The Moshi Urbana is stylish on the outside and filled with nerdy goodness on the inside. Perfect for mom. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
We know all you good boys and girls have had your Mother’s Day gifts wrapped and hidden in the basement for weeks and weeks, but the staff here at Cult of Mac has been so busy covering all the Apple Watch that the holiday crept up on us. So we thought we would share our last-minute Mother’s Day gift guide with you, in case you’re in the same sad boat.
Let’s be honest, though, most of these items come straight from wish lists of the Cult of Mac wives, so even if you already picked out the perfect Mother’s Day gifts for mom, who doesn’t like a “just because you rock” gift?
Moshi Urbana briefcase (above) — $149.95
Smart, stylish and surprisingly spacious, Moshi’s Urbana briefcase will swallow a 15-inch MacBook and still have room for mom’s iPad, books and everything else she always seems to have on hand during a time of emergency. The Urbana offers plenty of pockets for organizing the essentials, plus water-resistant protection from the elements. Geeky enough to make a nerdy mom happy, while stylish enough to not be embarrassing.
There are a ton of Bluetooth headsets on the market today, and because I prefer talking hands-free, I’ve tried a lot of them. But as a Bluetooth enthusiast (yes, we exist), I’ve been continually frustrated. That’s because all the headsets I’ve tried thus far have missed the mark, especially when paired with an iPhone, delivering callers’ voices as muddy and hard to decipher, or making me sound like I live under the sea (I don’t).
Voyager Legend UC Bluetooth Headset by Plantronics Category: iOS and Mac Accessories Works With: iPhone, iPod, iPad, Mac Price: $200
So when I got my hands on the Plantronics Voyager Legend UC, with its promises of excellent audio, call routing touch technology, and the ability to work on both my Mac and iOS device, I was dubious. Not anymore. This little Legend hasn’t just proved my first impressions wrong, I’m now convinced it’s the best Bluetooth headset I’ve ever used.
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.
Only in the world of technology could a company get away with calling these earbuds “wireless.” The product is called the BackBeat Go, and the company is Plantronics, and to anybody with more than zero eyes, it’s clear that they are connected by a wire.
Not so, according to the product blurb: “No wires, no hassle, no compromise,” it says. To which we might add “no brains.” Even better, just a few lines later you can read this sentence: “Inline controls let you pause music to take a call, change volume, or skip tracks.”
Many headsets promise a headset utopia, making smartphone users’ heads fill with visions of commanding their world with a simple voice command.
The Plantronics Marque M155 ($60) and the Motorola HX550 ($60) both make similar promises, with the HX550’s packaging going as far as to promise a “complete hands-free solution.” Both headsets offer liberation from holding the phone, but how do these midrange ‘sets match up to the marketing promises — or the abilities of their more expensive siblings?
Plantronics is without a doubt one of the biggest names associated with Bluetooth headsets, and quite possibly has one of the — if not the — largest catalog of headsets of any manufacturer. The Plantronics Savor M1100 ($80) is positioned at the high-end of their consumer line, with an emphasis on high-tech features, including a voice-controlled commands, and a nod toward aesthetics. Considering Plantronics stellar reputation for consistently producing solid performers, expectations for the Savor M1100 were high as the plastic came off the box…