GeekDad Review: SleepPhones Wireless Headphones

Sleephones pajamas for your ears

My wife asked for a pair of headphones last Christmas, but the ones she had her mind set on were SleepPhones from Acoustic Sheep. They look like a fuzzy headband and use the tagline “pajamas for your ears.” I tried to talk her into a pair of Sennheiser Momentum’s instead—they were priced the same as the wireless SleepPhones on Amazon at the time as part of a flash sale—but she wasn’t interested. As something of a music geek, I couldn’t fathom choosing snugly over sound, but she ended up with the SleepPhones and has been absolutely thrilled with them. Continue reading

GeekDad Review: Nyne Mini Bluetooth Speaker

Nyne's Mini Bluetooth speaker

Bluetooth speakers have become a must-have accessory for parents of music-loving kids. They’re also great for using in the back yard, taking camping, and generally getting tunes to wherever a stereo isn’t. While there are some really excellent wireless speakers that can capably fulfill the role of compact stereo replacement (like the Aether Cone I reviewed a while back), there’s also high demand for small, inexpensive Bluetooth speakers to fill those first scenarios I mentioned. These speakers become a balancing act between affordability, decent sound, portability, battery life, and durability. The Nyne Mini Bluetooth Speaker does a pretty good job of achieving that balance. Continue reading

Puro BT2200: The Wireless Headphones You Want for Kids

Puro kids wireless headphones

I have two running battles with my music-loving teenage daughter. The first is her ability to destroy headphones. She has chewed through a half-dozen sets of ear buds and headphones in the past year alone. The primary point of failure in all cases has been the cable connecting the headphones to her iPhone. The second issue — and one that I’m sure all parents have some concerns about — is volume. She plays that music loud and I have concerns about hearing damage. Puro Sound Labs sent a pair of new studio grade Bluetooth wireless headphones aimed at kids and they do an admirable job of solving both of my issues. Unlike many headphones aimed at kids, these look good and sound even better. Continue reading

Kickstarter Alert: Nyrius Smart Outlet

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Connected outlets are the most basic IoT accessory. Being able to plug a lap, fan, or other appliance into a doo-dad plugged into a wall outlet, and turn them on and off remotely from your mobile device is a handy idea, and there are variations on this available through most of the connected-home systems out there.

And they are usually a pain in the butt. Continue reading

Final Hours: PancakeBot Kickstarter

PancakeBot Kickstarter

The first time I saw the PancakeBot in action, I was hooked. It was at the 2012 Maker World Faire in New York and it was just fascinating to watch in action. Voluntold by his kids that he needed to create a robot that could print in pancake batter, Miguel had created a machine that actually prints in pancake batter. Continue reading

A Great Weekend Project — DIY Arcade Controller

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While writing projects are in full swing, I often tend to collect small DIY projects that remain stacked on shelves until I have some of that free time… I’ve recently finished up writing two books that are now heading to the printer, and I find myself with some free time. I should be putting together a proposal for my next book, but instead I’ve reached for a small box of parts.
This past weekend’s project was quick and simple (relatively speaking), and I had a very easy gauge for determining its success or failure … would I be able to play the classic Atari 2600 game, Adventure, as it was meant to be played? Continue reading

Kickstarter Review: MudWatt Getting Dirty With STEM

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MudWatt is a microbial fuel cell kit that is intended to teach and spark an interest in energy, biology, physics, chemistry, and engineering across a wide-range of ages. Continue reading

Grovemade Maple and Leather iPhone Case: Handcrafted Awesomeness

Grovemade handcrafted iPhone 6 case

I have another iPhone 6 case to write about his week, but this is one that I’m really excited about. I first heard about it just after the iPhone 6 launch, and I’ve been waiting ever since then for it to get past the prototyping stage. A few weeks ago, the Grovemade Maple and Leather iPhone Case finally arrived and man, was this one worth the wait. Clever design, handcrafted from 100 percent natural materials, flawlessly finished and a perfect fit. It’s not cheap, but this iPhone 6 case is worth the investment. Continue reading

Calling All Makers: Be a Part of the Denver Mini Maker Faire

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Fire up your soldering irons and sharpen up your scissors. The 2015 Mini Maker Faire is returning to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science June 13-14, and they want you. Continue reading