Welcome to the latest installment of Staff Picks. Each week, we’ll tell you about the tech we’re currently testing — everything from cameras to hi-fi headphones, extremely large desktop monitors to smart home appliances — as well as the grail items we wish we could buy. For last week’s last selections, click here.
Sony RX100 V Compact Camera
I’ve been playing around with the new Sony RX100 V for the past week and a half and I’m super impressed. This is a great covert street-shooting or travel camera with an insanely fast autofocus, 20MP images on a 1.0-inch-type sensor, up to 150 burst shots at 24 fps, continual focus tracking, silent shutter, and up to 960 fps slow-mo shots — all in a pocket-sized point and shoot. — Bradley Hasemeyer, Contributor
Apple Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader
Apple’s Lightning to SD Card adapter is a simple, affordable game-changer for anyone with a DSLR camera and an iPhone. I keep it on me at all times. Just pop the SD card into the adapter and plug the adapter into the Lightning port on your phone. The Photos app will automatically open, at which point you can import your JPEG and RAW images and SD/HD videos for quick editing, sending and uploading (I use VSCO for photos and Carve for videos). This adapter cannot always replace real-time coverage via my iPhone 7+ (which captures great photo and video, and is quicker than using a DSLR), but when an event needs to be captured in DSLR quality and covered as soon as possible, this adapter bridges the gap. — Caitlyn Shaw, Social Media Coordinator
Riva Arena Wireless Speaker
We’re seeing more speakers with more connectivity options lately. For example, Riva’s new Area and Festival speakers come with Chromecast built in, allowing you to pair them with other non-Riva speakers that are Chromecast enabled in a multi-room system. Each of the speakers is also compatible with Spotify Connect, AirPlay, DLNA and Bluetooth. These options make the speaker more versatile, yet also a little more complicated; you often have to toggle between two apps (e.g., Google Home and the speaker’s app) to get them to work.
While that holds true with the Riva Arena, the speaker definitely sounds impressive. And its simple features, like the music controls on its top, come in handy. (I can’t remember how many times I’ve misplaced my phone and couldn’t turn the volume down on my Sonos system.) Additionally, you can buy a battery pack ($99) for the Arena and use it as a Bluetooth speaker. So is the Riva Arena worth the cash, or should you just buy a closed-off speaker like Sonos’s Play:1? So far, I think depends on how you use the speaker. Look out for our full review in the coming weeks. — Tucker Bowe, Associate Staff Writer
Logitech MX Sound Desktop Speakers
This week, Logitech announced a stunning wireless keyboard for creatives, but the simpleton in me was more impressed by its new desktop speakers. After using them for the past week, I’ve found they’re just easy. Like most desktop speakers, you can wire them to any device with an aux cord to play music, but you can also connect to them over Bluetooth. Basically, they’re beautiful, simple, pretty powerful and ridiculously affordable. — Tucker Bowe, Associate Staff Writer