I know this may cost me some street cred around here, but I have to out myself as an Apple fanboy. Sure, I have a Windows gaming PC, but my primary productivity device is my MacBook Pro, I consume most of my entertainment on my iPad, and my phone is an iPhone X. If your blood boils over and you see red whenever you think of the house the two Steves built, you can relax and keep reading, because I’m not going to try to convince you.
Okay, is the coast clear now? Great. One thing I love about Apple products is the unmatched selection of accessory options, and the community of entrepreneurs on Indiegogo have devised all kinds of innovative new accessories for Apple lovers like you and me. Thanks to Newegg’s partnership with Indiegogo I was lucky enough to test a few of them out.
Getting Hooked on Earhoox
The Earhoox 2.0 are, well, ear hooks for the Apple EarPods and AirPods . They come in a variety of colors. I used white most of the time, to match the colors of the EarPods for a more inconspicuous look, but Earhoox also offers blue and black models if you want to stand out a little more. Two different sizes come in each pack, so they can accommodate a range of ear sizes. They were easy to attach to my EarPods, which isn’t something I can say about a lot of earbud hooks I’ve used.
I took my Earhoox-equipped EarPods to the gym to see how well they stayed in my ears during a sweaty workout. Usually, I find myself constantly pushing my EarPods back in my ears when I run on the treadmill or do any other sort of cardio; they always seem to be on the verge of popping out. In fact, one time they did fall out of my ears and got wrapped around one of my arms, which proceeded to yank my phone from its resting place on the treadmill and on to the floor. Thankfully, my phone was not damaged, but I can’t say the same for my fragile ego.
I am happy to report that the Earhoox did wonders for my workout performance. I was actually able to focus on running without awkwardly fiddling with my headphones every 30 seconds. Not only that, now I can justify buying a pair of AirPods, since my fear of them falling and getting lost is alleviated with Earhoox. Conveniently enough, Earhoox also offers an AirPods Case sleeve for protecting the charging case, featuring a clip for easy attachment to a bag. I’m sure some Apple devotees think you can’t improve on the perfection of their earbud design, but my experiences with the Earhoox says otherwise. They add just the right amount of stability and comfort without subtracting from the elegant design of Apple’s devices.
Eye-Catching Protection: Mous iPhone Cases
One of the most successful crowdfunded phone cases ever, the Mous iPhone cases are protected by a material called Airo Shock that uses air cushioning to absorb the impact of drops and bumps. Unlike a lot of other rugged iPhone cases, the Mous cases are actually visually appealing and don’t make your phone look like a piece of military hardware or a Tonka truck. They also include a screen protector in the package, which I was surprised to discover was actually high quality. A lot of iPhone cases that bundle in a screen protector will just include a cheap and flimsy one; the Mous cases, on the other hand, include a triple-layer protector and an application kit that includes an adhesive solution and tool for smoothing out any bubbles. For this review, I used the iPhone X cases, but Mous also makes cases for the iPhone 6 through iPhone 8 and the corresponding iPhone Plus models featuring a comparable range of colors and designs to those of the X case line.
To circle back on how nice these cases look, I’ve become very attached to the Real Walnut Wood case I spent the bulk of my time with. My attachment to the Mous only grew when I got a lot of compliments on the Mous case, something that never happened with my old drab black and gray case. Not only is the wood design look more attractive than my former case, but it was also a lot thinner too. I gained a new appreciation for the iPhone X’s thin and sleek design; I had forgotten just how light it was when it was sealed in my old bulky case.
I was hesitant to test out just how protective these cases could be; an iPhone X isn’t cheap, after all. I settled on performing some drop tests from normal standing height, a more realistic scenario than the kinds of insane tests you see in some commercials where they do things like run over the phone with a truck, or smash it with a hydraulic press (no offense to any readers regularly getting smashed by hydraulic presses).
I nervously placed my iPhone into the case, making sure the phone was securely fastened. I had to slowly desensitize myself to dropping my treasured phone, so I submitted myself to a form of exposure therapy: I started by dropping it onto the carpeted floor of the Newegg offices, slowly graduating to harder services, until I finally dared to drop it on the hardwood floor of my apartment.
Prepared for the worst, I held my iPhone X a few feet above the floor, taking what could have been my last look at its perfect 5.8-inch OLED Super Retina Display before it shattered like a broken mirror, reflecting my anguished facial expressions anytime I would look at its fractured visage. Of course, my overwrought disaster fantasy didn’t come to pass. I dropped my phone to the floor where it landed with a soft thud. I nervously picked up it to find everything completely intact. In my testing, I did not use the screen protector, which was fine for the minor falls my phone took in testing, but I would recommend using it for the extra impact and scratch protection.
The Mous case was maybe my favorite product of this review. It isn’t some major technological breakthrough, but rather a slick refinement on case designs that have come before, and sometimes that’s all you need for a successful product.
Compartmentalizing with BentoStack
You really begin to realize you’ve become fully indoctrinated into the Cult of Apple when you wake up one morning and realize your home has transformed into a holding pen for assorted Lightning cables, adapters, and EarPods. You begin to feel overrun, as the number of Apple devices in your home multiply, and with them their bevy of accessories. One day, you lie down just to rest your eyes and take your mind off of the existential horror of the legion of serpentine cables bearing down on you, only to feel a sharp pain in your back as you discover a loose iPad charger buried under your bed sheets. But wait, you think, my iPad is sitting across the room plugged into the wall. Where did this charger even come from? Is this from an old iPad, or…are these things multiplying on their own? Pretty dark stuff, I know. Fortunately, the BentoStack is here to help you take back your living space.
Inspired by a bento box, essentially a type of compartmentalized Japanese lunch box, the BentoStack is designed to store and organize your Apple accessories into one compact storage solution, perfect for home or travel. The”Stack” in the name refers to the Bento being separated into two stackable boxes, each with space for three accessories. The accessory separators in each box slide to accommodate the size of the components you want to place inside. Thanks to its stackable design, you can either use the Bento as one single box or stack both together. A simple stretchable black band holds the box or boxes together; the band is tough and durable, but simple to attach and remove. The BentoStack includes slots on each lid: one lid stores two Apple Watch bands, and the other lid accommodates an Apple Pencil.
I love the look of the BentoStack. It has a very clean aesthetic sensibility that echoes Apple’s design ethos. It’s attractive without loudly calling attention to itself. Its sleek body and rounded edges call to mind the shape and contours of the iPhone and iPad, and its color is similar to the “Space Gray” coloring Apple offers on many of its devices.
I used the BentoStack for a week, during which time I would dutifully place my accessories back in the Bento whenever I was finished using them. Prior to this review, I had developed a bad habit of just leaving my iPhone and Apple Watch chargers on the floor by the wall outlet. This habit got worse as I began to do the same with my MacBook and iPad adapters. I stored my chargers, EarPods and Apple Watch band in the Bento. Now that I had a good place to keep them where they wouldn’t congeal into a tangled mess, the simple act of storing my accessories all in one simple location made a big difference in making my living space feel less cluttered. The creeping outbreak of loose cables had been brought to an end.
The BentoStack is a great solution for getting your accessory situation under control, or as a compact travel case. Thanks to the Bento, I no longer feel the anxiety that comes from a messy and disorganized apartment; all of my Apple needs are in one slick container, and I have a great option for taking my accessories on trips.
Lightning Charger and Card Reader in One Small Package: Symlis Swallow
The Symlis Swallow is a combination of a Lightning to USB cable and microSD card reader. The card reader is compatible with Mac and PC and supports up to 128GB microSD cards. Its foldable 2-in-1 design allows for easy switching between the USB cable and card reader modes. It can be easily attached to a keychain for more convenient travel.. Keep that in mind that the microSD card reader feature is designed for computers; it does not work with the iPhone or iPad. This may disappoint some people, but people on the go, especially photographers and videographers, looking for a memory card reader will likely enjoy the flexibility of having a lighting cable packed into the same device, if for no other reason than to reduce clutter.
The Solar-Powered Wonder Backpack: The Solgaard Lifepack
The Lifepack is a solar-powered backpack with all sorts of great features for those of you on the move. Created by Norwegian company Solgaard Design, the Lifepack includes the Solarbank, a portable battery and Bluetooth speaker that charges two devices simultaneously even while streaming your favorite tunes. The Solarbank, as the name implies, charges through sunlight and stores up to six smartphone charges and an impressive ninety-six hours of music playback for the speaker.
Of course, all these bells and whistles don’t mean anything if the Lifepack doesn’t cut it in its main function: being a good backpack. Luckily, the Lifepack sports plenty of excellent storage features to stand out in its field. It is chock full of pockets, including two main “Lifezone” and “Workzone” pockets for separating your personal and work belongings, along with four hidden pockets across the back and the straps. A rain cover is kept hidden in the base pocket from keeping the Lifepack dry in inclement weather. A water bottle storage compartment is packed in, perfect for hiking or just keeping hydrated on your travels. Not only is the pack spacious, it’s also tough; a padded foam layer protects your belongings against knocks and drops, and waterproof material in the base of the Lifepack keeps its contents insulated against puddles and spills. The mix of high-tech charging and sound solutions and rugged storage make Solgaard’s Lifepack the ideal travel solution for your Apple devices.
Discovering Tomorrow’s Tech Today With Indiegogo
Indiegogo has something for any Apple lover, from a better way to protect their phone to high-tech backpacks to keep them powered up on the go.These products all demonstrate the importance of Indiegogo; without a platform to launch from, these innovations and the entrepreneurs behind them may have never found a market. I came away really impressed with these accessories, and I’m eager to explore what other cool innovative products Indiegogo has to offer.
Find these awesome accessories and more cool innovations from Indiegogo here
Note, all prices and products are accurate at the time of article publication, although some may have changed or are no longer available.