Get on the horn
It's difficult to come up with a new spin on iOS accessories, but this week's roundup includes something truly out of the ordinary. (Hint: It involves bison.) We've also got the usual mix of gear for getting more out of your iPad or iPhone.
Just weeks after introducing the $300 850 wireless speaker, Braven has announced the similarly priced Braven 855s portable Bluetooth speaker. Like its sibling, the 855 is capable of 20 hours of playback time on a single battery charge, and it can charge your other devices. What’s different? The 855 is water resistant, making it safer to use for blasting tunes by the poolside.
The $25 Luxi is a diffusion dome that fits over your iPhone’s front-facing camera. The makers explain: “When attached and used with a light meter app, Luxi will help you determine the best settings for your DSLR or other camera so that you can take perfectly exposed pictures.” That means your iPhone can make your non-phone cameras work even better.
The $100 PowerDock 5 lets you charge up to five mobile devices—regardless of the connector or platform—at the same time. If your family is constantly competing for charging spaces, this might be a great way to resolve the problem and restore household harmony.
Yes, there are plenty of universal syncing and charging cables out there, but only occasionally do you find them like id America gives them to you: These $18 CrossLink Universal Sync & Charge Cable is offered in pastel-colored versions to bring a little bit of style to your charging and syncing. It offers three connectors: Lightning, 30-pin, and Micro-USB.
The $40 Airbender Mini is a hard-plastic keyboard case for your iPad mini. The Airbender Mini features an adjustable aluminum arm so you can prop the screen up at your favorite angle for viewing and typing—you can even detach the iPad section of the case from the keyboard to have a tiny standalone display. When assembled together, it provides the utmost safety from drops.
The $50 Quad Lock Car Mount may look like just another way of mounting your iPhone from the interior of your car’s windshield, but it’s made in Germany, so you know it’s extra tough. We previously reviewed the rest of the Quad Lock system—it's good.
Two new products from this company: The SLXtreme 5 battery case offers waterproof protection and a 2300 mAH battery for your iPhone 5; its cousin, the SLXtreme for iPad 2+ offers similar protection and a 10,200 mAH battery for recent Apple tablets. The company hasn’t yet provided information on pricing and availability.
The VSS-005W-X3 - MIMI Wireless Speaker offers wireless, 2.1-channel, stereo sound for up to six hours on a single charge. The speaker is compatible with both your iOS devices and Macs; you can get a USB transmitter for your Mac in the latter case, allowing you to wirelessly broadcast your tunes from your computer. But you’ll want to shop around—Veho doesn’t sell the system directly, and some retailers are selling it for much less than the $500 list price.
Volta Sound Company
RIH-co-lah! Maybe it’s just us, but that’s the first reaction we had upon seeing the $190 Volta Sound Block, a “passive amplifier” for your iPhone. Just dock the phone in a block of Northwest Alder, and it pipes your mobile’s music through a bison horn (!!!) to produce much louder volume levels. Each Sound Block is custom crafted, which means no two will look exactly alike.