Gadgets: Temperature's rising and these devices are ready to play

Jabra's Sport Pulse special edition Bluetooth 4.0 headphones are do-it-all when it comes to earbud features.

They are touted as the world's first sports headphones with automatic fitness technology. The health-related features include a built-in heart rate monitor and automatic VO2 max tracking, a scientific way to measure your absolute fitness. This includes tracking the maximum rate of oxygen your body consumes during exercise.

With sport earbuds, it's critical that they stay in place during your workout and the Sport Pulse is perfectly secure. You get several sizes of ear tips to ensure a tight fit.

The sound is great and includes passive noise cancellation, which helps eliminate surrounding noise.

While it's not really considered exercise, I used the lightweight earbuds during an intense afternoon of outside lawn mowing and gardening. During the whole afternoon, they stayed in place, unlike many other sport earbuds I've used for the same chores. They also helped keep out some of my lawnmower noise while supplying my ears with great sound.

The Jabra fitness app works with the sport earbuds to track your performance and even coaches you with in-ear feedback on the workout. Distance, speed, your pace, and time are all recorded within the app.

The batteries lasted the whole afternoon before a USB charge was needed. Bluetooth 4.0 lets you connect up to eight devices to the earbuds, with two connected simultaneously. They include in-line controls with a built-in microphone. $159.99


The Altec Lansing Mini Life Jacket 3 Bluetooth wireless didn't accompany me during my lawn mowing like the headphones, but they do float in your pool while pumping out great sound

With an IP67 rating, the rugged speaker floats in water and is sand, dust, dirt, and shockproof. You can pair two Mini Life speakers for stereo sound and charge another USB device with the built-in charging port, while the speaker plays music.

The powerful sounds come from a pair of neodymium drivers and a passive radiator behind a black speaker grill. The sound has a nice amount of bass and sounded great at any level, in and out of the water.

You can use the speaker ( 2.5-by-6.5-by-2.125-inches) for handsfree calls and 16 hours of sound before a USB charge is needed. A universal accessory mount is included for mounting the speaker on a bicycle, lounge chair, etc., and there's an aux port for a 3.5 mm wired device connections.

All the ports have a removable waterproof covering so it's worth mentioning the obvious; when changing or using any of the ports you have to be water free. $99.99


Smartphone cases bore me unless there's a cool feature worth mentioning, which is the case with the Wally Ether Wallet from Distil Union.

The iPhone 7/7 Plus case is built with a slim hard shell crystal-clear polycarbonate frame and a hidden card carrying compartment built on the leather backside. It stores a few credit cards or even cash.

To access the contents, there is a Wally Pull-Tab you tug to get everything to slide out. When you push your credit cards in the thin compartment, the tab retracts.

A microfiber cloth lines the inside frame to protect your phone from scratches and there are cutouts for the phone's camera, speakers and charging lightning port. $34.99 in color choices of ink, hickory, slate, and rust

©2017 Gregg Ellman
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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