15 Coolest Tech Products You Didn't Know You Needed

15 Coolest Tech Products You Didn't Know You Needed

There are some product purchases you have made that were good decisions. And then there are some products where you think, "I can't believe I didn't get this sooner!"

Here are the best "didn't know I needed it" items that have recently gone from appearing to be useless to be essential.

Sonos One Smart Speaker

Sonos has redefined the home audio industry with a lineup of products geared towards high-quality sound and music. The modular types let you connect Sonos speakers in sequence to improve the overall listening experience. These speakers are linked and can be controlled with an app. They work with most streaming services as well. The Sonos One is our top pick because it has Alexa built-in, so you won't have to buy two separate devices.

Apple AirPods

We had our crack team of tech testers evaluate 30 of the most popular wireless earbuds to see whether they live up to the hype. Apple Airpods, not surprisingly, top the list with a full range of features, including noise cancellation, 24-hour battery life, and incredible sound quality for music, calls, and more.

Roomba i7+

The Roomba i7+ is the latest addition to iRobot's range of robot vacuums, featuring technical changes such as intelligent floor mapping. This ensures that it covers every inch, automated dust bin emptying, and smart home compatibility so you can command Alexa to send the Roomba to the kids' room.

Fitbit Versa 3

The basic idea behind a smartwatch is to keep track of your steps and motivate you to reach a particular target, making it surprisingly entertaining to try to meet your daily goal. As you progress through the line, the features become more advanced, and the Fitbit Versa 3 is our top pick for taking your fitness level to the next level. The Fitbit is an excellent smartwatch because it has many features, such as GPS and heart-rate monitoring. It is also waterproof, so you can use it while swimming or in the rain. Plus, you can use it without your phone on days when you want to "go off the grid." This way, you can still track your workouts.

Schlage Z-Wave Deadbolt

Deadbolts that can be unlocked using a code or an app are now easy to find and inexpensive. You'll be able to enter your home key-free with the feature-rich Schlage Z-Wave, but you'll have even more protection than you would with a regular deadbolt. This home security model comes with a built-in alarm system and smart-home connectivity. You can use this to lock or unlock your door remotely and track who opened the door and when. It has up to 30 personalized passcodes.

Garmin Montana Handheld GPS

When your life might be at risk, relying on your phone's GPS is not a good idea. It's like bringing a phone camera to a professional photoshoot. You might be able to get the job done, but it's not worth the risk. The Garmin Montana, our top pick in this category, has a super high sensitivity receiver that works independently of cell towers and maintains a steady satellite signal even in dense forests and deep canyons where cellular service doesn't reach. You can plan waypoints as a hiker to avoid getting lost. The touchscreen interface and the option to utilize a rechargeable battery or AA batteries are just a bonus.

NETGEAR Nighthawk M1 Mobile Router

WiFi is a big part of modern technology, and though it may be available anywhere now, there's still a good possibility that it'll be within reach when you're outside your house. A mobile hotspot is an excellent answer for the times when there isn't WiFi accessible. These portable gadgets convert a cell signal into a WiFi connection wherever the service provider has a signal. The Nighthawk M1, our Best of the Best selection, distinguishes out with its flexibility in providers and being one of the few options with Ethernet ports for a solid direct connection that allows lightning-fast download speeds while you're on the go.

Logitech BRIO Webcam

Logitech's BRIO is our top pick for video conferencing cameras. This model features a glass lens, 4K image sensor, and autofocus. It also works with all the major video conferencing platforms, which is essential given how many different apps people use for virtual meetings these days.

Igloo ICEB26RR Countertop Ice Maker

The Igloo ICEB26RR makes up to 26 pounds of crystal clear ice in 24 hours, with the first 9 cubes ready in just seven minutes. It's also small and light enough to carry around, with a 3-quart water tank to ensure that you spend much more time drinking icy beverages.

LiveScribe Symphony Smart Pen

The Best of the Best award is given to LiveScribe (which topped the list of 35 models evaluated). The Symphony smartpen transforms what you write into text, which can then be read on your computer or through an app on your phone or tablet. The new Dragon Touch pen can transcribe 28 languages and has a 90-day standby battery life. Not everything needs to be converted to a digital model, but this is one gadget you won't believe how long you've gone without until you try it.

NETGEAR WiFi Mesh Range Extender EX7000

WiFi extenders amplify the WiFi signal in your home or office. This helps get the signal to places it previously couldn't reach. Even though it doesn't seem like magic, it's still an excellent solution for this common problem.

The NETGEAR WiFi Mesh Range Extender EX7000 works well with major router brands. It has 5-gigabit ethernet ports to connect directly to it, and it also supports speeds up to almost 2 GB per second.

Neewer Ring Light Kit

Adding a light source is one of the simplest ways to enhance your appearance on camera. We evaluated 56 models, and Neweer got the top spot. It comes with various functional accessories and remote control for quick on-the-fly adjustments. It also includes a travel selfie-stick carrying bag. The light can be dimmed, and it doesn't produce much heat.

Coast Rechargeable LED Headlamp

This Headlamp is better than your regular flashlight, as this illuminates the direction of your sight while your hands are free. Coast Rechargeable LED Headlamp is our "Best of the Best Pick" because it is a powerful flashlight that offers multiple brightness settings of up to 1000 lumens and operates on either a rechargeable or traditional battery for maximum adaptability.

Withings Thermo – Smart Temporal Thermometer

The days of waiting for an accurate reading with a thermometer under your tongue are long gone. Traditional thermometers take much longer to read, while the Withings Thermo delivers quick, contact-free, guaranteed correct results in seconds. It can also store data from up to eight individual users and tracks temperature changes over time.

mophie powerstation plus XL Portable Charger

This portable charger can recharge your essential gadgets many times over without requiring a wall outlet. We looked at 33 models and found some excellent alternatives. The decision is simple for our money: The mophie power station plus XL gives 45 hours of battery life, is USB-C compatible, and has rapid charging capabilities for under $50.