Technology Tuesday: Three Cool Things…For Cheap!

Last week’s review of the Bluetooth car scanner for $18 really got me excited. I  love finding killer technology items, or for that matter, killer ANY items for cheap!

I’ve got a mechanic near me who I’ve been taking my car to for years. When I showed him my device and how I had checked my fault codes and cleared my check-engine-light, his eyes nearly popped out of his head. He excitedly asked me where he could get one. I slyly told him that you need to “know the right people.” Of course, I ordered another one up from Amazon, and swung it by for him the next day. He was stoked beyond belief. So it got me thinking that I should pass along a handful of other items that don’t necessarily warrant a full review, but are great values & great products.

Sennheiser MX 271 In-Ear Headphones

[Sennheiser MX 271 Earbuds]

These are a fantastic pair of in-ear headphones (as Sennheiser calls them, ear-buds to the rest of us). With three kids running around and with all the travel that I do, ear-buds have become quite a commodity in my house. When I’m running low on the “cheapies,” I usually pick up a few pairs from Best Buy or wherever and restock the drawers at home. $5-$10 is about what I expect to pay for these “throw-away” quality earbuds with a sound quality to match. Last week, I found these Sennheiser MX271’s on eBay for $9 with free shipping.  I was stunned when I listened to them and they vastly out-performed any low-end earphones I’ve ever used. Rich, lush sound and comfortable to wear at the same time. These won’t quite give you sound quality in the same range as more expensive pairs like Ultimate Ears 600 will, but boy are they well worth the money. Typical retail on these are $20 or so, and even at that price, this would be money well spent. Do yourself a favor and pick up a few pairs while this deal is still running.

eBay: $8.99 with free shipping

Capta Smartphone Tripod Mount

[Capta with a Gorilla Mount]

The quality of both videos and photos that are coming from Smartphones these days is absolutely incredible. Last year, we told you about the Fostex Ar-4i which is an audio recording solution for the iPhone. In addition to the stellar audio quality, it was nice to get video from a smartphone that was high quality and stabilized by a tripod because of the integrated tripod mount. Since reviewing that product, I knew that  my smartphone videos and pictures could be improved if I figured out a way to mount my device to a tripod. I was thrilled to find the Capta which can mount any Smartphone to a tripod.

The Capta is an aluminum stand with adhesive that sticks to anything but removes easily without any residue. Even without a tripod, the Capta can be used as a stand to hold your device at any angle you want. For $35, you can quickly and easily attach any phone you want to make videos, scans, pictures or even time-lapse photos. I used Lapse It Pro with my Android phone, Capta and my tripod to make a time-lapse video last weekend. Without Capta, I would have had no way to attach my Galaxy SIII smartphone to the tripod.

UDS Products: $35

HMDX Jam Bluetooth Wireless Speaker

“Strawberry” flavor of the HMDX Jam Speakers.

A couple weeks ago, we reviewed the Supertooth Disco Bluetooth speaker which offered remarkable sound and a retail price of about $125. However, if you are needing something more portable and less expensive, the HMDX Jam line of speakers is a great alternative. Retailing for between $30 – $40, these speakers (packaged in a container that actually looks like fruit jam or jelly) are ultra-portable, look fantastic and offer very good audio quality. Of course, at the size of a coffee cup and this price, it can’t quite fill a big room or power a party, but the Jam is a great companion at a reasonable price for Mp3 players, Smartphones or laptops. Quick and simple pairing, ultra-fast charging, four-five hours of battery life make for a real winner.

Amazon: $40

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Hidden Track Technology Tuesday

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