True-Bluetooth headsets are a dime a dozen. But how many come in eye-popping colors like lime, scarlet, yellow and purple? Although we still wouldn't wear one everywhere like those yuppie douches you see jabbering away at Starbucks, behold a fashionable alternative to the usual clunky ear wart. The accessory's beauty isn't just skin deep either-it boasts excellent noise reduction and wind cancellation features, as well. Just promise us you'll take it off while using public bathrooms, K?
us.jawbone.com / $129.99
In case you hadn't heard: Courtesy of artists like Metallica and Radiohead, vinyl's quietly been making a comeback in recent years. To savor the phenomenon, consider upgrading to a high-tech turntable system like so, which enables easy dumping of records to digital formats via Mac or PC USB connectors. Pre-bundled software provides the means to quickly edit out clicks, pops and other sonic imperfections, while DJs (and enthusiastic poseurs) will appreciate 33 or 45 rpm playback speeds and RCA stereo output.
www.standondj.com / $199
An obvious luxury, with its nosebleed price and oversized 9.7-inch display, the newest incarnation of Amazon's popular eBook reader adds built-in PDF support and additional storage space (3.3 GB total). Nonetheless, it's worth making the upgrade if you can afford it, with thousands of books, blogs, magazines and newspapers downloadable on-demand and enjoyable in portrait/landscape views. Great for stuffing in a carry-on, road warriors will especially adore the unit, even if they'll have to take out a second mortgage to cop it.
www.amazon.com / $489
While non-audiophiles can always stick with traditional budget headphone alternatives, there's something to be said for these superior mid-range earbud options. Capable of offering beefier and more vibrant sonics, the cozy, sound-isolating units (available in blue, red, black, and pink-our personal favorite) pump up acoustic quality while toning out ambient noise. As such, all your favorite tracks will come across as warmer and richer-always a welcome bonus.
www.shure.com / $119.99
Flip Ultra Hd
Yeah, we know: It seems like everyone's cranking out the budget pocket camcorders this year, most of which are virtually indistinguishable to would-be Internet porn magnates. But this contender, while slightly thicker than cousins like the MinoHD, delivers pleasingly high-quality (and high-definition) 720p footage, boosts screen size to two inches and packs in a rechargeable AA battery option. We wouldn't call it a must-have, but it's among the category's more recommended selections. Sadly, midgets and whipped cream are still sold separately.
www.theflip.com / $199.99
Guitar Hero 5
The critically-acclaimed music simulation series wherein players shred plastic axe controllers in time to on-screen indicators hits a high note here by finally allowing any combination of instruments. Up to four can wield multiple drums, guitars, bass and microphones to tracks by 85 artists, ranging from Johnny Cash to Tom Petty to The White Stripes. Though mostly more of the same, we're still suckers for extras like instant jump in/out party play options, comprehensive online head-to-head action and digital song downloads.
www.redoctane.com / PS2, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii
Personal Trainer: Walking
No joke . . . there really is an entire interactive outing dedicated to getting your fleshy ass up off the couch and moving. Albeit less game than high-tech fitness program, its two bundled accessories (capable of recording step data, wirelessly transmittable to your DS) effectively transform the handheld system into a functional pedometer. Stuff one in your pants pocket-or purse, Mary-and marvel as charts, graphs and virtual avatars reveal just how much of a lazy lump of meat you truly are.
www.nintendo.com / Nintendo DS
Raven Squad: Hidden Dagger
Interesting concept, decent execution: Shepherding a troop of armed gunmen through the Amazon's lush forests via heroes' eyes or from a tactical overhead perspective, alternately infiltrate and annihilate as needed. Online co-op play adds charm to the trigger-mashing and real-time strategy hybrid, which-despite its hackneyed storyline and predictable stage design-should engage a wide spectrum of players. Albeit no classic, a healthy mix of careful planning and straightforward brawn make it worth the effort to track a copy down.www.southpeakgames.com / PC, Xbox 360
The Beatles: Rock Band
Crafted with help from Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison (sorry, John Lennon was otherwise preoccupied), call it the ultimate ode to fan service. This extensive musical tribute-letting you wield microphone, bass, guitar and drums, including special limited-edition instruments modeled after Beatles originals, to the seminal act's chart-topping classics-chronicles the band's rise to fame and fortune. While a bit old-fashioned for our tastes, we're confident longtime admirers will appreciate the familiar scenarios and set list.
www.thebeatlesrockband.com / PS3, Xbox 360, WII
Borrowing a page from its bestselling predecessor (a haunting first-person blaster set in a failed, sinking submarine paradise populated by DNA-tinkering loonies), puts in-game storytelling first. Only now, you play the original Big Daddy-a drill-armed, rivet-gun-packing, diving-suit-clad titan-who can siphon DNA with the help of adopted Little Sisters (zombified little girls) to hurl fire and ice at misshapen opponents. Fresh additions further include multiplayer support, underwater scenarios and an insane female arch-nemesis who shadows your every step.
www.somethinginthesea.com / PC, PS3, Xbox 360