Archive for September, 2011

Zipbuds enter into second generation goodness

Many of us enjoy our music on the go thanks to the sheer number of devices these days that offer MP3 playback (in addition to other audio file formats, of course), and this has directly caused the peripherals market to grow by leaps and bounds – especially when you take the number of headphones or earbuds that are in the market at the moment. Unless you do not want to take the wireless route, chances are pretty good that the pair of headphones or earbuds you use will end up in a tangled mess if not properly taken care of.

Somehow, cables tend to mysteriously get all tangled when you leave them alone – making me wonder whether secretly, they’re alive and plotting to take over the world when we are caught unawares. Well, Zipbuds certainly knows how irritating that can be, which is why the second generation of Zipbuds will come with premium 11mm drivers, a lighter zipper pull as well as redesigned aluminum ear buds, giving you an enhanced overall listening experience without looking like a dork.

It doesn’t matter if you just want to look good while wearing a pair of zipbuds, or if you’re a true blue music lover or game a whole lot – the G2 Zipbuds will still be able to deliver without missing a beat (pun not intended). Sporting 11mm drivers that are larger than the 8mm drivers on the first generation, the discerning pair of ears ought to be able to enjoy a more balanced, crisper noise projection alongside sound quality that rivals the highest-end brands on the market.

It is also 20% lighter than its predecessor, paving the way for a more comfortable experience with less pull on the ear buds. Not only that, redesigned aluminum ear bud casings on the G2 Zipbuds are also more form-fitting, where it will remain in the user’s ears no matter how active you are.

I absolutely love the “vertebrae” zipper design that features feather-light flexibility. You will be able to choose from a bevy of color combinations such as black & black, pink & black, blue & black, pink & white, and blue & white, where each $39.99 purchase comes with sweat resistant Sport Ear Clips.

Press Release


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Eton Mobius for the iPhone 4

Eton has a lot of solar-powered products such as emergency gadgets like the Raptor and the Scorpion. Their most recent product, the Mobius, takes a page from the Mophie Juice Pack playbook as it is a portable charger specifically designed for the iPhone 4.

The Juice Pack is a battery that doubles as an iPhone case, and the Mobius is essentially the same thing, but solar-powered. According to the official Press Release, one hour of sun on the solar cells is sufficient enough for 25 minutes of talk time, 20 minutes of internet use, 35 minutes of video playback, and two hours of audio playback.

In addition the 1800 mAh rechargeable lithium ion battery pack, this extra battery power will be held until the user needs it. All it takes is a flip of a switch, and some extra juice gets squeezed to an iPhone 4. The unit also has a micro USB port which can also charge the unit with the included micro-USB cable, and it will even sync with iTunes.

I am not certain how durable the solar cells are, and I don’t want to drop it to find out. The rest of the case is hard yet light metal, and the unit weighs about 3.4 ounces.

You should be able to get the Eton Mobius for the iPhone 4 on Amazon now for $82.34.


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iKurv iPod/iPhone dock from Speakal

It is difficult to review the iKurv from Speakal without comparing it to the PURE Contour iPod/iPhone dock that I reviewed the other day.

The iKurv certainly has the most odd of shapes. The arch with the speakers on each side can create 20 watts of great sound, and the sight of the blue light makes it look very beautiful.

In addition to the iPod/iPhone, you can connect your TV, Gaming Console, or MP3 to it as well. I will have to say that when I put my iPhone in the dock, the sound was very loud, and that was at the lowest level. I used the included 3.5mm headphone jack and plugged in my Droid X phone, and I found the sound was quite lower. I guess it is truly optimized for the iPod/iPhone.

I was not surprised that it comes with a wireless remote. Not only does it control the play/pause and other track related to audio, but the user can adjust the ambient light as well.

If you are interested in the iKurv, you can get it on the Speakal web site for an introductory price of $79.99, but it is only available in Black. You should also click here for more information.


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Ferrari F1 Wheel Add-On brings racing action closer to home than ever before

The world’s fastest sport is also one of the most expensive – it basically isn’t cost effective to drive a Formula 1 car, but then again, it is through Formula 1 that we get many technologies that you see in passenger cars these days such as Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) as well as paddle shifts. Sure, fans of the motorsport will probably have their idols whom they want to emulate, and one of the ways to sit in your very own Formula 1 car would be through a computer or console game.

What used to rely on console controllers or a keyboard to navigate your vehicle has evolved greatly, where a steering wheel add-on is definitely favored over the traditional gaming setup for that added dose of realism. After all, you don’t drive an actual car with the keyboard, right? Not only that, a steering wheel peripheral also makes the game far more immersive. Having said that, Thrustmaster has come up with the Ferrari F1 Wheel Add-On that is a removable racing wheel and a life-size replica of the Ferrari 150° Italia racing wheel.

Specially designed to attach to the T500 RS wheel base, it is capable of delivering both power and precision that has made this racing wheel such a unique experience. With the Thrustmaster Quick Release attachment system, it allows you to quickly attach the wheel face to the T500 RS base in a matter of seconds, letting all RS Series wheel base owners to invest in the myriad of wheels available for them to best enjoy the optimal experience and level of realism in all types of races.

This particular Ferrari F1 Wheel Add-On will come with a scratch-brushed reinforced metal facing that ensures optimum solidity and inertia, and not only that, the scratch-brushed metal F1 Push & Pull sequential shifters are also attached directly to the wheel to emulate what F1 tradition is all about, sporting rubber-textured grips for maximum control.

There is also a bunch of built-in equipment ranging from rotary knobs to switches and action buttons, letting you perform precision adjustments according to your own racing style as well as the different conditions on the track. Expect to bring home the Ferrari F1 Wheel Add-On from early next month onwards at $199.99 a pop.

Press Release


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Wahoo Fitness Bike Pack is ANT+ compatible

If you thought that the All-Weather Soft Case Bike Mount from Bracketron was something to sing about, you will be crazy about the Wahoo Fitness Bike Pack.

The Bike Pack has an integrated bike mount that allows you to use your iDevice touchscreen, which makes it both shock and water resistant. It also has a built-in ANT + radio transceiver which can support ANT + heart rate, speed, cadence, and power sensor. In fact, it even comes with a Premium Speed and Cadence Bike Sensor made just for it.

The Wahoo Fitness Bike Pack is designed for the iPhone 4, but it comes with a liner for the iPhone 3G/3GS. Just to let you know, it is apparently not compatible with the iPod Touch.

The Wahoo Fitness Bike Pack also comes with a free application for your iDevice. In fact, as soon as I plugged in my iPhone, it automatically wanted to download the app. It is nice when technology works conveniently for us, isn’t it? By the way, the Bike Pack is also supported by 50 other apps, and many of them are the top biking apps on iTunes.

If you want to get in on this biking iDevice accessory, head over to the Wahoo Fitness site and be prepared to pay $149.99.


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PURE Contour is one fine iPod/iPhone dock

After years of seeing PURE products at CES and electronics shows, I finally got one to try out with the Contour. The PURE Contour is an iPod/iPhone dock, but it is quite extraordinary.

I’m not certain if its rounded shape has anything to do with its high quality sound, but it has full range 3.5 inch speakers and dual bass ports for 36W RMS of sound that really shook the floor. It has an iPod dock that is retractable, as well as an FM radio.

The Contour can also connect via Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection so you can hook up to Internet radio stations and podcasts. It also allows for streaming music directly from a PC or Mac. Also included are composite, component and S-Video out for connection to the television.

The remote for the Contour allows the user full control over this iPhone/iPod dock, but there are also touch-sensitive controls on the unit itself. Other features include some alarms and timers, 40 FM presets, unlimited internet favorites, and a Stereo headphone socket. Another feature is that it is powered by the Lounge service to register your radio, organize your favorites, and even listen online.

All of this does cost, but I would have to say that the Pure Contour is one of the finest iPod/iPhone docks that I have listened to. I am not certain when it will be available, and the lowest price that I can find for it was on Amazon for about $310.00. You can find out more information on the official site.


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Elgato HDHomeRun Network Dual Tuner

I think that we all want to watch TV from our computers, and Elgato’s HDHomeRun is granting consumers their wish.

The HDHomeRun is a tiny box that connects to one’s cable or antenna, and then connects to one’s router. With the Windows 7 and Mac software, a user can stream digital television, and record TV shows, at the same time in full HD.

It is too bad that the HDHomeRun is not compatible with older versions of Windows. It looks like it was made more for the Mac, as it comes with EyeTV for Mac. EyeTV allows the user access to SmartGuides to record shows, even entire seasons. It also allows for editing and sharing them with other Macs, provided they are on your network.

With the purchase of the Elgato comes one free year of TV Guide data, with the option of renewing it for only $19.95 per year. The better news is that the HDHomeRun has an iPhone and iPad App, which allows you to watch live or recorded TV anywhere.

All in all the HDHomeRun could be a terrific way to enjoy TV from the computer, as we all want. Well, I do, anyway. You should be able to purchase it for a price of $179.95, and click here for more information.


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NuForce BT-860 Stereo Bluetooth Headset

I have tried out some interesting Bluetooth headphones before, and it is good to see that companies are putting out high-quality headphones at relatively low prices. The Nu Force BT-860 headphones that I recently tried out falls into that category.

The BT-860 uses aptX audio coding technology for its quality sound, and it has the “impressive dynamic range” that it boasts about. Not only are these excellent headphones, but there is a headset and hands-free feature.

According to the instructions, the user is required to charge the BT-360 for about three hours, but it only took about two, really. It has an indicator light that shows that it is charging, and when it wasn’t on, it was charged. It was difficult to see when these headphones were ready to work, but when it did work, and worked well.

For those who are interested in the formal specs, it has Bluetooth V 2.1, a 16-bit 44.1kHz (CD-quality) sound, and a 10-meter range. As for the operation time, it is good for 9 hours of hands-free headset operation, an 8 hour music time, and a standby time of 240 hours.

You should be able to get in on this wireless action for an MSRP of $79. That is about the price that I found for it on Amazon.


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NuForce BT-860 Stereo Bluetooth Headset

I have tried out some interesting Bluetooth headphones before, and it is good to see that companies are putting out high-quality headphones at relatively low prices. The Nu Force BT-860 headphones that I recently tried out falls into that category.

The BT-860 uses aptX audio coding technology for its quality sound, and it has the “impressive dynamic range” that it boasts about. Not only are these excellent headphones, but there is a headset and hands-free feature.

According to the instructions, the user is required to charge the BT-360 for about three hours, but it only took about two, really. It has an indicator light that shows that it is charging, and when it wasn’t on, it was charged. It was difficult to see when these headphones were ready to work, but when it did work, and worked well.

For those who are interested in the formal specs, it has Bluetooth V 2.1, a 16-bit 44.1kHz (CD-quality) sound, and a 10-meter range. As for the operation time, it is good for 9 hours of hands-free headset operation, an 8 hour music time, and a standby time of 240 hours.

You should be able to get in on this wireless action for an MSRP of $79. That is about the price that I found for it on Amazon.


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Mophie Juice Pack Reserve

Mophie is most famous for their Juice Pack Air, a protector/case that also serves as portable battery for an iDevice.

The Juice Pack Reserve is also designed to give an iPhone or iPod an extended battery life, but it isn’t a case. It uses a Zippo construction. The “Zippo” is the company’s own words, and it definitely looks like one of those flip-top metal lighters.

As you can see, the top flips off to reveal a 30 pin connector. Once this is plugged in, the Apple iDevice user is treated to 700mAh of battery power. That is enough for a quick charge, when you need it, and it is quite light.

I’m sure that you can see the keychain ring, showing it is light enough to keep in your pocket or purse with your keys. What you can’t see is that the bottom of unit pops out to reveal a USB plug. This is how you charge its battery, and it is ultra fast.

If you want to get one of these, you will have to wait a few days, as the Reserve won’t ship until September 30th. The Mophie Juice Pack Reserve is available for pre-order on the official Mophie web site, for a price of $34.95.


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