GADGETS :: April 8, 2019

by Gregg Ellman

With an attractive vintage look, Electrohome Birmingham’s retro Bluetooth speaker seeks  to bring back the era of mop tops and mullets from the golden age of rock n’ roll. I prefer to say it reminds me of a hi-fi stereo system my dad had long ago, although I did have a mullet in the past.

While the look takes you back in time, the sound and features are up to date and forward marching. It produces room-filling sound to any play list or can stream any music service with a Bluetooth connection from your smartphone, tablet or computer.

The exterior (9.5-by-13.4-by-7.1-inches) is hand-crafted from engineered MDF wood with a carrying handle built into the top. Producing the sound inside are dual full range 4-inch woofers with an Integrated amplifier (frequency response 60Hz – 20KHz).

To add to the vintage look, controls for adjusting the music, power and volume are all knobs along the top of the front side of the speaker. There’s also a 3.5 mm aux input for a direct connection and USB charging port to connect your cable for device charing.

Working as a Bluetooth speaker is the primary function of the Birmingham but there’s an appealing feature for guitar players when using so they can jam along. Since I have zero musical talents, I couldn’t try it; if you’re a guitar player you can plug into the built-in 1/4-inch input and customize the live sound with the volume and gain control. $149

Rather than having to remember a combination or have a key to open it, the Tapplock Lite uses your fingerprint.

The smart fingerprint portable padlock opens in under 0.8 seconds after being programed with your fingerprint. You can store up to 100 fingerprints for each lock, which are managed in the Tapplock app.

In addition to the fingerprints, you can use the Tapplock app to open the lock with Bluetooth or with a combination used via morse-code.

With the app you can remotely manage the Bluetooth access on any other stored fingerprints. Specific dates and times can be set along with revoking access.

The Tapplock Lite is built with a metal chassis and an IP67 rating, making it perfect for the outdoors since it can withstand being fully submerged in water or even sweaty/wet fingerprints. 

Inside is a rechargeable battery, good for 8 months or 1,200 unlocks. The app shows the battery level and when it needs a charge. A blinking light goes off on the lock when the level is below 10-percent. A nice features allows it to unlock with just an 8-second charge with a portable battery, in the event the locks battery goes totally dead. $39.00 each, 2-pack for $72 and a 3-pack is $105.00

Twelve South’s limited edition AirBag for AirPods and AirPods Pro will store, carry and protect the expense earbuds in a style like no other I’ve seen.

The mini satchel bag can be worn over your shoulder, around your neck or just take the leather strap off to carry it with the leather top handle or just carry it in a purse, pocket or backpack. 

Your AirPods will stay in the AirBag securely when closing the front sided  metal snap button while also allows wireless charging for the AirPods Pro. There’s also an opening for a Lightning cable for charing.

The limited edition AirBag is made with full-grain leather and protects all sides of the AirPod case. $49.99

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