Category Archives: Electronics

Happy Birthday to Technology that Changed our Lives

It’s hard to believe Apple’s iPod – the best-selling MP3 player and precursor to the iPhone – turns 15 on Monday.

Other digital storage devices were already in the market, but Apple’s touchscreen, user-friendly interfaces, and smaller form factor transformed our lives. Today, the vast majority of us carry smartphones that have drawn inspiration from that first iPod.

With this technology comes a need to keep your iPod, iPad, iPhone, or Android charged and ready to assist. We feature several unique gifts to keep your devices running strong and enhance their da87964_1000x1000ily usefulness.86892_1000x1000

In your car, this rapid-charge adapter powers up to three devices at once. The 2.4 amp-rating provides superior charging efficiency for iPods, iPhones and other smartphones, charging in half the time it takes typical chargers. An LED indicator lets you know devices are still charging. It plugs into a standard 12V socket and includes cables for both Android and iPhone connectors.

This car speakerphone earned The Best rating from the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it provided the clearest audio. The Best model’s dual microphone eliminated background noise, muffled sounds and echoes with noise reducing technology, leading one analyst to say “I couldn’t even tell they were talking on a speakerphone.” It mounts to a visor and automatically connects to your phone via Bluetooth. The Best unit’s three-speaker virtual surround sound provides audio “as clear as listening to the radio.”87348_1000x1000

There’s little more frustrating than a low battery and no place to plug in. Here’s a portable battery that attaches to a sunny window, using solar power to charge your device. A suction cup allows you to mount the unit to a window in a car, train, or plane while the built-in solar panel charges the internal 1,000 maH lithium-ion battery. It’s only slightly larger than a hockey puck, so it tucks easily into a carry-on or purse.

As proof of how the technology that began with the iPod changed society, we feature dozens of unique gifts that make your smartphone more useful, or that operate efficiently with the help of your phone and an app. And like every unique gift we offer, they’re all covered by our Unconditional, Unwavering Lifetime Guarantee.

Investing in CDs for 34 Years

You could say the digital revolution began on this date in 1982 when the compact disc player was introduced.

Although streaming audio continues to grow, replacing owning music in any format, the compact disc remains very much alive. In 2014, nearly 141 million CDs were sold, and we are proud to feature several unique gifts to help you enjoy your CD collection.12228_1000x1000

This portable stereo system optimizes the concept of the portable audio player – a.k.a. boom box – by blasting your music at backyard or tailgate parties. Built on a sturdy steel chassis that rolls easily on four pneumatic wheels, it provides over 2,000 watts of sonorous symphony with eight PA-quality Piezo horn tweeters, two mid-range speakers, and a dual-voice coil subwoofer with dedicated crossover. It plays music from CDs, the radio, a USB drive, a smartphone, or any Bluetooth-enabled MP3 player. This system is ready to party…it even includes three recessed drink holders and a bottle opener.89803b_1000x1000

Equally ready to entertain is this full-size, multi-media jukebox that plays music from CDs, as well as records, smartphones, iPods, SD Cards, and the radio. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, it is inspired by the legendary Deutsche-Wurlitzer jukebox with seven color-changing LEDs in hues of red, green and blue. Its single CD drive plays classic tracks with next, previous, stop, and pause functions, plus a USB port in the front provides easy connectivity to an MP3 player or flash drive.81557_1000x1000

As a music lover, you may have a collection of classic vinyl records or cassette tapes. This combination recorder and stereo system preserves your collection for the future by converting LPs and tapes to CDs or MP3s. A Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, it faithfully transfers an LP or cassette to digital audio. At any time during recording, you can pause to select only certain songs, turn the album or cassette over, and change albums or cassettes. It’s also a great way to make compilation recordings as unique gifts for family and friends.

There’s a lot to be said for owning music you love versus streaming it from an online service. Moreover, genres such as jazz and classical remain underrepresented online. Pulling a CD off the shelf to read liner notes while listening to some of your favorite tunes provides an intangible and unique gift of satisfaction that streaming a song will never deliver.

This Season, Pigskin is In

By this time of the year, baseball thrills only those fans whose teams are poised for the playoffs. For everyone else, football season is more than welcome!

Among the best reasons to attend a football game is the tailgate party beforehand. 12452_1000x1000It’s a chance to socialize with friends, trash talk the opposing team, and enjoy the unique gifts of a beautiful fall day outdoors. Some folks we know don’t even enter the stadium and just tailgate all the way from kickoff to the final whistle.

And why not, when you have this dual hammock that sets up on a trailer hitch in just 10 minutes. Two hammock chairs have hanging footrests, allowing tailgaters to relax in a reclined position while keeping feet and legs elevated. Any frequent tailgater would appreciate this unique gift.12410_1000x1000

No tailgate party is complete without a friendly “bags” competition and this tournament bean bag set comes decorated in the logo of your favorite NFL team. Equally suited for at-home halftime festivities or playoff-season pre-game hype, this set is constructed to ensure compliance with the exacting standards set forth by the American Cornhole Organization.12849_1000x1000

Back at the house, celebrate your team’s victory with this outdoor LED projector that casts the emblem of your NFL favorite on your home’s exterior. Displaying six images of a team’s officially licensed logo up to 40′-tall, the projector makes no mistake where your loyalties lie on Sundays. A built-in light sensor automatically turns the light display on and off as the sun sets and rises. We can’t think of a better unique gift for the ultimate football fanatic in your life.

So here’s to the still-fresh football season and best wishes that the sun does not set prematurely on your favorite team’s aspirations for victory.

Groundbreaking Video Format Turns 40

Last month, the lone remaining maker of the VCR ended production of these once-groundbreaking machines because sales had fallen to only 750,000 units per year. Ironically, this announcement comes as we mark the 40th anniversary of the VHS format. The once-ubiquitous VHS tape outlasted several of its competitors, including Betamax and laser discs.

But wait a moment…only 750,000 units per year? Clearly, there are significant numbers of folks with collections of VHS tapes containing favorite films, home movies, and treasured recordings. We know you value your video collection and that’s why we offer several unique gifts for enjoying and storing your VHS cassette tapes.84007_1000x100087173_1000x100082997_1000x1000

Nevertheless, you may want to consider transferring the contents of your tapes to DVD. This easy-to-use device will preserve cherished home movies on digital DVDs before they are lost forever. The entire process requires little more than inserting the source cassette and a blank DVD and following onscreen prompts. The finished DVDs play on any disc player or computer, creating unique gifts of memories to share with family and friends.

Add more enjoyment of your favorite VHS tapes with these wireless TV speakers that set up on a chair or couch backrest to provide clear, easier-to-hear audio. The speakers are designed to contour to a backrest and transmit audio wirelessly from a TV to the speakers. The speakers tilt inward to project audio toward the listener, allowing you to hear a movie more clearly without disturbing others.

For storing your irreplaceable VHS tapes alongside newer CDs and DVDs, this Mission-style media library holds them all. Available exclusively from Hammacher Schlemmer, the unit has eighteen solid-wood shelves that can be raised or lowered to any height, allowing you to create custom storage configurations. Tempered glass doors with brushed steel door pulls help keep dust at bay.

So a final hats-off to the VHS tape as we celebrate its 40th anniversary. Festivities begin at 12:00…12:00…12:00.

Shed Some Light for a Brighter Night

As we enter Labor Day Weekend and our approach to autumn, you may have noticed the later sunrises and earlier sunsets. Already in New York City, since the start of summer, more than two hours of daylight have been lost each day, and the city will lose almost 6.5 additional hours of light by the first day of winter.

Now, while we still have nature’s unique gifts of sun and warmth on our side, is a great time to think about beefing up your outdoor lighting. Improving illumination around your home’s walkways and entryways adds security and safety, particularly when we get to the darkest and iciest time of the year.88333_1000x1000

Producing the brightest, longest-lasting, and most expansive glow, this solar walkway light ranked first in all tests conducted by the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute. The Best Solar Walkway Light generated 60 lumens and glowed 75% longer than other models. Even after eight hours, its bright LED beam had not diminished. The light automatically turns on at dusk and recharges in moderate to full sunshine.82622_1000x1000

This cordless, weatherproof light illuminates porches, decks or patios with LEDs twice as bright as typical models. Its six ultra-bright LEDs produce 72 lumens of glare-free light, providing a 10′ wide-angle beam similar to a floodlight. The light mounts easily anywhere with no wiring required. Its motion sensor turns the light on at night when it detects movement from up to 25′ away and shuts off when no motion is detected for 30 seconds.84984_1000x1000

Ideal adjacent to an entryway, this attractive cordless coach light turns on automatically after dusk when motion is detected. Requiring no wiring, the sconce mounts to exterior walls, allowing you to place it virtually anywhere, while maintaining consistency with your home’s exterior décor. Its sensor detects motion up to 23′ away, stays on during continued movement, and turns off automatically after 20 seconds. The sconce casts white light from its built-in LED array, switchable between 49 and 83 lumens.

No one will argue the safety and security benefits of improved outdoor lighting, but it can also increase the aesthetics and curb appeal of your home, adding to the home’s value as well. Think of it as a small investment that brings all the unique gifts of safety, security, beauty, and financial return.

Feeling Secure at Home: Priceless

An FBI study conducted in 2013 reported that 5,400 burglaries occur in the U.S. every day. Home security devices can give you a sense of peace more valuable than any of your possessions for the unique gifts of feeling more at ease, focused, and relaxed in your home.79806_1000x1000

We have several options to help you set up a security system outside your residence to monitor who comes onto your property.

As a car or a pedestrian enters your driveway, this alarm system alerts you from as far away as a half mile. A remote motion sensor attaches to a mailbox post or address sign at the end of your drive and detects movement, sending a wireless signal back to the monitor in your home. The monitor generates a tone to alert you that someone is coming.86190_1000x1000

This easy-to-install entryway security camera retrofits a motion-sensing WiFi camera to an outdoor porch or garage light. Requiring no wiring, an included smart light bulb adapter simply screws into an existing light socket to provide power to the wall-mounted wireless HD video camera via a short cord. The camera’s infrared sensor detects when someone approaches and automatically sends a notification to your paired WiFi device via a free app.87324_1000x1000

This video doorbell earned The Best rating from the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because of its easy installation and superior video quality. Unlike other models that must be hardwired into an existing doorbell system, The Best model attaches to your door and connects to your home’s wireless network. When the doorbell is pressed, a motion-sensing camera captures video and sends an alert to a smartphone app that displays a live video feed with the option for voice chat.

The possessions inside your home have a certain financial or sentimental value. But you can’t put a value on the priceless feeling of peace of mind. Protect your home and family with any or all of these devices and gain the intangible unique gifts that come with simply feeling more secure.

Enjoy the Sounds of Summer

A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and live music under the stars. These are the makings for one of our favorite summer pleasures, a concert in the park.

Whether you take in the symphony at one of the country’s fabulous outdoor venues like Wolf Trap, Tanglewood, or Ravinia, or go to your neighborhood park to hear a local band on the rise, when the weather’s right, we can’t think of a better way to enjoy the unique gifts of a summer evening.76519_1000x1000

Typically at such venues, you need to bring your own chair. This portable director’s chair folds to about the size of a laptop and stores in an easy-to-carry messenger bag. It weighs only 9 lbs. and straps over a shoulder and across the chest for easy hands-free portability. Rated “Best Overall” by The Wall Street Journal, with this chair, you’ll be ready to take in a concert at a moment’s notice.88337_1000x1000

Turn the evening into a movable feast with this ingenious cooler cart. This folding beverage cart has an integrated cooler/tabletop to transport your family’s feast over any terrain. The flexible cooler insert holds up to 225 lbs. of ice, drinks, and food. Its rigid cover doubles as a tabletop when closed. The cart pulls easily with a telescoping handle and heavy-duty rubber wheels.89360_1000x1000

After sunset, you’ll need some light and a way to keep mosquitos at bay. This 300-lumen outdoor lantern uses a synthetic repellent made from a naturally occurring insecticide found in chrysanthemums. Field testing proved it repels up to 98% of mosquitoes. Eight LEDs inside the lantern produce an efficient glow for up to 50 hours and may be used with or without the repellant. This lamp makes the ideal unique gift for anyone looking to keep pesky flying insects away in any outdoor setting.

Whether you favor classical, pop, rock, or jazz, with a symphony of crickets as backup, you can’t beat the sum of a picnic plus live music to really appreciate the unique gifts of a summer concert in the park.

Spend a Day Car-Free and Care-Free

On June 16, the U.S. will celebrate the 11th annual National Dump the Pump Day. The day is designed to encourage car-lovers to use public transportation or other means to get around for the day.

Even in these days of relatively low gas prices, choosing not to drive is an economical choice and results in the unique gifts of cleaner air through reduced emissions of carbon and greenhouse gasses.86716_1000x1000

If you’re getting around on public transportation, you’ll want a good bag to carry your things. This Argentinian leather carryall stows all the essentials for a day at the office, shopping, or playing tourist in your own town. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, the surprisingly spacious nylon-lined interior is split into two zippered compartments. One can hold a tablet, plus it has snap- and zip-closure pockets, two mesh pockets, a pocket for a phone, loops for pens, and a key ring. The other is a divided compartment that keeps larger items handy.83485_1000x1000

While dumping the pump, you may choose to tool around on bicycle. Come evening, you’ll be a safer and more confident cyclist with this virtual safety lane. The device mounts to a bike’s seat post and projects two 5-milliwatt red lasers onto the ground. Providing motorists with a visual indicator of a rider’s width, it’s ideal for increasing the safety margin around a cyclist during pre-dawn or dusk rides. If you know someone who commutes by bike, it’s the perfect unique gift for them, too.83736_1000x1000

Walking is a great alternative for going short distances car-free. These lady’s lightweight slip-on shoes provide all-day comfort, thanks to four layers of cushioning and support in the soles. Recipient of the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance for foot health, the shoes have a contoured footbed and deep heel cup for arch support and plantar fasciitis relief. For gentlemen, we recommend these knee-pain relieving walking shoes. They employ flexure zones built into the outsoles to reduce knee loads by 20 percent.84344_1000x1000

Along with the environmental benefits of going car-free, these alternative modes of transportation have another benefit, too: you’ll get more exercise. And that is a unique gift for your health that just can’t be beat.

Let’s Hear It for the Ears

Today is National Save Your Hearing Day, a yearly reminder to turn down the volume and be good to our eardrums.

For many of us, it’s too late. All those rock concerts years ago have done us in. Symptoms of mild hearing loss include a ringing or hissing noise in the ears called tinnitus and difficultly hearing conversations in a noisy environment. We have several items that are ideal unique gifts to help anyone with minor hearing difficulties.79741_1000x100084896_1000x1000

This voice-clarifying digital earpiece makes conversations easier to hear. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, the device features an advanced microchip that amplifies human speech frequencies above background noise so that spoken words are clearly audible and easier to discern. The rechargeable earpiece has eight adjustable volume levels and four different sized silicone caps to accommodate most ears. 87935_1000x1000

This wireless speaker uses similar technology to enhance television viewing by boosting the sound of dialog. The infrared transmitter attaches to the TV’s audio ports and sends its signal to the speaker. The speaker has its own volume control, plus a headphone jack for private listening.

As hearing loss progresses, it’s common for background “white noise” to interfere with discerning conversations. This window air conditioner is the world’s quietest. It uses reengineered internal mechanisms to deliver powerful cool air while producing a gentle hum equivalent to a rain shower, more than 1/3 quieter than its clanging competitors88273_1000x1000.

Those affected by tinnitus understand how annoying the condition is. This vibrating wand quiets the ringing, rushing, or buzzing sounds for up to 18 hours. Applied to four points on the outer ear and surrounding bones, the wand’s gentle vibration stimulates the auditory nerve, muffles the clatter of tinnitus, and trains the brain to ignore it. Consider this unique gift for anyone you know afflicted by the condition—they will certainly be grateful.

Audiology experts recommend the 60:60 rule…listen with earphones at no more than 60 percent of maximum volume, for no more than 60 minutes a day. At loud concerts and when using lawn mowers and other noisy tools, wear earplugs or noise-canceling headphones. If your hearing has been exposed to a high-decibel environment, give them the unique gift of a 16-hour “noise detox” of silence to give your ears an opportunity to recover.

Take Our Cue…Unique Gifts for Dad’s Barbecue, That Is!

Smokin’ low and slow is the way to go for dear ol’ Dad this Father’s Day. It’s the endless quest for finger-licking, bone-sucking BBQ, good enough to make everyone’s mouth water.88539_1000x1000

We suggest Dad start slow and easy, with a meat marinade or dry rub ideal for smoking. The Only Kettle Grill Smoker Converter turns an ordinary kettle grill into a smoking pit, so Dad can cook his meats to juicy, pink perfection. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, the insert rests atop a grill’s charcoal grate and provides a perforated platform for briquettes, woodchips, and water to work together to generate a dense, flavorful smoke.88516_1000x1000

Dad’s carefully planned ballet of rubbed meat and slow smoke can be monitored with timed, digital precision using The Smartphone Alerting Barbecue Thermometer. This device lets dad monitor his brisket while playing a game of softball, taking Mom for a stroll, or engaging in a game of lawn darts. The wireless transmitter sends real-time data to an iPad/iPhone app or Android app, alerting the cook when a pre-selected temperature or optimal cooking range is reached…Dad relaxes and has fun with the family in the meantime.88310_1000x100087471_1000x1000

And for the finest 14-hour smoked brisket that may take Dad into the hours past sunset, The Best Cordless Grill Light lets him baste his rib roast and plate those succulent unique gifts of burnt ends for the family soirée. This light earned The Best rating from the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it generated the brightest, most expansive light and was the only model with a timer.

Perhaps the Dad in your life is not one for manning the grill. No problem…we have plenty of other ideas for the perfect Father’s Day present. Our easy-to-use, online Father’s Day Gift Guide is available to help you choose just the right unique gifts for him.