Form Meets Function
Every year we have it drummed into us how important it is to own the latest laptop, state of the art smartphone or celebrity endorsed gadget. Meticulously planned marketing campaigns, elaborate Keynote presentations and major press stunts carried out by the likes of Apple, Google and Sony all feed a hunger for the latest developments in technological innovation.
But what about tech accessories? Nothing to write home about? Think again.
Gone are the days of a cheap rubber case from eBay sufficing to house your smartphone, or settling for headphones that offer the most ear-shattering bass, but very little else. Today, we demand that our accessories be both stylish and functional.
The market has responded, with high quality tech accessories now having the power to change your life for the better, offering a degree of functionality like never before – and they’re looking pretty good while doing it, too.
With this in mind, we’ve scoured the shelves to find what we think are the best headphones, smartphone cases and speakers on the market, which provide not only style, but a little something extra in the performance stakes.
When it comes to next level form and function, Bragi’s smart ear buds – The Dash – are leading the way. Launched on Kickstarter in 2014, the project quickly eclipsed its target goal of $250k, eventually raising $3 million.
Due to launch in spring 2015, these ear buds are completely wireless and come equipped with a carry case that can charge them in just under an hour – proving they are truly designed for on the go wear.
The Dash aren’t just earphones though; they have 4GB of built-in storage, which means they can be used without the need to pair them to your smartphone or media player. But that’s not all. As well as storing your music, their in-built microphone means they’re able to function as a Bluetooth headset, and – on top of that – they’re waterproof, meaning your tech is safe if you get caught in torrential rain.
Still not swayed? They also feature integrated fitness tracker technology, which will measure your heart rate and body temperature while telling you how long you’ve been exercising and how many calories you’ve burned off in the process.
Overall, The Dash are less a pair of earphones, and more a standalone smart device that you’ll quickly wonder how you ever lived without.
Serving up both style and substance, Grado headphones not only look incredible, they also offer unmatched sound quality. Founded in Brooklyn, New York in 1953, the business has now spanned three generations of the Grado family, with each pair of headphones still handmade in the borough to this day.
Grado headphones have a distinctive look that has barely changed since the brand began. Rallying against the day-glo plastic of a certain rapper from Compton’s offerings, these are all brushed steel and stained wood.
Not only do they look good, the Grado brand has long been synonymous with quality audio. Each product is crafted with high-end components, and the hand-made aspect of the brand adds an artisanal flair that you just don’t get from other mass-produced models.