Newsweek Products of the Month

Newsweek Products of the Month

During October, we tested and reviewed Outer’s premium outdoor furniture, several smart locks, and a tabletop fire pit, along with many other new products. Every month there are dozens of articles worth talking about, so we’ve rounded up the best in one easy-to-find place.

Beyond highlighting some of the top product reviews we did in October, there are also some exclusive mini reviews below. And don’t miss our updated rundown of the latest iPhone 14 Pro cases, as well as some of the best Apple Accessories currently available.

October Favorites

Teen Engineering PO-80 Record Factory

PO-80 Record Factory vinyl turntable
If you’ve ever wanted to understand the process of cutting and listening to a vinyl record, this is the product for you.
Tyler Hayes

Teenage Engineering’s latest product isn’t explicitly a music teaching tool, but there’s a good chance you’ll learn a few things along the way while assembling and cutting your own vinyl records at home. the PO-80 record factory allows you to record your own audio onto 5-inch plastic discs and then play them back. Whether you consider this product a toy or not, it is definitely as stylish as it looks in the pictures.

Buy in SFMOMA for $149.

Outdoor Wicker Furniture Collection

outdoor outdoor patio furniture sofa and chair
Outer’s custom designed outdoor furniture focuses on the details in an effort to give it over a decade of use.
Tyler Hayes

It can be hard to tell if high-end premium products sold primarily online are worth their price. After getting to work with Outer Wicker Outdoor Furniture CollectionI can tell you that it is as impressive as it looks. Not only does it feature stain-resistant cushions and covers for each seat, but the wicker itself doesn’t squeak or feel cheap.

Buy in Outside from $6,950.

Solo Stove Table Fire Pit

Solo Stove Tabletop Fire Pit
Without much effort I built a fire to roast marshmallows.
Tyler Hayes

Mesa is the ultimate smokeless fire pit from Solo Stove in a small form factor. The tabletop fire pit accepts wood pellets or small wood chips and is a doddle to light and maintain. It’s perfect for roasting marshmallows or creating a natural setting on an outdoor dining table. It worked great for the flames, but was also easy to empty and clean.

Buy in Stove Solo starting at $119.99.

Mini Reviews

Bower and Wilkins Px8

Bower & Wilkins Px8 Wireless Headphones
The Bower & Wilkins Px8 Headphones retain a familiar design but update the internal components to deliver crisp, clear sound.
Bowers and Wilkins

The premium Bower & Wilkins Px7 S2 headphones are still fresh from their launch in early 2022, but the company already has some high-end ones. The Px8 headphones have a very similar look and feel to the Px7 S2, but they get some improvements, along with a much higher price tag.

Internally, the Px8 headphones use carbon cone drive units to help reduce distortion. The goal here is to provide a higher level of clarity. In a real-world, side-by-side listening test with both pairs of headphones, I did notice some differences in sound quality, but it wasn’t drastic. I preferred the Px8 more, but the other model plays audio well too.

The other main difference that influences the sound a bit is the use of nappa leather upholstery. The material is more comfortable, but it’s also softer, so it feels like a tiger seal around your ears. In isolation, the Bower & Wilkins Px8 sound brilliant and are absolutely the height of premium consumer wireless headphones. If money is not a concern, then there is no reason not to splurge on this luxury. Otherwise, there are much cheaper ways to dive into wireless headphones, including the Px7 S2.

As a side note, I tried the 007 Edition, which commemorates 60 years of James Bond. The special edition earphones include a midnight blue color and some printed logos inside the earphones, but are otherwise the same as the standard edition of the earphones.

Buy in Bower & Wilkins from $699.

sound freedom 4

Soundcore Liberty 4 Wireless Earbuds
The Soundcore Liberty 4 headphones feature comfortable ear cushions along with heart rate sensors and full sound.
sound core

At one point, Soundcore’s Liberty line of wireless headphones were a second-rate product. They were trying to be AirPods for people who didn’t want AirPods, didn’t have an iPhone, or didn’t want to spend the money. That time has passed, however, and the new Liberty 4 headphones can stand on their own as a completely respectable audio product that iPhone or Android users might consider purchasing.

Standout features include support for heart rate sensors and 360-degree spatial audio built into the earphones. Heart rate detection piqued my interest due to its potential impact on fitness. However, the requirement to use Soundcore’s app while working out to monitor heart rate meant the sensor was almost worthless to me. If the company starts entering data into Apple Health or Google Fit, then the feature could become more significant in the future.

Regardless of any major selling point missteps, the Liberty 4 headphones still sound great, are comfortable to wear, and actively cancel noise all around you, all for under $150. These join a very crowded market in the personal audio space, but they’re at least worth considering because they execute very well on the fundamentals.

Buy in Soundcore for $149.99.

It’s complicated

Soundcore Dream A10

Soundcore Sleep A10 Headphones
The Sleep A10 can function as a standard Bluetooth headset and play any type of audio.
Tyler Hayes

The Liberty 4 headphones aren’t the only new product Soundcore has recently launched. the Dream A10 they are small Bluetooth headphones intended for bedtime. In my tests, these couldn’t get over my sensitive ears all night, but they’re still the best I’ve tried. If you’re comfortable sleeping with something in your ears, then this could be the natural sleep aid you’ve been waiting for.

Buy in Soundcore for $179.99.

Yale2 security lock

Yale Assure Lock 2 Smart Home
When the touch screen is illuminated, the numbers are easy to read, even in bright sunlight.
Tyler Hayes

Yale’s newest smart lock, the Secure Lock2, improves its previous version in various ways to make this one solid in every way. In my tests, the lock worked very well with Apple’s HomeKit platform and has a lower starting price than other premium products on the market. Unfortunately, the lock isn’t compatible with the iPhone’s home key, and parts of the unit can be a bit bulky for some people.

Buy in Lowe’s from $158.98.

do not miss

Apple Accessories iPhone Charger
Some of the best Apple accessories include a charger that looks like a Mac, a transparent battery, and more.
Tyler Hayes
  • On the heels of the iPhone 14 Pro launch, I got to work with more than 50 different cases for it. I’ve narrowed them down to a handful of solid options worth checking out. Since then I have tried additional cases and updated that list with more possibilities. There’s also a good chance that at least a few more will be added in the future.
  • If you are a gadget enthusiast who is always looking for a new smart product for your Apple device, I collected a lot of good. These include a wall charger that looks like a classic Mac.

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