Staff Picks

Our Favorite Tech We’re Testing Right Now


Welcome to the latest installment of Staff Picks. Each week, we’ll tell you about the tech we’re currently testing — everything from cameras to headphones, 2-in-1 laptops and home appliances — as well as the grail items we wish we could buy. Check out last week’s selections here.

Sonos Playbase

Sonos claims that 70 percent of all TVs aren’t wall mounted, and at the very least they’re right about the one in my apartment. The Playbase is basically a slightly more powerful Playbar (Sonos’s soundbar) that is also flat, meant to support your TV as a base. Overall, it sounds great and makes sense if you have other Sonos speakers, as you can sync your TV with your other speakers. However, there are other quality sound bars for less than $700 if you’re not invested in Sonos.

Ember Mug

If you don’t know, the Ember Mug keeps your coffee or tea at a specific temperature of your choosing — 142 degrees Fahrenheit for me. I gifted one to my mom this past Christmas. She liked it, except she kept forgetting to charge it, so it wouldn’t work when she wanted it to. The few times I’ve borrowed it from her, it’s worked fine. The battery really doesn’t last more than 60 minutes, though, so I’ve been keeping the charger nearby, with the mug constantly plugged in. It saves a trip to the microwave at least, but I wouldn’t depend on it for car rides or walking around the office for more than an hour. (But hopefully it doesn’t take you that long to finish a cup of coffee.)

V-MODA Crossfade II Wireless

A few weeks back V-MODA announced the latest generation of its best-selling Crossfade headphones, the V-MODA Crossfade II Wireless. I’m a huge fan. They’re comfortable and compact, and I’d argue that in their gold and black colorway, they’re some of the most beautiful over-ear headphones you can buy. V-MODA gives consumers the option to customize their shields, which I’m not really into — but I did buy a mic attachment for $30 for use while playing Xbox Live.

More Staff Picks

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