Gadget Teaser’s 2009 Holiday Gift Guide: Part 2

Today marks the second installment in our 2009 Holiday Gift Guide. If you didn’t stop by yesterday, make sure you get a look at part one. If you need additional holiday advice (no, I won’t help with your in-laws) just leave a comment below.

Livio Radio for Pandora/NPRLivio Pandora Radio
The Livio Radio is a great choice for any audio lover you know. The original debuted with built-in Pandora support, allowing users to listen to Pandora in any room of the house. The little screen makes it easy to browse through your favorite stations and you still get your thumbs-up/thumbs-down buttons for encouraging/discouraging specific tracks.

Livio also added an NPR specific radio to its lineup this year, providing access to some 800 NPR stations over a wireless connection. The NPR radio just started shipping this week. You can get either model for $199.99 from the Livio website.

Also Consider: Logitech Squeezebox Radio

Able Planet Clear Harmony Noise-Canceling HeadphonesAble Planet Clear Harmony Headphones
I reviewed Able Planet’s Clear Harmony noise-canceling headphones earlier this year and fell in love. I’d even pick them over the Bose QuietComforts because you can play music even if your batteries die (no active noise-canceling if that happens, though). These things sound excellent, last forever on a pair of AAA batteries, and tuck away nicely into a hardshell case.

The only thing that may scare you off would be price, but for this kind of quality you should expect to spend a little cash. Get a deal at Tiger Direct for $249.99.

Also Consider: Bose Quiet Comfort

Playstation 3 SlimThe PS3 Slim
Personally, I’m not a Playstation guy. Never have been. Never will be. But I can’t think up a good reason you should follow suit. With the recent size reduction and price drop, the PS3 is looking as good as it’s ever likely to. With the recent release of Modern Warfare 2 and Uncharted 2 Sony’s lineup got a nice facelift as well.

Be sure you shop around for the bundles, though. Some of them are region specific, but Sony is so far behind in the console race that it’s offering crazy deals to get this system into your home. Most everything will run you $299 for the 120GB model.

Also Consider: Xbox 360 Elite Bundle

Samsung BD-P1600Samsung BD-P1600
This Blu-ray player is a nice little mashup for all your media needs. You obviously get BD Live support, but you can stream HD movies from Netflix and hook this thing up to your audio system for Pandora, too. And though price may have held Blu-ray back in times gone by, the P1600 is going for $149.99 as a part of Samsung’s Black Friday deals. Check the Samsung website for a list of retailers and other Samsung deals.

Also Consider: Roku Player

Wii Motion PlusNintendo Wii Motion Plus
So you’re staying away from Blu-ray this year and you don’t want the PS3 Slim? I’d call you crazy, but Wii Sports Resort and New Super Mario Bros. Wii are plenty to keep you busy through the holidays. Just don’t forget to pick up enough Wii Motion Plus dongles for everyone to play along (with the first title, anyway). The tiny attachment dramatically improves the Wii’s motion-sensing abilities, so your jumper from the elbow can be just as bad as your game in real life.

Get a single WMP from Amazon for $16.99 or pickup the Wii Sports Resort Bundle (WMP included) for $46.99.

Also Consider: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2010 Bundle

That does it for this year’s holiday gift guide. Check back later in the week for a Black Friday Roundup including my favorite deals from the major retailers’ holiday ads. Happy Holidays from everyone at Gadget Teaser and Bullz-Eye to all of our readers and fans.


Headphone Review: Able Planet Clear Harmony NC1000CH

The ableplanet Clear Harmony NC1000CH.Whether you travel a lot, love listening to music without interruption, or just need some quiet time, you’ve probably considered a pair of noise-canceling headphones. Bose has long been the mainstay of this category of headphones with their Quiet Comfort series, but others are starting to creep into the market with impressive offerings. I’ve spent the last week with one potential contender, the ableplanet Clear Harmony NC1000CH. With the NC1000CH, ableplanet has put together an exceptional product with all the features you would expect from a quality pair of noise-canceling headphones. The company’s only setback could possibly be the lack of brand recognition to your average consumer.

Appearance/Build Quality
When you spend upwards of $300 for a pair of headphones, you’ll probably want something to show for it. The NC1000CH got high marks here. Upon opening the box I was greeted with a hard-shell neoprene case to protect the new phones. The case opens with a zipper to reveal a beautiful set of headphones. In fact, you could easily mistake these for the Bose Quiet Comfort 2 from a distance.

The earcups and headband are padded with a cushy leather to provide easy pressure against your head. The fit is comfortable, and I have yet to feel like I’m going to lose the phones, even when walking around. The earcups fold flat to rest against a tabletop and for storage in the provided case. The cord, which sports an inline volume control, can be removed from the base of the headphones. This is great for long-term storage so you aren’t kinking your cord. It’s also nice to be able to swap out the cord should you want something shorter or perhaps to get rid of the inline volume. In the case you’ll also find a 1/4″ adapter and a dual-prong airline adapter. Read the rest of this entry »