Believe it or not, it’s time to start looking ahead to another year of school. The dog days of summer have come and the days are slowly getting shorter. Sure, it’s still crazy hot out, but the sad truth is that we need to shop for the fall season.
Whether you’re wrapping up some back yard projects, beating the heat at the pool, or readying for the next semester, chances are good you’ll be using some tech. Be it in the form of a Bluetooth speaker, some headphones, chargers, or something else, you will surely have a gadget nearby.
The Weekend Recommender is our chance to share some of the better tech devices and items that have crossed our path. What you’ll find below are five products that we’ve spent time with over the last few weeks which deserve special recognition. Who knows? Maybe your next favorite thing is listed here!
JBL Clip 3 Portable Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
As far as phone speakers have come these days there is only so much you can expect from a tiny speaker. If you’re looking for more volume without lugging around a large Bluetooth speaker, the JBL Clip 3 might be just what you want.
The JBL Clip 3 fits in the palm of your hand but packs more sound than you would expect. It can easily be heard 20ft. away or more without even being at max volume and it’s perfect for sharing music with some friends. With 10 hours of battery life, the compact size, and convenient clip it’s easy to take your music wherever you go.
It also comes in a plethora of color options and like many JBL speakers it’s waterproof. My only complaint would be the sound quality is average and there isn’t much bass, but you can’t set your expectations too high for small speakers. If you’re looking to take your tunes on the go, then you can pick the JBL Clip 3 for $60 from Amazon.
Tunai Drum earphones
When you don’t have a ton of disposable income you tend to cut corners on the things you like or want. And, while headphones and earphones aren’t necessarily a must-have accessory, it’s sure nice to have a pair for the library or commute.
Originally offered in a Kickstarter campaign, the Tunai Drum Earphone are a lightweight set of earphones with plenty of bass and a comfortable fit. Comprised of simple materials these are the kind you toss in a bag with thinking too much. They’re more durable than you might expect and deliver a respectable all-around sound experience.
Available in a variety of accent colors, the DRUM’s wire is tangle-resistant and not likely to end up in a jumbled mess. And, with a simple play/pause button and mic, there’s no fussing around with skip/last track or volume controls; though, admittedly, this may turn some away.
We liked these in our usage for genres like house music, hip hop, and other punchy types. Spoken word (audiobooks, podcasts) sound okay but they’re more tuned for heavier stuff. Grab a pair in your color of choice (blue, green, orange, silver, and black) for just $33 at Amazon.
Gourmia Cold Brew Coffee Maker (GCM6800)
Who wants to stand around waiting for coffee to brew? Not us. What’s more, nobody we know is in the habit of hanging out while a cold brew is readied. We’re talking hours for that experience. Not any longer.
Gourmia has an iced coffee maker that brews a pot in as little as ten minutes. Seriously. In the time it takes for you to go through your afternoon emails or check your favorite subreddits, you could have a pot of cold brew coffee.
Not only does it brew quickly, it also has an ice basket to keep things cold. And, with four strength settings (light, medium, bold, and concentrate), everyone gets their preferred flavor. At the highest setting you’ll only have to wait 40 minutes.
As one of our favorite ways to stay cool on those days that still reach into the 90’s, Gourmia’s coffee maker does the trick. The best part? It doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg for the experience. Pick one of these up for less than $99 and be glad you did.
Be sure to check out our review of the Gourmia (connected) Air Fryer, too. It’s an excellent option for college students with limited space and budget. Chock full of features and accessories, it’s everything you need to cook full meals or heat up mom’s leftovers.
iLive Platinum Noise Canceling Wireless Earbuds
The last thing you want from your poolside session is a weird tan line around your ears. Toss the big, bulky stuff aside and go with something minimal yet effective.
The iLive Platinum earbuds connect via Bluetooth and deliver around four hours of music playback with the active noise cancellation activated. Need to charge ’em up? You’ll only be down two hours at the most.
The sweat-proof, rubberized coating means you can take these with you on those long summer runs, too. And, thanks to the IPX4 water resistance, you can even get caught in the rain, whether accidentally or on purpose.
In terms of buttons and control, you’ll find volume up/down, play, pause, phone answering, and power. Indeed, the built-in microphone makes it so you don’t have to un-pair or disconnect to take a phone call.
Each pair comes with three sets of eartips and three sets of detachable hear hooks as well as a travel case and charging cable. Order yours for around $70 from iLive today.
Toast Wood Phone Case
Sometimes we want to protect our phone without adding too much bulk to the experience. Others might like to accent their device with something more eye-catching. After all, black is just black, right?
Opt for a protective wood case from Toast and you’ll find a selection that’s equal parts fashion and function. It’s not just phones, either, as you can also purchase unique cases for tablets, laptops, and even gaming consoles. Heck, there’s even cool stuff for Google Home and Amazon Echo.
When deciding on which case to go with, consumers can select from a variety of colors or wood types. Choose from ash, ebony, and walnut; a newer option lets you add a metallic inlay for an even more personalized cover.
There are a number of pre-designed images that you can add to the back of your case to show off. If there’s nothing that you like, feel free to upload your own design or custom text. Note that fees apply for the customization.
Application couldn’t be easier. The case we received for our Pixel 2 is two parts: one for the front and one for the rear/sides. Simply pull off the 3M backing and stick the wood to your phone.
Every case is designed with an exact fit and leaves openings for buttons, ports, microphones, and cameras. What’s more, every order comes with a personal quality control process that ensures multiple inspect it before it goes out. Grab yours for about $34 or so, depending on the options and phone.