Author Archives: Nate Swanner


iRig Mic HD 2 review

iRig Mic HD 2 review

There are likely tons of reasons you’d want a dedicated microphone. If you’re podcasting or producing voice-overs for YouTube videos, they’re a must have item. But there are still other reasons to get one, and the IK Multimedia iRig Mic HD 2 might just be the best of the bunch. While it has its limitations, it builds atop the company’s already solid reputation, and does so with aplomb.

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Beats Studio3 Wireless review: Eliminating the noise

Beats Studio3 Wireless review: Eliminating the noise

Beats, the Apple-owned lineup of audio hardware, has produced what might be their finest headphones to date. The Studio3 Wireless are (as you may have guessed by now) wireless, have noice cancellation and the Beats styling and sound profile many have grown to know and love. It’s not the first time the company has put all these features together in the same package, so how does the latest iteration hold up to scrutiny? We put a pair through their paces.

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Alpine iLX-107 CarPlay review: Siri goes wireless

Alpine iLX-107 CarPlay review: Siri goes wireless

CarPlay isn’t new. Introduced in 2014, it was Apple’s first foray into the automotive space. It might be the precursor to Titan, or a standalone product meant as a stopgap for the time we’re in, where Apple’s own automated vehicle platform is still just a beta project. Either way, it’s here. It’s a tangible, working product. And for the first time, you don’t need to wire your iPhone to the car to experience it. To test that, we took the Alpine iLX-107 for a spin. Literally.

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Cardhop breathes life into the dead ‘contacts’ app

Cardhop breathes life into the dead ‘contacts’ app

We shouldn’t ignore the obvious: managing your contacts are boring. Chances are, if you dip into whatever app/service(s) you use to corral your contacts now, it’s an unruly mess or duplicates and misinformation. Somehow, contacts never quite made it past a pretty static SQL database, on the backend or via an app. A new offering hopes to change that. From the same team that improved the calendar comes Cardhop for Mac, and it has big ambitions.

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The $2,000 iPhone is coming

The $2,000 iPhone is coming

Like many, I was unsurprised and generally unmoved by the iPhone X. We can blame leaks for that. The event wasn’t exciting, and judging by the opening which brought us words from Steve Jobs’ that had never been made public, it’s clear Apple wanted it to be. Instead, we got exactly what we expected, save for one small detail. Apple is framing the iPhone X as the blueprint for mobile tech moving forward. On a hardware level, that’s great. Elsewhere, that’s a problem.

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Chamberlain MyQ Home Bridge review: ‘Siri, open my garage door’

Chamberlain MyQ Home Bridge review: ‘Siri, open my garage door’

If Apple has its way, your entire home will someday be Siri-enabled. Between its various hardware options like the iPhone, Apple Watch and (soon) HomePod, the underlying software that is HomeKit can make your entire home controllable via voice. For many of us, the garage is a daily use portal, which makes it ripe for disruption via Siri. The underlying question is whether or not that’s even a good idea. Instead of wondering, we decided to find out using Chamberlain’s new MyQ Home Bridge.

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HomeKit security device experiments with the D-Link Omna

HomeKit security device experiments with the D-Link Omna

If you want connected home security, Apple’s HomeKit framework is pretty sparse. It’s one of the weak-points of the platform. The only officially listed ‘security’ device for HomeKit is Honeywell’s Lyric Controller, but it’s not available yet. There are plenty of other options available for DIY home security, but they don’t work with HomeKit. It’s a conundrum, but there’s (sort of) a fix. Instead of a proper security system, you can patch one together using cameras and sensors. It works, too – maybe even better than bespoke systems.

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Bowflex SelectTech 560 review: smart dumbbells

Bowflex SelectTech 560 review: smart dumbbells

In the age of technology, health is fast becoming a priority. Devices like the Apple Watch lean into it as a means to encourage sales, and both Google and Apple have apps designed to quantify your well-being. They work, too; not only do you get a glimpse of your raw data points, you often get insight on how that looks over the course of weeks and months, and what trends your data is returning. The question I had was wether or not connected weight lifting equipment like the Bowflex SelectTech 560 can help me achieve goals.

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Sling TV was the real winner of Mayweather-McGregor Fight

Sling TV was the real winner of Mayweather-McGregor Fight

As sporting events go, boxing matches are rarely must-see endeavors for a wide audience. For the dedicated boxing fan, Mayweather vs. McGregor was one of those times. For more casual fans – and those who prefer MMA – the bout was a litmus test for which discipline might be supreme. We didn’t learn much from the fight itself as that goes, but how I was able to consume the fight told me volumes about the future of TV, where Sling is already winning.

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DJay Pro for iPhone embraces 3D Touch and Apple Watch

DJay Pro for iPhone embraces 3D Touch and Apple Watch

Most of us have probably never wanted to create a professional DJ playlist on a mobile device, but Algoriddim doesn’t cater to the masses. It’s popular iPad app, DJay Pro, is a mix of high-level digital mixology with a heavy dose of tablet portability. Now the company has an iPhone 7 companion app for DJay Pro users, but it’s not just a port. If you look closely, DJay Pro for iPhone is the next generation of mobile mixing and scratching.

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The 5 best power packs for the new MacBook Pro (right now)

The 5 best power packs for the new MacBook Pro (right now)

The new MacBook Pro has a very cool trick you may not be aware of. In addition to those USB-C ports being the future of connectivity, they can also charge your computer. That means you now have four different ports to charge from! And maybe the best part: you don’t need to plug in. Those ports also accept charges from battery packs, which makes your new MacBook Pro the ultimate in portability. Here are a few packs you should consider slipping in your bag.

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Why the MacBook Pro reviews are all wrong

Why the MacBook Pro reviews are all wrong

If you take a look around the web, you’ll already find plenty of reviews about the new MacBook Pro. To date, only the non-Touch Bar 13-inch model has been made available, with other models arriving sometime next week (if you ordered early). All told, the reviews are less than glowing, with many likening the computer to a farce foisted on us by Apple. That’s certainly one way to look at it, but there’s probably something a bit more obvious at play.

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