Gadgets gadgets-gift-guide

Published on December 21st, 2016 | by Greg


TrulyGadgets Gift Guide: The Best of 2016

What does another year bring? It always starts off with a bang for us, as the Consumer Electronics Show kicks off early each January showcasing the latest and greatest- some of which won’t even hit shelves until the following winter. Almost a year ago, we heard about a wide variety of gadgets, learned about some advances in home networking, and had a chance to see get a glimpse of the future. But, as we close out 2016, it’s time to look into the past twelve months at some of the best gear we’ve seen- we’ve also got an Indoors-focused guide too!

We’ll start with audio- it was a great year for our ears. Three different wireless options kept us listening- first of all the cute, small, colorful Libratone One Click offering a portable solution that impressed us from the great battery life to multiple carrying modes. The Sonos Play:5 Speaker is the best multi-room system we tried this year, but works nicely alone too, changing it’s sound if you change it’s orientation. And if you need something larger, to get the party started or fill a big space, the Harmon Kardon Go + Play is commandingly bold.


Two other speakers on opposite ends of the spectrum were two of our favorites this year, both built in the United States. On a personal note, the Grado SR325es were old-school headphones that your dad would love, only with all the recent improvements in driver technology. But at home on the couch, you’ll want something that can reproduce deep bass and make your movies rich and full- like the Zu Audio Mk. II floorstanding tower speakers.

On a very different note, there was wireless gear we saw that wasn’t music-related. The SureCall EZ 4G is a multi-carrier cell signal booster that made an incredible improvement in our reception, and looks better than the competition too. And if your wifi has dead spots, or your signal strength is low on your laptop, then you probably need a better wireless router- like the commercial-grade, super-powered Linksys EA9500. Mesh networking started to hit big at the end of the year, but we’re waiting to see how well tiny models hold up over time.

Finally, it’s not much good have a great speaker system if you don’t also have a way to appreciate the visuals. The slick Epson EX9200 Pro is an office or home-ready LCD projector that offers 10000 hours of bulb life, dual HDMI ports, great brightness and excellent color/contrast. You’ll want a place to store all of your content too, and nothing backs up huge amounts of data like the powerful Drobo 5C, which features space for up to 64TB and USB-C connectivity.

It’s been an incredible year for gadgets, and we can’t wait to see what 2017 brings!

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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