Technology

sonos

Sonos Play:5 Wireless Speaker

Great room-filling sound in a beautiful single speaker. There is a wonderful attention to detail in every facet of the Sonos Play:5 ($395). It’s easy to integrate into a full Sonos system, plug in any music device through the line-in, or pair it with an Apple Airport Express to take advantage of Airplay streaming from your iPhone or laptop. The speaker is powered by a subwoofer, two mid-range drivers and two tweeters and has enough power to replace most casual audio set-ups all by itself. Not convinced? Check out the rave reviews.

x100s

Fujifilm X100s

Packing an APS-C sized sensor in a tiny rangefinder body, along with a hybrid electronic and optical viewfinder, the Fujifilm X100s ($1299) is an amazing little device capable of near DSLR quality photography. The camera is permanently married to its 23mm (35mm equivalent) f2.0 lens, great for street photography, portraits, and many other common cases; but you may want to look elsewhere if you’re looking for a camera to shoot action or landscapes.

Lytro Camera

Lytro Camera

Lytro lets you take pictures like never before. Unlike a conventional camera that captures a single plane of light, the Lytro camera captures the entire light field, which is all the light traveling in every direction in every point in space. Since you’ll capture the color, intensity, and direction of all the light, you can experience the first major light field capability – focusing after the fact. Focus and re-focus, anywhere in the picture. You can refocus your pictures at anytime, after the fact. And focusing after the fact, means no auto-focus motor. No auto-focus motor means no shutter delay. So, capture the moment you meant to capture not the one a shutter-delayed camera captured for you.

You can pick up the 16GB red model for $499 or the 8GB graphite or blue models for $399 at the Lytro site.

vmoda-white

V-Moda Crossfade LP Headphones

Kicking off our holiday wish list (we’ll be posting a great gift for your creative type friends up through Christmas!), is the V-Moda Crossfade LP Headphones. If you’re a creative, odds are you spend most of your day either with speakers blaring or headphones pumping, and with the rigor of daily use, you want something that can take a beating and sounds great. Extremely well made, with a great metal framework, kevlar coated cables, and quality fabrics, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better construction without spending far more money. We’ll leave the technical nuances to the spec sheet, but suffice to say we’ve been impressed by the sound quality after comparing them to as many other headphones as we could find in their price range—and did we mention they look great?

Available in a variety of colors from Amazon ($130!) or your local Apple Store ($200).

things

Things

“Getting things done” isn’t just matter of taking care of business, but it’s a mindset. Meet Things by Cultured Code, an application that is so simple and well designed that it is genuinely beneficial to any designer’s / creative’s / professionals workflow. Available for Mac OSX for $49, iPad ($20), and iPhone ($10).

Scandyna Micropod Minipod Drop Speakers

Scandyna Retro Modern Speakers

Speakers tend to be ugly black boxes with cloth fronts, so we featured Joey Roth’s beautiful ceramic speakers before, but let’s get a little more crazy. Scandyna Speakers produces some of the most unique looking speakers available—while still providing high quality sound. Driven by the in-speaker acoustics, the organic shape of speakers is as striking as it is functional. Prices for their most popular speakers range from $100 to $700.

fitbit

FitBit

Everyone knows they should exercise – in fact, some don’t even need to but want to track their activity anyways. Meet FitBit. FitBit completely stays out of your life by being as unobtrusive as possible – just a little bit bigger than a stick of gum. Powered by the same tools found in your Wii Remote and with an amazingly beautiful set of data visualizations to check-in on your activity online, FitBit is a steal for $99.

Vita Audio R4

Vita Audio R4

There’s a lot of iPod docks out there. In an early discussion about starting Needs/Wants, there were jokes made about posting iPhone docks. Here we are, posting an iPod dock. The one and only (hopefully), because this is a beauty. A bit pricy at £599 (about $900 US), the Vita Audio R4 is a beautiful combination of mid-century design merged with high quality sound. The R4 is available in a walnut or white finish and is under 18 inches wide. Putting out 80 watts of clear sound, this is the iPod dock for those who need something as nice to look at as it is to listen to.

Square for iPhone

Square

Running a small store? Freelance business? Pushing your wares on the streets? Accepting credit cards tends to be something out of reach of most tiny business owners. But if you have an iPhone, Square is here to change that. With a small device that plugs in to your phone you can accept credit card transactions anywhere, email or text a receipt to your customer, and all with no monthly fees. This is what technology should be doing, making our lives easier, and this most certainly alleviates some heavy costs and hardware.

Panasonic GF-1

Panasonic GF-1

Feel limited by your compact digital cameras, but also intimidated by larger, professional DSLRs? Look no further than the Panasonic GF-1. A hybrid of sorts, the GF-1 uses the Micro Four-Thirds lens system, which allows the camera to retain a small, compact body, while also utilizing professional grade, interchangeable lenses—in lay man terms, it’s small but you can still use great lenses like the pros. In addition to shooting amazing 12 megapixel photos, it even shoots 720p HD video. You can pick up the Panasonic GF1 with an accompanying 20mm lens for $900, and while we’d love to rave further about the quality, we think this review says it better than we ever could.