The Best Gadgets

While the Show works largely the same way as a traditional Echo, it shakes up the formula by including a 7-inch touchscreen and camera, allowing users to employ the device for video calls and consuming content like YouTube videos. The Show is another indication that Amazon is looking to push its Alexa platform as fast as it can, before the likes of Google and Apple can catch up. The Show is just $50 more than the original Alexa device, and it offers a host of new functionality thanks to the screen. It offers the same functionality as the original Echo—you can set timers with it, ask trivia questions, control various smart home devices—but it also adds an extra layer of contextual information thanks to the new visual element. Now, you can get lyrics to a song on the screen while listening to it via the included speakers, you can check in with your security cameras and, of course, perform voice and video calls

There’s a growing trend of smart cooking appliances taking over our kitchens, but too many of them require purchasing a brand new stove or other major appliance. Klove Knob is a new gadget that aims to revolutionize your cooking, without requiring you to purchase anything more than a simple knob. The stove knob can be retro fitted to any modern stove, immediately providing you with voice-assisted interactive recipes, and some very useful safety features. Working as an intelligent conversational cooking timer, you can tweak it to check the cooking time based on the vessel you’re using, as well as the quantity of ingredients involved. It’ll even learn your preferences and patterns over time. Basically, it’s the kind of simple gadget that hopes to soon make you wonder how you managed to live without it. Are you the kind of cook that’s great at being distracted at a pivotal moment? That’s who Klove Knob is aimed at. Not just working as a safety aid, it’ll also provide you with hundreds of easy to follow recipes that you simply listen to and follow the actions, all through its smartphone app. Plus, through a geofencing feature, it’ll even remind you to switch the stove off before you leave the house. Installation is simple, merely requiring you to remove your existing knob, fixing a spindle adapter onto your stove, and slotting the Klove Knob on, meaning you’ll be ready to go in no time.

Blue is best known for its excellent, affordable array of microphones, which are recommended by everyone from musicians to YouTubers. The company’s approach with its lineup of microphones has always been simple: Make the best possible product and sell it at the best possible price for consumer. The company’s other hardware endeavor has far less exposure, and a different approach. Blue’s headphones aren’t about wooing the budget-conscious crowd, but instead impressing the stingy audiophile demographic; people who know their audio and are willing to invest large amounts of money to find the best equipment, and best sound, possible. It does offer two, the Lola and Sadie, that are more in the affordable range at $250 and $400 each, but the crown jewel are the Ella at $700. Nothing like these cans, with their metal and leather finish, planar magnetic drivers and built-in headphone amplifier, exist in the company’s line of microphones. This is the most premium, and highest-ticket, item Blue makes. If you’re an audiophile looking to up their equipment but not ready to lay down the astronomical amount of money some of that equipment calls for, the Blue Ella headphones are a phenomenal choice. Their combination of hardware and sound is unmatched by any pair I’ve had the pleasure of testing in the past year. The Ellas are, without a doubt, an exceptional pair of headphones.

Ultimate Ears’ line of portable Bluetooth speakers have long been favorites among nearly everyone in the tech industry and consumers alike. They combine a distinct style with rugged, durable construction and excellent sound to create some of the best portable audio options in the marketplace. The company’s 2017 venture, the $99 Wonderboom, is another solid addition to the ever-growing, but consistently excellent, Boom line. If the original UE Boom, and its successor the Boom 2, are beer cans, then the Wonderboom is a mini keg. Unlike the Roll 2, which was formerly the most affordable offering from UE, the newcomer’s design is more in line with that of its older brethren. It retains the 360 degree soundscape but is shorter and wider to make it more compact. It looks exactly like what would happen if you simply smushed a Boom 2. The best audio equipment melts away. It doesn’t leave you questioning the sound, but simply presents your audio in a way that’s satisfying, in a way that lets you focus on the music. Instead of wondering about highs, mids and lows, you just listen. Ultimate Ears has understood that from the beginning, and it’s shown. The Wonderboom is no different. At $99, UE’s latest product may be the best bang for your buck in the portable Bluetooth speaker market.