Hey gang, Valkor here. And I'm about ready to kick off my TOV rundown of the hottest tech showcase ever – CES 2013. It's always an honor to be accepted every year and since I started covering the show since 2005, I've never lost that enthusiasm - I hope I never do. We're gonna kick off our coverage with a look at items from the pre-show before the big show – CES Unveiled. It was small yet tightly packed at the South Beach Hall in the Mandalay Bay, but I persevered and brought along a few choice items.
Soul by Ludacris – So you have your Beats (Dr. Dre), your Chambers (RZA), Or your SMS (50 Cent) but do you have Soul? After this unveiled I think I'll need a bit more in my life. Nothing was available to listen to - it was mostly product on display, but from what I saw, they looked quite impressive. Hot on tap were the SL300 and the SL300 Signature series, which are inspired by such greats as NFL All-Star Tim Tebow, Jamaican Sprinter Usain Bolt, and FIFA soccor all-star Cesc Fabregas. Each headset features eye-popping colors inspired and chosen by the person they represent (Bolt's headphone feature the Jamaican flag colors of black, green, and gold), noise-canceling, are smartphone ready and superior comfort. SL was also showcasing "Fly" and "Run Free" earphones as well. We'll have more from SL in the comings so stay tuned.
Sleek – From the company behind the ultimate, must have cellphone booster for anyone who's in an area where they get a shoddy signal (and for AT&T customers, that's just about everywhere – j/k AT&T), they're about ready to unleash a 4G model to help you keep your signal strong. Plus it works well with 2G and 3G devices. We reviewed the Sleek Universal Charger so many moons ago, giving it a score of 4 stars out of TOV 5, and I can wait check out the updated model.
House of Marley – These guys are no strangers to the Val-Cave as yours truly has been jammin to my music with the Revolutions and the Stir-It Up headphones. At Unveiled, Rohan Marley was on hand and it looked as though he was having a mad blast spinning some crazy beats, surrounded by his awesome (and eco-friendly) products starting with the Bag of Riddim (portable speaker plus iPhone dock), Liberate (over the ear headphones), and the Roots Rock (portable Bluetooth speakers). Nothing listen to, but we'll be featuring these products in future TOV articles. Respect.
Kubxlab – what would you say if I told you, you could double the sound quality of your iPhone without all the crazy tech attachment? Madness you might say! What sort of devilry is this? It's from Kubxlab that's what and they have an amazing attachment that slaps to the back of your iPhone 5, guiding your music out the back and through the sides producing louder than normal sound. While the meeting room at the Mandalay Bay might not be the appropriate testing area, the close quarters of the Val-cave will surely suffice.
Felt Audio – Now here's a new spin on Bluetooth headphones; introducing the Rewind Bluetooth control dock with retractable headphones, allowing you to connect the device to a Felt Audio case and control your music wirelessly, with an inline mic so while your phone rests you can keep chatting away. I love the design and having headphones that retract so you don't have to deal with tangles is a plus!
SpareOne (Valkor Favorite) – You're out driving on a lonely highway when suddenly your vehicle comes to a sudden stop. You reach for your mobile to call AA but the battery just dropped to nil. What do you do, hot shot? What do you do? If you're lucky you'll have a SpareOne on hand. SpareOne is a unique mobile phone that runs on a single lithium AA battery. You simply insert a SIM card and you're ready to make calls. "But Val, I use Verizon. I don't have a SIM". Ah well tough rocks… is what I would say if SpareOne didn't have the ability to make emergency calls without a SIM, so either way you're in solid hands. The SpareOne also features a torchlight, which will "light your darkness hours", has 10 hours of talk time and can last for up to 15 years. There's so many directions I could go with this but I'll save that for a full TOV Review.
At the end of the night I snagged a photo with watermelon smasher extroidinaire Gallagher and topped off my night listening to the sounds of "The Guilty Pleasure". I know I've said it before that "I've seen everything", but after hearing the song "Rocks you like a Hurricane" sung Las Vegas club style, sung by two guys who were mimicing Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins... NOW I've seen everything! But it was a fun know and a great precusor before attending the big show. We'll be following up with these companies post-haste to see if they worth your consumer bucks this year!