Sony’s SRS-NS7 Wireless Neckband Speaker, $300, has a tweeter that faces up, but also includes dual subwoofer-style speakers that face down to stimulate your collarbones during tense TV moments. Another option is BeHear’s Proxy and its HearLink Plus wireless audio transmitter, which starts at $200 and is a PSAP (or Personal Sound Amplification Product) designed for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.
Both neck speakers can be paired with your smartphone to listen to music or make calls. Plus they’re so comfortable, I forget I’m even wearing one.
— Stewart Volpin
4. Safe without Wi-Fi, worry-free electricity
If you live in a rural area, your security needs may be at a distant gate or shed door—where your home’s Wi-Fi signal can’t reach. A new battery-powered safety sensor that uses cellular signals could ease that concern.
These sensors attach to gates, doors or windows and electronically alert you when a breach occurs. Alarm.com’s Flex IO sensors start at $160, plus activation and service fees. I’ve found these to be so effective that I’m starting to wonder what else I need to be safe around my house.
If Wi-Fi signal isn’t an issue, another inconvenience might be the lack of power outlets for some sensors. Some products, like the $80 SKK Home Security System Gen 2, feature battery-powered sensors with up to eight hours of battery backup in the base unit and can interface with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant system without a monthly subscription fee.
— Lisa Gottlieb
5. Tracker, not new but very handy
GPS or Bluetooth trackers, small devices that attach to anything and emit a location signal through a phone app, have been around for almost a decade. But the release of Apple AirTags in 2021 has boosted interest in these products in particular.
Bluetooth trackers like the AirTag, Chipolo One Spot or Tile can be had for $30 or less. When the Bluetooth tracker is within range, it communicates directly with your phone. When out of range, the tracker relays its signal through other people’s compatible devices, creating a network effect to reach you and reveal its location.
Bluetooth trackers may not work properly in remote areas. GPS trackers are a variation that may be better because they use cellular signals instead.
— Lexi Pender