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:
Incipio has brought its Performance Armband ($30) — last seen for iPhone 5 — to iPhone 6, with a reduced price. It's the first athletic accessory we've seen made specifically for either of Apple's new iPhones. Like the last version of the armband, Performance for iPhone 6 uses water-resistant materials and includes a small slot for holding a house key. An opening at the bottom of the iPhone compartment allows access to the phone's headphone port. The armband fits snugly around the iPhone 6, leaving no room for a case. While the touchscreen will work through the plastic window, Touch ID won't. Keep in mind that due to the increased size of the iPhone 6, some users may find the latest Performance Armband more awkward to wear; this will especially be true for smaller users.
Admired by headphone obsessives for its value-focused audio gear, HiFiMan has debuted RE300i ($50), a budget-priced earphone model targeted at iPod, iPhone, and iPad users. Featuring an integrated three-button remote control and mic unit, RE300i's glossy white all-plastic construction and sparing collection of pack-ins have a distinctly OEM-style first impression. But the inclusion of extra filters — the little parts between the earphones and your ear — and the oversized, not-particularly-case-compatible 3.5mm headphone plug make RE300i stand out as designed with extra durability. We don't really review $50 earphones any more, but we'll be adding some brief impressions of the RE300i along with the 1.5-year old RE-400 Waterline ($100), the well-regarded black and silver model also shown here. RE-400 lacks a remote but has a more compatible headphone plug, titanium-coated drivers, and metal housings. While RE-400 comes in a small box without a carrying case, it appears that HiFiMan is bundling the case — plus two sets of Comply eartips and a large collection of rubber tips - with orders.
Sent to us in somehow incomplete form, SwitchEasy's new Odyssey ($20) and Tones ($20) are less expensive iPhone 6 versions of cases previously released for the iPhone 5/5s. Both cases are sold in two-tone variations, with Odyssey's grippy rear bars evoking the minimalist, futuristic designs of 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Tones using shapes that mimic the iPhone 6's unusual plastic antenna bands. While Odyssey comes only in black/grey or light/dark pink versions, Tones is available in black/grey, grey/white, orange/yellow and light/dark pink colors. Neither case comes with screen protection, but both have integrated button coverage and pop-open port covers.
Uniq has introduced two new folio-style cases for iPhone 6, Executif ($30) and Lolita ($30). According to Uniq, Executif is made from genuine leather despite its surprisingly low price, and contains two slots for holding cards in the inner flap. Typical of many folio cases, the plastic shell that houses the phone provides little top or bottom coverage. Lolita is the same price but makes no genuine leather claims — the faux-leather case includes a magnetic clasp and one card slot inside. There's a bit more coverage for the phone within Lolita's plastic shell, as the top of the device is covered. There's also an open slot for the ear speaker on the front of the case, for those who prefer to talk on the phone with the folio lid closed.
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