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As cities all over the world begin to open up after Covid-19, one fact of life has begun to reappear in the lives of millions of people: commutes. Getting to and from work, whether it’s by bus, train, or car, is a fact of life, and it can get pretty boring, if not annoying.
A recent study released U.S. Census Bureau found that the average citizen spends roughly one hour commuting every day — a new record. To help ease you back into your routine, we’ve found 10 pieces of gear that’ll keep you entertained, comfortable, and safe during your trips to and from the office.
1. Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX
Noise cancelling headphones used to be a luxury, but they’ve slowly become a commuting essential. They enable you to block unwanted noise from trains, buses, and other passangers without cranking up your music’s volume to levels that can damage your ears.
Our current favorite over-ear noise cancelling headphones are Bang & Olufsen’s HXs. These headphones sound incredible, and their noise cancellation feature really impressed us during our tests. What sets these headphones apart is their comfort. Bang & Olufsen went through great lengths to ensure the earcups and headband rest comfortably on your head, and don’t squeeze it too tightly.
2. Kindle Paperwhite
Reading is a great way to help make your commute go by quicker, and Kindle’s Paperwhite is the ideal way to catch up on the classics.
Amazon’s mid-tier e-reader can hold hundreds of books, and its six-inch e-ink display is easier on the eyes than the LCD panel on your phone or tablet. The Kindle can read digital books in a variety of file formats, plus audiobooks from Audible.
This model of the Kindle Paperwhite is heavily discounted because the next generation is going to be released soon, but this is still a perfectly good pick for casual commute reading. The biggest difference is that the new Kindle Paperwhite has a slightly larger display.
3. Roav Smartcharge F0
If you commute by car, Roav’s Smartcharge F0 is a must-have commuting accessory.
The phone charger also acts as a Bluetooth audio receiver and radio broadcaster, which allows you to play music from your phone to your car’s stereo system using an empty FM frequency. If your vehicle doesn’t have a Bluetooth audio system, this accessory adds this feature for under $15.
We’ve tested a similar model of this accessory from Roav, and the results have been flawless.
4. PopSockets PopGrip
The PopGrip is a simple accessory that can make a big difference in your commute. The pop-out “button” attaches to the back of your device (we’ve tested it with both a phone and Kindle), and makes it more comfortable to hold.
If you want to watch videos on your phone or read digital books for an extended period of time, we can’t recommend the PopGrip highly enough. The one thing to consider is that it will protrude from your device, even when it’s contracted. This isn’t a huge deal, but may make it more difficult to keep your phone inside a pants pocket.
5. Nintendo Switch Lite
Nintendo’s Switch Lite Console is the ultimate video game machine for commuters. It’s small enough to slip in a backpack, light enough to hold for hours without fatigue, and powerful enough to play huge, 3D games that can help a commute fly by.
The system’s 5.5-inch HD touch screen is large and bright enough to get an immersive gaming experience in a train seat, and Nintendo recently added the ability to pair Bluetooth headphones with the console. The Switch Lite’s only downside is its 32GB of internal storage, which isn’t enough to hold more than a few big games.
You can fix that issue by popping in a MicroSD Card, which can adds hundreds of gigabytes of additional space for less than $35. If you’re a lapsed gamer, or aren’t content with playing mobile games on your phone, the Switch Lite is an excellent device for your commute.
From Rolling Stone US