Some top tech essentials for our lockdown world

Some top tech essentials for our lockdown world

Moshi Avanti C Headphone

The Moshi Avanti C USB-C headphones come with built-in 24-bit/96 kHz DAC, have great sound quality and are excellent for making voice calls.

If you are one of the lucky ones who can work from home then great, but sometimes it’s hard to work and live in the same place when there are lots of distractions around like other people, both small and big.

Headphones are essential and especially, ones that can allow you to work hands-free for video and voice conferencing. Even better if they offer great sound quality for listing to music to help you get your zen back.

There are tons of great headphones out there but I’ve been testing the Moshi Avanti C USB-C headphones and have enjoyed using them. I found sound quality excellent for everything including making standard voice calls.

The Avanti C comes with two sets of detachable cables and a small carry case with a hard shell. One has a 3.5mm headphone jack and the other is USB-C. Both cables have inline volume controls, pause/play and mic, but the USB-C cable also has a built-in digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) (24-bit/96 kHz and a Class G amplifier) and a DJ boost button.

The latter enables a five-band sound equaliser via the free companion Moshi Digital Audio app. This has a Music and Gaming preset by default, but you can customise the sound and save your own presets — a really nice feature that makes it easy to adjust the sound to your liking.

These are super light over-ear headphones with a stainless steel metal band that has soft padding underneath for comfort while wearing them. The earcups are soft using faux leather and I had no problem wearing them for long periods of time. They’re stylishly premium with a contemporary look and the built quality is top-notch.

Being USB-C these headphones can be used with most smartphones, but of course, you can also use the standard 3.5mm headphone jack if your phone has one. Not only phones, a lot of PCs, Apple laptops and the iPad Pros since 2018 use USB-C too, but again, you’re covered with the 3.5mm jack.

Apple iPhone users don’t have USB-C, but Moshi also has the same headphones with a lightning cable instead of USB-C called the Moshi’s Avanti LT.

Overall sound quality is excellent for listening to music and movies. The mic sound quality was also good and I didn’t have any issues with callers hearing me on the other end of the phone.

The Moshi Avanti C and Avanti LT are available now for €220 with free shipping to Ireland at moshi.com.

Upgrade your home network

Some top tech essentials for our lockdown world

I used to work occasionally from home but during this lockdown, I found the need for extra wired connections to my broadband modem. My particular modem only has four ports so the simplest solution is a network switch.

Networking and comms can be complicated and require expertise, but a network switch is childs play. I bought a Netgear GS308 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Network Switch which is more ports than I need offers lots of expandability. Keep in mind, you may need to purchase additional ethernet cables if you don’t have any.

The GS308 comes with the unit itself and a power supply. Plug it in and then connect it to your modem with an ethernet cable and that’s it. You now have an extra seven ports to use as needed.

Unlike WiFi, ethernet will provide the most reliable connection to the internet without interference. There are lots of network switches to choose from but there’s no need to spend a lot of money on one.

The Netgear GS308 is £19.50 (€22.39) from Amazon.co.uk

Tidy desk

Some top tech essentials for our lockdown world

With space at a premium and a lot of us using laptops to work from home, the Moshi Symbus Q is a nice gadget to tidy a desk and provide additional functionality.

Symbus Q transforms your laptop into a desktop system equipped with wireless charging. Fitted with Q-coil technology, the USB-C hub can wirelessly charge through phone cases up to 5mm. Qi-certified, Symbus Q supports Apple’s 7.5 W and Samsung’s 9 W fast charging.

The Symbus Q is not only a wireless charger it also connects your MacBook, 2018 or later iPad Pro or USB-C laptop to a HDMI monitor, wired internet up to 1000mbps, and USB peripherals such as a keyboard, mouse or external storage.

Equipped with the latest generation USB-C chips, the dock supports 4K video output (4K @30Hz or 1080p @ 6Hz), as well as digital surround sound to HDMI-equipped displays, AV receivers, or projectors.

It supports fast-charging of your USB-C laptop even while connected to an external display and features proprietary Smart LED for at-a-glance charging status. In addition to its advanced functionality, this USB-C dock is encased in aluminium.

The Symbus Q is available from Moshi.com for €179.95 or €135 for the Symbus (without wireless charger).

Keep fit at home with the Auro Personal Training App

Some top tech essentials for our lockdown world

Auro is a new motivational audio fitness app which provides hundreds of world-class workouts, personalised for the user by recommending suitable classes based on their fitness level and goals.

All of Auro’s classes are on-demand (400+), so all that is required is a set of earphones/headphones or a speaker and a smartphone. Classes can also be downloaded in advance in case there is no Wi-Fi when choosing to work out.

For a monthly subscription, users can now access the same type of high-quality workout experience they would get at a boutique fitness studio with additional detailed performance tracking — at a fraction of the price.

The app includes fitness classes for outdoor running, walking, treadmill, X-trainer, strength training, spin, rowing, yoga and stretching which are all curated with a killer playlist. Users can also overlay their own music playlists from Spotify if they don’t like the playlists curated by their trainers.

Whether looking to do some guided tempo runs, strength train, or to perfect the downward dog, Auro covers almost any area of a user’s fitness journey.

Auro now offers a free one month trial for users to see for themselves how the app works. After this trial, the monthly costs based on length of subscription are 12 Months - €65.99. 1 Month - €12.99/month billed monthly.

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