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Electronics Review

​Review: Flicks portable boombox packs a projector

When the boombox hit popular culture over 30 years ago, it brought the party outside. For the first time it was convenient to have loud, high-quality sound anywhere you wanted it without needing AC power or having to hook up complicated sound systems. With the proliferation of wireless Bluetooth speakers and the MP3 format, boomboxes have gone the way of the mullet haircut, but a new version called Flicks from Dashbon is bringing it back with a very 21st-century addition: a projector. We got to try one out.Read More

Around The Home

Window-mounted air conditioning with a view

With record-breaking temperatures looming ahead like rippling walls of heat from sun-baked asphalt, it behooves one to check that air conditioning units are in proper working condition ahead of time. For those considering an upgrade, Philadelphia-based Likuma Labs has unveiled a new product that addresses the frustrations experienced with many window air conditioners. Noria is designed to be smaller, lighter, and quieter, while offering full-room circulation and smart connectivity.Read More

Wearables Review

Pushing my belly and flipping my hood to listen to tunes

Hoodies and headphones go together like Star Wars and sequels. A new company plans to capitalize on that music/clothing combo with the launch of the Hiody sweatshirt on Kickstarter. It embeds headphones in the hood of a premium sweatshirt and a control button just above the pockets. But just how well does the high-tech hoodie work? We got our hands on one to find out.Read More

Mobile Technology Review

GoTenna review: Text and share your location anywhere, without a signal

Whether it be in the wilderness or at a crowded event, there is nothing more frustrating for many people than the dreaded no signal icon or "message not sent" being displayed on their smartphone display. GoTenna is a pen-sized Bluetooth device that is designed to keep your group connected to each other, even when there's no network around. We tried out a pair deep in the southern Rocky Mountains to see how they performed.Read More

Wearables

Wireless earphones put a microphone in your ear

Toward the end of last year, the first truly wireless earphones became available for consumers to buy and plug in. We were sent a pair of Earins to review and were impressed by both performance and build quality, though found them a little on the quiet side. Taking calls while using them was also a bit of a hassle, as they didn't feature a built-in microphone. The RippleBuds project supports hands-free calling with the inclusion of an in-ear microphone, while also promising increased play time.Read More

Music

Vie Shair headphones swap cushions for air frames to improve comfort

Even the plushest headphone ear cushions can end up generating fatigue to the point where breaks are necessary. A new startup, based out of Tokyo, Japan, has come up with a headphone design that addresses the stress and heat buildup associated with typical over-ear units. The Vie Shair headphones feature a unique air frame that relieves pressure on the ears while providing more environmental awareness.

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Music

Major release sees Marshall go unplugged

A little over 5 years ago, Marshall teamed up with Sweden's Zound Industries to break into the headphones market with the Major on-ears. Last year, the iconic British amp maker also entered the crowded mobile space with the audiocentric-but-mediocre London smartphone. Music lovers looking to tap into the phone's high quality streaming prowess no longer need to wander off brand, they can now go cable-free with the Major II Bluetooth headphones.Read More

Electronics

Passive Wi-Fi more energy efficient than conventional Wi-Fi, ZigBee and Bluetooth LE

While it's become a necessity of modern life, Wi-Fi is also an energy hog, draining the batteries of all those connected devices surrounding us. That may change with the recent demonstration by University of Washington researchers of Wi-Fi transmissions generated using 10,000 times less power than conventional methods. Known as Passive Wi-Fi, the system also uses 1,000 times less power than current energy-efficient wireless communication platforms, like ZigBee and Bluetooth LE.Read More

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