6 Great Gadgets for the Music-Loving Family
Whether you or your kids love enjoying tunes or making music yourselves, one thing’s for sure: modern technology has made it easier than ever for anyone to enjoy or even create a quality musical experience. We’ve tested some of the latest gadgets for music lovers and wanted to share our thoughts with you. Whether you have a budding musician on your hands who’s , or enjoy relaxing to tunes after a stressful day, these gadgets are worth considering.
The StompBox Foot Switch Controller ($99.99) by Griffin Technologies integrates with iShred LIVE to allow guitarists to experience an iPad-ready pedalboard. It’s easy to use and makes a killer pairing with the iPad.
The four foot switches are assignable and offer up a 1/4″ expression pedal input. Amateur and professional guitarists alike will find that the Griffin Stompbox provides an incredible, musical effects experience. When paired with compatible iOS devices, the StompBox offers up all the experiences an actual pedalboard provides. This would be an excellent Christmas present or even a great creativity motivator for kids taking guitar lessons. Go here for the official video demo.
The Griffin DJ Cable ($19.95) is perfect for everyone – not just the pros. The cable plugs into the iPad and splits into two ends that allows your iDevice to connect to speakers and a set of headphones. The DJ Cable works in accordance with the app Djay by Algoriddim (which won the 2011 Apple Design Award).
The app and cables work together to provide an incredible musical experience for everyone. Cue up the next track using the headphone connection while the current track beats on out the speakers. Pair the DJ Cable with an iPad and a set of speakers and you have all the tools you need to make your next family night or birthday party a musical blast. The app offers up anything and everything budding and professional DJs could want – a great addition to the music-loving family.
Urbanears Plattan Headphones ($60) by Urbanears is one of my recent favorites. Not only does Urbanears offer up incredible color options, but delivers quality performance as well. If it’s one thing that bugs me, it’s a product that looks pretty but doesn’t deliver. Thankfully, Urbanears Plattan headphones both look and sound good. Sometimes earbuds just don’t cut it and an over-ear headphone is called for. The Plattan headphones adjust to fit any head size, deliver incredible performance (lately I’ve even opted to use them while catching up on TV shows because the sound is so stellar).
These earphones come with a fabric cord. Why is that a big deal? Well, in my experience, fabric cords are less likely to tangle and have a sturdier feel. Another wonderful feature is the ZOUNDplug – this port is located under the earpiece and allows you to share your music with others once they plug their headphones into the port. If you’re listening to music on your phone, the headphones also come equipped with a mic (located on the fabric cable), so enjoy great sound while chatting with friends and family.
V-moda Remix Earbuds ($79.99) by V-Moda are not your average earbuds. If you have a son or daughter who enjoys listening to music while they do their homework, these noise-canceling, bass-boosting ear pieces seal out distracting noises and conversations and allow your budding musician (or diligent student) enjoy a beautiful musical experience. Unlike many earbuds, I found that they fit very comfortably (and my ears are quite picky) and come with four different sizes of silicone fittings to suit ears of every size.
Not only do the V-moda Remix Remote earbuds offer a great musical experience, but they can be used simply as a noise cancelling aid. There’s also a built-in mic, kevlar reinforced cable, volume control and sport earhooks. I am loving these tiny titans of sound and the accessories bundled with them make them more than worth the asking price.
Hercules XPS Diamond ($39.99) by Hercules is a handy speaker solution for PCs and Macs. If you aren’t satisfied with the audio output your machine produces, consider this usb-based solution (which means no messing with batteries – yay!). They’re compact, magnetic shielded (so no nasty feedback interferes with your tunes) and they look great.
Scosche boomCAN ($24.99) by Scosche is another great, portable speaker option. If your phone’s speakers just don’t deliver, or if your tablet’s native sound is too quiet, give the boomCAN a try. I was actually surprised by how tiny it is when I first opened the package (stands just under 2.5″). This little speaker easily fits in any purse or bag. Simply plug the speaker into any headset jack and enjoy louder sound. This speaker comes equipped with a rechargeable lithium ion battery (lasts up to 7 hours). The boomCAN provides decent sound for the price. When we maxed it out, we found it did buzz a bit, but if you like some buzz with your bass, you’ll love the boomCAN.
Hannah is an educator, mom to three wonderful children ages 3 and younger and proud wife of an Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran. She is the founder of MyAppinions.com. My Appinions is a site where she posts reviews of iOS apps of all kinds but with a heavy emphasis on ones with educational and practical value. You can find her on Twitter @MyAppinions and Instagram as Banjonomad.