Build furniture from giant Meccano, boost your iPhone sound, surf smarter, ride brighter, get 3D-printed earphones and more
Netgear Nighthawk D7800
This cutting-edge router tackles an increasingly common problem for home broadband users. Every member of the family uses the Internet for various stuff simultaneously, but some services hog bandwidth at the expense of others. So the D7800 has ‘adaptive quality of service’ which prioritises each user’s needs. Put simply: your home office won’t grind to a halt when the kids are all watching HD videos on YouTube at the same time. The D7800 is blisteringly fast too, with Wi-Fi speeds of up to 2.53Gbit/s. Other handy features include parental controls that let you set times each device can and can’t be used.
Custom earphones are the ultimate in-ear headphones for hi-fi aficionados. Take an impression of your outer ear and send it off to the maker, who will create a pair of bespoke headphones that will only ever fit you. They’re supremely comfortable and isolate external sound brilliantly. But they’re expensive and manufacture takes months, not weeks. Enter the SLA range which uses the latest 3D-printing techniques to cut costs and bring that lead time down to a fortnight. Prices range from £399 for the four-driver 4SLA to £820 for the stunning Kaiser 10SLA with ten drivers.
This keyless padlock wirelessly connects to your iOS, Android or Windows smartphone. Your phone acts as your key. It can even unlock automatically when you’re near. You can also send someone else a one-time code that lets them unlock your Noke using their phone. Thanks to Bluetooth LE’s low power consumption the lock’s battery lasts a year. And if your phone battery goes flat there’s a simple solution - you can program the lock to also open to a pattern of short and long squeezes. Just avoid dit-dit-dit-dah-dah-dah-dit-dit-dit; it’s far too obvious. A Noke U-lock for bikes is coming soon too.
Hate flatpack, love toys? Meccano Home is the ultimate childish furniture: modern, colourful and fun. And it’s genuinely flexible like the classic construction toy. Its French inventors, contemporary furniture retailer Vincent Boutillier and engineer Christophe Piquemal, created the entire range out of just 21 parts so you can adapt them to suit your space, let furniture ‘grow’ over time and even design and build entirely new pieces with them. The range includes a mix of ready-to-build furniture for children and adults - including desks, tables and chairs - and the pieces come in nine bright colours.
Bright bike lights in both senses of the word; they put out enough light to help keep you safe by day as well as night, and they’re intelligent. They react to their environment, flashing brighter and faster in dangerous situations, reacting to roundabouts, junctions and even sensing car headlights at night. They’re also smartphone-connected: you can turn on all your lights at once, change flash modes and check battery levels. And they send alerts. There’s a tamper alert for if a thief messes with your wheels while you’re ordering your flat white. And a crash alert that contacts a friend for help, telling them your location.
This high-fidelity case for iPhone 6 solves one problem you know you have and another you probably didn’t know about. First off, it doubles your phone’s battery life. Secondly it bypasses the iPhone’s audio circuits and replaces them with superior tech: a high-end Texas Instruments PCM1502 digital-to-analogue converter and a dedicated headphone amp. Together these offer vastly improved sound that’s perfect for high-res files and hi-fi headphones but will improve any source on any headphones. The whole package adds just 100g to your pocket and comes from Arcam, the legendary British hi-fi maker that produced the world’s first external hi-fi DAC back in 1987.
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