The Best Travel Gadgets [Best Of]





It’s August, which means two things. One, there’s no news to report on, which means that most of a gadget blogger’s workday is taken up with siestas and refreshing beverages. And two, it’s vacation time! That’s right: The whole northern hemisphere likes to take a break at exactly the same time, all the better to enjoy congested roads, overpriced plane tickets and overcrowded hotels.

To ease your pain, we’ve put together a list of the best travel gadgets. You may not enjoy spending a hot and stuffy month with your in-laws, but at least your tech won’t let you down.

Koss’s Striva Headphones Stream Internet Radio Direct


No matter how hard I try, I can't get enthusiastic about these white elephants
No matter how hard I try, I can't get enthusiastic about these white elephants

You know how many tech companies strive to make our experience of their products easier and more transparent so that — in the case of things like the iPad — the product disappears and lets us enjoy whatever it is that it does?

Koss didn’t get that memo, and has launched Striva, an “initiative” which takes something as simple as a headphone and makes it as complicated as an old-school router.

Koss’s PortaPro KTC Headphones Are Sick, Sexy, Vintage And Ready For Your iPhone [Review]


Koss's PortaPro KTC Headphones with in-line mic and remote.

The most common reaction people have when they see me wearing my Koss PortaPros is: “Don’t you work in tech? Can’t you afford some Skullcandies or something, instead of those hand-me-down headphones from the 70s?”

I always want to smack these people for their shameful ignorance and misguided elitism, but don’t… mostly because this is exactly the same reaction I had when, two years ago, I saw a pair of Koss PortaPros perched upon Cult of Mac review editor Charlie Sorrel’s lank, salt-and-peppery head.

Since then, I’ve converted a dozen friends to Koss PortaPros the same way Charlie converted me: by taking them off his head and making me put them on and listen to them for a few seconds. Everyone I’ve converted has sworn by Koss, just like Charlie and I do.

Koss’s PortaPro series isn’t old or antiquated: they’re design and quality are timeless. There’s a difference. But that doesn’t mean a timeless design can’t be improved or added upon, and with the PortaPro KTC line, Koss has done it.

How? How else. A built-in mic and in-line controls for your iPhone. Those sneaky devils.

Koss’s Timeless Porta Pros Just Became The Best iPhone Compatible Headphones You Can Buy For Under $50



For years now, I’ve been singing the praises of Koss Porta Pro headphones whenever anyone asks me which headphones they should by. Really, for the price, absolutely nothing beats them: they are rugged, extremely comfortable, and sound better than headphones that cost twice as much, all by-products of a classic, time-tested design that has kept mobile audiophiles pleased for decades now, and which Koss stands behind with a lifetime warranty.

The only problem with the Porta Pros is that their design is so classic, so time-tested that it doesn’t feature one of the major necessities of a good pair of on-the-town headphones of the last few years: an in-line mic and remote for answering calls on your iPhone. So hooray! Guess what the Porta Pro KTC (Koss Touch Control) fix?