We live in a tech-centric world. Even Grandma and Grandpa have cell phones and most are computer literate. For the holidays, here are four gift suggestions that make using tech gadgets just a little easier and more efficient. All four are very affordable, and will please anyone who uses a mobile device which these days, is just about everyone!
BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE, BUT I DON’T HAVE TO TAKE OFF MY GLOVES TO TEXT THAT NEWS TO YOU! One of the nicest things you can give someone is the gift of warmth. But when you pair it with something a bit “high tech” that also looks glamorous, it’s the best gift of all. TravelSmith has all kinds of user-friendly gifts for men and women who like to travel or who must travel, but every woman would like these Touch Sensor Pocket Gloves ($24.00) that you cam get in seven different colors. They are attractive, soft and comforting on your hands, but they are more than that — they allow you to use your phone or other touch screen device without taking off your gloves, so your hands stay warm. The super-soft microfleece sensor gloves have conductive pads on the thumbs and index fingers that activate touch screens. A zip pocket on each wrist safely stashes a room key, currency or lip balm. Poly/Lycra® spandex. Machine wash. Imported. They really feel quite luxurious and the lack of embellishment means that you can wear them with sporty clothing or something more dressy. One size will fit most (the fingers were slightly long on my hand, and I wear a medium size leather glove).
For more information visit the Travelsmith web
TAKE ME TO THE RIVER….OR ANYWHERE ELSE YOU WANT TO HEAR MUSIC! I love iLuv products, and now we all have another reason to want to give them. The iLuv Aud mini ($14.99) is the first mini-sized portable Bluetooth speaker iLuv has made although they’ve plenty of other impressive speakers, including the large, beautiful, iLuvMobi Aria (srp. $199) which I reviewed as a holiday gift idea last year).
The iLuv Aud is sleek and sleek, lightweight and available in pink, yellow, black, white and my favorite, a brilliant turquoise blue. It pairs effortlessly in literally, seconds, to Bluetooth devices such as iPods and smart phones, and has an on/off switch and three easy to use buttons on the top of the speaker pause, play and control volume).There is a rechargeable battery and a micro USB cable for easy charging. A dual color LED indicates the power and charge status of the device. The Aud Mini is compatible with most Bluetooth-enabled devices.
When I first heard the sound from the ILuv Aud Mini I really couldn’t believe that the sound coming out of the Ipod sized speaker was so clear and powerful, and when I learned that the speaker cost just $15.00 I was completely blown away. But yes, it’s true, iLuv has done it again…crafted a Bluetooth speaker that gives you impressive sound at whatever price point you happen to be in. Pop one in your pocket or purse when you go on a trip or for instant fun at a gathering. This is going to be a hot item for holiday because it is so inexpensive, yet so impressive. Get a bunch for friends and watch their eyes light up!
About iLuv: iLuv Creative Technology, the premier provider of the most comprehensive line of accessories for Apple, Samsung and smartphone devices.
iLuv’s Aud Mini is available at Amazon.com and select retailers. For more information visit the iLuv Web Site
WE WON’T FALL OUT ON YOU! Good earphones are a must if you want your audio devices to deliver a truly satisfying performance. While there are a gazillion you can choose from, if you are an active person who likes to wear in-ear headphones while running or doing other vigorous physical activity, you need to get earbuds that are specially designed.
Relays by SOL REPUBLIC ($79.99) are in-ear headphones that offer decent sound and fun color choices, and they won’t fall out of your ears when you are running. The Advice Sisters have reviewed Sol Repubic headphones with very cool, interchangeable head bands and cords in previous reviews, but these in-ear headphones have SOL REPUBLIC’s proprietarFreeFlex™ technology, which is wrapped around the new i5 Sound Engine. FreeFlex enables Relays’ universal fit and makes them easy to put in your ear and stay there regardless of how intensely you move.
Some earbuds can really be uncomfortable, but these e SOL REPUBLIC in-ear headphones have a special design that just sort of “all” into your ear without having to fuss, push or struggle. And like all of the in-ear headphones from this company, Relays have the Sol Republic exclusive “Tips for Life” program that lets you replace your ear tips should you lose them (and Relays arrive with ear tips of four different sizes plus a carrying case).
So now we get to the sound, which is the reason you buy headphones (although SOL REPUBLIC headphones are very fashionable). My colleague, who is very music savvy, thought they were very good indeed, and liked the new I5 Sound Engine, which is tiny and an engineering feat delivering full sound that he noted brought out details in the music I just didn’t hear.
What I do realize is that music is a motivator, especially when you are working out and I think that these Relays may actually help you have a better workout because you are enjoying it more Relays are water and sweat resistant, and have a clip-on cable that ensures the cable won’t ever get caught. But these colorful headphones aren’t just for sports and the gym –they they have an easily accessible volume, mic and phone control so you can you stay in touch if you are on your phone during the business day, too.
SOL REPUBLIC is a global consumer electronics company dedicated to enhancing people’s lives through style, sound and technology and I’m a big fan!
SOL REPUBLIC Relays are available in black, white, horizon blue and lemon lime at Verizon Wireless and leading nationwide retailers. For more information visit the SOL REPUBLIC Web Site.
Glam up a girl of any age with a clutch that does more than just look pretty. This Clutchette Power $49.99 from Chic Buds charges most smart phones and USB devices. The cute metallic wristlet (ours was done in gold but on the Chic Buds website it’s offered in metallic pink and black as well) features an interior zippered pocket and one with velcro for your valuables, but what makes it unique is the included, ultrathin battery and built-in USB cords that pack -2600 mAh (as much as 1 full charge for a smartphone) with a battery life indicator light (and it’s removeable and re-chargeable, of course) so you can tote your phone without having to carry an extra, bulky charger. While the wristlet isn’t huge it is big enough for a small set of keys, your phone, credit cards and money, maybe a lipstick – perfect for holiday parties and when you just don’t want to carry a bulky bag. Place your order online at www.chicbuds.com
TICKET TO RIDE! ION Audio’s CLIPSTER Active Bluetooth Speaker ($49.00) might be the bikers, hikers, sportsmen’s traveler’s hipster’s gift of the season. It’s the rugged, totally portable, wireless and waterproof bluetooth speaker that either clips to just about anything with a rugged carabiner clip and/or a flexible rubber strap. Listen to music or take phone calls and then go back to music, easily, A built-in microphone means there never needs to be a break in the action. Take calls without having to retrieve your phone from your pocket or bag and when it is time to hang up, effortlessly switch back to the tunes. Easy to use controls for volume, power and “forward” let you deal with the device easily. There is no “backwards” button for some reason. And, as far as I can tell, there isn’t a plug for a headset, so those nearby hear your phone calls and music, too. If you’re on a bike, not a problem but sometimes, it could be.
For more information on ION and the Clipster Active, please visit www.ionaudio.com
DESK SET TO PARTY ANIMAL, TRAVEL WITH THIS ONE Big Sound, Small Footprint: There are plenty of wireless bluetooth enabled speakers out there, but one that has come to my attention is the SoundBook GO by the UK Company, Bayan Audio, a nifty, compact wireless speaker that is not much larger than a trade paperback book and has a protective cover with magnetic closures, that turns into a clever stand when you flip it down, but also packs a wallop of a bass and up to 9 hours of wireless music. It is designed specifically for use with today’s most popular Bluetooth devices, including Smartphones, tablets and laptops. In addition, the soundbook GO includes an auxiliary input for connection to an MP3 or similar portable player that isn’t Bluetooth enabled. the controls are ridiculously easy, just three: power, volume up or volume down. Turn the volume all the way to up LOUD and while you may not annoy the neighbors, you’ll get distortion free sound loud enough to hear well across a big room with reasonable conversation going on. There are plugs for a included USB to charge the device, and to plug in your non-bluetooth device to play it. It comes in four nice colors: lipstick red, white, bright blue, and black.
Some wireless speakers take a degree in engineering to pair. This one is easy. Just keep your device close to the SoundBookGO. Turn on the SoundbookGo and Turn on your Device. Press the power/input button until BLUE is displayed. Go into your settings, select and turn on Bluetooth. Scan for new Bluetooth devices and nominate ‘Bayan SB GO’. You will not be prompted for a pass code for pairing. (Note: Bluetooth audio connectivity can vary between devices so it can be beneficial to firstly consult with your audio source user manual for pairing instructions if unsure). If you want to connect by NFC automatic pairing (assuming your device has this): Turn on your audio source and unlock the screen. Ensure that NFC is enabled in the settings on your audio source, Turn on the Soundbook GO and ensure it is in Bluetooth mode, Touch the back of your audio source to the back of the Soundbook GO where the NFC logo is located – you will be asked to confirm that you wish to connect and pair with the Bayan Soundbook GO – select Yes/OK. You can disconnect by simply touching your audio source again to the back of the Soundbook GO. The blue status LED on the top of the Soundbook Go will be continuously illuminated. If it is flashing, it is not connected and you may pair a new audio source. If it is off, then the Soundbook Go is in AUX input mode. The Soundbook GO will remember the last 4 audio devices connected to it.
If you are using a smart phone, you can use this for hands-free calling on your phone as well, since the SoundbookGO has an integrated microphone for conference calling in a speakerphone. To make a call via Bluetooth, simply make the call from your phone, select Soundbook as the audio device for the call. To answer a call accept the call from yhour phone and select Soundbook as the audio device for the call.
Designed with added bass, Soundbook GO produces a rich, balanced sound whether you’re enjoying dance tracks at a beach party or acoustic tracks at a summer picnic. Available in four contemporary colours, Soundbook GO is the perfect travel companion to help you experience your music wherever you are. Soundbook GO is $139.99 at Amazon and various independent dealers across the USA and Canada.
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