Today’s top smartphones from Apple and Samsung offer amazing screens, high-resolution cameras, and ever-increasing amounts of storage and battery life. But there’s one area where even the best phones disappoint: playing audio through the built-in speaker.
Many people have turned to wireless Bluetooth speakers as a way to enjoy better quality sound from their mobile devices. With their larger drivers, a portable speaker can play louder and clearer without distorting. The marketplace for speakers is getting crowded with products from Jambox, Urbanears, and of course, the Beats Pill speaker by Dr. Dre.
At CES 2015, I was introduced to a Bluetooth speaker that really stood out from the crowd. The Superstar Backfloat from Monster can do one thing these other speakers cannot: it can go swimming in the pool with you! Think about that for a second: electronics and water are not a good mix. Monster has managed to take a portable Bluetooth speaker and not only make it waterproof, but it also floats on the surface instead of sinking to the bottom.
In case you have never attended the International CES, let me break it down for you. The North Hall is the place to be for iPhone and smartphone accessories. Anything that clips to or pairs with a smartphone is on display, and it is here that you will find Otterbox, Speck, and all the other big names in the phone case industry.
A world away in the South Hall, I came across a company called VYSK that offered a different kind of phone case. While other cases are concerned with protecting your phone from physical damage such as drops and spills, VYSK is the only case concerned with protecting your phone’s data.
It is my opinion that privacy over your personal information is poised to become a great battle of the 21st century. Currently, it’s a bit like the Wild West with every company and service governing itself regarding user data. The idea behind VYSK is that a case should offer protection from all forms of electronic intrusion by offering physical and software methods for protecting user data.
While the phone case industry is dominated by big players such as Otterbox, there are a number of new contenders in the arena. One such company is Urban Armor Gear, which was founded in 2011.
UAG makes cases for the Apple iPhone and iPad, Samsung Galaxy, Nexus 6, HTC One, and for all three versions of the Microsoft Surface Pro. The company specializes in rugged, drop-proof cases for smartphones and tablets. Every case they make passes the MIL-STD-810G 516.6 drop test for shock impact. They recently sent one of their cases to the edge of space via a high-altitude balloon, and it survived!
Urban Armor cases feature a raised edge that keeps the screen and back free from contact with surfaces that might cause scratches. They also feature oversized cutouts for connecting headphones and charging cables.
We stopped by the OtterBox booth at CES 2015 to check out what was new and exciting, and they did not disappoint! The new Resurgence power case for the Apple iPhone 6 will extend the life of your device and provide a full extra charge.
The Resurgence case is both a battery case and a MIL-SPEC drop-tested case in one! It packs 2,600mAh of power, which provides more than two times the battery life of the iPhone 6. Otterbox’s unique Auto-Off technology prevents overcharging by switching off the battery case when the phone is fully recharged.
Although it packs an internal battery, the Resurgence case retains a slim profile thanks to its redesigned circuitry.
The Resurgence case for iPhone 6 will be available in early 2015 with an MSRP of $99.
Do you want to enjoy your favorite music in the pool or the shower? Bringing your phone with you is not a good idea. A Bluetooth speaker solves the problem, except most Bluetooth speakers are not waterproof. Enter the Superstar Backfloat from Monster.
This thing is completely, 100% waterproof. You can take it swimming with you and best of all – it floats instead of sinking to the bottom!
The speaker has a protective shell made of all-weather silicone that is extremely tough. The whole speaker is 2x larger than the original Superstar Bluetooth Speaker, which provides a wider Stereo array for more room-filling sound.
The speaker will last over 7 hours at 50% volume and sounds great whether it’s standing or lying flat. The Superstar Backfloat goes on sale in early 2015 with an MSRP of $169.95.