(Some of) The Best 2020 Tech Gadgets

Noah Bishop, Staff Writer

Some of the Best 2020 Technological Gadgets

 

Internet Gadgets

Modem

The Netgear CM1000 is one of the best modern modems out there for normal cable internet. With plans like Cox Gigablast, it is capable of handling up to 2 gigabits up and downstream, insuring the speeds your internet service provider guaranteed you are uncapped. This paired with the Linksys AX1500 creates an almost lossless wireless internet connection, together they make a great pair and will easily beat your current setup. However, with that being said I would definitely check the internet providers in your area before purchasing this modem because there is a good chance that AT&T Fiber Internet is available in your area. AT&T Fiber uses optical fiber cables, meaning the modem is completely different. If Fiber is available in your area, the highest value plan is usually the gigabit plan and the installation is done by your Internet Provider.

Router

The Linksys AX1500 is one of my favorite routers for multiple reasons. Firstly, this router is mesh enabled and supports up to 1500 Mbps Wi-Fi connections. In comparison, the Google Wi-Fi Mesh Routers only support up to 350 Mbps. The Linksys AX1500 can be daisy-chained via Ethernet cords to the same or different routers. It supports up to 1,500 square feet of wireless connectivity. Additionally, it has a very intuitive and user-friendly interface for configuring router settings, which I often find myself doing when running servers from computers within my household.

 

 

 

 

Headphones

Comfort/Open

The Philips SHP9500 are arguably the most comfortable headphones I have ever worn, and that everyone I know has ever worn, and that everyone they know has ever worn. Coming in at about $70, these headphones are ultra-lightweight and utilize open-back headphone technology. These are not for you if you want them for flights or for silence, the high fidelity and comfort of these headphones come at the cost of everyone around you being able to hear your music. This is an intentional design because the openness of the headphone cup, which looks like a small metal grill on the exterior of the headphone’s cups, makes the overall sound significantly more real as if it were coming from an actual person. You are able to see the headphone’s drivers vibrate through the headphones as they are playing. The headphones are wired and have a connectable auxiliary cord so one can replace the cord with whichever brand they like. The headphone cups are made of a synthetic airy material. When the headphones are on, you can barely even tell they are there, definitely check this out if you get the chance. They just released a new model that has really good reviews if you want to check those out as well. These are not heavy on the bass, they are more for medium and high filtered music, so more in the high fidelity sector of music.

 

 

Bass

Audio-Technica is one of the most renowned studio-grade headphone brands in the world today. Specializing in audio equipment, Audio-Technica produces microphones, headphones, earbuds, turntables, wireless systems, turntable cartridges, and really high quality miscellaneous audio products. The WS1100iS, coming in at about $110 are extremely good and affordable headphones for heavy bass and punch, these are similar to the ATH MX50’s but have deeper bass. I would definitely suggest getting these if you listen to bass-heavy music.

 

 

Noise Cancelling

The Sony WH1000XM (Bluetooth enabled) is undoubtedly unbeatable when it comes to noise-canceling without much music quality degradation. Despite the acoustical drawbacks of being noise-canceling, these headphones still maintain great quality and deep sound that greatly surpasses that of any Bose versions. I definitely suggest this if you fly a lot, however, if you don’t travel a lot, do not spend extra money getting these or any noise-canceling headphones because they actually sound less clear due to the noise-canceling distortion than normal headphones, and they cost more as well. There are studies and videos that prove this if you are interested.

High Fidelity/High Res

The Audio-Technica MSR7‘s are my personal headphones and have been for the past few years. They are very well constructed consisting of almost 75% metal, very durable, bass-heavy, and extremely high fidelity. They support high-resolution audio playback, they have a detachable auxiliary cable and are over-ear headphones. They look very professional and isolate audio really well. These headphones come in at about $200, but you can find them for $150. These headphones are really punchy, resonating, and very crisp. These are mainly used for mid-upper frequency sounds because of their clarity at those levels.

 

 

 

Mice

Work

Logitech arguably makes the highest quality mice with a mostly metal construct and long lasting durability. This particular mouse can switch between multiple devices and is wireless. I definitely recommend looking at Logitech if you are interested in a work or school mouse.

 

Gaming

The Razer DeathAdder is one of the highest rated gaming mice on the market, it has a bigger form factor than most other mice allowing for an almost full grip on the mouse, it is ergonomic and very comfortable. The mouse is very simple with only two side buttons and looks very clean. This paired with the G. SKILL KM360 keyboard is a phenomenal combo. Another reason why the Razer DeathAdder is so good, is because it can easily also be used for working because it doesn’t look overly ridiculous. I hope to see more plain and well-performing mice like this in the future because I do not like the newer mice with all of the extra buttons.

 

 

 

 

 

Speakers

Micca MB42x

The Micca MB42x‘s are very affordable and high-value bookshelf or desk speakers. These must be paired with an amplifier for power because they are passive speakers, however, they will definitely outperform any other speaker on the market below $100. They have really good midrange audio and look very simple and aesthetic. These come with speaker covers and can be easily mounted to walls, painted and drilled through. I have these speakers as rear channels in my home theater because they are really powerful yet small.

 

 

Fluance SX6WH

The Fluance SXWH are a set up from the Micca MB42x’s. These speakers come in a pretty white color and are slightly larger than the Micca MB42x’s. The speakers can hit lower frequencies and put out a lot of bang for their buck. I would suggest getting these if you don’t want to get a subwoofer as bookshelf speakers or desk speakers. These can easily be used as front channel speakers in a theater. Must be paired with an amp.

 

 

Klipsch RP-150M

Klipsch is my favorite speaker brand, and it’s not because they are the best performing, it’s because they are beautiful. The Klipsch copper-spun speaker cones are highly distinguished in the audiophile world for their elegancy. The Klipsch are still really good speakers, though you could get some more massive speakers and they would outperform them around the same price. But that’s the case with all speakers really. These are really crisp and deep sounding, if you like the design of these, get them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAC/Amplifiers

SMSL Speaker and Headphone DAC/Amp

The SMSL AD18 is the best bang for your buck DAC/AMP on the market right now. It supports Bluetooth, an aux out, micro USB in for high resolution audio, and a remote control. This Amp is really powerful and can drive most speakers.

 

BT20A DAC/AMP

When it comes to DAC/Amps, Fosi Audio is affordable and decent quality. I highly suggest getting this combo if you are not willing to spend upwards of $100, this additionally supports a headphone output. This does not have a subwoofer out.

 

 

Keyboards

KM360

This is the only mechanical keyboard you will be able to find with Cherry MX Red switches, an aluminum backplate, super-bright and adjustable white backlighting, and a detachable USB C cord for $50. This is a fantastic starting mechanical keyboard that comes in both white and black. The keycaps are detachable and can be easily replaced with different color keycaps.

Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device

This keyboard is super intuitive for those of you who work on multiple computers and need one keyboard, it supports multiple devices through Bluetooth connection. Simply click a button and it switches to your other computer. This paired with a Logitech Bluetooth mouse is the ultimate pair for a single desk, but multiple device setup.

 

Ducky One 2

The Ducky One 2 is the most versatile mechanical keyboard on the market. These custom made keyboards usually support RGB backlighting, various options of key switches to choose from, different keycaps, optional aviator cables and much more. If you are interested in buying a custom keyboard, I would look into these.

 

External Drives

Samsung SSD

Samsung makes the best SSD‘s on the market, hands down. If you get an SSD, get Samsung, it is worth the extra money because they are much faster than any other SSD brand. This is their portable external SSD and is one of the highest-rated external drives on the market. Look into this if you want ultra-fast data transfers between devices.

Western Digital HDD

If you need a TON of storage, get this. Western Digital arguably makes the best hard drives; these external drives specialize in space at the cost of speed.

 

Web Camera

Logitech 720p

Look no further for a quality web camera that has a built-in microphone.  Never get a 1080p web camera, it isn’t worth the extra money, and no one cares if you are a tiny bit pixelated on a Zoom meeting. If you are concerned about being spied on by the NSA or other organizations for security measures, it is easily detachable by the USB cord.

 

 

 

Streaming Players

More Intuitive – Roku 4k

The 4k Roku now supports Dolby Vision, so it effectively has the same exact specifications as the FireTV 4k. Roku, in my opinion, has a more user-friendly interface for browsing through movies, and after all, I would rather support Roku than Amazon because they make some nice products.

Alexa Enabled – FireTV 4k

This is what we currently have in my household because at the time Roku did not support Dolby Vision’s high dynamic range, which was relatively important because our Sony TV supports Dolby Vision as well. FireTV’s interface loads significantly slower than Roku’s and the layout is not as efficient. Nonetheless, if you are one of those people who think that speaking to Alexa is faster than using the remote, this is for you.

Notice: All pictures associated with this article are from Amazon.com, Newegg.com, and multiple other Google sources. I do not take any credit for the photography and graphics attributed to this article.