When you invest in technology, you can always be sure of one thing, you’ll need extras. Whether it’s a device to add some finesse to your podcast audio, a charging block to power your entire portable tech collection, or a product designed to give content creators the smoothest video experience, you can guarantee you’ll always find something to add to the collection. CGMagazine had the chance to check out plenty of extras in 2021, and we have the products that came out on top.
Here are CGMs nominees for Best Extras 2021/22:
Hohem iSteady V2 Smartphone Gimbal
Writer: Joe Findlay
The iSteady V2 features three-axis stabilization, controls on the handle and an AI sensor that can detect your face and movement to follow you as you move about the space. On the device, you’ll find a joystick for motion control of the gimbal, shutter and power/function buttons beneath the joystick and a zoom slider on the side.
While it may not be the top brand name in gimbals on the market, Hohem has created a wonderful, light, compact device with a powerful motor and responsive controls. Add to that its AI capabilities and you have a serious contender on your hands with the iSteady V2. At $129.99 USD, it is a comparable price to its competitors, perhaps more expensive than the average price. That being said, its functionality is worth far more than the meager jump in price.
The Hohem iSteady V2 is a wonderful addition to the arsenal of anyone creating content on their phones. It gives you all the controls at your fingertips, yet the freedom to step away from it and have it still work with you.
Razer GaN Charger
Writer: Brendan Frye
Costing $180, the Razer GaN charger has everything you could want from a modern adapter. From the ports—two USB-A, and two USB-C—the ability to charge four devices at once, included plug adapters, and even the ability to power some modern laptops, Razer has thrown everything a road warrior would need to power his arsenal on the go.
In testing, I threw everything I could at the GaN charger, just to see what it would have issue with. Even laptops that normally can’t charge on even the highest end USB-C charger had no issue when it came to this offering. Even with charging my phone, laptop, and a OnePlus test phone I was using, the GaN charger had no issues, with most charging quickly and efficiently.
The Razer GaN Charger delivers speedy power to all your gadgets at home or on the go for $180.
Razer Thunderbolt 4 Dock Chroma
Writer: Brock McLaughlin
The Razer Thunderbolt 4 Dock Chroma is a big ol’ black box that is rectangular in shape with rounded corners. The dock is constructed from black anodized aluminium. It’s solid and looks great hidden away under my laptop stand. In terms of sizing the unit is just under 7 ½ inches wide, three inches deep and just over an inch in height. It’s a very compact device.
Setting up the device took mere seconds. It’s pretty much plug and play. Plug the dock into the power adapter followed by plugging the Thunderbolt 4 USB-C cable into the upstream port on the front to your computer or laptop. Then plug in the rest of your wired accessories into the other USB dongles and you’re good to go. The older and more out of touch I get, the easier I prefer my setups.
If you’re in the market for a thunderbolt charger that has built-in RGB lighting, then the Razer Thunderbolt 4 Dock Chroma is for you!
Elgato Wave XLR (Winner, Best Extras 2021)
Writer: Joe Findlay
The Elgato Wave comes with a single XLR input, a headphone jack for zero latency monitoring and a USB-C connection to connect to the computer. The front has a single knob with several LED indicators. One set surrounds the knob, allowing you to see your set levels and four across the bottom, indicating which control is selected and that the 48V phantom power (used to power condenser microphones) is activated.
The device’s most important feature, however, is its compatibility with the Wave Link Software. Connecting your mic and up to eight additional routable inputs, including Voice Chat, Music, Game Audio, System, Browser, and additional auxiliary inputs to complete a whole production in one single output, simplifying any stream or recording’s audio setup. Set up the Wave Link Stream as your one and only source in OBS or audio software is a dream come true.
The Elgato Wave XLR brings the highest end microphones to your stream for the most affordable price yet, but nothing about the device feels like a budget option. Its simple design and top notch software makes this a must-buy.