The downside of basically any type of publishing media be it a blog, newspaper, magazine, podcast or carrier pigeon is that old stories get buried in newer ones. While a review of a MP3 player from 3 years ago is of limited use today, the same can’t be said for other types of reviews- like accessories. We’ve reviewed quite a bit of accessories over the years and some of them are as useful today as they were several years ago. that’s why I decided to resurrect a few of these to give new and old readers another peak at some of the best accessories we’ve seen through here.
If you bought a portable speaker 5 years ago it’ll work just as well on your current smartphone as it did on your steam powered portable gramophone player back then (or was that 6 years ago?). I’ve reviewed two such speakers on this site (though I’ve had quite a few more) that I still use today with the gadgets I write about over at Nothing But Tablets. Both are made by Fiio, everyone’s favorite CBAA (Chinese But Awesome Anyways) company. The first one is the PS1110 (review), a very compact portable speaker powered either by USB or 2x AAA batteries. It has great sound for the size, and at $15 it’s also a very cheap alternative. If you add another $11 you get the Fiio S3 (review). It has a bit better sound quality, runs off AA batteries (= better battery life) and it has a built in simple MP3 player that plays back music from an SD card.
External battery packs
Things still mostly charge via USB, so your old DAP era external battery packs will work just fine on newer gadgets. I once reviewed a cheap battery pack from Duracell, which is still available from Amazon for $22. It doesn’t have the best capacity in the world though, so I would instead suggest looking at the Callpod Fueltank that Grahm reviewed back in 2009. It’s more expensive than the Duracell at $70 for the biggest version but it will also last a lot longer.
USB AC adapter
We only reviewed one of these, but I think we hit a home run with the one we picked. More than a year later, the Hama Piccolino is still smaller than the chargers that come with most smartphones (media players rarely come with one at all) and tablets (though it will be slow to charge the larger of those). It’s another one of those accessories that you bring with your from one device to the next, which makes it so much easier to buy it in the first place when you know it’s not a one ht wonder.
What’s the difference between May 2009 and February 2011? If you broke the headphone jack of your media player in 2009, there’s a good chance you broke a $40-$150 MP3 player. If you do the same in 2011, there’s a good chance you broke a $500+ smartphone or tablet. That’s why the Replug (review) is still a good idea. 20 years from now most consumer headphones will probably be wireless, but until then we still have to deal with tripping over our own headphone cables and pulling our beloved devices half way into the next room.