Sonos PLAY:1

If you’re new to streaming digital music, I introduce you to Sonos and their PLAY:1 wireless speaker. If you are already a user of digital music you possibly know all about Sonos, and could probably do with having an additional speaker for somewhere in the home or office.

Sonos were one of the first bunch of manufacturers that made speaker systems for streaming digital music, and made it simple to do so. At the time, the Sonos user interface was very familiar with the Apple iTunes and Apple iPod user interface, making the system very simple to use. Today, most users will control the Sonos system from their connected mobile device.

Where music used to be stored on a computer or associated hard drive of some type (which you can still do), many users will use an online streaming service such as Spotify Google Play Music, Pandora, Apple Music etc. (Sonos indicates their system is compatible with over 30 different streaming services), to have access to millions of songs. Digital streaming radio services can be listened to via popular streaming radio apps such as TuneIn Radio and iHeart Radio.

The Sonos PLAY:1 is a compact speaker with a big sound. Although technically not a wireless speaker (It has no internal battery and requires it’s main power cable to be plugged into a power outlet), it can connect wirelessly to your wifi network. After downloading the Sonos Controller mobile app, and performing a quick set-up, you’re ready to listen to your favourite music, radio or podcast.

The PLAY:1 is great for the bedside table and can be programmed as a wake-up alarm, playing your favourite content each morning, or using the sleep function the help you drift off to sleep in the evening. Although not water resistant, the PLAY:1 is humidity resistant and suitable for being placed in a bathroom.

Although the PLAY:1 is a mono speaker, two single speakers can be linked together within the mobile app to provide stern sound. If you need more sound or better sound quality, Sonos have a range of other speakers, soundbar, subwoofer and accessories to complete your whole-house listening experience.

The only thing the Sonos PLAY:1 lacks is Bluetooth connectivity to connect and stream digital content directly from your phone, rather than needing a wifi connection. Sonos go to some length to convince users that Bluetooth connectivity is not needed, but I would still like it, especially to play Podcasts from third-party podcasting apps such as Overcast or Pocketcasts etc. from my phone.

Available in white or black, the Sonos PLAY:1 currently sells for around AU$250 through local Australian retailers like JB HiFi.


I’m always misplacing basic everyday things; my wallet, my keys etc. Chipolo is a great little accessory that will help you find your things when you misplace them.

Chipolo is a small Bluetooth tracker, about the size of a 50c coin, and available in a range of vivid colours. It features a small keyring loop, enabling it to be attached to your things. The CR2025 battery is replaceable, and last around 6 months,

After downloading the Chipolo mobile app, and some brief setting up, you are good to go, and can enjoy life without the stress of search for your misplaced things.

Chipolo, like other bluetooth trackers, works by being in constant bluetooth connection (or at least when your phones GPS detects a different location) with your smart phone. When your Chipolo connected item is separated from your smart phone, it logs the last time they were together.

If your Chipolo connected item is within Bluetooth range (approximately 20m), simply launch the Chipolo app on your phone to see a list of your items, select the item, and ring it. Hopefully, your item will emit a tune allowing you to locate it. This works really well, if your wallet or keys have been left in your trouser pocket, or perhaps fallen out somewhere close by.

Chipolo will sound an alert on your phone if your connected item becomes separated, saving you from perhaps leaving for the office without you wallet, or similar. To minimise constant item separation from your phone, you can set up quiet-zone locations.

Chipolo even works in the reverse with a misplaced phone. Simply shake your Chipolo, and your phone will sound an alert if in close Bluetooth range.

I love my Chipolos, and have never misplaced my everyday things since having them connected to my keys, wallet, bag, and camera.

Chipolos can be purchased online from Chipolo, or via a local reseller for under AU$40 each.

Tech Gift Guide

Looking for the perfect gift for someone who loves tech and gadgets? Start here with my Tech Gift Guide:

  1. Tile Bluetooth tracker that helps to stop misplacing everyday things.
  2. Sonos PLAY:1 mini home speaker with mighty sound.
  3. Apple iPad Pro tablet
  4. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite compact e-Book reader for the avid book reader, traveller or minimalist.
  5. Chipolo Bluetooth tracker that makes it easy to locate your keys, wallet and other things.
  6. Philips Hue
  7. GoPro Hero
  8. Nintendo Switch
  9. Apple AirPods
  10. Apple Watch
  11. Bose QC35 noise-cancelling headphones
  12. Google Home
  13. Apple iTunes gift cards

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Books take up a lot of space – you have to put them somewhere. In my attempt to de-clutter with a vision of maintaining a more minimalist lifestyle, I introduce you to the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite. After experiencing this e-book ready, I don’t think I’m ever buying a paper book again (maybe)!

The compact form factor is considerably lighter than a paperback, and is easy to hold. Unlike tablets, there is no screen glare, even in bright sunlight. The screen is nothing like a tablet or computer screen with the e-ink display being very crisp and easy on the eyes with a high resolution 300 psi screen. The screen front and size can easily be adjusted to relieve eye strain. The built-in adjustable light allow reading in bright sunlight or at night.

The battery life seems to last forever. Amazon says that single battery charge lasts weeks, rather than hours. My Kindle often sits unused for weeks, but there is always ample charge when I need it. I just remember to charge it before I travel, and never need to recharge on a typical holiday break.

The Kindle Paperwhite has WiFi connectivity, that when linked with your personal Amazon account quickly syncs up all your purchased books. The 4GB internal memory supposedly holds thousands of books, that I don’t think I’ll ever fill up. The Kindle can read all of the main e-book formats, that can easily be converted and synced using the free Calibre app.

The only negative with the grey scale kindle screen is that book with photographs or image are black and white, and not presented in colour as they would in a paper book.

The Kindle is a great gift for the avid reader and/or traveller, or for users like myself who don’t want to deal with bookshelf storage of paper books.

The Kindle Paperwhite sells for around AU$169 from local store such as Officeworks and JB HiFi.