, I’ve spent some time with the Monster Superstar portable wireless speaker and the Monster Powercard portable backup battery. +Continue Reading