Mad Catz’s F.R.E.Q. M purports to be a gaming device — which the longtime peripheral maker is known for producing — but it’s actually a rather versatile all-purpose headset for iOS (or Mac) users. The foldable cans pump out great stereo sound with music and movies as well as they do with games, and the built-in mic means you can take calls with decently clear back-and-forth audio without having to shed the headset. But all of that functionality comes at a rather steep price — one that makes for a tougher sell than expected.
Anyone who lived through the ’80s will remember those ridiculously large “portable” boom boxes that were popular toward the latter half of that decade. If you’re still sore after years of carrying a briefcase-sized stereo on your shoulders, Logitech has a new wireless speaker so small and light that even your chiropractor would approve.
Despite the best efforts of mobile wallet providers, consumers continue to largely ignore technology in favor of old-fashioned payment methods. The folks at Loop think they’ve found a better way, but can it become the one solution to pay everyone?
For those who capture audio out in the field — reporters, podcasters, musicians, etc. — a nice recorder is a must. One of the most trusted brands in the audio-recorder world is Zoom, whose H4n is the go-to gadget for podcasters such as Marc Maron and Chris Hardwick. Recognizing that folks may not want to carry a bulky recorder with them in addition to their iOS devices, Zoom has released the iQ5.
A well-known presence in home audio for decades, Onkyo is aiming to make a name for itself in the world of iDevices with its specialized ES-CTI300 headphones — a set of cans that are a beautiful aesthetic complement to the likes of the iPhone 5s, but are more than just a pretty accessory. Showcasing Onkyo’s experience in audio fidelity as well as component design, they deliver a sound that will thrill all but the most diehard bass junkies, while iPhone and iPod owners will love the inline microphone and music controls.
If there’s one complaint we have with our iPhones, it’s battery life. Ten hours might seem like more than enough to get through the day, but when you factor in a constant stream of phone calls, downloads, and playlists, more often than not we find ourselves staring at a red battery indicator before the sun goes down. Until Apple figures out a way to charge our iPhones by motion or sunlight, the options are limited. For our money, the best choice has always been to carry around an external USB charger for a quick power boost whenever we need it. We’ve used dozens of them, but Legion is a battery pack that’s finally worthy of the device it’s charging.
Thanks to our ever-growing libraries of music, movies, photos, games, productivity apps, and everything else, the internal memory of our iOS devices doesn’t go quite as far as it used to. That’s where LaCie's new Fuel drive comes in. With the ability to hold more than 500 full-length films, 160,000 songs, or 190,000 photos, Fuel’s full terabyte of storage gives our iOS devices all the extra space you need, and its light, rugged enclosure won't add too much extra weight to your rig. Unfortunately, it comes with a few setup and security issues you’ll have to work around.
In the world of Mac audio hardware, Apogee has always been the Rolls Royce of interfaces and converters in professional studios, as well as the luxury choice for serious hobbyists. Apogee’s original MiC microphone is one of the more popular bus-powered mics for folks needing a single unit that works on both Macs and iDevices. This newest incarnation of that microphone, the MiC 96K, brings the already stellar sound quality up to the highest pro-level standards.
When Paper by 53 first appeared in the App Store, its beauty was in its simplicity. Unlike other iOS drawing apps, it didn't try to emulate a desktop workspace by cramming a bunch of features onto a small screen; with an elegant set of digital tools, it redefined our expectations of art in the Multitouch era. In many ways, Pencil is the perfect complement to Paper's singular style.
iPad owners rarely have reason to be envious of competing tablets, but even the most ardent Apple fan did a double-take when Amazon released Origami-style cases for its latest Kindle Fire line. Now, the folks at Moshi have done it one better with a versatile case that literally carries a slim keyboard along for the ride. Moshi’s VersaKeyboard combines a stylish, textured front cover with a rugged polycarbonate back that perfectly conforms to Apple’s latest iPad Air models for maximum protection.