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Cobra iRadar 200 radar detector - $159
Nobody likes getting speeding tickets, they're unnecessarily time-consuming and expensive moving violations cut into your discretionary income (and gadget budget). That's why the iRadar 200 from Cobra is an essential piece of kit for lead-footed driver. Instead of spending extra cash for features on a purpose-built device, Cobra offloads the expensive stuff (like color screens) to your iPhone, keeping the price low.
iRadar 200 detects radar and laser guns with 360-degree protection and city/highway modes. While it will operate without a smartphone, the companion iPhone app (available for free in the App Store) is what makes it shine. When paired via Bluetooth the iPhone app displays live radar and laser alerts information from other iRadar users and allows you to submit your own.
The iRadar app (also on Android) warns you of speed and red light cameras, known speed traps, and dangerous intersections from the verified AURA camera database. While iRadar lists for $159, Amazon is selling it for a wallet-friendly $76. Read more in the CNET Review.
Sol Republic Tracks Ultra on-ear headphones - $179
If you have an iPhone or an iPad, you probably also have a kickin' iTunes library. But why waste it on a pair of dinky white earbuds that don't do your tunes justice? If you spend any amount of time listening to music (or podcasts) on your iDevice you owe it to yourself to ditch the stock Apple earbuds and invest in a quality pair of headphones. My favorite are the Tracks Ultra on-ear headphones from Sol Republic.
You might recognize Tracks as the headphones of choice of a certain gold medal winner from the U.S. Olympic swimming team. I reviewed the Tracks HD headphones after watching the 2012 Summer Olympics in August. The Ultra models crank it up a notch by offering even better sound and deeper, richer bass courtesy of the company's V12 Sound Engine speakers. The Ultras are finished with a gorgeous, spun-aluminum finish and super-soft speaker pads.
All Tracks headphones come with a practically indestructable headband and interchangeable cable with omni-directional microphone, volume controls and a 90-degree angle plug. And if the Ultras are too luxe for your budget, Sol Republic offers Tracks headphones starting at $99.
Mikey Digital microphone for iPhone and iPad - $99
Even iPhone and iPad is also a very capable voice recorder, capable or recording meetings, letures and interviews. The problem is the whimpy microphone that's built into Apple devices. It's servicable at close range but terrible for recording anything far away. That's where the Mikey Digital microphone from Blue Microphones comes in.
Mikey Digital is a cardiod condenser microphone with two custom-tuned Blue capsules for stereo recording, a line-input, rotating 230-degree design, and USB pass through. It works with the iPod touch (4th generation), iPhone 4 and all iPads (newer devices require Apple's Lightning adapter). It records to Apple's Voice Memos app for iOS although I recommend recording with GarageBand for iOS ($4.99, App Store) for best results. iOS recognizes Mikey Digital as a microphone in any app except phone and Facetime.
It's an ideal solution for field recording and includes three gain settings from everything from a loud concert to a quiet conversation. List is $99, but you can find Mikey for around $82 on Amazon.