17 Terrific Tech Gifts

With Black Friday coming up very soon, the rush begins to get our loved ones the perfect Xmas or Holiday gift. At The iMums we love seeing all the great new technology that is being created, and seeing how the connected home is evolving year upon year.  We have been busy creating all our Holiday Gift Guides to showcase some of our favorite products and help you choose the perfect gift for your loved ones. Here are 17 of our favorite Tech products for the adults on your gift list, be sure to also check out our kids gift guide, our gifts for health and wellness, our gifts for parents and our gifts under $30.

Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping!

Orbi- Whole House Wi-Fi

rbk50_lifestyle_livingroom_00820_medresThe single most important thing to keep all our connected home, computing and entertainment technology working well is a strong internet signal. With all the connected devices a typical household has competing for bandwidth, it is important to have a great router to optimize your Wi-Fi signal. The Orbi Home Wi-Fi system is designed to meet high demands for Wi-Fi connectivity, and comes with a base unit and a satellite. It is a mesh Wi-Fi system with a difference- the world’s first Tri-Band Wi-Fi system that has one channel dedicated entirely to connecting the router base unit and the satellite. What this means in practical terms it is delivers fast internet speeds without dead spots over a 4,000 square foot area. It is also incredibly easy to set up. As you move around your home your devices automatically switch to whichever unit is giving you the best signal, and the dedicated channel makes sure the Wi-Fi from the satellite is as strong as from the router. The Orbi router and satellite create a single high speed network where your devices can move between bands and to different parts of the home without ever having to reconnect. I love how the Orbi has eliminated Wi-Fi dead spots from my home, even in hard to reach areas where the signal has to go through interior and exterior walls. Available from Amazon,  Best Buy and other retailers  RRP US$399

 

SingleCue Gen 2

singlecue2

Until recently the idea you could control your home entertainment with the hand movement was the stuff of science fiction but with SingleCue it is a reality. The newly released 2nd generation Singlecue allows you to control your TV and a whole host of other devices including Media Streamers such as AppleTV, Roku and Hulu; Cable TV boxes, audio systems; soundbars, and even your Nest Thermostat or Phillips Hue lightbulbs.  A full list of compatible devices can be found here, it doesn’t yet work with game consoles or DVD players but the manufacturer is working on adding new devices (Nest was only added this month.) You can set up shortcuts for your favorite combinations such as turning on your TV & Apple TV together and automatically switching the TV to the right output for the AppleTV. You can also mute your TV instantly with a simple ssh gesture.  You don’t need to wear any special ring or have anything in your hand, it is all controlled via simple finger movements picked up from the SingleCue box. SingleCue is a really cool device for your living room and saves hours of hunting under the sofa cushions for lost remotes! Available from Amazon for US$149

 

Sengled Pulse Link

sengledWith TV screens getting bigger and bigger we often find ourselves sitting further from the screen for an optimal viewing experience but that can lead to a less than optimal audio experience. The Sengled Pulse link is a simple solution providing surround sound without the need to wire in new speakers. The Sengled Pulse link starter set combines 2 products- a pair of Sengled Pulse Bulbs and a Pulse Link. The Pulse is an innovative smart bulb which combines a dimmable LED light and a JBL Bluetooth Speaker. The Link is a box that connects to your TV, via included 3.5mm or RCA cables. and allows it to remotely connect with the Pulse bulbs. They work with the Pulse app allowing you to control your lights from the app, listen to your TV through the Pulse JBL speakers and play music via Bluetooth from your phone or tablet. A really simple, flexible way to bring surround sound to your living room and play audio from your TV or audio device to JBL speakers . Available from Amazon for US$179.99

 

Petcube Play

petcubeplay The newly released Petcube Play might just be the ideal gift for the pet lover on your list. This new version of the Petcube is more compact and has an upgraded 1080 HD camera with night vision, 2 way audio and 3x digital zoom. It also features a built-in laser pointer controlled via the Petcube app so you can play with your pets when you are away from home, keeping them active and entertained. Even when your schedule is busy you can still get them playing by using the autoplay mode. The camera can recotrd 24/7 and for an extra fee you can subscribe to Petcube care for 10 or 30 day storage of recording history. Available from  Petcube.comAmazon , Best Buy and major retailers RRP US$199 BLACK FRIDAY SALE $50 OFF! $149

 

Drop Connected Scale

drop1The Drop Connected Scale is the perfect gift for the home baker or chef. The smart scale connects to the Drop Recipes app on your iPad or iPhone. Drop Recipes is an interactive cookbook with hundreds of tested recipes for Cooking, Baking and Cocktails. The Drop Scale weighs your ingredients accurately and can scale a recipe based on how much of an ingredient you have on hand. If you are out of an ingredient I will suggest substitutions, and there is even a community section in the app where users can upload and share their own recipes. Available from Amazon, Target and other retailers from  RRP $99.99 Currently US$78.99 at Amazon

 

Arlo Pro by NETGEAR

animated-arloIf you know someone who wants to keep a secure eye on their home inside or out, but wants the freedom to quickly and easily install cameras with the minimum of fuss the new Arlo Pro system from NETGEAR is a great gift. Like the original Arlo the cameras are totally wireless and mount via magnetic ball and socket style joint- making them a snap to install and move. The new Pro cameras run on rechargeable batteries with a staggering 5 MONTH battery life in normal use! The cameras are weatherproof and  have 2 way audio, night vision, motion detection, 130° camera angle, a smart siren, local backup option plus 7 days free cloud storage. A great gift for use in or outside the home  – for home security, watching a babies room, checking on a pet or elderly relative when you are away from home or a myriad of other uses. Available from  Amazon, Best Buy and other retailers systems from US$249

 

JBL Pulse 2  Portable Speaker + Light Show

jblpulse2The JBL Pulse 2 is a great sounding. splash proof,  portable speaker  with colorful light effects that make it fun to take the music with you where ever you go. It has a battery life of up to 10 hours and you can use it as a standalone speaker, or wirelessly connect multiple speakers via the JBL connect app. The Pulse2 can be used to answer calls and connect to Siri or Google Now. I really enjoy its interactive light show, which is also controlled via the JBL Connect app.  There are 8 different light shows to choose from including fire, rain, fireflies, stars, fireworks, traffic, hourglass and canvas- where you draw the light pattern. You can interact with each of the shows, for instance increasing the size of the flames, or the intensity of the rain or adding shooting stars. Many of the light shows also have accompanying sound effects. If you switch off the music you can listen to the sound of a fire crackling or rain pouring down as the light show mirrors the sounds. You can also change the light color to match a color in your environment by scanning it with the light sensor.  The Pulse2 is a 84mm diameter x 195mm tall (approx 3″ x 7.7″)  and weighs 775gm (approx 1.7lb)  A great gift for the music lover, this speaker sounds great, has a good battery life and some really fun interactive light shows with accompanying sound effects. Available from  JBL.COM, Amazon and other retailers RRP US$199.99 (currently on sale for $119.95)

 

Royole Moon 3D Virtual Mobile Theater

moon_airplane-closeupFor the movie lover or serious gamer the Royole Moon 3D Virtual Mobile Theater is the ultimate gift. With the Royole Moon you can enjoy an immersive 3D cinema or gaming experience anywhere you wish. Two Full HD 1080p AMOLED displays at over 3000 ppi resolution simulate a giant 800” curved screen with stereoscopic 3D, and active noise cancelling headphones complete the experience. Moon’s screen is scalable, allowing full control over the screen size for a personalized viewing experience. It features a patented foldable design, ultra-soft headphone covers, and a premium breathable eye cover to ensure comfort even after long periods of continuous use. It also includes 32GB of internal storage and battery life of up to 5 hours of continuous video playback. Advanced optics allow most eyeglass wearers to enjoy Moon without their corrective lenses. Available www.royole.com and Amazon  MSRP  $799

 

01: The World’s First Dimensioning Instrument

instrumments_01_main_hero_rgb01 from InstruMMents is  billed as the world’s first dimensioning instrument. This makes it a great gift for anyone who wants to easily measure things- crafters, home handymen, and anyone who wants to design or create .01 rolls over straight, curved or contoured objects to intuitively capture, log, and share dimensions. Elegantly carved in aluminum, 01 is contained within a pen, pencil or stylus, and wirelessly connects to smartphones. Although it is currently being launched via Indiegogo it is already fully functioning and due to ship in time for the holidays.  Available from Instrumments.com or Indiegogo from US$159

Custom Made iPad or iPhone case from Dodo Cases

dodo-case-ipadair2_grandeEvery tablet or smartphone deserves a case to protect it. A really personalized gift is to have a case custom created just for your loved one’s iPhone or iPad. Dodo Cases is a San Francisco-based company that uses traditional book binding techniques to create iPad and iPhone cases, and offers a custom case making service. For the iPad cases you can choose from a range of solid or patterned fabrics or 4 colors of leather. You can choose a single or two-tone exterior. For the interior fabric you can choose from a variety of solid colors or patterns or  from a selection of city maps. The maps are a great way to personalize if you choose a city that has particular significance to the recipient. You can add final touches by picking the color of elastic and even have a name or message embossed on the front on gold or black letters. A truly one-of-a-kind gift! Available from DoDoCases.com custom iPhone cases start from $49.99 and custom iPad cases from $79.99.

 

SanDisk iXpand Flash storage for iPhone and iPad

ixpand1A problem most iPhone and iPad users suffer from is lack of storage space- unlike Android phones you can’t just slip in a micro-SD card to increase storage and it costs a lot to buy iOS devices with large amounts of internal storage. The iXpand Flash drive from SanDisk is a simple solution to this problem.  It is a very small, light flash drive that connects via the Lightning port of your iOS device.  It is very easy to transfer content from your iOS device to the drive to create space and you can then use its USB connector to transfer them to your computer. You can also set it up to automatically backup your camera roll whenever it s connected. If you are traveling and want to take a movie with you, you can load it on the drive from your computer and watch it directly on your device without ever downloading it ! It has a flexible connector that allows it to be used with most cases, and is available in 32GB, 64GB and 128 GB versions.  Available from Amazon and other retailers  from US$59.99

 

RazorPlatinum Powerbank from MyCharge

razorplatimunumOne of the cool features about the new MacBooks is that they can now to powered via a USB-C instead of needing a proprietary Mac charger. This opens up more possibilities for charging on the go. The new RazorPlatinum Powerbank from MyCharge has a built-in USB-C port and enough power to recharge a MacBook as well as USB-A port for your other devices. This 13400mAh Lithium Polymer battery has ultra fast charging and recharging. It measures 6.5 in x 4.8 in x 1.1 in and weighs in at under 1lb, making it very small and light for a battery of this capacity. Available from MyCharge.com and Best Buy for US$99.99

 

Amazon Echo

echoOne noticeable trend in the Connected Home market in 2016 is that more and more connected home devices are having Amazon Alexa integration . This means that if you have an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot you can control them via your voice. The Amazon Echo is a pretty cool device all by itself but with the integration of other connected home devices its uses keep multiplying. The Echo has immersive 360º omni-directional audio with far-field voice recognition so it can hear you from across the room even while music is playing. It plays all your music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more using just your voice, and controls a whole host of connected home devices. Echo also answers questions, reads audiobooks and the news, reports traffic and weather, gives info on local businesses, provides sports scores and schedules, and lets you shop on Amazon using the Alexa Voice Service. Available from Amazon  for US$179.99 BLACK FRIDAY SALE $139.99

Amazon Echo Dot

Amazon Echo DotIf you already have a speaker system in the room you are using your Echo in, you may prefer to get the more affordable Echo Dot, as it can connect to your existing speakers via a 3.5mm cable. Apart from the large speaker it has all the other features of its bigger brother the Amazon Echo. Like the Echo it has far-field voice recognition and can plays your music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more. It also controls a whole host of connected home devices, answers questions, reads audiobooks and the news, reports traffic and weather, gives info on local businesses, provides sports scores and schedules, and lets you shop on Amazon using the Alexa Voice Service. It has a small built-in speaker and you can use Echo Dots in multiple rooms to provide Alexa enabled control throughout the home. The Echo Dot is Available from Amazon for US$49.99 BLACK FRIDAY SALE $39.99 and is also available in 3 packs at a $20 savings or six packs where you buy 5 and get one free.

 

SMARTvr Virtual Reality Viewer from Dodo Case

shopify_smartvr-hero_grandeWith the invention of Google Cardboard there is more and more Virtual Reality content becoming available in iTunes and Google Play stores. This is great as it means more people can access Virtual Reality content without needing to buy an expensive VR headset like the Oculus Rift.   SMARTvr is a great way to access the content made available by Google cardboard on your smartphone, but using a more stylish and durable viewer than the original Cardboard. If fits most iOS and Android smartphones and folds to a flat package about the size of an iPhone 5  when not in use. The case is made from cast aluminum and ballistic nylon with a microsuede lens cover & light blocking shield. It is Google Cardboard certified and really simple to use You just unfold it, scan the QR code to link, slip the phone into the clips on the back, fold down the light shield, and you are ready to enjoy your VR apps. It is a great VR viewer- compact, portable, durable, affordable and flexible to fit different size smartphones

Available from DodoCase.com for US$39.99

Lightning Audio + Charge Rockstar from Belkin

 

belkin_lightningaudiochargerockstar_1 The new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus no longer have an audio jack as they are designed to use Bluetooth headphones. However, not everyone likes Bluetooth headphones, so there are several new headphones on the market that use the iPhone’s Lightning connector as an innovative way around the problem. This does however create a new problem- if your battery starts to run low you can’t charge the phone and continue to use your Lightning headphones at the same time. Belkin has solved this problem with the Lightning Audio Charge Rockstar which doubles your Lightning ports – providing one for listening and one for charging. RRP $39.99  Available from Belkin.com, Apple and other retailers.

VIDBOX Video Conversion Suite

vidbox-video-conversion-suite_3d-front

Do you have a friend or relative who still has lots of home videos lying around on VHS tapes or on camcorder tapes? This could be the perfect gift for them. Tapes deteriorate over time and it becomes harder and harder to find ways to play them, so its important to get them transferred to digital formats or you may lose the content entirely. Instead of taking them in to be professionally copied (which can be cost prohibitive if you have a lot of tapes to transfer) you can convert them at home with VIDBOX Video Conversion Suite. To use VIDBOX you need a VCR or camcorder that can play your tapes, and a Mac or PC. The Video Conversion suite comes with a key to download the software or you can install it via the included CD-Rom. The VIDBOX little white box is the key to connecting your video output device to the computer. You wire it to your VCR/ camcorder via RCA to RCA cables (included) or RCA to S-Cable (not included) and connect it to your computer via the included USB cable. Once it is connected launch the VIDBOX software and follow the on screen instructions. The video will record as a digital file on your computer in real time as it plays on your VCR/ camcorder. Once the recording is finished you can preview it and save to iMovie or iTunes (on Mac). The Video conversion suite includes software for both Mac and PC or you can buy Mac or PC only versions for slightly less. Available from VIDBOX.COM or Amazon RRP Suite $99.99 or PC or Mac only $79.99. Suite currently $69.99 on Amazon


For additional gift ideas check out all our Holiday Gift Guides

This post contains affiliate links, if you click on these The iMums may receive a small commission which helps to pay to run this site. Thank you for supporting us by using these links. Some items on this list have been received free of charge for review purposes.

12 Great Christmas Gifts for Kids from Tots to Teens- The iMums Christmas Gift Guide 2015 Part 1

iMums_kids

As the holidays draw near it is time to start thinking of Christmas Shopping. Santa is busy checking his list to see who’s naughty or nice, but what is on your shopping list this year? The iMums have 12 great gift ideas for the children on your list from tots to teens. We have included educational toys and games that get children thinking, creating, reading and moving. For the older kids we have included products to teach them about electronics, robotics, STEM, as well as affordable cellphones and gifts for the Minecraft fan and music lover.

 

Bluebee Pals Interactive Bluetooth Enabled Soft Toys

BBPALS2BlueBee Pals are big, cuddly, totally adorable stuffed animals that connect to your iPad, iPhone or other device via Bluetooth. They act as a speaker for the music or app playing on your device and can also be used as a speakerphone. The animal’s mouth moves in time to what is being said/ sung to give the illusion that the animal is actually talking! They are a great way to get children engaged with educational apps and stories. Available from the BlueBee Pals website ,  Toys R Us, Walmart and other retailers. Price: $64.99. Read our full review and ENTER TO WIN!!

Lil’ Monkey Climbing Dome

lilMonkey3Lil’ Monkey Climbing Dome is a climbing dome with a difference- not only is it a lightweight, flexible climbing frame, it also comes with it’s own augmented reality app! It is easy to assemble, lightweight & flexible yet strong and well-made. It can be used outside or indoors- where It also makes a great base for a fort when used indoors! The target age range of 3-6 is a good guide, but slightly older kids will enjoy it also. Available from Amazon Price: $139.99. Read our full review.

Tiggly Shapes by Tiggly

tigglyTiggly Shapes is a physical toy which is used with your iPad or Android device. It is designed to help 18 – 36 month olds learn basic shapes in a tactile format as well as on the iPad. It comes with three different fun apps: Tiggly Safari, Tiggly Stamp and Tiggly Draw. Toddlers can touch the shapes physically and feel the “bumps” which make the shape, as well interact with the iPad apps by pressing the shapes on the screen and the app will identify if it is the correct shape or not. Read our full review . Available from Amazon or Tiggly.com Price: $20-30

Smart Toy by Fisher Price

mrmThe Smart Toy – or as my kids call him Mr. M has brought delight to both my 18 month old and 7 year old. He helps us practice our clean-up skills when we are done playing, reads stories and adventures that are developmentally appropriate depending on your kids age and more. One of my favorite features is that Mr. M will listen to what my kids tell him and then remember it. Each time he “wakes up” which is done by turning the power on, he states the date, the weather and says hello to his “friend”.Read our full reviewAvailable from Toys R Us Price: $99.99

Dash™ Robot by Wonder Workshop

Dash draws 2Dash is a really fun educational Robot. He comes with 5 different free apps allowing children to operate him with a simple remote control on a tablet, or learn to program him to do complex tasks using Blockly or Wonder. He is very maneuverable and has proximity sensors, lights, microphone and speakers. New challenges are constantly being added to keep children engaged and learning. Brick connectors let you add your own accessories using Lego, a variety of accessories are also available. designed for ages 5-12+. Read our full review. Available from Wonder Workshop and Amazon Price: $149.99

 

Flash & Thunder by INVICTA Challenge

PDFforReferenceFlash & Thunder is set during WW2 and tells the story of Turner Turnbull, a Native American paratrooper, and his incredible leadership during D-Day. The set includes a graphic novel, a mission packet with 15 cards, maps, a 6″ action figure and online interactive video game (which will be available in app form soon.) The player reads the mission cards and studies the maps to learn the historical background before reading the novel. As they read the story they need to make decisions that decide the fate of Turner and his men, and affect the course of history. Will the mission succeed or fail? That depends on how well they have studied the operations packet. Read our full review and ENTER TO WIN! Available from Barnes & Noble Price: $34.99

 

Pet Portrait Studio by Build and Imagine

Build-Imagine_Pet_portrait_bath_closeup_WEBWith the Pet Portrait Studio from Build & Imagine right brain meets left brain with a combination of a magnetic building set and creative storytelling inspiration. The set includes 10 dual-sided magnetic panels, 2 dress up dolls, 4 wooden pets and 40+ magnetic accessories. The child can build their pet studio in any configuration they like using the panels, and then use the people, pets and accessories to act out stories.  Read our Full Review.  Available from Build & Imagine, Amazon& other retailers. Price: $49.99

 Ozobot Bit 2.0

ozobotOzobot Bit 2.0 is a tiny, fun, interactive must have science and learning toy which will teach your kids the fundamentals of Blocky programming while they are having fun and grooving to the music! Read our full review. Available from Amazon Price: $59.99

 

Gameband + Minecraft Wearable

GAMEBAND-BIG_1For Minecraft fans the GameBand+ is both a fashion statement and a way to take your Minecraft worlds on the go. It is a digital watch, a cool wearable, and a secure way to back up and carry your Minecraft worlds, allowing you to use them on any computer. As well as the physical backup on the Gameband there is also a backup via the cloud to the Gameband servers so if you ever lose or damage your Gameband you can still recover your worlds. Read our full review. Available from  AmazonTarget, GameStop, Best Buy &  Microsoft Stores. Price: $79.99

TEXTNOW Affordable No Contract Smartphones

If your Tween or Teen wants a Cellphone for Xmas TEXTNOW is an affordable way of  providing them with their own no-contract smartphone. The handsets are very affordable, there is no commitment and no overage fees. Plans start at $18.99/ month including unlimited texts, US calls and 2g data, plus varying amounts of 3G/ 4G data. Phone prices include:  LG Realm and LG Tribute are free;  Moto G is just $4.99, and the Galaxy S4 for just $149.99. On Black Friday they have even better deals! Read our full reviewAvailable from  the TEXTNOW website.

 

iBT29 Bluetooth Color Changing Dual Alarm Clock FM Radio from iHome

iBT29_DC2_48cH9MV.jpg.450x400_q85Do you have a teen who has a hard time getting up in the morning? The iBT29 could be the perfect gift for them. It has dual alarms, an FM radio and allows them to play music from their Smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth or aux-in jack. It also has a USB charging port and fun color changing light display.Available from iHome, Amazon, Bed,Bath & Beyond and other retailers. Price: $59.99

DIY GAMER KIT from Technology Will Save Us

DIYGAMER The DIY Gamer Kit includes an Arduino microprocessor and all the components needed to build a hand held gaming unit with 8 x 8 LED matrix display. As they build it the teen learns about electronics and soldering. Once it is built they can learn to code classic games on it and then design their own games. For ages 12+ Available from Technology Will Save Us. Price: $98 (free shipping)

You may also wish to check out our Christmas Gift Guide 2015- Part 2- 22 Terrific Tech Gifts.

GIVEAWAYS

Enter to win an adorable Sammy Bear from Bluebee Pals ($64.99 VALUE)

Enter to win a complete Flash & Thunder set from Invicta Challenge including Interactive Graphic novel, Mission Cards, Map, Video game and Figure ($34.99 VALUE)

Enter to win a Bevy Photo Storage Device ($299Value)

Razer Leviathan Soundbar by Razer – Review

razer

What we love…

great sounding speaker – soundbar for use with a computer, television or use as a speaker

What we’d love to see…

ability to turn up and down the sound bar using your remote, especially if you are using it with a TV

Summary

Easy to use soundbar, better suited for use as a speaker or with your computer since there is no easy way to turn it up or down when connected to your television

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

The Razer Leviathan is a multi-channel speaker perfect for listening to music, using while gaming or using on your television for watching movies.  It has a space saving design which means it will fit into small spaces that a soundbar or speaker otherwise may not.  The Levianthan features two speakers which provide a comprehensive surround sound experience for any of these applications.  The top features a volume control, ability to turn on and off Dolby Virtual Surround Sound as well as the ability to switch the equalizer pre-sets from Music, Movie and Gaming mode.

I loved listening to music using the Levianthan.  We stream music at our house all the time and often will have it on instead of the television at night when we are getting ready to wind down after dinnertime.  It was super easy to pair the Leviathan with my television via a cord or use the Bluetooth or NFC capability for my iPhone or my husband’s Samsung Galaxy.  I also loved using it in my kitchen when I listened to talk radio or on my desktop computer while working.  Listening to sound on it was crisp and clear and the multi-channel speaker provided superior sound.  This is a great addition to your music system and is perfect for streaming music, listening to the radio or listening to talk radio.  This past weekend I spent several hours in the kitchen going through my farm share and canning and I loved listening to the music as I worked.

In terms of improvements, the major one would be the ability to pair the Levianthan with the television so you could turn it up and down with the remote.  Currently to manage the sound there are buttons on top of the soundbar, I loved how this sounded with my TV especially for movies but having to get up each time to turn it up or down was a deal breaker.  We kept it hooked up to our TV for a few weeks and then it moved to our office where our computer is as turning it up and down each time was time consuming and defeated the purpose of the sound bar with our HD TV.

Overall, if you are looking for a speaker for your computer desk or listening to music this is a great fit.  Easy to use sound bar, better suited for use as a speaker or with your computer since there is no easy way to turn it up or down when connected to your television.  My husband and I loved the sound of music playing from it even from various genres.
Available from Razer for $199 USD and other retailers

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

FEATURES & TECH SPECS

Features

  • Space saving design for versatility
  • Adjustable tilt angles (0⁰,15⁰,18⁰) for optimal sound
  • 3 preset equalizer modes tuned for gaming, music and movies

Sound bar specs

  • Total power output : 30W (15W x 2RMS)
  • Full range drivers : 2 x 2.5” / 63.5mm
  • Tweeter drivers : 2 x 0.74” / 19 mm
  • Impedance : 8Ω
  • Frequency response rate : 180Hz – 20KHz
  • Approximate weight : 4.4lbs / 2Kg

Subwoofer specs

  • Type : Passive
  • Total power output : 30W RMS
  • Full range drivers : 5.25” / 133mm
  • Impedance : 8Ω
  • Frequency response rate : 20Hz – 180Hz
  • Approximate weight : 5.1lbs / 2.35Kg

Connection methods

  • Console/desktop gaming : 3.5mm audio jack or optical connection
  • Movies : 3.5mm audio jack or optical connection
  • Mobile : 3.5mm audio jack or Bluetooth®/ NFC

 

Bluetooth Buddy Wireless Speaker by iLiveElectronics – Review

bluetooth

What we love…

easy to pair, speaker that moves to the music or will read stories to your children using your bluetooth enabled device.

What we’d love to see…

headphone jack relocated, ability to protect the port in the back where you turn on and off the Bluetooth Buddy

Summary

fun speaker that encourages reading and listening to music in a non-traditional way.  My kids loved it!  I’d suggest this for older kids who understand it’s not a toy.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

When my kids see “Ellie” the Bluetooth Buddy Wireless Speaker appear on the counter they know they are in for a treat!  Ellie runs from a Bluetooth enabled device and can read books (via streaming), stream music like Pandora for that early morning dance party.  My first grader is working on his reading skills, and so we like to stream the books on tape via Ellie and he follows along in the story.  We simply connect Ellie to our iPad use the “read to me mode” for stories.  There are three animal Bluetooth Buddies – an elephant, a dog and a cat and they feature a re-chargeable lithium battery.  My kids decided to name the speaker *a first* since we are in the naming phase and Elephant wasn’t a word my one year old had.

Out of the box, you have to charge the Bluetooth Buddy – it took about two hours the first time, so I would suggest charging it before showing it to your kids.  I made that mistake and my son kept asking me when it would be ready.    When the Buddy is charged, you can pair it and a blue and white light show up on the belly.  When the Buddy is ready to be charged again, you will see a red flashing light which gives you plenty of warning before the Buddy runs out of charge.

We would open up a story on our device and Ellie stole the show.  His mouth moves along with his hat and body as he read the story and puts lots of expression into it!  Since we used the “read to me” versus the auto play mode we had to flip the pages, but the auto play mode keeps the story moving.  I also loved that if you tapped on any words in the story and they were spoken, that the Bluetooth Buddy would repeat them back.

I found the range for Ellie quite good – and I explained to my son although she looked like a toy, in fact she was a mechanical speaker.  I showed him that we could skip tracks, pair to other devices as well as go backwards and forwards when listening to music from his iPod.  The Bluetooth Buddy Wireless Speaker was easy to pair and use, and my kids love it!

I recently tested out Ellie with a storybook app where I recorded the text and my son loved hearing the book in my voice – so that’s another option too!  The battery lasts about six to eight hours – we don’t usually use it full blast and if you use the lower sounds the Buddy will last longer. The buddy even acts as a speaker for iPhone calls although I found that the person on the other end said I was “muffled” – so if you do get a call, it’s super easy to pick it up and not send it to voicemail.

In terms of enhancements, I do wish that the back part where you turn on and off the elephant was protected by a little more than the tail.  It makes it easy for curious fingers to get inside and perhaps switch it off without meaning to.  I’d also like to see the headphone adapter located somewhere else on the Buddy – perhaps on a shoulder or on the body of the Buddy so that you could quietly listen with headphones but not worry about turning it off by accident.   Of note, I had some Bluetooth wireless headphones I wanted to use with my Buddy but was unable to do so since I needed to use the Bluetooth for the iPad to provide the content.

Overall, my kids love their Bluetooth Buddy and listening to music and stories.  It’s important to remind them that it’s not a toy – but rather a speaker and may be best suited to older children who can understand that concept.

Bluetooth Buddy retails for approximately $50 USD and is available from iLiveElectronics

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Tech Specs

  • Supports Bluetooth
  • Built-in speaker
  • Wireless range: 33 feet
  • Motorized mouth and body sing and dance along to music
  • Supports profile A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile)
  • Supports automatic device reconnect
  • Aux in (3.5mm audio input)
  • Micro-USB port for battery recharge
  • LED pairing indicator
  • Charge indicator
  • Pairing button
  • Play/pause button
  • Skip forward/back button
  • Digital volume control
  • On/off switch
  • DC battery power: built-in rechargeable lithium ion battery
  • Battery life: ~4 hours at 50% volume

 

Sengled Pulse LED & Wireless Speakers – Review



What we love…

Super easy to stream music, adjust lights on the go using Bluetooth with no cords, no wires, no fuss!

What we’d love to see…

ability to use it in an outside setting without fear of water, didn’t fit into every light socket in my home (although it did fit into most)

Summary

Dimmable LED light and JBL Bluetooth speaker makes this a perfect fit for the #connectedhome.  Super easy to use, works in a variety of rooms and is easy to control with no wires!

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

Pulse is an innovative smart bulb which combines a dimmable LED light and a JBL Bluetooth Speaker to provide a listening experience that allows you to adjust light and sound from your tablet, iPhone, computer or other Bluetooth enabled device.  There are no wires, power cords or even the need for a remote control, everything you need is inside the lightbulb which you can either put into a recessed light or an existing lamp while listening to your favorite music, podcasts all while being able to adjust the lighting on the fly.

I loved how easy it was to stream music and turn up or down my kitchen lights while cooking dinner. You can install the Pulse into any standard light socket, and adjust light and sound from a Bluetooth enabled device without needing wires, cords or a remote.  The light quality given by the LED is bright and cheery and more than enough light given to cook, or watch TV by.  I also loved that you could dim it down easily in order to watch a movie on TV or simply if you didn’t need as much bright light.  Out of the box, the install of the app was simple and intuitive as was the installation of the bulbs.  I installed them in my kitchen as I love to stream music and cook at the same time but wasn’t able to find a great spot to put a Bluetooth speaker due to limited counter space and the fear of spills.  I also tested them in my living room and home office as well and was able to adjust the lighting on the fly while listening to music which I could quickly shut off if I needed to via the app.  I also tested them in my kids rooms as well where I streamed music via my iPhone on wi-fi to help soothe them to sleep after a long day.   When I used it to stream music, you could hear the base and the music was true to what I would typically hear with my higher end speaker setups.  You could hear sound from both the master and the satellite bulb which meant the two had to be in proximity but gave an overall stereo type sound, which was unlike many tabletop Bluetooth speakers that I have tested.  Perfect accessory for the #connectedhome. You can add up to eight bulbs to get surround sound in the house – I tested it with the master and satellite on the first floor of my home. I also liked that I didn’t have to worry about running speaker wire in my house so that I could listen to my music. It’s the perfect gift for a mom who has everything!

In terms of enhancements, I would love to use these on my patio but I was afraid to do so for a party because of the fear of water getting into the sockets.  Instead I brought out two lamps and put those on the deck with the lightbulb/speakers in them for music – which worked nicely but defeated the purpose of having no wires, no fuss, no muss.  They also didn’t fit into every single type of light socket in my house – but did fit into most standard lamps.  I would not suggest using them in a ceiling fan due to the momentum caused by the movement of the fan.

Overall, this is a great investment if you want to listen to music or podcasts in a part of the house where space is at a premium.  Adding the lighting component to the speakers using LED ensures a long life as well as the ability to listen to music on the go.   This is a great accessory for the #connectedhome and for music lovers.

Available from Amazon and a variety of retailers for US$156


Sengled Pulse
Sengled Pulse
by Sengled Optoelectronics Co., Ltd.

Category: Lifestyle
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone4-iPhone4, iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 18.02 MB

$FREE

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.


The iMums Favorite Travel Tech Products, Part 1-Mary’s Must Haves

It is summer again and for my family and many others that means time to go on summer vacation! I have always loved traveling and before kids I visited many places around the world. Since having kids my travel is not quite so footloose and fancy free, but we still love to travel as a family. Every year we go on transatlantic flights to visit my family back in the UK and Ireland, and closer to home we also love to go camping and spend days at the pool, beach or lake.

In this article I want to share some of my favorite travel products that make my life easier every time I travel, including products I use in the car, on the plane, camping and at pool, beach or lake.

1. Back up Battery

myCharge_Razor_Max_6000_mAh_poratble_battery_charger_hero_largeOn long plane journeys and other times when electricity isn’t readily available a good back up battery is essential for keeping everything charged. I find this especially important for keeping the kids iPads charged during our 10 hour plus transatlantic flights and for keeping my phone charged during our camping trips. There are many back up batteries on the market and features I look for include: keeping their charge for long periods when not in use, multiple outlets so I can charge more than 1 device at once, powerful enough that I can use for an iPad when needed and not too bulky or heavy. A good choice is the RazorMax from myCharge it is a 6000mAH battery, with 2 USB ports a combined 2.4A output, and is quite slim and light for it’s output. It is 4.4 in x 2.6 in x 0.5 in and weighs 0.38 lbs. Available from myCharge RRP $69.99

2. External Storage for my iOS Devices

SanDisk-Connect-Wireless-Media-DriveDuring long car or plane journeys a great way to keep the kids happy and entertained is to bring along their favorite movies and even some ones they’ve never seen before. Movies can quickly fill up your iPad storage so I load them onto an external storage device. For movie watching and streaming my favorite storage device is the SanDisk Connect Media Drive. It streams up to 8hrs, connects to up to 8 devices at once and can stream 5 different movies simultaneously. For me it is a must-have travel accessory for families on the go, and it is very reasonably priced for the amount of extra storage you get. I especially love how you can add even more storage capacity very economically using SD cards. It is available with 32GB or 62GB memory. Available from Amazon.com and other retailers from $69.99 for 32GB version. Read my full review.

3. Car Charger

 

ribbn-car-charger-lightning-2-4a-charging Another must-have is a way to keep my iPhone and other tech charged whilst on the road and I’ve found the RIBBN car charger from TYLT is a great choice. It delivers 4.8 Amps – making it powerful enough to charge 2 tablets at once. It has a built-in charging cable and a separate USB charging port. I use the lightning version – it has a built-in lightning cable that I use with my iPhone, iPad Mini or iPad Air (a version with a Micro-USB cable is also available.)  The charging cable is flat and tough and never gets tangled.  I use the 2nd USB charging slot with my own cables to charge a variety of other electronics. Available from TYLT.com for US$49.99

4. Mobile Hot Spot

When I’m away from home I find a mobile hot spot is the best way to ensure I have a reliable internet connection. I have AT&T phone service and find the NETGEAR Unite Hot Spot a great choice as I can add it to my mobile phone service. But if a hot spot is not something you use year around getting one on contract may not be the best option for you. The Around Town from NETGEAR is a great option in this situation as not only does it not require a contract but there is an option to buy data for it that never expires! The Around Town is a 4G LTE mobile hotspot that allows you to securely connect up to 10 devices and its battery lasts up to 10 hours, it uses the Sprint network. It comes with 1GB of data, additional data can be purchased. Available from Amazon and other retailers for US$199.99

 

5. Headphones

iB37B-blue.jpg.450x400_q85For the sake of my sanity I always make sure to pack several pairs of headphones when traveling with the kids. That way each of them can watch their own movies or play their games without me having to listen to them! It also means that I can chill out and relax to my own music in the evenings after they have gone to sleep. A current favorite in our family are the iB37 Color Changing Headphones from iHome. They are adjustable enough that they fit my 8 year-old daughter and yet are comfortable for me to wear too, do a good job of blocking out external noise and sound good. A fun extra (that we don’t use in the car or on the plane) is the color changing option. Coming soon from iHome RRP US$49.99

 

6. Solar Powered Light

imageI recently discovered the Luci Inflatable Solar Lantern and it is a great addition to our family camping equipment. It has 10 bright LEDs and requires no batteries as it runs entirely on its own solar panels. It makes a great backpacking light as it weighs only 4 oz and folds to 1 inch thick. It takes a few seconds to inflate to lantern mode or it can be kept folded to use as a flashlight. Available from Amazon, Big 5 and other retailers for US$14.99


7. Wet Electronics Rescue Pouch 
8577726251_21e3c33567_zOne product I carry with me when I go to the lake, beach or pool, but hope never to have to use is the Evap Wet Electronics Pouch from Kensington. If your mobile phone accidentally goes for a swim the Evap pouch can be a lifesaver (or at least a phone saver!) It contains a drying agent that is 700% more effective than using rice at removing moisture. You simply remove your phone battery and Sim card, wipe off any surface moisture and place in the pouch between to 2 pouches, seal and wait 24 hours or until the moisture indicator shows it is ready. Available from Kensington.com and other retailers RRP US$14.99.

8. Rugged, Rechargeable Bluetooth Speaker

If you are looking for a tough  Bluetooth speaker to take with you the iBN68 from iHome is a great choice. It has an IPX7 waterproof rating, its rechargeable battery lasts up to 14 hours and it will even recharge your smartphone too! RRP $119

Where ever you go it is fun to be able to listen to music even when you are away from a power source. My favorite “take it anywhere” speaker is the iBN6 Rugged Waterproof Bluetooth Rechargeable Speaker from iHome. It has an IPX7 waterproof rating, which means you can even submerge it in water. It has a rubberized exterior to help it withstand knocks and as it is dust and waterproof it is a great choice for a camping trip or day out at the beach, pool or lake. Its rechargeable battery lasts up to 14 hours and it will even recharge your smartphone too! Just in case you get thirsty it has a carabiner with a built-in bottle opener too.  Available from iHome, Amazon and other retailers  RRP US$99

9. Added Peace of Mind at the Pool, Beach or Lake

Goggles and bands 1My 3 kids love to play in water, but as a parent I can find it very stressful, especially as I have 1 non-swimmer. A product which helps to give me peace of mind is iSwimband. It does not replace proper adult supervision around water, but is designed to give you an extra early warning system should your non-swimmer fall in the water or your swimmer stay submerged too long. iSwimband is a wearable sensor that works in conjunction with a smartphone app. In can be attached via a wrist strap for non-swimmers (such as toddlers) and a headband/google strap for swimmers. Available from iSwimband.com, Amazon and other retailers RRP $59.99.Read my full review

10. Smartphone Mount for the Car
17743670533_1e1e30e6e6_z When traveling by car I often use my cellphone as a GPS navigation system, and to do that I need it securely mounted where I can see it without taking my eyes off the road. The Universal Car Mount from Kensington is a great solution for this, and is really flexible, working with different vehicles and phones.It mounts in 2 ways- either via a 12 inch long flexible arm attached to a powerful suction cup, or via a vent clip. The mount works in both portrait and landscape mode, and releases with a touch of a button. I love that it is really easy to adjust and will work with lots of different size smartphones up to and including the iPhone6+. Read my full review. Available from Kensington.com for US $29.99.


iPhone Screenshot 2
Of course you need a great navigation app to go with your smartphone, and my favorite navigation apps are the CoPilot series by ALK Technologies. They are available for US and Canada as well as many other countries, you can read my review of the UK and Ireland version here. I love that they can be used off-line, saving precious data (especially important with international data roaming charges!) They are regularly updated, have clear directions, alternative route options and you can also get live traffic updates.

These are some of my travel “must-haves”, what are yours? I’d love to hear about how you like to spend your summer, and what products you have found most useful on your travels.

Note: Some of the products included in this article were supplied by the companies for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received. Their inclusion was the decision of the author, all opinions stated in the article are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

10 Great Gifts For Dads and Grads – 2015

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June is a busy time of year with Graduations, school year ending and Father’s Day. If you are looking for a gift for the special man in your life we have put together some great ideas. For female graduates you can find great gift ideas here and also in our recent iThe iMums 10 Great Gift Ideas for Moms. We have gifts to suit all tastes – including an iPhone  case that can recharge by solar power, a fun Bluetooth speaker that will make you do a double take as it what it is, a great gift for the Minecraft fan, a product to improve sleep, gifts for the music lover, the man who needs a little help with getting fit and losing weight and lots more. Be sure to check out the full list and let us know what you’ll be buying for your dad or grad- does something on the list catch your eye or do you have other ideas?

iBT12 SoundFlask Wireless Bluetooth Speaker iBT12S.jpg.450x400_q85 2
The iBT12 Flask Shaped Wireless Bluetooth Speaker from iHome is a fun yet practical gift. Available in Silver or Black this wireless Bluetooth speakers looks just like a hip flask and is small enough to fit in a pocket and weighs less than half a pound. It connects to any Bluetooth device to play music on the go and even acts as a speaker phone. It comes with a custom carrying case with carabiner so he can take it anywhere. Despite it’s small size it packs a punch with plenty of volume and sounds surprisingly good for a sub $50 speaker. Available from iHome.com and other retailers RRP US$49.99


Kensington KeyFolio Thin X3™ for iPad Air™ 2  keyfolio

The KeyFolio Thin X3™ for iPad Air™ 2 from Kensington is a great gift for the iPad Air 2 owner. If you have an iPad Air 2 then you want a light, slim accessories to go with it. The KeyFolio Thin X3™ is a great choice, it weighs approximately 15 oz and not only is it a case and keyboard, but it also acts as a backup charger for your iPhone! One feature I love is the keyboard automatically switches on when the iPad is in the magnetic stand, and switches it off when it is taken out, saving the battery. The Quikfold design lets the keyboard fold under the iPad when you want to use the iPad without the keyboard. Strong magnets hold the case firmly shut when it is closed as well as automatically activating the iPad’s sleep/ wake modes. The case looks professional and has a textured surface making it easy to carry without dropping. Available from Kensington, Amazon and other suppliers for US$$99.99

Griffin Twenty Digital Audio Amplifier 
Griffin twentyFor the music lover the Twenty digital audio amplifier from Griffin Technology makes a great gift. It connects via Bluetooth from your phone to your speakers and streams high quality audio at 20 watts per channel. It has a  30-foot Bluetooth range, and is designed to work with your old speakers to bring them into the digital age. It can also physically connect to your AirPort Express or Apple TV, game console or TV via an included optical TOSLINK cable, for clear optical audio. Available from Griffin.com and Amazon for US$149, if your speakers need upgrading it is also available bundled with NHT speakers.

EnerPlex Surfr Case for iPhone 6 Surfr-Iphone-6-Family (1)
The Surfr iPhone 6 Case from EnerPlex is a great iPhone case for keeping his phone charged no matter where he is. It has a 2,700 mAh backup battery built-in to keep his phone charged all day even under heavy usage. As well as charging conventionally via a mini USB/ USB charging cable it also features a built-in solar panel for emergency charging when he is off the grid. Especially useful for those who enjoy the great outdoors, this case is useful for anyone  to provide an emergency backup as even when the backup battery has been used the solar panel can recharge it enough for a quick phone call after 10-15 minutes. Available from Enerplex.com  for US$99.99

GameBand +Minecraft 
The GAMEBAND-BIG_1Gameband + Minecraft  is the perfect gift for the Minecraft fan, it is both a fashion statement and a secure way of backing up Minecraft worlds and taking them with you wherever you go. As well as the physical backup on the Gameband there is also a backup via the cloud to the Gameband servers so if you ever lose or damage your Gameband you can still recover your worlds. It is very easy to use, and you can customize the display with your own Minecraft themed animation. It can also display the date and time, doubling as a digital watch as well as a cool wearable. Available from Target, Best Buy, Gamestop, Microsoft shops and other retailers for US $79.99. Read our full review

 

Sleep Companion from Holi

sleep_bulbGetting a good night’s rest and waking up feeling refreshed is one of the most important things we can do for our health and happiness. The Sleep Companion by Holi can’t make you go to bed any earlier but is can help you relax at bedtime and set the right spectrum of light to naturally prepare your body for sleep. Then 20 minutes before your alarm is due to go off it will gradually come on with just the right color lighting to decrease your melatonin ready to wake up feeling refreshed. It has an alarm feature that works with your phone to wake you up with a choice of 3 gentle audible alarms. It can also monitor how much sleep you re getting, so you can track it over time.  Available from Holi.com US $99, and available for pre-order on Amazon

 

 

Kiqplan Beer Belly Blaster Kiqplan Beer Belly Blaster_1
If the man in your life needs a little help getting on track with his fitness and weight loss goals the Beer Belly Blaster from Kiqplan may be just what he needs. instead of buying yet another activity tracker it will work with the one he has- whether that be a Jawbone UP, Fitbit, FitBug Orb, Nike+ Fuelband or many more. You get an individualized exercise and nutrition plan, with recipes, workout videos, daily targets advice and feedback.  This is  a 12 week plan available from kiqplan.com for US$19.99


scupltMicrosoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop
Ergonomic wireless keyboard incorporates a split keyboard with seperate keypad desgined to reduce wrist fatigue and position arms and wrists in a more natural position.  Includes a “Windows” button on the mouse which provides one click access to the desktop/start screen.  Great battery life and comfortable to use for hours. Available from Amazon for US$87.00


back3D Back Massage by Brookstone
The 3D Back Massager by Brookstone is a portable back massager that features built in carry handles, twelve “massage” nodes featuring the Shiatsu method and provides a deep massage to your back.  If you sit at a desk all day, or have a sore back from shoveling show and ice, you may notice tension and some back fatigue.  This massager which fits on any chair or couch moves up and down, side to side and front to back while providing a massage that loosens your sore back or body.  One direction massages toward the spine, and the other massages away from your spine.  You can flip the massager from top to bottom which allows for a more focused massage on the lower back. Available from Brookstone for US$119

 

371027-just-mobile-alupen-digitalJust Mobile AluPen Digital Stylus
Lightweight stylus with a 1.8 mm tip is made of hard plastic and feels more like a ballpoint pen when using it compared to a traditional stylus.  I used it comfortably on my iPad Mini covered with a Griffin Survivor – and you could definitely “hear” the audible tap when it made contact with the screen, but with contact I found better precision and  Available from Just Mobile for US $39.99

 

For additional gift ideas check out these articles from The iMums: iThe iMums 10 Great Gift Ideas for Moms.  Awesome iPod, iPhone & iPad Accessories for Kids, Gorgeous iPod, iPhone & iPad Accessories for Women, and Cool iPhone & iPad Accessories for Men.

 

The iMums 10 Great Gift Ideas for Moms

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Mother’s Day is coming up fast and The iMums have come up with some cool gift ideas that are bound to be popular with the women in your life. They are definitely gifts we’d love to receive this Mother’s Day! From a stylish bag through fitness, mobile storage, iPhoneography and home accessories we have gifts to suit all tastes.

Poppy Cross-Body Satchel from Mia Tui
Poppy Pewter
Every woman needs a good bag and Mia Tui make great bags! These are the most organized, practical bags on the market. The Poppy is a great bag for the woman who wants the signature Mia Tui organization, but in a more compact package than bags like the Grace, Sofia and Olivia Mia Tui bags we have previously reviewed. You will still find the unique pink Mia Tui interior, with an interior pocket for the included clutch bag, key clip, pen and smartphone holders, and a zip pocket on the back of the bag. A full-sized iPad will fit in the main part of the bag or an iPad mini will fit in the interior pocket.
 Available from Mia Tui USA, in Pink, Pewter, Brown or Black for US$53. Get a 20% Mother’s Day discount on any bag from Mia Tui USA with code imum

iBridge Mobile Memory from LEEF
leef2Many moms struggle with having enough memory in their iPhone or iPad and the iBridge from LEEF is a tiny solution to a big problem. It is small and light enough to keep in her purse at all times, weighs only 10 grams (less than 1/2oz) and measures 63 x 19 x 18mm- that’s about 2.5″ x 0.7″ x 0.7″. Many portable memory solutions rely on Bluetooth or wireless connections to connect to your iOS device but the iBridge simply plugs in to the lightning connector.  It will store music, photos and videos and you can even take photos directly onto the iBridge by-passing the iPhone’s storage completely. – this is a lifesaver when you need to take a photo but your iPhone is full.  Read our full review. Available from Amazon or LEEFco.com from US$59.99


Screenguardz Pure® with the Crown™ Premium Glass Screen Protector  iPhone case from BodyGuardz
 ScreenGuardz Pure® with The Crown™ Premium Glass Screen Protector for Apple iPhone 6
The Crown™ is a solution designed to protect the curved edges of your iPhone 6 or iPhone 6+ with an aluminum rim combined with a Screen Guardz Pure protector which offers edge to edge protection for your device in case of drops, collection of dust and debris (which can get in under the protector).  The Pure and Crown provide coverage for the entire screen and all four corners of the device adding very little “bulk” to your iPhone 6.  This ensures that your phone is protected, even when your kids use it or if you have greasy or sticky fingers touching your device.
Available from Amazon, BodyGuardz  for US$25.00 – $39.99

iPro Trio iPhone Lens Kit from Schneider Optics

iprolens41HYz-XeIZLThe iPro Trio Lens Kit from Schneider Optics, is a great gift for the iPhoneographer mum. It provides a good selection of high quality add-on lenses including a macro, wide angle and 2x zoom, plus an iPhone Case, lens cap and handle. The handle is both a really useful accessory and a great way to store and carry the lenses. This kit is currently available for the iPhone4/4S, iPhone5/5S, iPhone 6, iPhone6+ and Galaxy S4. Read our full review. Available from  Schneider optics, Amazon and other suppliers  RRP $229


[EXPOSE] Smart Video Light for iPhone from KNOG
[expose]The [expose] from KNOG is a great gift for the mom who loves to take photos and videos with her iPhone, but is unhappy with the results when she takes pictures at night. The [expose] a tiny iPhone Flash that packs a lot of light. It has 9 LEDs and a total output of up to 130 lumens which is 6x as powerful as the iPhone’s built-in flash. The [expose] has a built-in rechargeable battery, so it won’t run down her iPhone battery and can be used for both video and still photography. Available in Black or White RRP $59.99 from Knog.com and other retailers.

Mpow iSnap X One-piece U-Shape Selfie Stick
Mpow
Do you love taking photos but find as a mom that you are often not in any of them because you are taking them of your kids?  The iSnap allows you to attach your smartphone or tablet to a “selfie stick” which then allows you to take photos of your family and include you as mom!  It connects to your device via Bluetooth with a switch on the tripod which allows you to actuate your photos without having to touch your device.  Available from Amazon for US$20

Mio Link Heart Rate Monitor from Mio Global
MiolinkFor moms who like to work out the Mio Link is a great gift idea. To get the most benefit from exercising it is recommended that you monitor your heart rate so that you can stay “in the zone”. The Mio Link is a really comfortable, easy to use heart rate monitor that you wear on your wrist, eliminating the need for uncomfortable chest straps. The Mio Link uses a series of color coded lights to let you know what “zone” you are in, and you can also view your exact heart rate on your iPhone. Read our full review. Available from  the Mio Global website, RRP $99 

Fitbug Orb Activity and Sleep Tracker

fitbug orbFor the mom who wants to improve her fitness using a fitness tracker can be a first step on in providing an incentive to exercise more. The Fitbug Orb from Fitbug is a small, versatile tracker that tracks both activity and sleep and can be worn in a number of ways. It comes with both a wrist strap and a clip, so you can choose different ways to wear it. It comes with a watch-style battery that lasts approximately 6 months so you don’t need to recharge it. You can track your fitness data both via an iOS app and online and can also enter your food intake to track calories and join the Fitbug online community for support. Available from Amazon and other retailers RRP US$49.99

Pulse Dimmable LED Light with Wireless Bluetooth Speakers, Powered by JBLsengled
Pulse Dimmable LED Light with Wireless Bluetooth Speakers (Pair), Powered by JBL from Sengled The Sengled Pulse is a smart lightbulb which includes an LED light with an embedded JBL Bluetooth speaker which allows you to control both the speaker and the light from your Smartphone. I loved how easy it was to stream music and turn up or down my kitchen lights while cooking dinner. You can install the Pulse into any standard light socket, and adjust light and sound from a Bluetooth enabled device without needing wires, cords or a remote.  Available from Amazon  for US$156

Withings Aura Smart Sleep System
AuraWhat better gift is there for a busy mom than a good nights sleep? With Aura Smart Sleep from Withings is a system that not only tracks her sleep in detail but also provides tool to help her fall asleep and wake up better both from a night’s sleep and from a nap. It includes an under the mattress sensor that measures movement, heart rate and breathing to analyze her sleep. This connects to the bedside unit and includes a smart light, speaker, clock and USB charging port. The system works to lull her to sleep with soothing sounds and red light, and gradually bring mom to her light sleep phase in the morning before waking her with blue lights and gentle wake up sounds. Available from Amazon and other retailers RRP US$299

 

For additional gift ideas check out Gorgeous iPod, iPhone & iPad Accessories for Women.

We haven’t personally tested all of these products but they are from reputable companies that we trust and recommend. Products may have been received from companies for review purposes, no other compensation was received.

Review of BlueBee Pals – Interactive Bluetooth Enabled Soft Toys

BBPALS2

Pros..

Adorable stuffed toys that are soft and cuddly, and act as a speaker for any iOS or Android device, also act as speakerphone

Cons…

Phone calls can occasionally be a little muffled at callers end

Summary

Overall, this is a really fun toy- my kids love their BlueBee Pals and they are a great way to engage children in listening to storybook apps or to encourage them to talk on the phone to far away relatives.

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

BlueBee Pals are totally adorable stuffed toys that connect to your iPad, iPhone or other device via Bluetooth. They act as a speaker for the music or app playing on your device and can also be used as a speakerphone for your iPhone or other SmartPhone. The animal’s mouth even moves in time to what is being said/ sung to give the illusion that the animal is actually talking!

There are 5 different animals to choose from- Leo the Lion, Lily the Lamb, Riley the Zebra, Sammy the Bear and Winston the Puppy.

My kids were really excited to check out the BlueBee Pals, my 7 y.o. twins totally loved them. We tested Sammy Bear and Leo Lion. I was impressed by how soft and cuddly they were, although you can feel the speaker in the tummy, they are padded enough that they still feel nice to cuddle and their fur is super soft (especially Sammy’s). They are big stuffed toys- approximately 13″ tall and my kids really like cuddling them at story time.  The BlueBee Pals come with a nice, long sturdy charging cable which means you don’t need to have them right on top of your charger when charging.

They are very simple to pair to your Bluetooth device- I tested them with my iPhone 5 and a couple of different iPad models.  There is velcro holding the animals back closed, you open this to access the speaker, it has an on/off slider switch and a mini-USB charging port.  Once the BlueBee Pal is on, switch on Bluetooth on your device, and press his right ear (which is embroidered with “connect”) and he will connect to your device. It is really fun to have your BlueBee Pal read a story to your child and it works with any  iPad storybook app. The first book I had Leo read to my son was Snoopy’s All Star Football and he was really excited to hear all the Peanuts characters voices coming from Leo’s mouth. I did notice some noise from the mechanics of the mouth moving, but none of my children seemed to notice it at all. You can also use the BlueBee Pal to listen to music or watch a video- basically the mouth will move in time to any sounds, and it acts as a speaker for whatever is playing on the iPad or iPhone.

BBPal

If you connect your SmartPhone to your BlueBee Pal  you can also use it to answer calls. When the phone rings you will hear it ringing through the Pal’s speaker and pressing his left ear (marked “phone”) will let you answer the call. This is a really fun way for a far away grandparent, or a parent who has to work late, to connect with a young child. Both of my twins thought it was really fun to talk to me via Leo or Sammy – I did find that sometimes the call was a bit muffled on my end, but most of the time it was quite understandable and it seemed quite clear at the child’s end.

Overall, this is a really fun toy- my kids love their BlueBee Pals. They are a great way to engage children in listening to storybook apps or to encourage them to talk on the phone to far away relatives.

BlueBee Pals are available online from the BlueBee Pals website and from Toys R Us, Walmart and other retailers RRP $64.99

 


Giveaway
If you would like to win a Leo the Lion Bluebee Pal, we have 2 to give away, please enter via the widget below. Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is open to USA and a valid mailing address is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

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NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

The iMums Christmas Gift Guide 2014 – With Great Giveaways Too!

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Looking for the perfect holiday gift for your loved ones? 2014 is drawing to a close and it is time to start shopping for Christmas Gifts. The iMums have been searching far and wide for gifts that will be a hit with family members of all ages. Which ones are on your wish list this Holiday Season ?

We have picked out some of our favorite products from the past year to share with you including products for the home,and office,  for the young and young at heart, gifts for use on the go, photography picks, and some brand new cases for the iPhone!

 

Gifts for The Young and Young at Heart

In this section we highlight some cool products that kids and teens will enjoy, but they aren’t just for kids – adults will have just as much fun racing a rally car, enjoying a light and sound show or feeling the soothing effects of playing with sand.

 

For the Home and Office

We have a great selection of gift ideas for the home and office. Whether you are looking for the perfect gift for a pet lover, a home baker,

Gifts for On-The-Go

We have a great range of on-the-go gift ideas including mobile storage solutions, portable speakers and bags and cases for the avid traveller and those who like to stay closer to home.

 

For the Photographer

Whether you prefer to take pictures with your DSLR or iPhone we have some great gift ideas.

 

Stocking Stuffers

These are a few of our favorite gift ideas for $30 or less.

 

Giveaways

Giveaway for the Perfect Bake
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter to win a ReadyNAS RN102
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter to win a Minnie Amelie bag from Mia Tui
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter to win an Ozobot Smart Robot – Congrats to our Winner Helen W – your prize is on the way!!

Sales and offer codes

Yantouch Diamond+ 

From November 18 until December 31, 2014, the Diamond+ is $50 off, priced at only $99 (normally $149) from Amazon Yantouch IceDiamond+  when using coupon code YT50DOFF

Ozobot

To celebrate the launch of #OzoGroove, we’re offering 20% off Ozobot Dual Packs when you use the promo code: GROOVY20 Visit www.ozobot.com to purchase!

Mia Tui

15% off your entire order using the code imums at MiaTuiUSA