Gadgets :: August 30, 2017

Gadgets :: August 30, 2017

By Gregg Ellman

As if listening to TV audio with first-rate headphones isn’t good enough, the new Sennheiser Flex 5000 digital wireless audio system takes the sound to new, amazing levels of quality.

Honestly, I was a little confused after reading about the system, but after listening to a sporting event (New York Yankees of course), an HBO concert and standard TV, I am sold.

Sennheiser loaned me a pair of their HD 569 headphones, which they stated is a recommended match with the Flex 5000 for a perfect audio experience. They were dead on with this match.

There are two pieces of hardware with the Flex 5000; a transmitter/docking station that connects to a TV in seconds with the included cables and a wireless (98 feet/30 meters) rechargeable clip-on receiver. Sennheiser also included the MX 475 wired earphones.

Once docked to the TV just lug your wired headphones into the receiver. From there you can choose one of three custom sound profiles designed for TV, movies or music.

I found the profiles added or reduced the amount of bass and to me it didn’t matter what the sound is designed for; just toggle between more or less bass and listen to what sounds good.

Volume can be adjusted between the left and right channels if desired and there’s a feature called Speech Intelligibility. With the press of a button on the side of the receiver users will better understand speech by reducing background noise in the TV audio.

Along with the improved sound, the controller turns your audio into wireless audio. Just clip it on your belt, shirt or chair with any wired headphones plugged in. The controller works for about 12 hours before it has to be docked int the docking station for a charge. You can also adjust the volume up or down with the controller.

The HD 569 wired headphones, also new from Sennheiser, have an ergonomic design with an adjustable headband and padded around-ear speakers. With this design you can wear them for any length of time without comfort being an issue. They are built with Sennheiser’s proprietary transducer technology, which directs the clear crisp audio directly into your ears. Flex 5000 $199.95, HD 569 headphones $179.95

Silca’s new Tattico portable mini-pump is ideal for bicyclists and those pesky flat or low tires.

But what makes the pump great – besides its portability – is Bluetooth technology. This lets you get a reliable and accurate pressure reading from the pump to a smartphone, preventing over or under inflating.

A built-in Bluetooth sensor allows it to make a direct wireless connection without the need of the internet.

A long-lasting and replaceable CR2030 battery powers the sensor. To wake up the sensor just begin to air the tire; once the pump is stored and the app is off the Bluetooth transmitter will hibernate.

You’ll need the free iGauge app, available for iOS and Android users, to display the tire pressure. Readings are available up to 120psi with an accuracy of plus/minus 2 percent.

The pump has an Alloy barrel, measures 9.5-inches in length and features a hidden hose and valving, resulting in 10 percent more air per stroke, according to Silica.

A direct-mount backed with retaining strap is included. $120, shipping is expected to begin on August 31

The Smarter Coffee (Gen 2) is available for purchase in the US, obviously with a US compatible AC plug.

When the coffee maker is connected to the Internet, you can start your coffee beans grinding and then brew a perfect cup of java with an app on your smartphone, from most anywhere in the world.

And if that’s not easy enough, the Smart Coffee system can also connect to other smart home devices with IFTTT or just talk to your Amazon Alexa voice assistant.

The updated Smarter Coffee also has made improvements to control coffee strength and the temperature, offering the option to pre-heat the water before brewing for an even fresher enriched brew. $232.28