Whether you’re listening to music and podcasts or creating them, there are some new audio gadgets that can make the job easier. Let’s take a look at some of the latest gadgets, including Amazon’s attempt to get into eyewear.
Amazon Echo Frames, $249
Amazon Echo Frames are glasses with the power of Alexa built in.
The Bluetooth frames have tiny speakers and microphones built-in, along with a touch-sensitive area and buttons for controls. You can use them for hands-free access to Alexa, music, phone calls and more.
Since nothing is actually in your ears, I love how the ambient sound doesn’t feel as enclosed or distracting as wearing earbuds. It’s an entirely different feeling that’s more comfortable for long periods of time and allows you to continue to interact with the world around you.
I used them to listen to soft music while I worked, podcasts during a walk and phone calls on the couch. You almost forget the glasses are on and the audio seems to magically appear “around you.”
While battery life and audio quality could be improved, the Echo Frames are a fantastic start. They feel like something right out of the future.
You can even have an eye doctor put your prescription lenses in them, but the lenses that come pre-installed don’t have any blue-blocking features.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, $199
These are Samsung’s latest and greatest earbuds. They feature a slick design and active noise cancellation. Plus, there is enhanced water resistance for working out.
The Buds Pro fit comfortably in your ears, but I did find myself having to push them in more than usual due to their design that sort of sticks out of your ears.
Overall, the audio quality is great and these are basically Samsung’s answer to the AirPods Pro.
Personally, I like the fit of the Samsung Buds Live but those don’t come with as much water resistance sweaty workouts and the noise cancellation isn’t as pronounced.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro also have touch sensitive areas on the left and right earpieces which means you might be mistakenly pausing your music if you’re readjusting the fit. Thankfully, you can turn this feature off in the settings.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro are $199 and available now.
Tula Mic, $200
The Tula mic is more than meets the eye. For starters, it’s a USB microphone that can plug into your computer for recording audio or elevating the sound quality on your Zoom calls.
There are actually two mics in the Tula, a directional mic and one that captures more of the audio from around the room. You can choose which one you want to capture from.
The mic also has internal memory, which means you can record right into it – no computer necessary. That means you can record whenever inspiration strikes, without a lot of setup. Just hit record and go.
I found this handy during testing when I was in Seattle. I recorded my entire podcast on the mic and I think it sounded great. You can listen to the episode here to get an idea of the sound quality.
The Tula also has background noise cancellation, so your audio will sound good even if the conditions aren’t ideal.
Tula creator David Brown has spent many years in the music industry, including several playing sax with the musician Beck.
I also love the retro design and how the Tula feels in your hand. It’s a really slick little addition to a mobile audio toolbox or a great thing to have on your desk for next-level audio quality.