Hey folks, Valkor here. Last week in NYC kicked off CE Week, which is a week dedicated to all things tech. While there may have been small events sprinkled around the city, the main event was held at the Metropolitan Pavilion, where Pepcom and other events are usually held. Normally, the main show is a pretty big event that spans two areas. However, this year it was contained into one. And while there wasn’t all that much to see, I was able to walk away with a few choice items worth noting here on TOV. Check it out!
Focal – My first stop on the show floor took me to Focal, where they were showing off some pretty impressive yet very expensive headphones. First up we have Utopia, which cost about 4k, but the sound quality is like beyond amazing. I queued up a Harry Connick Jr. tune and was instantly swept away into audio bliss. Next up was the Elear, which cost way less, but still pretty up there in price. However, the sound quality was just as sweet as the Utopia. Finally, there were the wireless “Listen” headphones; unfortunately, I was unable to sample them seeing as how there was so much Bluetooth activity going on, I wasn’t able to lock in a signal. And while Elear or Utopia won’t be making a Val-Cave visit anytime soon, we can expect a visit from the Listen headphones in the coming months.
BumpOut- After a successful Indiegogo campaign, the BumpOut portable speaker is ready for prime time. It touts big sound for such a small device and looks mad portable, either easily fitting in your pocket (or bag) or you can attach it to the back of your smartphone allowing you to break out the beats just about anywhere. While I was able to give the speaker a listen, the halls of the Metropolitan isn’t really the appropriate place to measure BumpOut’s true potential. However, we can probably get a better feel for the speakers in the Val-Cave...
JBL Harman - While the company showed off a handful of audio products, there were a couple that truly stood out from the pack. First up we have the JBL Pulse 3, which has a bit of a lava lamp effect going on. However, this Bluetooth speaker produces a 360 light show that pulses to the beat. Next, we have the JBL Soundgear, which is a speaker you wear around your neck for an immersive experience. Both looked pretty impressive but none were available for sampling, unfortunately (all those Bluetooth signals really screwed things up). But we’ll be keeping our eyes out for these items and hope to have something to share in the coming months.
Mobgrip – We’re no stranger to things that help to save your smartphone from damaging and costly drops. We’ve taken HandL (also featured here) as well as PopSockets for a couple of successful spins. And now we have the Mobigrip Cellular Leash. Mobigrip is something like PopSocket, except Mobigrip uses an elastic leash to not only form a more flexible grip on your phone, but you can position it better than you would with PopSockets. We’ve got one on hand on expect a full review soon.
Cherry – The company behind the popular Cherry MX switches were in-house showing off a wide range of keyboards for a variety of uses. What stood out the most was the MX Board 6.0, which features backlit keys and a palm rest; something I know for sure would get snatched by Alacran should one ever makes it to the cave. If you click the Cherry name, you’ll be taken to the company’s website, where you check plenty of their keyboards along with other items that may be of interest.
Canary – Alacran has done an amazing job of covering smart home cameras of late, especially with the EZVIZ lineup. So staying with that flow, we take a look at Canary, who was showing off a couple of cameras of interest. First up we have the Flex camera, which can be used either indoors or out; it also a features a twist mount and can be placed in the craziest of locations. Next up is the All-in-One, which looks like it can fit just about anywhere in your home without looking out of place. Both devices feature 1080p HD video, night vision, and a slew of other features! Plus they work in conjunction with an app. And while I like the look of the AIO, I have to say the Flex could be a lot more fun.
HandL – I had a lot of fun with the first HandL iPhone case. But then the Maximus aka the "Butt Case" entered my life and proved that there’s more fun to be had. Right off the bat, the case has a comfortable grip and it allows you to be flexible in how you hold and use your smartphone. Currently, it's for the iPhone 7s with other devices to follow. And since we have a case on deck, expect a full review in the coming weeks (still playing catch up around these TOV parts).
Polaroid - I thought the Canary All-in-One looked cool. But then the Polaroid Hoop walked into my life and impressed the hell out of me with its sleek and sexy design. This smart home camera can be placed indoors or outdoors (there are two different models for each environment), touts crystal clear 1080p HD video, two-way audio, and a host of unique features. Here’s another item I’m gonna have to keep under lock and key and away from the gripping paws of Alacran.