Men’s toys: technology gadgets for men

Life

Basically, a “gadget” is a – usually handy and mobile – technical device that brings a certain functionality and sophistication, which is considered by the user as new, particularly practical or fun. The fun factor is particularly important for a real gadget anyway: The technology or functionality of the device has to give pleasure and excite in some way.

Why men love tech gadgets and toys?

Apart from the urge to always own the latest smartphone, tablet or one of the trendy smartwatches, men love small tech gadgets and toys that are functional and fun at the same time: Men love little tech gadgets that are functional and fun at the same time, and that they can dive into with full enthusiasm.

The more complex and innovative the gadget, the greater the desire to own it. For men, it is both fun and games to try out new technology and make their lives a little easier, more practical or more fun.

Gadgets that make use of the Internet of Things are particularly popular. The fully networked, smart home is getting closer, technology is becoming increasingly intelligent and can be individually adjusted to the user and his preferences. The smartphone plays a key role in this: hardly any gadget can do without it, as many technology toys can be monitored and controlled via an app or access its functions.

Wired headphones with listening test: Nuraphones from Nura

Probably the most exciting innovation on the headphone market: Nura’s Nuraphones first do a hearing test before the music starts. You haven’t heard wrong, the Kickstarter headphones from the Australian start-up create an individual hearing profile for each wearer via app, which is then stored on the device.

The Nura app evaluates so-called otoacoustic emissions for this purpose: The headphone sends test tones and in turn measures the tones that the ear sends back, calculates the hearing performance and then adjusts the frequencies of the music. Result: a custom profile that actually sounds much better than standard settings of other headphones.

The design of the Bluetooth headphones is also special: The very robust and well ventilated silicone pads have an additional in-ear plug, which muffles external noise well. The rest is taken care of by electronic noise-canceling. Good: The bass portion of the music (adjustable via app) is generated via the shell, not via the in-ear plugs, so it does not directly affect the eardrum.

The battery of the Nuraphones lasts about 30 hours, charging time about 3 hours. Important: Without additional accessories, the Nuraphones only work via Bluetooth.

The Nuraphones in the test

The hearing test actually only takes about 1 minute and is relatively simple. For this, the in-ear plugs must be correctly seated in the ear canal, which the app determines or guides itself. The personal profile, which is also displayed graphically in the app, actually sounds very good.

However, the neutral profile that the headphones offer for comparison is not really representative. Up to 3 profiles can be saved in the app (for about different users, because the own hearing profile varies only minimally). Also good: The headphones automatically turn on and off when put on and taken off. The combination of in-ear and over-ear design takes some getting used to. Prolonged wearing can be a bit annoying. Also because the aluminum headphones are a bit heavier than plastic constructions.

The noise reduction works very well, via the “Social Mode” the outside sounds can be switched back to it via outside microphones. The control works via sensor points on the ear cups. Here I can set desired functions in the app for “1x click” and “double click” – so a total of 4. But: Since the two points on the earpiece protrude very far, one triggers them accidentally from time to time.

Conclusion: the best sound is individual

Advantages: The individual adjustment of the hearing profile is a terrific idea. Especially for people who just do not have perfect hearing. The sound is – at least with my profile – almost ideal and very balanced. For music lovers an absolute highlight.

Disadvantages: Wearing comfort and touch operation could still be improved.

Noise-cancelling headphones: Sony WH-1000XM4

Sony has become one of the leading specialists in noise cancelling. For a long time, the WH-1000XM3 with its almost perfect sound and intelligent noise cancellation was the best flagship of the tech giant. Now the WH-1000XM4 takes over and wants to make everything even better. The very comfortable and lightweight Bluetooth headphones filter out car, train and airplane noise, as well as street noise and voices. In the plane, the device adapts to the changing air pressure.

If desired, the headphones can even detect where you are and what you are doing, and adaptively adjust the noise cancelling function. The touch controls on the right ear cup (volume, play, pause, answer calls) are also particularly practical. Alternatively, it can also be controlled by voice via Google Assistant or Alexa.

Compared to the predecessor, only a few details have changed in the already successful design in favor of wearing comfort. Technically, however, even more has been done. Of course, first and foremost the noise cancellation has been improved. A revised algorithm in combination with the tried and tested NC processor and a new Bluetooth Audio SoC (System-on-Chip) means that adjustments can now be made 700 times per second.

Especially mid- and high-frequency noise can be detected and filtered out much more effectively than before. In our short test, the result was quite impressive. We have never had so much peace and quiet when listening to music in a noisy environment before. A whole new level of active noise cancellation that the competition can now measure up to. Plus the excellent sound with powerful basses. Simply great.

The call quality during a phone call, a shortcoming of the predecessor, has also been improved. Sony’s new ANC flagship now also recognizes whether the headphones have been removed and pauses the music independently. This is supposed to save the battery life of up to 30 hours. One gladly takes everything with him. Conclusion: An all-around successful headphone with super sound and perfect silence!

Cap headphones: Earebel

Earebel is a cool combination of headwear and integrated, removable Bluetooth headphones, which are now also available with JBL sound. There is a choice of specially made hats, beanies and headbands for sports, winter and urban style – depending on the collection also hand-knitted or particularly functional.

The headphones are controlled via a soft-touch control panel. There is also an integrated microphone for hands-free calls.

In the short test we had the version with JBL sound, which was quite convincing. Great sound, no pressure on the ears – and the ambient noise can still be perceived, which is very useful on the ski slopes or in traffic. Practical: The splash-proof headphones not only fit all Earebel headgear, but can also often be integrated into the ear pads of ski and snowboard helmets.

Audio sunglasses: Bose Frames

Lately, Bose has developed a penchant for bringing unusual products to market. Brand new: the “Frames” – two audio sunglasses that stream your favorite music directly into your ear, listen to the word and are also great for making phone calls and navigating.

For this purpose, your smartphone must always be nearby. But it can safely stay in your pocket, because the most important functions can be performed via a multi-function button on the right earpiece or by voice command.

The “Alto” model in the angular look has the largest fit, while the “Rondo” variant with rounded lenses is slightly smaller. The lenses can be replaced quickly and easily – two additional variants are currently available per model starting at 25 euros.

According to the manufacturer, the battery lasts up to three and a half hours in operation and up to twelve hours in standby mode. Complete charging takes just under two hours. Too bad: the glasses are only protected from splashing water.

The Bose Frames in the test

From the front, the Frame looks like a classic pair of sunglasses.

Only a look from the side at the thicker temples suggests that they have even more to offer. When put on, they are pleasantly light at only 45 grams and do not become uncomfortable even when worn for a long time. The sound of the Frame is surprisingly good for such a compact open-ear design. In quiet surroundings, the medium volume is sufficient, at which no sound can be heard by others in the vicinity. But at full volume it is.

The sound glasses from Bose are made for outdoors. They shine when walking through the park, chilling in the sun or even cruising with the bike. But only until it gets too loud around them. Against roaring traffic or busy places, the tiny speakers of the glasses are not as good as in-ear, over-ear or on-ear headphones, of course.

On the other hand, the frames score points with their navigation feature: thanks to a built-in head movement sensor and in interaction with the GPS module of the iOS or Android smartphone, the sunglasses know exactly where you are and where you are looking at the moment. A practical example: You are walking through a foreign city and are comfortably told that you have to turn right at the church in front of you.

This is much more practical than having to look distractedly at your smartphone all the time – and not having eyes for the beautiful city anymore. The glasses will also soon be able to recognize whether you are looking at an interesting place. If you wish, you will then receive information about it in your ear.

Currently, only the navigation apps “Walc” and “NaviGuide” (both in English) are compatible with the Bose frames. Supply (in German) has already been announced. Conclusion: Well-designed combination of sunglasses and headphones with some handy extra features. Definitely a cool gadget for the summer. Not ideal for too noisy environments though.

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