The warm weather’s not over yet — and what’s summer fun without a soundtrack? Bringing your tunes with you on the go is easy with the right gadgets, be they easy-to-carry headphones or wireless speakers. With less expensive and more stylish options proliferating on the market, it’s easy to find the perfect conduit for the sounds you’re dying to share. (Unless, of course, the time’s not right. Guy blaring his music on public transit through the speaker on his iPhone — I’m looking at you.)
Rhythm is everywhere, and the Vibrock "hockey puck" speaker just might offer some tactile proof. This nifty resonating device works by transmitting audio waves through any surface you place it on, turning just about any surface into a gigantic speaker. The company even offers a handy guide on finding the perfect timbre — apparently, wood and metal makes for deep bass tones, fibreboard will mimic vinyl records (we’re guessing that means less than rich sound), and using a wall will fill a room with sound. Imagine what you could do with an apartment full of these bad boys. Pick one up for $54.99 at futureshop.ca.
Basic iPod white not flashy enough? Wicked’s Heist earbuds provide a solid balance between comfort, style and sound. The colour combos, including grey with yellow and rusty red with ivory, are sure to catch the eye, and a lengthy road test at my desk in QMI Agency HQ proves the rubber tips are easy on the ears. The handy little alligator clip on the cord makes them wrapable and portable, and the second jack built into the headphones makes sound sharing easy. (Are we hearing the siren song of a back-to-school gift?) A pair will set you back $39.99 at HMV.
Take the lid off an easy portable sound solution: the HMDX Jam speaker may seem unimaginatively named, until you take a look at the clever capped design. The Bluetooth-enabled wireless speakers, which measure just 2.5 inches tall, wide and deep, will give you four hours of sound on a battery charge. You can get sound from up to 30 feet away, and the array of hues means there’s a flavour for everybody. Taste them for yourself; they’re $39.99 at Indigo stores.
Joggers: Are sweaty, slide-y, ill-fitting earbuds slowing you down? Sony’s lasso-style XBA-S65 earbuds loop around your ear, and their smaller housing means they slip more easily inside the ear. They’re also engineered to be sweat-proof — they’re so moisture-resistant, in fact, that you could give them a rinse with water after your workout if you wanted to. Sound-wise, they boast a noise cancelling design, and Sony’s new balanced-armature drivers create crisp middle and high frequencies. They’re $99.99 at Sony stores or sony.ca.
If you’ve already got earbuds that work just fine but want to curb that annoying pendulum swing — or floor drag — whenever they squirm their way out of position, crowd-sourcing design outfit Quirky has an idea so simple, it just might work. Its Props earbud croakies operate on the same principle as those tethers for your eyeglasses; just pop your earbud cords through the holes in the ends of the woven nylon cable. Even if your earphones wiggle loose, they won’t have far to fall. Best of all, you can find them at Quirky.com in three different colours for $5.99 US.