Category: Tech

The Aer Travel Pack 2 Is Nearly Tech Backpack Perfection

Backpacks, especially the larger kind, tend to be made either for cloths or computers but rarely both. There are plenty of smaller backpacks like the Swissgear Scansmart 1900 (my full review) that have plenty of pockets but good luck trying to fit an extra sweater in there. (Planes are COLD and airplane blankets never washed.)

Aer’s Travel Pack 2 though is very close to perfection for digital nomads who carry an office on their back and has become the main carry-on bag I use. You can watch my full review in the video above or read on for some brief highlights.

Right Size

Versatile backpacks have a large, empty front pocket. Electronics bags similar to Dell’s Premier (full review here) try to guess the most common slots and pockets you’ll use. For travelers with a lot of electronics though, cameras, drones, and other bulky items are inefficiently stored unless you can do the organizing.

aer travel pack 2

The Travel Pack 2 has a good combination of large pocket with organization… almost. First, the main compartment is spacious at 34L but front-loading unlike the Thule Subterra’s open-top design. It’s nearly an ideal big compartment, except Aer has put in a shoe compartment common to other bags this size.

  • Dear Aer, look, this is clearly a tech bag, the shoe compartment isn’t needed and the pocket eats into space many need for camera lenses, microphones, that sort of thing. We can still put shoes in a bag and jam them into the Travel Pack 2 if needed.
  • And as Mr. Robot as those compression straps look (I’ll admit they come in handy on occasion) they make opening the main compartment cumbersome. Maybe placing them at an angle would solve this problem.

Otherwise, the build quality, intuitive front organizational pocket, and slim design make this a very enticing bag for travelers with a DSLR or drone, or some combination or large electronics. Plus those who want to be able to pack an extra shirt or two as well. Brrr.

These $50 Blitzwolf BW-FYE4 Are Everywhere On Amazon And They’re Not Too Bad

Blitzwolf is clearly dumping their advertising budget into the BW-FYE4 wireless earbuds because they’re all over Amazon right now. I picked up a pair and as you can see in the video above, they’re surprisingly good for $50 – ideal for travelers who want very, very, small headphones but don’t want to advertise “I’ve got Apple Airpods” everywhere in the world.

Review Of The Audio-Technica M50xBT: Studio Sound Cuts The Cord

The Audio-Technica M50xBT are simply a more portable version of a classic headphone with a very specific purpose – to provide studio quality sound – especially useful for video editors. That’s not to say the M50xBT aren’t a great pair of headphones but rather, if they’re the only headphones you’ll be using, it’s important to consider a few things.

You can watch my full review in the video above or read on.

More Or Less Portable

Over-ear headphones are always going to be larger than earbuds like the Bose QuietComfort 20i (my full review) so for any traveler, the size considerations have to bring notable advantages. In general, going over the ear means a more natural sound (our ears have funny shapes for this reason) and being larger, longer battery life for wireless listening.

Sale
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Wireless Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones,...
Audio-Technica - Electronics
$199.00 - $15.64

Studio-headphones like the M50xBT are designed to give a very flat sound profile, ideal for editing sound from music or in videos. A pair of headphones like the ATH-SR30BT (my full review) on the other hand pump up the bass and treble, giving a pleasurably distorted nightclub sound.

A good analogy is the different in photo quality of a phone versus a traditional camera – phones automatically pump up the colors to be vibrant, higher-end cameras tend not to. The less manipulation done by the device leaves more room for a human editor later on.

audio-technica m50xbt

Know What You’re Getting Into

You won’t be disappointed by the M50xBT at all, they are very good headphones. But for frequent travelers who aren’t at all interested in editing audio, something like a pair of Bose QuietComfort 35 or Sony WH1000XM3 with active-noise canceling or Jabra Move without it will be better suited for you.

Everyone else, the M50xBT give you the option of a headphone cable for low-latency but when you do go battery, it’s got around 40 hours for wireless listening. (Apple’s Airpods for comparison run only about 5 hours.) I did have to change the factory ear cups on the M50xBT with these Brainwavz pair – something to keep in mind if the M50xBT get uncomfortable after a while.

Overall, these are a reliable pair of studio headphones where Audio-Technica did the smart thing, don’t try to change much but give you the option to cut the cord when needed.

Gear Travel Bloggers Carry: Jessie Festa Edition

It’s no secret I can’t get enough travel tech gear and I’m very curious to see what other travelers have in their backpacks as well. On a recent trip to New York City I got a chance to meet up with Jessie Festa to show you the photography gear she packs on every trip. You can see all of the electronics in Jessie’s backpack in the video above.

Portable Podcasting Setup For Travelers: Audio-Technica ATR-2100 Microphone Review

Those of you looking for a simple portable microphone setup out of the all the (complex) audio options available will want to take a close look at the Audio-Technica ATR-2100. The ATR-2100 is versatile, durable, and provides good sound in a portable body.

You can watch my full review of the Audio-Technica ATR-2100 in the video above.

Sale
Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone
Audio-Technica - Accessory
$79.00 - $16.00

MagBuddy’s Wireless Charger Is The Slimmest Way To Quickly Charge Your Phone While Driving

Most wireless car chargers mounted on your windshield or phone replace the charging wire with two very inconvenient arms to hold your mobile device hostage. The MagBuddy gets around this common design inconvenience by using a powerful magnet to keep your phone in place plus fast charging.

Although you might not immediately see the benefits of paying a little more for a car charger, they quickly become apparent after a few rides. You can watch the video above for my full review or read on.

Ditches The Arms

The primary advantage of desktop wireless chargers is being able to quickly grab your phone but most made for the car use rubber-lined arms you have to awkwardly pry open. It’s a few seconds every time in and out of the car so, instead, MagBuddy uses a flat, thin, and surprisingly powerful magnetic roughly the size of a small coin. The magnet is about as thin as a sheet of good paper and can stuck directly on your phone or the case.

One thing you’ll have to remember is to center the magnet (not the phone) on the charger but after one or two uses it becomes second nature. Even on bumpy mountain roads the MagBuddy never lets it seem like your phone is in any danger of falling off.

naztech magbuddy

Percent Per Minute

The other benefit of the MagBuddy is how much faster it’s able to charge Qi-enabled phones (pretty much all newer phones that support wireless charging). Charging up to 10W is throttled but for some average real-world results, you’ll get at least a percent per minute of battery life on an iPhone X. Other phones will vary but higher-end flagship phones should be able to absorb electrical charge at autobahn speeds, if not faster.

The Price Of Slim

Clearly the MagBuddy sits well ahead of the competition, roughly 2-3 times the price of most competitors with arms and sluggish charging. Given how much time many of you likely spend getting in and out of your car on road trips short and long, $60 for the MagBuddy seems a reasonable investment for the time savings. Not to mention reducing the risk of dropping your phone every time it interacts with your wireless car charger.

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About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutI'm the blogger and computer security engineer who writes foXnoMad while on a journey to visit every country in the world. I'll show you the tips, tricks, and tech you can use to travel smarter. Read More


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