While Bose’s noise cancelling headphones have proven to be a travel necessity for many, they aren’t exactly compact and easily packable. Bose Quietcomfort 20 are a compact and easily packed noise cancelling in-ear headphones which feature, when available this summer, an “aware-mode” that trickles in environment noise when you need to pay attention to your surroundings.
“Between the fit, the remarkable ability to eliminate outside noise and the invaluable aware mode feature, Bose’s new earbuds are a must-have for anyone who wants to stay tuned-in to what is going on around them while dropping—and jamming—out to their favorite welcome sound”. Via coolhunting.
With the popularity of the iPod and our ever increasingly noisy urban environments, the chances of suffering from hearing loss seem greater then ever. I know from personal experience as I suffer with a permanent mild ringing in my ears from years of being a working musician. Now that I live in one of the noisiest places on earth where noise pollution seems to be worshiped I seldom have the opportunity to listen to music unless in one of those rare quiet spots for fear of going deaf. The Etymotic ER-4S sealed headphones (inear) are a great solution offering 23db of isolation.
The Etymotic ER-4S provide excellent sound quality while being small enough for traveling ease. The chances of hearing damage are actually lessened with the Etys because of their amazing isolation–you don’t need to turn them up as loud to overcome ambient noise. They come with two types of earpieces: black foam tips and white flanged rubber tips. The ER-4S also include a shirt clip that serves dual functions: to keep tension from the cord off the ears, and to deaden microphonic sound (sound made by contact with the cable). The Etys are terminated to a mini with a 5-ft. cord, and come in a nice, plastic maintenance case that contains the following: 3 pairs of white flanged rubber tips; 5 pairs of black foam tips; 2 green filters; a changing tool; a shirt clip; a carrying pouch; and a 1/4 inch adapter.
Etymotic ER-4S Sealed Headphone
Never get lost again. The Bushnell Backtrack performs one simple task. You enter in a starting point (it accepts up to three) by pushing a button and the Backtrack will guide you back to it later. Very useful for locating your car in a vast mall parking lot or if like me useful for getting back on track when doing some serious urban exploring. Sure I may have a fancy mobile phone with gps but many times a simple device like this works far better.
The LaCie DataShare allows you to easily recycle your old SD and MicroSD cards and turn them into USB Flash Keys. I’ve used an uglier version made by a local OEM for years and it makes great use of all the data cards I have lying around. LaCie adds an additional, and mostly conceptual, differentiation between public and private data by dividing the reader in two and adding the label public and private. It looks great but it would have been nice if they had taken the concept further by allowing two public keys to mate with each other – one copying files to the other and vice versa. Otherwise a practical tool.
Great looking device and wonderful interface but I wonder in an age when everyone carries a mobile phone, with alarm, who would want to carry another device in their luggage?
Designed by Sam Hecht and his co-patriots at industrial facility in the UK, the jet lag alarm clock is a re-interpretation of the good old travel alarm clock. A transcontinental project, the jet lag is produced by IDEA international in Japan. The overall idea was to produce a travel alarm clock where an instruction booklet would be unnecessary. The clock features a lock button to prevent settings from changing in flight, display illumination, and a novel combined alarm/snooze/speaker button- so you can direct your swat to where the sound emanates.
Jet Lag Alarm Clock By Sam Hecht
While not the most attractive cans for travel, I have come to love the sound of my pair of Grado SR 225 headphones. They are perfect for punchy loud music, possess a bass response which sounds very “tight” and are amongst the best-sounding open-backed headphones available at their price.
A couple caveats: the SR225’s really need to be used with an amp – devices like the iPod won’t be able to power the headphones effectively. A properly paired headphone amp will give the sound added detail, punch and authority. Being open backed headphones, the sound tends to leak to the outside, meaning your love of AC/DC will be shared with those around you.
Grado SR 225 Headphones
Looks like an ideal mobile back-up device.
With no cables required, or any complicated software to install, the new SanDisk Ultra Backup USB flash drive is a complete backup solution that provides an incredibly easy way to protect digital files. It uses patent-pending backup technology with capacities up to 64GB, large enough to back up average consumer requirements, as well as critical small business files and documents. In addition to one’s digital personal life, these products protect critical work files with a dual layer of both password protection and AES hardware encryption.
The entire new SanDisk USB family introduces an iconic new design language developed by global innovation firm frog design.
SanDisk Ultra Back-Up Flash Drive
The Hermès Leica M7, made with silver chrome and exquisite leather finishes applied by Hermès, is a limited edition release of only 200 units. The body and the carrying strap of the camera are made in Swift calfskin, a drummed leather with extreme suppleness. For the connoisseurs of extraordinary quality and style this release is available in “étoupe” and “orange” varieties. The only downside might be finding film worthy of a camera of this capability.
Leica M7 Hermes Edition
The adoption of devices such as this will likely come far too late to save traditional print publishers but that’s not stopping Hearst from investing in its’ development. The real winners will be the readers who use devices such as this, that is if there is anything other than blogs left to read.
The skiff reader pushes the envelope of portability while hiting the sweet spot for readability with it’s 1600 x 1200 11.5-inch touchscreen. That should make reading newspapers on to go convenient again and other content far easier on the eyes. Reading for over 15 minutes on an iPhone sized screen gives me a headache and the Kindle doesn’t offer newspapers overseas. The skiff reader has 4 gb of storage, wifi and 3g capability, and can also be used to listen to music or audiobooks.
E-readers are great devices for travellers.
Other e-readers of note:
Barnes & Noble Nook
Apple iPhone/iPod Touch
It’s not that new but a great piece of kit for travel. Apples overdue update to its entry level Macbook may bring it up to speed with it’s pro counterparts but it’s those white smooth edges that have my attention. Beautiful. The new MacBook features a rugged polycarbonate unibody design, with a non-slip surface, which withstands the rough and tumble of your mobile lifestyle. Though I pay less attention than in the past, an LED-backlit 13.3-inch display, a 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, NVIDIA 9400M graphics and Apple’s latest built-in battery round out the tech. features. This for a price not much more than an unlocked iPhone.
Apple Unibody Macbook