iD55 SpeakerWe're big Pandora fans at my house. Sure, sometimes my Tom Waits station suggests Hootie and the Blowfish (fail), but we like the variety and the opportunity to discover new music. I connect my smart phone to a speaker of some sort and stream the music. Then I'll get a phone call, or a text. The music stops while I deal with the interruption.
The iHome iD55 allows me to use my iPad for streaming in a small but powerful package. It looks good, sounds better and keeps my phone free to be a phone. It's one of the gadgets that came across my desk this week that I've decided to share with you.
Slide into portable audio
I've told you before that speaker solutions are a dime a dozen. Most of them disappoint. However, the products I've tested from iHome have been consistently crafty and performed as promised. The sleek iHome iD55 is no exception. The unit folds into itself handsomely when not in use and acts as a display stand of sorts for your iPod, iPhone or iPad. You can easily take this thing anywhere. Of course it charges your gadget while in use and comes with an auxiliary line-in jack. It works with iHome apps, takes 4 AA batteries and will run you $80.
Racing wheelPlayStation Move Racing Wheel
Much like the endless speaker solutions I referred to above, video game racing wheels are also ubiquitous. They've been around since the beginning — yup, they had them for the Atari 2600. They even had wireless joysticks for the Atari 2600 back in the late 70s. Did I just blow your mind?
The problem with racing wheels for video games is that they are either cheap and silly — such as the many plastic wheels you can buy for the Nintendo Wii — or they're too expensive. Just look at this one that retails for over $500: Thrustmaster T500RS Grand Turismo 5 Racing Wheel.
Sony's new PlayStation Move Racing Wheel avoids both pitfalls by coming in at a reasonable price ($40). You can use the wheel as if it were pulled from a F1 racer, or flip out the handlebars for a motorcycle set up. The unit features paddle shifters, vibration in each grip and the build quality you'd expect from Sony. Sony is launching the wheel alongside their new Little Big Planet Karting game, but it works with other racing games as well.
Nano ClipHard Candy's Nano Clip
I had the first iPod Shuffle back in the day. It was a small, white rectangle that came with a lanyard so you could wear it around your neck. I wore the lanyard once to the gym. When I returned, my wife told me never to do it again. Now we have thousands of case options for our favorite devices.
Hard Candy consistently makes some of the best ones. This little guy is sturdy and light. It is a fine solution for anyone looking to run, walk, or bike with their new iPod Nano since you can clip it to your waistband, shirt, purse or whatever you're wearing. The Nano Clip comes in red, grey and white. It retails for $20.