17 Terrific Tech Gifts

17 Terrific Tech Gifts

With Black Friday coming up very soon, the rush begins to get our loved ones the perfect Xmas or Holiday gift. At The iMums we love seeing all the great new technology that is being created, and seeing how the connected home is evolving year upon year.  We have been busy creating all our Holiday Gift Guides to showcase some of our favorite products and help you choose the perfect gift for your loved ones. Here are 17 of our favorite Tech products for the adults on your gift list, be sure to also check out our kids gift guide, our gifts for health and wellness, our gifts for parents and our gifts under $30.

Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping!

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Orbi- Whole House Wi-Fi

rbk50_lifestyle_livingroom_00820_medresThe single most important thing to keep all our connected home, computing and entertainment technology working well is a strong internet signal. With all the connected devices a typical household has competing for bandwidth, it is important to have a great router to optimize your Wi-Fi signal. The Orbi Home Wi-Fi system is designed to meet high demands for Wi-Fi connectivity, and comes with a base unit and a satellite. It is a mesh Wi-Fi system with a difference- the world’s first Tri-Band Wi-Fi system that has one channel dedicated entirely to connecting the router base unit and the satellite. What this means in practical terms it is delivers fast internet speeds without dead spots over a 4,000 square foot area. It is also incredibly easy to set up. As you move around your home your devices automatically switch to whichever unit is giving you the best signal, and the dedicated channel makes sure the Wi-Fi from the satellite is as strong as from the router. The Orbi router and satellite create a single high speed network where your devices can move between bands and to different parts of the home without ever having to reconnect. I love how the Orbi has eliminated Wi-Fi dead spots from my home, even in hard to reach areas where the signal has to go through interior and exterior walls. Available from Amazon,  Best Buy and other retailers  RRP US$399

 

SingleCue Gen 2

singlecue2

Until recently the idea you could control your home entertainment with the hand movement was the stuff of science fiction but with SingleCue it is a reality. The newly released 2nd generation Singlecue allows you to control your TV and a whole host of other devices including Media Streamers such as AppleTV, Roku and Hulu; Cable TV boxes, audio systems; soundbars, and even your Nest Thermostat or Phillips Hue lightbulbs.  A full list of compatible devices can be found here, it doesn’t yet work with game consoles or DVD players but the manufacturer is working on adding new devices (Nest was only added this month.) You can set up shortcuts for your favorite combinations such as turning on your TV & Apple TV together and automatically switching the TV to the right output for the AppleTV. You can also mute your TV instantly with a simple ssh gesture.  You don’t need to wear any special ring or have anything in your hand, it is all controlled via simple finger movements picked up from the SingleCue box. SingleCue is a really cool device for your living room and saves hours of hunting under the sofa cushions for lost remotes! Available from Amazon for US$149

 

Sengled Pulse Link

sengledWith TV screens getting bigger and bigger we often find ourselves sitting further from the screen for an optimal viewing experience but that can lead to a less than optimal audio experience. The Sengled Pulse link is a simple solution providing surround sound without the need to wire in new speakers. The Sengled Pulse link starter set combines 2 products- a pair of Sengled Pulse Bulbs and a Pulse Link. The Pulse is an innovative smart bulb which combines a dimmable LED light and a JBL Bluetooth Speaker. The Link is a box that connects to your TV, via included 3.5mm or RCA cables. and allows it to remotely connect with the Pulse bulbs. They work with the Pulse app allowing you to control your lights from the app, listen to your TV through the Pulse JBL speakers and play music via Bluetooth from your phone or tablet. A really simple, flexible way to bring surround sound to your living room and play audio from your TV or audio device to JBL speakers . Available from Amazon for US$179.99

 

Petcube Play

petcubeplay The newly released Petcube Play might just be the ideal gift for the pet lover on your list. This new version of the Petcube is more compact and has an upgraded 1080 HD camera with night vision, 2 way audio and 3x digital zoom. It also features a built-in laser pointer controlled via the Petcube app so you can play with your pets when you are away from home, keeping them active and entertained. Even when your schedule is busy you can still get them playing by using the autoplay mode. The camera can recotrd 24/7 and for an extra fee you can subscribe to Petcube care for 10 or 30 day storage of recording history. Available from  Petcube.comAmazon , Best Buy and major retailers RRP US$199 BLACK FRIDAY SALE $50 OFF! $149

 

Drop Connected Scale

drop1The Drop Connected Scale is the perfect gift for the home baker or chef. The smart scale connects to the Drop Recipes app on your iPad or iPhone. Drop Recipes is an interactive cookbook with hundreds of tested recipes for Cooking, Baking and Cocktails. The Drop Scale weighs your ingredients accurately and can scale a recipe based on how much of an ingredient you have on hand. If you are out of an ingredient I will suggest substitutions, and there is even a community section in the app where users can upload and share their own recipes. Available from Amazon, Target and other retailers from  RRP $99.99 Currently US$78.99 at Amazon

 

Arlo Pro by NETGEAR

animated-arloIf you know someone who wants to keep a secure eye on their home inside or out, but wants the freedom to quickly and easily install cameras with the minimum of fuss the new Arlo Pro system from NETGEAR is a great gift. Like the original Arlo the cameras are totally wireless and mount via magnetic ball and socket style joint- making them a snap to install and move. The new Pro cameras run on rechargeable batteries with a staggering 5 MONTH battery life in normal use! The cameras are weatherproof and  have 2 way audio, night vision, motion detection, 130° camera angle, a smart siren, local backup option plus 7 days free cloud storage. A great gift for use in or outside the home  – for home security, watching a babies room, checking on a pet or elderly relative when you are away from home or a myriad of other uses. Available from  Amazon, Best Buy and other retailers systems from US$249

 

JBL Pulse 2  Portable Speaker + Light Show

jblpulse2The JBL Pulse 2 is a great sounding. splash proof,  portable speaker  with colorful light effects that make it fun to take the music with you where ever you go. It has a battery life of up to 10 hours and you can use it as a standalone speaker, or wirelessly connect multiple speakers via the JBL connect app. The Pulse2 can be used to answer calls and connect to Siri or Google Now. I really enjoy its interactive light show, which is also controlled via the JBL Connect app.  There are 8 different light shows to choose from including fire, rain, fireflies, stars, fireworks, traffic, hourglass and canvas- where you draw the light pattern. You can interact with each of the shows, for instance increasing the size of the flames, or the intensity of the rain or adding shooting stars. Many of the light shows also have accompanying sound effects. If you switch off the music you can listen to the sound of a fire crackling or rain pouring down as the light show mirrors the sounds. You can also change the light color to match a color in your environment by scanning it with the light sensor.  The Pulse2 is a 84mm diameter x 195mm tall (approx 3″ x 7.7″)  and weighs 775gm (approx 1.7lb)  A great gift for the music lover, this speaker sounds great, has a good battery life and some really fun interactive light shows with accompanying sound effects. Available from  JBL.COM, Amazon and other retailers RRP US$199.99 (currently on sale for $119.95)

 

Royole Moon 3D Virtual Mobile Theater

moon_airplane-closeupFor the movie lover or serious gamer the Royole Moon 3D Virtual Mobile Theater is the ultimate gift. With the Royole Moon you can enjoy an immersive 3D cinema or gaming experience anywhere you wish. Two Full HD 1080p AMOLED displays at over 3000 ppi resolution simulate a giant 800” curved screen with stereoscopic 3D, and active noise cancelling headphones complete the experience. Moon’s screen is scalable, allowing full control over the screen size for a personalized viewing experience. It features a patented foldable design, ultra-soft headphone covers, and a premium breathable eye cover to ensure comfort even after long periods of continuous use. It also includes 32GB of internal storage and battery life of up to 5 hours of continuous video playback. Advanced optics allow most eyeglass wearers to enjoy Moon without their corrective lenses. Available www.royole.com and Amazon  MSRP  $799

 

01: The World’s First Dimensioning Instrument

instrumments_01_main_hero_rgb01 from InstruMMents is  billed as the world’s first dimensioning instrument. This makes it a great gift for anyone who wants to easily measure things- crafters, home handymen, and anyone who wants to design or create .01 rolls over straight, curved or contoured objects to intuitively capture, log, and share dimensions. Elegantly carved in aluminum, 01 is contained within a pen, pencil or stylus, and wirelessly connects to smartphones. Although it is currently being launched via Indiegogo it is already fully functioning and due to ship in time for the holidays.  Available from Instrumments.com or Indiegogo from US$159

Custom Made iPad or iPhone case from Dodo Cases

dodo-case-ipadair2_grandeEvery tablet or smartphone deserves a case to protect it. A really personalized gift is to have a case custom created just for your loved one’s iPhone or iPad. Dodo Cases is a San Francisco-based company that uses traditional book binding techniques to create iPad and iPhone cases, and offers a custom case making service. For the iPad cases you can choose from a range of solid or patterned fabrics or 4 colors of leather. You can choose a single or two-tone exterior. For the interior fabric you can choose from a variety of solid colors or patterns or  from a selection of city maps. The maps are a great way to personalize if you choose a city that has particular significance to the recipient. You can add final touches by picking the color of elastic and even have a name or message embossed on the front on gold or black letters. A truly one-of-a-kind gift! Available from DoDoCases.com custom iPhone cases start from $49.99 and custom iPad cases from $79.99.

 

SanDisk iXpand Flash storage for iPhone and iPad

ixpand1A problem most iPhone and iPad users suffer from is lack of storage space- unlike Android phones you can’t just slip in a micro-SD card to increase storage and it costs a lot to buy iOS devices with large amounts of internal storage. The iXpand Flash drive from SanDisk is a simple solution to this problem.  It is a very small, light flash drive that connects via the Lightning port of your iOS device.  It is very easy to transfer content from your iOS device to the drive to create space and you can then use its USB connector to transfer them to your computer. You can also set it up to automatically backup your camera roll whenever it s connected. If you are traveling and want to take a movie with you, you can load it on the drive from your computer and watch it directly on your device without ever downloading it ! It has a flexible connector that allows it to be used with most cases, and is available in 32GB, 64GB and 128 GB versions.  Available from Amazon and other retailers  from US$59.99

 

RazorPlatinum Powerbank from MyCharge

razorplatimunumOne of the cool features about the new MacBooks is that they can now to powered via a USB-C instead of needing a proprietary Mac charger. This opens up more possibilities for charging on the go. The new RazorPlatinum Powerbank from MyCharge has a built-in USB-C port and enough power to recharge a MacBook as well as USB-A port for your other devices. This 13400mAh Lithium Polymer battery has ultra fast charging and recharging. It measures 6.5 in x 4.8 in x 1.1 in and weighs in at under 1lb, making it very small and light for a battery of this capacity. Available from MyCharge.com and Best Buy for US$99.99

 

Amazon Echo

echoOne noticeable trend in the Connected Home market in 2016 is that more and more connected home devices are having Amazon Alexa integration . This means that if you have an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot you can control them via your voice. The Amazon Echo is a pretty cool device all by itself but with the integration of other connected home devices its uses keep multiplying. The Echo has immersive 360º omni-directional audio with far-field voice recognition so it can hear you from across the room even while music is playing. It plays all your music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more using just your voice, and controls a whole host of connected home devices. Echo also answers questions, reads audiobooks and the news, reports traffic and weather, gives info on local businesses, provides sports scores and schedules, and lets you shop on Amazon using the Alexa Voice Service. Available from Amazon  for US$179.99 BLACK FRIDAY SALE $139.99

Amazon Echo Dot

Amazon Echo DotIf you already have a speaker system in the room you are using your Echo in, you may prefer to get the more affordable Echo Dot, as it can connect to your existing speakers via a 3.5mm cable. Apart from the large speaker it has all the other features of its bigger brother the Amazon Echo. Like the Echo it has far-field voice recognition and can plays your music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more. It also controls a whole host of connected home devices, answers questions, reads audiobooks and the news, reports traffic and weather, gives info on local businesses, provides sports scores and schedules, and lets you shop on Amazon using the Alexa Voice Service. It has a small built-in speaker and you can use Echo Dots in multiple rooms to provide Alexa enabled control throughout the home. The Echo Dot is Available from Amazon for US$49.99 BLACK FRIDAY SALE $39.99 and is also available in 3 packs at a $20 savings or six packs where you buy 5 and get one free.

 

SMARTvr Virtual Reality Viewer from Dodo Case

shopify_smartvr-hero_grandeWith the invention of Google Cardboard there is more and more Virtual Reality content becoming available in iTunes and Google Play stores. This is great as it means more people can access Virtual Reality content without needing to buy an expensive VR headset like the Oculus Rift.   SMARTvr is a great way to access the content made available by Google cardboard on your smartphone, but using a more stylish and durable viewer than the original Cardboard. If fits most iOS and Android smartphones and folds to a flat package about the size of an iPhone 5  when not in use. The case is made from cast aluminum and ballistic nylon with a microsuede lens cover & light blocking shield. It is Google Cardboard certified and really simple to use You just unfold it, scan the QR code to link, slip the phone into the clips on the back, fold down the light shield, and you are ready to enjoy your VR apps. It is a great VR viewer- compact, portable, durable, affordable and flexible to fit different size smartphones

Available from DodoCase.com for US$39.99

Lightning Audio + Charge Rockstar from Belkin

 

belkin_lightningaudiochargerockstar_1 The new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus no longer have an audio jack as they are designed to use Bluetooth headphones. However, not everyone likes Bluetooth headphones, so there are several new headphones on the market that use the iPhone’s Lightning connector as an innovative way around the problem. This does however create a new problem- if your battery starts to run low you can’t charge the phone and continue to use your Lightning headphones at the same time. Belkin has solved this problem with the Lightning Audio Charge Rockstar which doubles your Lightning ports – providing one for listening and one for charging. RRP $39.99  Available from Belkin.com, Apple and other retailers.

VIDBOX Video Conversion Suite

vidbox-video-conversion-suite_3d-front

Do you have a friend or relative who still has lots of home videos lying around on VHS tapes or on camcorder tapes? This could be the perfect gift for them. Tapes deteriorate over time and it becomes harder and harder to find ways to play them, so its important to get them transferred to digital formats or you may lose the content entirely. Instead of taking them in to be professionally copied (which can be cost prohibitive if you have a lot of tapes to transfer) you can convert them at home with VIDBOX Video Conversion Suite. To use VIDBOX you need a VCR or camcorder that can play your tapes, and a Mac or PC. The Video Conversion suite comes with a key to download the software or you can install it via the included CD-Rom. The VIDBOX little white box is the key to connecting your video output device to the computer. You wire it to your VCR/ camcorder via RCA to RCA cables (included) or RCA to S-Cable (not included) and connect it to your computer via the included USB cable. Once it is connected launch the VIDBOX software and follow the on screen instructions. The video will record as a digital file on your computer in real time as it plays on your VCR/ camcorder. Once the recording is finished you can preview it and save to iMovie or iTunes (on Mac). The Video conversion suite includes software for both Mac and PC or you can buy Mac or PC only versions for slightly less. Available from VIDBOX.COM or Amazon RRP Suite $99.99 or PC or Mac only $79.99. Suite currently $69.99 on Amazon


For additional gift ideas check out all our Holiday Gift Guides

This post contains affiliate links, if you click on these The iMums may receive a small commission which helps to pay to run this site. Thank you for supporting us by using these links. Some items on this list have been received free of charge for review purposes.

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
12 Great Christmas Gifts for Kids from Tots to Teens- The iMums Christmas Gift Guide 2015 Part 1

12 Great Christmas Gifts for Kids from Tots to Teens- The iMums Christmas Gift Guide 2015 Part 1

iMums_kids

As the holidays draw near it is time to start thinking of Christmas Shopping. Santa is busy checking his list to see who’s naughty or nice, but what is on your shopping list this year? The iMums have 12 great gift ideas for the children on your list from tots to teens. We have included educational toys and games that get children thinking, creating, reading and moving. For the older kids we have included products to teach them about electronics, robotics, STEM, as well as affordable cellphones and gifts for the Minecraft fan and music lover.

 

Bluebee Pals Interactive Bluetooth Enabled Soft Toys

BBPALS2BlueBee Pals are big, cuddly, totally adorable stuffed animals that connect to your iPad, iPhone or other device via Bluetooth. They act as a speaker for the music or app playing on your device and can also be used as a speakerphone. The animal’s mouth moves in time to what is being said/ sung to give the illusion that the animal is actually talking! They are a great way to get children engaged with educational apps and stories. Available from the BlueBee Pals website ,  Toys R Us, Walmart and other retailers. Price: $64.99. Read our full review and ENTER TO WIN!!

Lil’ Monkey Climbing Dome

lilMonkey3Lil’ Monkey Climbing Dome is a climbing dome with a difference- not only is it a lightweight, flexible climbing frame, it also comes with it’s own augmented reality app! It is easy to assemble, lightweight & flexible yet strong and well-made. It can be used outside or indoors- where It also makes a great base for a fort when used indoors! The target age range of 3-6 is a good guide, but slightly older kids will enjoy it also. Available from Amazon Price: $139.99. Read our full review.

Tiggly Shapes by Tiggly

tigglyTiggly Shapes is a physical toy which is used with your iPad or Android device. It is designed to help 18 – 36 month olds learn basic shapes in a tactile format as well as on the iPad. It comes with three different fun apps: Tiggly Safari, Tiggly Stamp and Tiggly Draw. Toddlers can touch the shapes physically and feel the “bumps” which make the shape, as well interact with the iPad apps by pressing the shapes on the screen and the app will identify if it is the correct shape or not. Read our full review . Available from Amazon or Tiggly.com Price: $20-30

Smart Toy by Fisher Price

mrmThe Smart Toy – or as my kids call him Mr. M has brought delight to both my 18 month old and 7 year old. He helps us practice our clean-up skills when we are done playing, reads stories and adventures that are developmentally appropriate depending on your kids age and more. One of my favorite features is that Mr. M will listen to what my kids tell him and then remember it. Each time he “wakes up” which is done by turning the power on, he states the date, the weather and says hello to his “friend”.Read our full reviewAvailable from Toys R Us Price: $99.99

Dash™ Robot by Wonder Workshop

Dash draws 2Dash is a really fun educational Robot. He comes with 5 different free apps allowing children to operate him with a simple remote control on a tablet, or learn to program him to do complex tasks using Blockly or Wonder. He is very maneuverable and has proximity sensors, lights, microphone and speakers. New challenges are constantly being added to keep children engaged and learning. Brick connectors let you add your own accessories using Lego, a variety of accessories are also available. designed for ages 5-12+. Read our full review. Available from Wonder Workshop and Amazon Price: $149.99

 

Flash & Thunder by INVICTA Challenge

PDFforReferenceFlash & Thunder is set during WW2 and tells the story of Turner Turnbull, a Native American paratrooper, and his incredible leadership during D-Day. The set includes a graphic novel, a mission packet with 15 cards, maps, a 6″ action figure and online interactive video game (which will be available in app form soon.) The player reads the mission cards and studies the maps to learn the historical background before reading the novel. As they read the story they need to make decisions that decide the fate of Turner and his men, and affect the course of history. Will the mission succeed or fail? That depends on how well they have studied the operations packet. Read our full review and ENTER TO WIN! Available from Barnes & Noble Price: $34.99

 

Pet Portrait Studio by Build and Imagine

Build-Imagine_Pet_portrait_bath_closeup_WEBWith the Pet Portrait Studio from Build & Imagine right brain meets left brain with a combination of a magnetic building set and creative storytelling inspiration. The set includes 10 dual-sided magnetic panels, 2 dress up dolls, 4 wooden pets and 40+ magnetic accessories. The child can build their pet studio in any configuration they like using the panels, and then use the people, pets and accessories to act out stories.  Read our Full Review.  Available from Build & Imagine, Amazon& other retailers. Price: $49.99

 Ozobot Bit 2.0

ozobotOzobot Bit 2.0 is a tiny, fun, interactive must have science and learning toy which will teach your kids the fundamentals of Blocky programming while they are having fun and grooving to the music! Read our full review. Available from Amazon Price: $59.99

 

Gameband + Minecraft Wearable

GAMEBAND-BIG_1For Minecraft fans the GameBand+ is both a fashion statement and a way to take your Minecraft worlds on the go. It is a digital watch, a cool wearable, and a secure way to back up and carry your Minecraft worlds, allowing you to use them on any computer. As well as the physical backup on the Gameband there is also a backup via the cloud to the Gameband servers so if you ever lose or damage your Gameband you can still recover your worlds. Read our full review. Available from  AmazonTarget, GameStop, Best Buy &  Microsoft Stores. Price: $79.99

TEXTNOW Affordable No Contract Smartphones

If your Tween or Teen wants a Cellphone for Xmas TEXTNOW is an affordable way of  providing them with their own no-contract smartphone. The handsets are very affordable, there is no commitment and no overage fees. Plans start at $18.99/ month including unlimited texts, US calls and 2g data, plus varying amounts of 3G/ 4G data. Phone prices include:  LG Realm and LG Tribute are free;  Moto G is just $4.99, and the Galaxy S4 for just $149.99. On Black Friday they have even better deals! Read our full reviewAvailable from  the TEXTNOW website.

 

iBT29 Bluetooth Color Changing Dual Alarm Clock FM Radio from iHome

iBT29_DC2_48cH9MV.jpg.450x400_q85Do you have a teen who has a hard time getting up in the morning? The iBT29 could be the perfect gift for them. It has dual alarms, an FM radio and allows them to play music from their Smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth or aux-in jack. It also has a USB charging port and fun color changing light display.Available from iHome, Amazon, Bed,Bath & Beyond and other retailers. Price: $59.99

DIY GAMER KIT from Technology Will Save Us

DIYGAMER The DIY Gamer Kit includes an Arduino microprocessor and all the components needed to build a hand held gaming unit with 8 x 8 LED matrix display. As they build it the teen learns about electronics and soldering. Once it is built they can learn to code classic games on it and then design their own games. For ages 12+ Available from Technology Will Save Us. Price: $98 (free shipping)

You may also wish to check out our Christmas Gift Guide 2015- Part 2- 22 Terrific Tech Gifts.

GIVEAWAYS

Enter to win an adorable Sammy Bear from Bluebee Pals ($64.99 VALUE)

Enter to win a complete Flash & Thunder set from Invicta Challenge including Interactive Graphic novel, Mission Cards, Map, Video game and Figure ($34.99 VALUE)

Enter to win a Bevy Photo Storage Device ($299Value)

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
Razer Leviathan Soundbar by Razer – Review

Razer Leviathan Soundbar by Razer – Review

razer

What we love…

great sounding speaker – soundbar for use with a computer, television or use as a speaker

What we’d love to see…

ability to turn up and down the sound bar using your remote, especially if you are using it with a TV

Summary

Easy to use soundbar, better suited for use as a speaker or with your computer since there is no easy way to turn it up or down when connected to your television

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

The Razer Leviathan is a multi-channel speaker perfect for listening to music, using while gaming or using on your television for watching movies.  It has a space saving design which means it will fit into small spaces that a soundbar or speaker otherwise may not.  The Levianthan features two speakers which provide a comprehensive surround sound experience for any of these applications.  The top features a volume control, ability to turn on and off Dolby Virtual Surround Sound as well as the ability to switch the equalizer pre-sets from Music, Movie and Gaming mode.

I loved listening to music using the Levianthan.  We stream music at our house all the time and often will have it on instead of the television at night when we are getting ready to wind down after dinnertime.  It was super easy to pair the Leviathan with my television via a cord or use the Bluetooth or NFC capability for my iPhone or my husband’s Samsung Galaxy.  I also loved using it in my kitchen when I listened to talk radio or on my desktop computer while working.  Listening to sound on it was crisp and clear and the multi-channel speaker provided superior sound.  This is a great addition to your music system and is perfect for streaming music, listening to the radio or listening to talk radio.  This past weekend I spent several hours in the kitchen going through my farm share and canning and I loved listening to the music as I worked.

In terms of improvements, the major one would be the ability to pair the Levianthan with the television so you could turn it up and down with the remote.  Currently to manage the sound there are buttons on top of the soundbar, I loved how this sounded with my TV especially for movies but having to get up each time to turn it up or down was a deal breaker.  We kept it hooked up to our TV for a few weeks and then it moved to our office where our computer is as turning it up and down each time was time consuming and defeated the purpose of the sound bar with our HD TV.

Overall, if you are looking for a speaker for your computer desk or listening to music this is a great fit.  Easy to use sound bar, better suited for use as a speaker or with your computer since there is no easy way to turn it up or down when connected to your television.  My husband and I loved the sound of music playing from it even from various genres.
Available from Razer for $199 USD and other retailers

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

FEATURES & TECH SPECS

Features

  • Space saving design for versatility
  • Adjustable tilt angles (0⁰,15⁰,18⁰) for optimal sound
  • 3 preset equalizer modes tuned for gaming, music and movies

Sound bar specs

  • Total power output : 30W (15W x 2RMS)
  • Full range drivers : 2 x 2.5” / 63.5mm
  • Tweeter drivers : 2 x 0.74” / 19 mm
  • Impedance : 8Ω
  • Frequency response rate : 180Hz – 20KHz
  • Approximate weight : 4.4lbs / 2Kg

Subwoofer specs

  • Type : Passive
  • Total power output : 30W RMS
  • Full range drivers : 5.25” / 133mm
  • Impedance : 8Ω
  • Frequency response rate : 20Hz – 180Hz
  • Approximate weight : 5.1lbs / 2.35Kg

Connection methods

  • Console/desktop gaming : 3.5mm audio jack or optical connection
  • Movies : 3.5mm audio jack or optical connection
  • Mobile : 3.5mm audio jack or Bluetooth®/ NFC

 

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.
Bluetooth Buddy Wireless Speaker by iLiveElectronics – Review

Bluetooth Buddy Wireless Speaker by iLiveElectronics – Review

bluetooth

What we love…

easy to pair, speaker that moves to the music or will read stories to your children using your bluetooth enabled device.

What we’d love to see…

headphone jack relocated, ability to protect the port in the back where you turn on and off the Bluetooth Buddy

Summary

fun speaker that encourages reading and listening to music in a non-traditional way.  My kids loved it!  I’d suggest this for older kids who understand it’s not a toy.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

When my kids see “Ellie” the Bluetooth Buddy Wireless Speaker appear on the counter they know they are in for a treat!  Ellie runs from a Bluetooth enabled device and can read books (via streaming), stream music like Pandora for that early morning dance party.  My first grader is working on his reading skills, and so we like to stream the books on tape via Ellie and he follows along in the story.  We simply connect Ellie to our iPad use the “read to me mode” for stories.  There are three animal Bluetooth Buddies – an elephant, a dog and a cat and they feature a re-chargeable lithium battery.  My kids decided to name the speaker *a first* since we are in the naming phase and Elephant wasn’t a word my one year old had.

Out of the box, you have to charge the Bluetooth Buddy – it took about two hours the first time, so I would suggest charging it before showing it to your kids.  I made that mistake and my son kept asking me when it would be ready.    When the Buddy is charged, you can pair it and a blue and white light show up on the belly.  When the Buddy is ready to be charged again, you will see a red flashing light which gives you plenty of warning before the Buddy runs out of charge.

We would open up a story on our device and Ellie stole the show.  His mouth moves along with his hat and body as he read the story and puts lots of expression into it!  Since we used the “read to me” versus the auto play mode we had to flip the pages, but the auto play mode keeps the story moving.  I also loved that if you tapped on any words in the story and they were spoken, that the Bluetooth Buddy would repeat them back.

I found the range for Ellie quite good – and I explained to my son although she looked like a toy, in fact she was a mechanical speaker.  I showed him that we could skip tracks, pair to other devices as well as go backwards and forwards when listening to music from his iPod.  The Bluetooth Buddy Wireless Speaker was easy to pair and use, and my kids love it!

I recently tested out Ellie with a storybook app where I recorded the text and my son loved hearing the book in my voice – so that’s another option too!  The battery lasts about six to eight hours – we don’t usually use it full blast and if you use the lower sounds the Buddy will last longer. The buddy even acts as a speaker for iPhone calls although I found that the person on the other end said I was “muffled” – so if you do get a call, it’s super easy to pick it up and not send it to voicemail.

In terms of enhancements, I do wish that the back part where you turn on and off the elephant was protected by a little more than the tail.  It makes it easy for curious fingers to get inside and perhaps switch it off without meaning to.  I’d also like to see the headphone adapter located somewhere else on the Buddy – perhaps on a shoulder or on the body of the Buddy so that you could quietly listen with headphones but not worry about turning it off by accident.   Of note, I had some Bluetooth wireless headphones I wanted to use with my Buddy but was unable to do so since I needed to use the Bluetooth for the iPad to provide the content.

Overall, my kids love their Bluetooth Buddy and listening to music and stories.  It’s important to remind them that it’s not a toy – but rather a speaker and may be best suited to older children who can understand that concept.

Bluetooth Buddy retails for approximately $50 USD and is available from iLiveElectronics

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Tech Specs

  • Supports Bluetooth
  • Built-in speaker
  • Wireless range: 33 feet
  • Motorized mouth and body sing and dance along to music
  • Supports profile A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile)
  • Supports automatic device reconnect
  • Aux in (3.5mm audio input)
  • Micro-USB port for battery recharge
  • LED pairing indicator
  • Charge indicator
  • Pairing button
  • Play/pause button
  • Skip forward/back button
  • Digital volume control
  • On/off switch
  • DC battery power: built-in rechargeable lithium ion battery
  • Battery life: ~4 hours at 50% volume

 

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

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