GADGETS by Gregg Ellman :: May 26, 2021

The first thing you’ll notice about the Tula Mic is it’s a cool-looking device, a look that can be considered retro. But once you use it, there’s nothing retro about it.

The pocket-sized microphone is packed with features beyond just being a recording device. It connects to a computer with a USB-C connection but also works as a standalone portable audio recorder with 8GB of internal memory.  An internal 700 mAh lithium ion battery will last for up to 14 hours of portable recording with the noise reduction off and 10 to12 hours with it on.

One thing to know about the Tula: it works great. Audio is recorded with superb clarity and removes unwanted background sound with built-in noise reduction. The specification list the frequency range as 50 – 20k, with a bit depth/sample rate of 24 bit 48kHz.

Recording is done in two manners. The cardioid unidirectional polar pattern is highly sensitive to sound directly in front of the microphone. With the omnidirectional recording, audio is gathered equally from all directions. Changing between recording choices is done with a mic select button on the side.

The Tula is about the size of a deck of playing cards (3.8-by-2.5-by-.98-inches) and on the side is a 3.5mm input for your headphones or a lavalier clip-on microphone. A flip stand is great for rotating it to the angle needed. 

A pair of LED lights on the front indicate when recording is taking place, the memory is full, battery level, and act as a gain meter. Controls are on the side for gain up and down, forward, back, mute, volume, recording on and off, play, power, and noise reduction.

Getting recorded files off the Tula is simple. Just connect it to a PC as a drive, which allows the recorded wav files to be copied in the same files would be copied from an external drive. $229 in choices of cream, black, seafoam and red 

The Monos Kiyo purifying water bottle is a simple way to ensure you have clean drinking water at home, work or travel. And eliminate many plastic water bottles from your life.

It’s built and looks like many of today’s portable water bottles, holding 500 mL / 17 ounces and measuring 2.8-by-3.6-by-9.1-inches with an 11-ounce weight. A screw-on top and a carrying handle make it look just like a water bottle.

But what makes the Kiyo different is that it’s built with 400 mAh of internal power and UVC  technology to purify the water content. Monos states it purifies water in as little as 60 seconds, and neutralizes up to 99.99% of bacteria in deep clean mode.

A USB-C charging port is built into the top cap and is covered by a water-resistant tab. Assuming it’s charged, to get the water cleaning just swipe across the cap, which activates the Kiyo’s UVC purification system. 

To get pure drinking water, there are two cleaning modes, both activated from a sensor in the top of the cap and show progress with a glowing light. The first is with one swipe for a quick clean (blue light), which takes 60 seconds, the second is two swipes for a 3 minute deep clean (green light).

The solid Kiyo has a design inspired by handmade artisan pottery with a speckled texture. It’s built with tritan, silicone, stainless steel, and silex glass. A USB-C charging cable is included. A full charge of the battery takes 3 hours, which should last for a month. With its double-wall vacuum insulation, beverages will stay hot for 12 hours or cold for 24 hours. 

Under the top cap is a Kiyo hook for hand carrying or attaching to your carabiner on a belt or backpack. Hand wash the bottle with warm water and soap. $70 available in six colors; Castle Rock, Graphite, Blue Hour, Salt Spring,  Meadow, and Tuscan Sun.

At this point, there’s no end in sight to how many portable electronic gadgets a household will have, but we do know they all need charging.

Satechi’s Dock5 multi-device charging station is a strong candidate to satisfy multiple devices needing a charge in one central location. At the same time, five devices can be charged with the 10w Qi wireless charging pad, two USB-C PD ports (up to 20W each),  and two 2.4A USB-A ports (up to 12W each). This includes smartphones, tablets, earbuds, or most anything taking a USB charge.

The ports are on the side of the 9.375-by-5.25-by-3.75-inch base, which has silicone dividers on top to keep each device separated and protected. Over -temperature protection is built into Dock5 to ensure a safe charge.

An AC power cable is included, which attaches to the base to power the wireless pad all the ports to use with your USB cables. $59.99

by Greg Ellman

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