Discovering great headphones from a company that specializes in making bags was surprisng at first, when we reviewed Incase’s Sonic headphones late last year. A month later we were less stunned when we grunted in approval at their Capsule in-ear ‘phones during our budget(ish) canalphone shootout.
This time around we played with a new denim-clad version of the on-the-ear IncaseReflex headphones ($80) — which sit between the $150 over-the-ear Sonic and the canalphone Capsules — and came away with the impression that the Reflex may very well be the best bang-for-buck of the bunch.
Ever heard of MirrorLink? A bunch of really big names in the car and tech world — Honda, GM, Toyota, Panasonic and pretty much all the big Android handset makers (that’s right, no Apple) — got together, called themselves the Car Connectivity Consortium and created a standardized communication format so that smartphones could easily communicate with car audio head units and the like. The format is called MirrorLink, and today Sony has unleashed no less than five MirrorLink-equipped units head units out onto U.S. roads, two of which are equipped with MirrorLink.
The Mini Boombox ($100) is Logitech’s entry into the hotly contested Bluetooth micro-speaker contest. Like its contemporaries (the Jawbone Jambox and Monster iClarityHD are two prime examples), the Boombox supplies big sound in a tiny, wireless, battery-powered package — only in this case with Logitech’s signature sleek, stylish approach and a futuristic control panel. Let’s take a look at how it stacks up.
This isn’t the smallest headset. In fact, Motorola’s Elite Sliver Bluetooth Headset ($130) is actually bulkier than many other personal BT headsets. Its trick, though, is to hide most of the bulk behind the user’s ear, leaving just a sliver — hence the name — of technology visbile.
But the Sliver isn’t just a one-trick pony; its case also doubles as a battery that will top off the Sliver when the headset is housed in the case (which actually does triple duty as a charger).
A long time ago, before this site was born, we reviewed the Altec Lansing BackBeat 906 Bluetooth headphones, and liked ‘em. Plantronics had their own identical version of the 906, as they had owned Plantronics since 2005 (the two companies parted ways about the time the 906 was released).
The Plantronics BackBeat Go ($100) is an evolution of the 906. Same principle — wireless (meaning there’s no wire conecting the player with the headset) music and calls in a compact form via the magic of Bluetooth — but in an even smaller and more svelte form factor. Should be even more fantstic, right? Let’s take a look.
While other manufacturers might tart up their headphones with loud colors, obnoxious logos and frills, the Klipsch Image One ($150) drops all extraneous nonsense in favor of making you happy through its three impressive strengths: perfomance, comfort and portability — a triple threat that makes these headphones a contender for best traveling companion.
Some combinations are so obviously good when you see/hear/taste them that you wonder why they haven’t existed forever. Of course, some *have* been around for that long.
Just 6,000 years ago, when the universe winked into existence, the Lord blessed us with such holy wonders as apple pie (or apple crumble in the King James bible) and vanilla ice-cream; Dungeons *and* dragons; and of course hurtling, death-dealing two-ton automobiles and chronically distracted drivers.
Now we can add another devine device to that list: the solar-powered hands-free speakerphone.
There are those faithful who will never surrender their little white Apple earbuds. To them we say: Wear proudly. But for the rest, for those who don’t want to deal with sub-par sound, earbuds flopping around and having to hunt for foam covers, come with us — and we’ll show you a world of possibilities.
SAN FRANCISCO, MACWORLD / iWORLD 2012 — There are no shortage of iPhone cases being showcased here at Macworld/iWorld 2012, but only one grabbed my attention at last night’s media preview. It was a case called Flygrip, and it promises to keep your iPhone in hand so you can do other things without worrying about dropping your valuable device.
Macworld/iWorld marks the launch of FlyGrip, and I was given a unit to test out.