While we are firm believers that everyone should be able to function without their smartphones in their hands at all times, we also understand the benefits of technology on a larger scale. These inventions have not only made the world a smaller and more accessible place, but they also serve to make our lives easier and more enjoyable on a day-to-day basis.
From pocket-sized supercomputers to retro-style turntables loaded with modern technology, it has become abundantly clear that life is increasingly intertwined with modern gadgets. And we’re not the least bit bothered by that. In fact, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to pick out 45 of the best gadgets that we believe every man should own in the following roundup.
Bose SoundLink Color II
Boasting a soft silicone exterior and booming audio – courtesy of one of the all-time industry leaders – this wireless speaker offers a good deal more than it looks like it should. With 8 hours of battery life, digital assistant compatibility, and water resistance, there’s little out there that can compete.
JBL Flip 3
The Splashproof: If you need something that you’re absolutely sure can stand up to your active lifestyle, this is it. It’s small, has a playtime of up to 10 hours, and is more water resistant than most other tech out there. Seriously, you can take it out in the rain and it will continue to function just fine.
The Beast: Beefier than some home speakers, this is the best option for anybody looking to blast tunes for the entire beach. You can toss it right in the sand and it’ll be fine. It’s designed for it. Best of all, it can charge your phone while playing music if it’s plugged into this monster.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV
This 20.1 megapixel digital camera can do more than just snap photos – it can record video in 4k, as well. And not just that, it can capture in super slow motion, too. It also comes with an OLED retractable viewfinder, if you like to snap photos in the old-school style. If you’re looking for a solid all-around photo taking machine, go no further.
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
The DSLR: If you want a more professional edge, this might be the camera for you. With 30.4 megapixels captured in every shot and a speed of up to 7 pictures per second, this killer DSLR camera can capture images in a wide variety of lighting environments. It also features an LCD touchscreen monitor and can capture 4k video – as well as take 8.8 megapixel screen captures of that video.
The Action: For the adventuresome type, the GoPro Hero5 is a tried-and-true action camera that will keep up with you at every step. It’s small enough to come along whether you’re jumping from a plane or scaling a mountain and it still captures 4k video and 12 megapixel photos. It’s also waterproof to 33 feet without additional housing.
Apple Macbook Pro
Apple is the industry leader for creative professionals for a reason. Their products are stylish, technologically sound, and incredibly dependable. Out of the box, the base model comes with 256 gigs available on the hard drive, 8 gigs of memory, and an Intel HD 515 graphics card. Sure, they’re pricey – but you get what you pay for.
Alienware Aurora PC
The Gamer: Just as Apple has creative professionals cornered, Alienware is a dominant force in the gaming industry. Really, if you’re not going to build a custom PC yourself, there’s not much better out there. This one features a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 graphics card, an AC wireless card (for cable-free online gaming), 8 gigs of memory, and a beastly 1 terabyte hard drive.
HP Envy 27
The AIO: For those who aren’t gamers, don’t believe the Apple hype, and don’t want to deal with buying a bunch of parts separately, there’s the HP Envy 27. This all-in-one computer comes ready to roll out of the box with 16 gigs of ram, a 2.8 GHz processor, and a 1 terabyte hard drive. It’s also got a Bang & Olufsen sound system that sounds great for built-in speakers.
DJI Phantom 4 Pro
Don’t let the looks of this drone fool you – it’s no toy. Not, at least, for children. Rigged with a 20 MP camera, boasting 30 minutes of flight time, and featuring a top speed of around 45 miles per hour, this technological aerial acrobat is an impressive bundle of machinery.
Holy Stone HS170 Predator
The Nano: You don’t have to haul around a massive robot or drop a rent check’s worth of money to get in on the drone action. This tiny drone from Holy Stone offers much of the same enjoyment at a fraction of the size and the price. And it’s an easy learn for beginners.
Parrot Bebop 2
The Stylish: Looking a bit more sleek than the DJI, this drone comes from the brand’s chief competitor. And it’s a solid (and much cheaper) option. It features a fisheye 14 megapixel camera that can capture video in 1080p, has a flight time of 25 minutes, and has a rear-mounted LED for use in low light situations.
Nomad Lightning Battery Cable
Though Apple appears to take great pride in the overall design of their electronics, the cables they ship with them are a bit lacking. Instead of settling for what they give you, pick up this one. It’s made from 1,000 denier nylon with a PVC cable jacket, RF shield, and kevlar core built to withstand just about anything. And it comes with an onboard battery, so it’s kind of like a portable charger, as well.
The Light: Everyone should carry a flashlight. And this one happens to be one of your best options for everyday carry. It charges by mini USB, has an output of up to 130 lumens, and is small enough that it can fit on your keychain without weighing you down unnecessarily.
Neo Smartpen N2
The Quill: For anyone that likes to take handwritten notes, a smart pen is an incredibly good idea. Not only will it let you scrawl in your own handwriting, but this one will will sync with the included app (for both Android and iOS) and upload every word to digital text. It can also sync those notes with Evernote or Google Drive.
External Hard Drive
Seagate Expansion 1TB
While plenty of computers have sizable hard drives nowadays, they still lack in portability. This external hard drive from Seagate features 1 terabyte of space (which is still more than some computers) and you can easily carry it around in a briefcase or commuter backpack. If you work or play remotely or find yourself a frequent flyer, it’s hard to do better than this.
Kingston Datatraveler 64
The compact: Of course, if you’re the type of person that prefers to keep their high-tech EDC pocket-friendly, this flash drive is superb. Sure, you’ll be sacrificing a bit of storage, but for something that can fit on your keyring and still has 64 gigs of space, it’s hardly worth scoffing at.
Silicon Power 1TB Rugged Armor A65
The Tough: Let’s say your travels take you over the river and through the woods, but you still need some way to safely transport your files. Well, this 1 terabyte external hard drive features a tough exterior that is waterproof, dust proof, and shockproof on a military-grade level. It can even encrypt your files if you are moving sensitive materials.
Sennheiser HD 800
This series of hi-fi headphones from lauded brand Sennheiser was created with a very specific goal in mind: to produce perfect sound. And while they may not actually be perfect, they’re certainly close. They come with innovative 56 millimeter diameter drivers, have a nominal impedance of 300 Ohms, and offer the kind of sound quality that would make any artist proud to have their music piped through them.
Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2
The Wireless: While wireless headphone tech isn’t quite as faithful as classic plug-ins, it’s still advanced far beyond the early days. These ones offer incredibly high-definition sound, can stream for up to 24 hours on a single charge, and feature active noise canceling – so you can enjoy your music without any ambient noise drifting in.
Bose SoundSport Pulse
The Buds: Nothing fuels your workout like listening to your favorite high-energy mix. And it’s made all the better by the sound quality promised by Bose. Best of all, these exercise-focused earbuds do more than just pump in tunes – they feature fitness tracking bonuses like heart rate monitoring and can sync with some popular fitness apps.
LG Electronics OLED Smart TV
Remember the days when a television was just a TV? Now, there are some very clever ones that offer incredibly high definition, but also function a bit more like a big-screen computer, letting you stream all your favorite services without the need for a cable box. This one from LG is one such example. Let’s not forget, however, that even without the smart options, this OLED TV – which delivers over a billion different display colors – is an impressive device.
PlayStation 4 Pro
The Console: A smart TV isn’t going to do you much good if you have any interest in video games. Instead, pick up a PlayStation 4 Pro and you can play hundreds of superb games, stream all your favorite services, and even get cable on the cheap through their Vue app.
The Tablet: If you want something a bit more portable, then you should definitely look into picking up an iPad. You’ll be trading off some image and sound quality and size for a more pack-friendly tablet format, but you also get the benefit of being able to load it up with books, easily access the internet, and – if you have an iPhone – sync your devices.
Mophie is one of the biggest after-market smartphone accessory manufacturers for a reason: they offer things like this. Paired with one of their Charge Force equipped cases or when used with a phone built for it, the Powerstation will allow you to wirelessly charge your phone on-the-go. And it has a capacity of 10,000 mAh – a little more than 3 full iPhone 7 charges worth of juice..
Anker PowerCore+ Mini
The Pocket-sized: While this offering from Anker will only give you about one full phone charge worth (3,350 mAh), the fact that it’s only a little bigger than a tube of chapstick more than makes up the difference. It can also auto-detect your device to offer the fastest charge speed possible up to 1 amp.
The Survivalist: Adventuresome explorers that like to rely on their smartphone’s advanced cameras will love the JOOS Orange. And that’s because it can charge your devices anywhere that there’s sun, thanks to the built-in solar panel. Anything from smartphones, to MP3 players, to tablets can be charged in no time with just the energy from our local star.
Smart Home Device
Don’t be surprised if you start seeing more and more electronics that can by synced to smart home devices, like the Amazon Echo. The fact is, it’s just easier to connect all your gear to a single hub. With the Echo, you can do everything from turning your lights on and off to ordering pizza or ride sharing services, like Uber. In fact, it can even report the news to you in real time.
The Bigwig: If you already have a Gmail account, a Pixel smartphone, and/or Chromecast, you’d benefit from picking up Google’s home device. Not only will you be able to tap into their absurdly vast network of information (everything from Play to Maps), but you can sync all your other Google stuff and access it from the device.
The Modular: Nest’s products aren’t quite as geared toward external connectivity as they are to making your home a safer and more comfortable space. But what they do offer is very capable. They make security cameras, a self-programming thermostat, and smoke/carbon monoxide alarms that can all sync with your smartphone or self regulate.
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
The iPhone is the most popular phone in the United States for a reason: it works both simply and reliably. And the most recent release, the 7, doesn’t buck that trend at all. It still features superb and easy-to-use tech, looks very good, and outperforms the competition comprehensively.
The Alternative: While it hardly compares to the iPhone in sheer popularity, that doesn’t mean the Pixel isn’t an entirely capable machine. In fact, it actually has a better camera than any other phone on the market. And, with every sale, Google is offering unlimited cloud storage free of charge. If you’re not already onboard the Apple train, you might want to hop on this one.
Motorola Moto G4 Play
The Budget: Of course, not everyone is ready to drop more than $500 on a smartphone or pay the ridiculous monthly fees. You also don’t have to. For a fraction of the price you can get a phone with a comparable battery life, a solid processor, and a 5 megapixel camera. And that’s not half bad.
Apple Watch 2
The newest iteration of the Apple watch managed to keep everything that was great about the first and do away with just about all the drawbacks. Now you can use it without having to keep your phone on you (like during a workout), you can customize it more than ever before, and it is water-resistant enough that you could swim laps while wearing it.
Casio Pro Trek Smart
The Mountaineer: Very few, if any, watches can boast the same kind of outdoor capabilities of this offering from Casio. And that’s because this Android-based smartwatch offers GPS compatibility, a capacitive touchscreen, and the ability to download local maps for offline usage. To top that all off, its durability rating is the same as standard-issue U.S. Military gear. Without a doubt, this is the survivalist’s smartwatch.
Samsung Gear S3 Classic
The Incognito: One of the problems with the Apple watch is that it looks like an Apple watch. Samsung’s, on the other hand, offers much of the same kind of functionality – the ability to make calls or send texts, fitness tracking, app compatibility – but looks like a classic watch. And that, for us, bodes much better as an everyday accessory.
If cable isn’t already dead, it is certainly dying. That’s in part due to the rise of streaming devices like Google’s Chromecast. This unobtrusive and inexpensive device plugs into the back of your tv and lets you stream all of your favorite services at a fraction of cable’s cost. And without the bulky equipment, too.
Amazon Fire TV
The Primer: If you’re already a Prime member, you should definitely pick up a Fire TV. Not only will it let you stream everything from Netflix to Hulu, but it’s the best way to access Amazon’s vast library of movies, shows, and original content.
The Mac: Refusing to take a back seat, Apple also offers a formidable streaming device in their Apple TV. With your choice of 32 or 64 gigs of onboard storage; access to everything from Netflix, to ESPN, to HBO; and the brand’s legendary product support, it’s hard to make an argument against this one.
Rega Planar 2
Vinyl has seen a major renaissance in the last few years. In fact, a good number of contemporary artists have begun releasing their records on vinyl again. Perhaps it’s nostalgia, or maybe it really does sound better. In any case, if you want to get in on the experience, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better all-around turntable than the Rega Planar 2. It offers high-fidelity playback, reliable tech, and looks beautiful.
The Briefcase: Crosley gets a bad rap. Sure, they’re a budget record player manufacturer, but their styling is certainly on-point and their gear is a lot more accessible than some of the competition. This handsome briefcase-style turntable is not just a capable player; it also features USB connectivity so you can plug it into your PC or Mac. That means you could feasibly use it to rip your records to digital, if you wanted.
The Classic: If you want something that is faithful to the intended sound of your vinyl, reliable in its construction, and wont break the bank, you can count on Audio-Technica. This turntable is easy to use, sounds great, and costs just about 300 bucks. And it can connect directly to your computer.
We weren’t sure if the virtual reality trend was going to catch on, but thanks to players like Sony getting in on it, it looks like it might be here to stay. That being said, if you have the chance to try it, PlayStation VR is an experience unlike any other. It is truly immersive gaming and, as more developers get onboard, it promises to change the space forever.
The Original: It was Oculus and their Rift console that really jumpstarted the VR world. And their setup is still one of the best options out there. In fact, if you’re a PC gamer who’s thinking about getting a VR rig, you really shouldn’t bother with anything else. The Oculus is easy, comfortable, and has the most across-the-board game compatibility.
Google Daydream View
The Streamlined: Google took virtual reality to its logical next step: a stylish paring down. Lacking all of the cables and bulkiness of competitors, this headset is a simple, comfortable, and stylish option. Just make sure that you own a Pixel smartphone before you pick one up, or else you’ll find that you can’t use it.
HiCONSUMPTION'S DAILY NEWSLETTER
Salty Old Bastard Flask
Q 2.0 Titanium Key Organizer + Knife
Burnt Titanium Wallet
The James Brand