iLounge - First Looks

2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from

First Looks

Welcome to our new, continuously-updated First Looks - a collection of previews showing brand new iPod, iPhone and iPad accessories that we’re currently in the process of testing. Here’s what’s hot right now:

NRNot Rated

Company: Belkin


Models: TuneBase Hands-Free Aux for iPhone 5

Price: $70

Compatible: iPhone 5/5s, iPod touch 5G

Belkin TuneBase Hands-Free Aux for iPhone 5

TuneBase Hands-Free Aux for iPhone 5 ($70) from Belkin is made for a somewhat specific group of people. It's a bundle of connected parts that charge an iPhone 5/5s or fifth-generation iPod touch -- the iPhone 5c fits too, although official support isn't listed -- in the car, while connecting to an auxiliary input port for audio. A gooseneck runs between the charging plug at one end, and Lightning plug-equipped phone cradle at the other. Once the phone has been docked, a built-in audio cable fits into the bottom of it; a second cable connects to the bottom of the car adapter plug, and runs to the vehicle's aux input port. The cradle is adjustable, and can accept iPhones in cases, but only if there's a totally open bottom edge. TuneBase also supports hands-free calling thanks to a trigger button and a microphone found below the Lightning plug.

NRNot Rated

Company: Griffin Technology


Model: Woodtones Over-The-Ear Headphones

Price: $100

Compatible: All iPads, iPhones, iPods

Griffin Woodtones Over-The-Ear Headphones

Griffin's Woodtones Over-The-Ear Headphones ($100) are part of a family that also includes significantly less expensive earbuds. Available in walnut, sapele, or beech woods, the headphones pack 50mm drivers. Inside the wooden cups are soft pads that fit against the ear, and help isolate outside noises. The audio cable is removable, has matching wood at either plug end, and comes with a remote and mic module built-in.

NRNot Rated

Company: Griffin Technology


Model: Kazoo MyPhones

Price: $20

Compatible: All iPads, iPhones, iPods

Griffin Kazoo MyPhones Headphones

Designed specifically for young listeners, Griffin's Kazoo MyPhones ($20) come in two molded plastic designs: frog and penguin. Both are bright, colorful options with padded ear cups and adjustable hand bands. Around the headphone plug, you'll find the appropriate food for the respective animal, either a fly or a fish. Internally, the handphones are limited to 85 decibels, which is a safe level for children.

NRNot Rated

Company: Kensington


Model: BlackBelt 3rd Degree Rugged Case

Price: $80

Compatible: iPad 2, iPad (3rd/4th-Gen)

Kensington BlackBelt 3rd Degree Rugged Case for iPad 2, iPad (3rd/4th-Gen)

Taking on the field of of highly protective iPad case options, Kensington has introduced its BlackBelt 3rd Degree Rugged Case ($80). Made for full-sized iPads, the case isn't the prettiest around. It starts with a plastic shell at its base, which is then surrounded by a thick rubber layer; a sheet of screen film is included as well. Button and camera protection is built into the case. A locking anchor allows you to conenct to the company's line of security devices. Optional accessories include a $30 kit with a hand strap and shoulder strap.

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