Around this time each year, I try to select a handful of products – from the hundreds of items I review each year – to go in my Christmas Gift Guide. These products are the ones that have impressed me and you can buy them knowing they will bring pleasure to a loved one – or even yourself if you’re into self-care. This year has seen the launch of some fantastic products that have rightfully earned their place on my 2023 guide to festive tech gifts.
Logitech Wave Keys keyboard and Lift mouse
Now that many of us work from home, often at a smaller desk than we are used to at the office, an ergonomic keyboard and matching mouse make a lot of sense. The Logitech Wave Keys wireless keyboard is a superbly compact and affordable ergonomic keyboard that works with PCs and Macs. The Logitech Wave Keys is smaller than most ergonomic keyboards but still includes a numeric keypad, making it ideal for spreadsheets. Alongside the Wave Keys, I highly recommend Logitech’s Lift Mouse. The Lift is a vertical wireless mouse that encourages a more natural and healthy wrist position that can help people with RSI issues.
Price: Logitech Wave Keys $69.99 / Logitech Lift Mouse $69.99.
More info: www.logitech.com
iFi hip-dac 3
This superb little headphone amplifier and DAC (digital-to-analog converter) looks like a hip flask, but it’s one of the best little audio devices I’ve ever reviewed. The iFi hip-dac 3 can plug into an iOS or Android phone to interface wired headphones or earbuds with 3.5mm unbalanced and 4.4mm balanced connections. It can also work with your desktop or laptop computer. The sound quality of the hip-dac 3 is superb and the DAC can handle most types of digital audio files, including MQA. The hip-dac 3 even has a switch for matching the impedance of most headphones plus there is a Bass Boost button for those who like more thump with their music.
More info: www.ifi-audio.com
Soundcore Motion 300 Wireless Speaker
Sometimes, a product endears itself to me simply because it’s easy to use and works well. The Soundcore Motion 300 Bluetooth speaker is a compact wireless speaker with a big sound. This mini speaker is ideal for use on a nightstand and makes a perfect podcast companion. The Soundcore Motion 300 is also waterproof, which means it’s excellent for listening to music by the pool or even when hiking in the rain. A handy integral strap enables the Motion 300 to be hung from a tent spar or shower rail. I’ve reviewed plenty of excellent wireless speakers this year, but the Motion 300 hits just the right note.
More info: www.soundcore.com
Sennheiser Accentum Wireless ANC Headphones
Sennheiser is known for making excellent audio equipment, especially headphones and earbuds. However, the brand isn’t always the most affordable. Hence, it’s terrific news that the new Sennheiser Accentum wireless, noise-cancelling headphones have been launched with a reasonable price tag but without compromising sound quality. If you know a frequent flyer who needs a top-performing pair of ANC headphones for their next flight, check in with the Sennheiser Accentum. It’s just the ticket for a perfect Christmas gift.
More info: www.sennheiser-hearing.com
Technics EAH AZ80 ANC Wireless Earbuds
These incredible true wireless earbuds from classic audio brand Technics have some of the best noise-cancelling circuitry that I’ve ever heard on a pair of earbuds. While plenty of over-the-ear ANC headphones are very good at cancelling out unwanted noise, earbuds aren’t always as effective at ANC. The Technics EAH-AZ80 true wireless earbuds sound great. They are customizable and feel exceptionally well made. You get what you pay for with these deluxe earbuds; if you want the best, these earbuds will fit the bill.
More info: www.technics.com
Plugable Thunderbolt Dock
You can set up your office almost anywhere with a powerful Windows or Mac laptop. However, when you return to base, you will probably want to connect to a few more devices, like a second display or an Ethernet network. The Plugable Thunderbolt 4 and USB4 Docking Station (TBT4-UDX1) can turn any modern laptop into a powerful, fully connected workstation. The Plugable dock has a 40Gbps bi-directional bandwidth serving 10-in-1 expansion for enhanced productivity with four 10Gbps USB-A ports, a 2.5Gbps Ethernet port, an SD card slot, plus a 3.5mm combination audio jack. There’s even 100W of power for charging a laptop.
More info: www.plugable.com
FiiO KA13 DAC & Headphone Amp
This tiny little headphone amplifier and DAC (digital-to-analog converter) is the perfect pocket present for any music lover on the move. It comes with all the cables you need to plug into an iPhone or Android smartphone and accepts 3.5mm and 4.4mm headphone jack plugs, so you can listen to your favorite wired headphones or earbuds even on smartphones without a headphone jack. The sound quality is awesome and it’s so portable.
More info: fiio.com
PNY Elite-X Type C USB drive
You can never have too much storage for your data. This new USB-C thumb drive from PNY comes in capacities ranging from 64GB to 256GB. The Elite-X Type C drive is compatible with USB 3.2 Gen 1, so it can shift data at read speeds up to 200MB/s. This USB drive is ideal for laptop users thanks to its USB-C connector.
Price: 64GB – $10.99, 128GB – $13.99, 256GB –$24.99.
More info: pny.com
Read the full article here