Author: Nick Hastings


Sound Huggle Bluetooth headphones keep your ears warm during a winter commute

Why it matters to you

Commuting in the cold is no fun, but these Sound Huggle earmuff-headphones are here to help keep you warm.

Have you ever had to make the difficult choice between headphones[1] and earmuffs? Those who live in colder climes know the struggle all too well — walking to work (or school, or the bus, or the train) is much more enjoyable when you can bump your favorite tunes along the way.

Enter Portland, Oregon-based startup Sound Huggle[2], which aims to combine headphones and earmuffs in one stylish, affordable package. The company, founded by a couple who moved to Portland from the chilly streets of New York and Chicago, was inspired by the frustration and discomfort that ensues when trying to stay warm with headphones (or earbuds[3]) equipped.

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The headphones (headmuffs?), soon to launch on Indiegogo[4], feature Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free listening, along with basic controls so you never have to take off your gloves. With more than 30 feet of Bluetooth range, you can even drop your phone and engage in a fierce snowball fight!

They will be available in several colors and buyers will be able to choose between knit or fleece exteriors as well as fleece or furry interiors. You will be able to take phone calls on the Sound Huggles as well; the battery should last for seven hours of music playback or 10 hours of talk time.

Perhaps the coolest feature: The headphones are collapsible, so you can slip them off your ears and fold them directly into a jacket pocket. Since they are buffered by soft, woven fabric, there is no need to worry about toting around a zippered carry case either.

According to the website, the headphones will feature “crisp vocals, warm mids, clean bass, [and] rich quality sound.” Since we don’t know anything about the technology, we can neither affirm nor rebuke this claim.

While these could certainly come in handy during your winter walks, these could make a real impression if they can also be used for winter action sports like skiing and snowboarding. If you’re interested, you can sign up via Sound Huggle[5] for exclusive offers and early access to future products, giveaways, secret sales, and announcements.

As always, we urge you to carefully consider before investing in any crowdfunded projects. There is no guarantee this product ever makes it to market. 


  1. ^ headphones (
  2. ^ Sound Huggle (
  3. ^ earbuds (
  4. ^ Indiegogo (
  5. ^ sign up via Sound Huggle (

RHA’s new budget-friendly Universal earphones offer complete control

Why it matters to you

RHA is known for building solid earphones at reasonable prices. Its newest offerings even have universal inline remotes.

Inline remotes have long been an integral feature for earphones and headphones, allowing the user to control music playback or manage phone calls with a few quick button presses. It can be rather frustrating, though, if your device won’t work with the remote, rendering it a useless plastic decoration on your cable.

English audio manufacturer RHA recognizes this and decided to do something about it. The new RHA MA390 Universal and S500[1] Universal earphones are — as the name suggests — uniformly compatible with mobile devices, so you can complete control no matter what kind of phone you’re using.

Based out of Glasgow, Scotland, RHA has cultivated a reputation for crafting quality earbuds with a subtle, understated aesthetic, and the newest additions to its collection are no different. Both the MA390 and the S500 are primarily black, featuring gold-plated connections and aluminum housings with clear silicone ear tips.

The MA390, outfitted with dynamic model 130.8 drivers tucked within Aerophonic rounded silver housings, will most likely replace RHA’s currently available MA350 earphones at the $30 level (the company’s cheapest price point).

Meanwhile, the S500 — built with micro dynamic model 140.1 drivers and compact, ergonomic housings in space gray — will take the place of the S500i[2] (which are identical, but whose remote only works with Apple devices). The S500 are designed to fit comfortably in any ear canal.

Both pairs of earphones come with seven sets of replacement tips in differing sizes and styles; while this is fairly standard for earbud purchases today, it’s nice to see, given the modest price point of the Universal series. The name “Universal” is derived from the inline remote you find on both the MA390 and the S500.

The past couple of years have been quite productive for RHA. In August 2016, it announced[3] its high-end CL earphone series (alongside its first headphone amp/DAC, the Dacamp L1[4]), and its flagship CL1 Ceramic[5] was named a CES Best of Innovation Honoree this January.

RHA currently only offers in-ear headphones, along with a number of different accessory options. If you’re looking for a pair of earbuds, try perusing our top picks[6].


  1. ^ S500 (
  2. ^ the S500i (
  3. ^ it announced (
  4. ^ Dacamp L1 (
  5. ^ CL1 Ceramic (
  6. ^ our top picks (

John Travolta breaks the law as notorious crime boss in first ‘Gotti’ trailer

Why it matters to you

It’s been a long time since we wanted to see a movie starring John Travolta. Does he still have it? We’ll find out this December.

The past couple of decades have been less than kind to John Travolta, who once reigned as a world-famous sex symbol in Hollywood. Apart from an acclaimed comedic performance in the 2007 Hairspray reboot and an award-worthy turn as litigator Robert Shapiro in FX’s American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson (available on Netflix[1]), Travolta’s most noteworthy recent work is probably all the work[2] he’s had done on his face.

Whether that will change with Travolta’s upcoming John Gotti biopic (titled Gotti) remains to be seen, but at least he’s back in the spotlight! Lionsgate has released the first official trailer via YouTube[3], giving us an in-depth look at the film.

Apart from Travolta — who plays Gotti, obviously — Kelly Preston (Travolta’s real-life spouse) appears as Gotti’s wife, Victoria DiGiorgio, and their daughter, Ella Bleu, plays Angel Gotti. Spencer Lofranco (Unbroken) portrays John Gotti Jr., who acts as the film’s narrator as well as one of the main characters. The story spans nearly 30 years, recounting Gotti’s rise to the top of the Gambino crime family and his tumultuous reign as its de facto leader.

In the trailer itself, Travolta does most of the narration, affecting an Italian accent and making grandiose statements like “I was a kid in these streets, and I made it to the top” and “I will build something that nobody can destroy!” The trailer is fairly standard action-crime fare, featuring Gotti’s betrayal of boss Paul Castellano and Gotti Jr.’s rise up the criminal ranks (against his mother’s wishes, of course).

The very fact that Gotti is actually happening is a minor miracle, considering the project’s tumultuous history. Kevin Connolly (known best as “E” from Entourage) will direct[4], but he’s the fourth man tapped[5] for that role, succeeding Nick Cassavetes, Joe Johnston, and Barry Levinson. Several big names have been associated with the project over the past several years, including Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, and Lindsay Lohan, but none remained by the time filming began in 2016 (by the way, the movie was actually shot in Cincinnati, not New York).

Gotti was written by Leo Rossi and Lou Dobbs. Though the trailer itself simply says “Coming Soon” at the end, the description below the YouTube video says the film will be released in theaters and on demand on December 15.


  1. ^ available on Netflix (
  2. ^ all the work (
  3. ^ via YouTube (
  4. ^ will direct (
  5. ^ the fourth man tapped (

BenQ’s new HT1070A home cinema projector marries performance and value

Why it matters to you

Projectors are awesome, but fairly expensive. At just $649, BenQ’s new home cinema model is worth a look.

We can’t think of anything in the entire world more exciting[1] than projectors (can you?). These incredible machines can transform any mundane viewing into a revelatory experience, replacing your meager television screen with a massive picture stretching from wall to wall. It’s like IMAX[2] for your bedroom.

Vietnamese electronics manufacturer BenQ is known for its incredible XL monitor line (favored by many professional gamers[3]), but its projectors are nothing to scoff at, either. Today, BenQ launched the HT1070A[4], an update to their super-popular HT1070[5] home cinema projector.

The HT1070A — available now — doesn’t mess around with an already-successful formula, instead bringing to the table a few minor improvements. BenQ designed the projector with a family-friendly budget in mind, but also managed to bake in some features you rarely see on projectors under $1,000.

Like the HT1070, the HT1070A projects in 1080p full HD resolution, with a Rec. 709 adherence ratio over 96 percent. Utilizing Digital Light Processing (DLP) alongside BenQ’s proprietary CinematicColor technology, the HT1070A boasts a 15,000:1 contrast ratio, up from 10,000:1 on the HT1070.

Additionally, the HT1070A produces 2,200 lumens of brightness — a 10 percent improvement over then HT1070’s 2,000 lumens. The projector has dual HDMI inputs for interfacing with a litany of devices like Blu-ray players, gaming consoles, and set-top boxes, and it features three dedicated picture modes (Sport, Vivid TV, and Cinema), each carefully calibrated to provide the clearest, brightest imaging possible for any media.

The HT1070A is a cinch to get up and running, coming equipped with an ultra-simple setup wizard along with vertical keystone adjustment, a 1.2 optical zoom lens, and adjustable feet. It features a 1.28-1.56 throw ratio (slightly larger than the HT1070’s), meaning you’ll get a 100-inch projection at a distance of nine feet or so (2.8 meters).

Not sure if you need a projector? Don’t sweat it — we’ve got you covered with a dedicated guide[6]. If you’re waffling between buying a projector or a big-screen TV[7], we can help out with that as well. The HT1070A is available for $640 via BenQ’s website[8] or via a number of online retailers, including Best Buy[9] (some websites still have it listed as a pre-order item, though, so be careful).


  1. ^ more exciting (
  2. ^ IMAX (
  3. ^ many professional gamers (
  4. ^ HT1070A (
  5. ^ HT1070 (
  6. ^ a dedicated guide (
  7. ^ projector or a big-screen TV (
  8. ^ BenQ’s website (
  9. ^ Best Buy (