Gadgets

Tube Audio

What can I say? It’s a speaker that connects to your device via Bluetooth, USB or auxiliary input cable. That and the fact that it’s 2 inches in diameter might make it perfect for providing high-quality audio while blending in easily amongst your other nice things. A rechargeable battery will keep music going for up to 8 hours. Oh, and if you could use a clock, pair it with its older sibling, the Tube Clock. Both are collaborations between Amsterdam-based Leff and designer Piet Hein Eek.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $189.00
Available from: A+R Store

Sammy Screamer Motion Alarm

Here’s another sort of motion alarm, but this time it will bleep loudly if it’s moved. Stick the Sammy Screamer Motion Alarm on something you don’t want moved or touched, and as soon as someone puts their filthy paws on it, it will bleep and send a notification to your phone (via the free app). The Sammy measures around 2″x2″x1″, so it’s small enough to fit in or on the many things that should stay put just as you left them (handbag, bike, liquor cabinet, etc.).
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Purchase Information:

Price: $75.00
Available from: MoMA Store

Beoplay A2 Bluetooth Speaker

Take a look at the size of the BeoPlay A2 Speaker. Compared to other bluetooth speakers, that’s a reassuring thing because, as some experts will cry from the rooftops, it’s just not easy to pack a great sound into a very small box. The look of it doesn’t hurt either, as green, black, and grey are right up our sartorial alleyways. The leather strap makes it easy to carry or hang anywhere, and a 24 hour battery life will ensure a non-stop playlist for a very long listening session.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $399.00
Available from: B&O Play

Blok Marble Tablet Stand

Oh, not just any stand will do for your tablet? Okay, well, how about a hefty marble block? The Blok Marble Tablet Stand is made from Portuguese ​Acquatico marble​, which has a matte white finish with distinct grey veining. I think I can hear it whispering ‘I’m heavy and expensive.’ It will most likely fit in easily amongst your other postmodern paraphernalia. Designed by Dutch Studio Macura.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $100.00
Available from: Luminaire

Ortho Remote

This blue hockey-puck-looking-thing is a wireless remote for your sound system. How does it work, you ask? Click it once to start playing music, twist it to turn the volume up or down, tap to pause… you get the idea. It was originally designed for Teenage Engineering’s OD-11 Cloud Speaker, yet it follows universal Bluetooth standard for HID so you can use it with any music player on mac OS X, iOS, or Android. A magnetic back gives you the option to stick it on any metal surface, or make use of the non-slip bottom to keep it in place on your table, desk, or countertop.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $150.00
Available from: MoMA Store

Artiphon INSTRUMENT 1

Whoa. The Artiphon Instrument 1 lets you play any instrument you want with a single device. Huh? You’d best watch their Kickstarter video, as that’s the quickest way to understand the full scope of what the Artiphon offers. The digital interface works with any MIDI-compatible software and the ergonomic design allows you to hold it in various positions- guitar, violin, piano, bass, drum machine, etc.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $299.00
Available from: Kickstarter

Moment Case

Mobile photography is only getting better as more and more people rely on their smartphones, and, thankfully, the people of Moment aren’t resting on their laurels. They’ve entered the iPhone 6 case market, with a shell that turns your phone into a better camera. The shutter button has half press and full press features, the Moment Lenses can easily be attached/detached, and there’s a strap attachment at the bottom to keep your phone from falling through your fingers right after you’ve taken a great shot. See the video below for more, or visit their Kickstarter page to back the project.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $49.00 +
Available from: Kickstarter

Endless Rain Record

Kris originally posted this record forever ago, but now that it’s shown up for sale at a new retailer, it’s worth another mention. Created by Japanese artist Kouichi Okamoto (a.k.a. Bekkou), the vinyl phonograph record has two sides: one side has raindrop sounds that loop endlessly, the other has a 10 minute track of the “soothing sounds of a summer rainfall.”
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Purchase Information:

Price: $50.00
Available from: Ode to Things

MH40 Over Ear Headphones

It is all but de rigueur to have a proper pair of headphones on your head, whether at work or at home. And, let’s clarify, by ‘proper’ I mean premium leather, perhaps some steel components, an aluminum body, and maybe some 45mm neodymium drivers for high performance. Memory foam lambskin ear pads might also be nice, right? The MH40 has all that and more- take a look at Master & Dynamic for more specs.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $399.00
Available from: Master & Dynamic

DIY Konstructor Camera

How do you keep someone busy? Give them a DIY Konstructor Camera. It’s a 35mm SLR camera, and you put it together yourself, thereby learning the mechanics of analog photography. There’s a top-down viewfinder, a multiple exposure function, a “bulb” function for long exposures, and a detachable 50mm f/10 lens. It’s appropriate for ages 12 and up, so consider it as a gift for a niece/nephew or a curios co-worker.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $35.00
Available from: MoMA Store

Libratone Zipp Speaker

There’s a pretty significant savings on the Libratone Zipp Speaker- it’s $279.95 down from $449.95. If you’re not familiar, the Libratone Zipp is super portable thanks to its leather handle and compact size, and it streams music wirelessly from whatever device you prefer using Apple’s AirPlay technology. You’ll get 360-degree sound thanks to Libratone’s patent-pending FullRoom™ technology, and, if you’re concerned about color, don’t worry, it comes with three sleeves so you can switch them out as you wish.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $279.95
Available from: DWR

Twill Tablet Case

Maybe your tablet case is looking a little worn down and beaten up, in which case you should drop $20 to get a very simple new one from Everlane. The exterior is 100% cotton twill, the interior 100% twill-fused lining, and it has thinly padded sides to protect your precious. And, hey, $20 is such a steal, you’ve got no excuse to not look professional when you bring your tablet to meetings.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $20.00
Available from: Everlane

Gramovox Bluetooth Gramophone

Gramophones made in the 1920s did a couple of things really well; they distributed sound and made a big visual impact with their curvy, horn speakers. Considering we are all about streaming music from our devices nowadays, it’s good to see that Gramovox has married the old Gramophone design with bluetooth technology, giving us the Gramovox Bluetooth Gramophone, a sort of nostalgic filter in which to play our tunes.

The solid walnut base houses the brains, putting the rest of our focus on the larger steel horn. No cords means less clutter, but it also means batteries, though 15+ hours is a good span of play time, and no big deal when you rely on rechargeables. It’s Android™/IOS® compatible, of course, and has a micro USB & stereo input. It’s not the first modernization of the iconic gramophone shape, but this version certainly has an authentic and minimal edge over any competition.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $399.99
Available from: Gramovox

Pivot Koostik Passive Amplifier

I know, I know, a block of wood with some strange carvings won’t make much sense until you pair the title with the picture. It’s the Pivot Koostik Passive Amplifier, and it does just what it says- it passively amplifies sound on your iPhone. Two channels allow you to set your phone in either landscape or portrait mode, and you can customize the face. However, fair warning, this is more for a woodworker or DIY-er- you have to glue on the faceplate, cut to size and shape you prefer, sand, and then finish. Could be fun project (or gift), right?
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Purchase Information:

Price: $49.99
Available from: Rockler Woodworking and Hardware

Proper Audio 2

Remember the PA1 Bluetooth Speaker? Well, Studio Proper had decided to make some small changes to make it better, and now there’s the Proper Audio 2, ready for your pledge. The PA2 is a wall mount and portable speaker, giving you some much-needed flexibility when it comes to listening to your music. A quick turn releases or mounts the Proper Audio 2, so there’s little fuss when moving it from room to room, or from home to office or outside.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $89.00
Available from: Kickstarter