eWEEK IT Holiday Gift Guide: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Audio

eWEEK'S ANNUAL IT DEVICE GIFT GUIDE: Selected devices we think will be stars under the tree for Christmas.

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Because it is the season to be jolly and to look at interesting new IT devices for ourselves and others, eWEEK thought we would help you make some last-minute gift-giving decisions before Dec. 24.

To this end we’re publishing some articles this week designed to help you make these important choices, just as we help IT decision-makers make enterprise buying decisions all year long.

This is the first of three articles. Let’s get to No. 1!

Aruba Instant-On Wi-Fi Access Point (MSRP starts at $119.00)

https://www.arubainstanton.com/

Now THIS is a creative gift. Who doesn't want more power in their home and/or business WiFi setup? We depend so much on this nowadays that any kind of improvement becomes a huge, noticeable plus.

Aruba.WiFi.unit

Most of the time, there are tradeoffs with anything one purchases. If it’s excellent quality, the tradeoff will invariably be a high price. For something that’s just good enough, you likely will pay less, but what risk are you taking that the thing will blow up prematurely? 

Networking devices are a cool, hip and unexpected gift choice here in 2019. Plus, HP Aruba’s new (this fall) Instant-On Wi-Fi home or business access point is one of those rarities: There’s no tradeoff for high pricing for excellent performance.

(Image of the device software shown above)

Anyway, this clearly is the easiest WAP we have ever set up. In literally five minutes, it was up and running--thus the "Instant-On" branding. The interface is simple compared to previous ones (Netgear, Cisco, Comcast) we have used. The wireless access point is about the size of a smoke detector, yet appears to have better signal strength than both of the three devices we previously deployed. 

At our home network (which operates in a two-story building, with lots of potential deflectors around (refrigerator, several walls, two fireplaces, etc.), the Aruba is able to serve good signals throughout and well into our deep back yard. We also like the ACC (advanced cellular coexistence) feature which minimizes interference from 3G/4G LTE networks.

Get it for a friend or family member--or maybe for yourself. It's a gift that literally keeps on giving 24/7.

Sennheiser Bluetooth Headsets

MOMENTUM True Wireless ($299.95)
MOMENTUM True Wireless is a high-end wireless earphone set with corresponding stereo sound performance that Sennheiser guarantees with its audiophile 7mm dynamic drivers. Features the latest Bluetooth technology, AAC codec support and Qualcomm aptXTM compatibility.

HD 4.40BT and HD 4.50BTNC ($99.95 and $179.95)
Both HD 4.50BTNC and HD 4.40BT employ the advanced wireless technology and audio codec of Bluetooth 4.0 and aptX to deliver true wireless high-fidelity sound. Alongside great performance, the headsets offer ease of use, comfort and convenience.

Both the HD 4.40 BT and the HD 4.50 BTNC feature NFC for simple pairing with compatible devices and intuitive ear-cup mounted controls for changing tracks and for making calls via the integrated microphone. Wearing comfort is assured by their ergonomically designed ear pads. HD 4.50BTNC and HD 4.40BT feature excellent battery life, letting listeners enjoy wireless sound for up to 25 hours. With ANC enabled, the HD 4.50BTNC still allows for up to 19 hours of wireless, distraction-free listening. A battery-free listening mode is also possible via a supplied detachable cable.

PXC 550 noise canceling headphone ($349.95]

Sennheiser.headset

The world can be a noisy place. With the PXC 550 Wireless, Sennheiser claims you can shut the door on it. It features Sennheiser’s NoiseGard Hybrid adaptive noise canceling, which helps creates your own aural space in even the most chaotic of environments: The louder the noise around you, the more it is silenced. Sennheiser claims the PXC 550 Wireless has a battery life of up to 30 hours of continuous use.

RS 175 wireless headphone ($279.95)
Sennheiser’s RS 175 offers an impressive range of features in a compact, ergonomic package. The Bass Boost and Surround Sound listening modes will allow users to experience their home entertainment systems like never before–the former increases the audio bass response while the two virtual surround modes offer a more spatial and livelier stereo sound. In addition, the home-developed digital wireless technology ensures that signal transmission remains clear and accurate as users move from room to room. Finally, the user-friendly design makes it easy to set up and use the RS 175. The main controls are located on the headphones, so nothing will distract you from the experience.

Go here to order.

Toshiba Wireless Ear Buds ($69.99)

  • Signature Toshiba-quality sound with super bass, high power and unmatched sound accuracy. Voice-enabled with both Apple Siri and Google assistant (when paired with a compatible phone).
  • Auto on, auto off, auto pairing with double and triple click recall and disconnect features
  • Ultra-feather-lite, highly durable and comfort-crafted with precision and three sizes of ear tips
  • Built-in dual microphones for convenient and crystal clear communication and stereo-channel calling
  • Carry case with on-the-go power and 18 additional full charges.

Go here to order.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...