The versatility of some of today’s newer gadgets is evident after using ONvocal’s wearable headphone assistant earbuds ($299).
When you look at a picture of the headset, one might think they are just another neckband headset. Think again.
I was asked by an ONvocal representative how I liked the review unit they sent me. How’s this: “Smooth, easy and impressive.”
The OV is an Alexa, Google and Siri voice assistant-enabled Bluetooth headset. I’m not an Alexa user but I easily got the headset talking to Siri for a morning weather report and a few other tasks.
With the help of the OV app (iOS and Android), the voice commands are at your control and response is instantaneous.
The ONvocal website used Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” as a voice command music example. Sure enough, I had it playing on my speaker system in seconds from my playlist. You also can instantly access subscription music services.
When it comes to sound, the headset does not disappoint. While I’m far from an expert, what you want out of earbuds is clear sound. These deliver – and then some.
For hands-free calls, the directional microphone is built into a small arm boom, which extends from the right earbud. Answering calls, along with controlling Siri and Google, are done with a button on the outside of the right earbud.
Ambient sound control is accessed on the neckband and allows the user to hear the caller and not background noise. Volume, play, pause and power are also controlled on the neckband.
The ONvocal support page has step-by-step instructions for setting up the OV, making the process smooth and easy.
The earbuds are attached to a flexible wire, which is attached to a neckband. Everything can be adjusted in specific flex zones for the right fit.
I don’t have children, but if I did, you can bet I’d be using the Circle with Disney custom Internet monitoring system ($99).
After a simple setup with a home Wi-Fi, the cube-shaped wireless device works with the Circle with Disney app (iOS and Android) to give users full control of their children’s browsing history without putting an app or software on another device. Parents can see how much time their children spend online with smartphones, tablets, laptops and other connected devices.
The app has several customization features, including disconnecting devices from Wi-Fi at a specific time and reconnecting when desired. Time limits also can be set for apps and programs.
Other customizations can be made for individuals with breakdowns in age groups and interests, as well as turning off the Wi-Fi connection.
Circle is built with end-to-end encryption and ARP (Address Resolution Protocol) spoofing to keep data secure.
The 3.25-inch cube has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which charges via USB. Users also can connect it to the Internet with an Ethernet cable.
A subscription-based Circle Go feature ($9.95 per month) can be added to extend the parental controls to 4G LTE and another Wi-Fi connection joined away from home.