Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves
Last week’s column ended with two musical options — a killer personal speaker (StormBox Micro by Tribit) and reasonably-priced wireless earphones (Liberty Air 2 by Anker). I’d like to continue in that vein with two more music-oriented gifts I’m sure will tickle your geeks, dads, and grads.
Give the Gift of Music
The first is a subscription to Apple Music, which offers more than 60 million songs on demand. There’s still a three-month free trial; after that, the cost is quite reasonable—$4.99 a month for college students; $9.99 a month for individuals; or $14.99 a month for a family (up to 6 people). Once you’ve subscribed, you can ask Siri to play just about any song, artist, album, or genre you can think of.
I’ve had a family plan since the day Apple Music launched in 2015 with 30 million songs, and my wife and kids still love it as much as I do. Which is why it makes such a wonderful gift for your music-loving geek.
$30 Earbuds That Don’t Suck
Moving right along, I’ve finally discovered inexpensive (under $40) Bluetooth earphones that don’t suck. They’re called FlyBuds 1 from Tribit, and they are waterproof, include 6 sets of ear-tips for a comfortable fit; provide up to 6 hours of playback per charge; and include a wireless charging case with up to 36 hours of power.
While their sound quality is not quite as good as my AirPods Pro or the Anker/Soundcore Liberty Air 2 I mentioned last week, the FlyBuds 1 sound decent and are quite comfortable. And while they’re regularly priced at $39.99, they’re on sale at Amazon for $29.99.
Portable Power For Devices
Moving right along, no geek likes to be without power for his or her rechargeable devices, so here are two rechargeable batteries I’ve tested and recommend without hesitation.
The Hub Series of rechargeable batteries by MyCharge is my current favorite. With their integrated Lightning and USB-C cables and self-contained wall prongs, there’s nothing to buy, lose, or leave behind. Priced from $49.99 for up to 18 hours of backup power to $99.99 for up to 54 hours (with faster charging), there’s a Hub battery to fit any budget or use-case. I rarely leave home without one.
Finally, the Power Bar by Eggtronic is the ultimate battery pack for geeks with multiple battery-powered devices. Capable of charging up to four Apple devices simultaneously with two Qi Fast Charging spots for your iPhone and AirPods or two iPhones along with another for your Apple Watch, plus a 30W USB-C output for charging notebooks with USB-C power.
The Power Bar isn’t cheap at $149.99, but I don’t know of any other battery that can charge all (or most) of your Apple devices at the same time.