Air fryers have been the hot and hip appliance the past few years and still are today. But it’s not the most important. The Coral UV sterilizer and dryer can easily be the single most important tabletop appliance.

We are all painfully aware of the need to sanitize, wear a mask, and be socially distant. But what about germs on items like keys, cell phones, wallets, baby bottles, kitchenware and small toys?

If it can fit inside the Coral UV with a 10-by-8-by-7.5-inch interior, then the two built-in ultraviolet lamps (Philips TUV 4W FAM G5 Cap, 4 watts each, with a wavelength 253.7 nm) are intense enough to eliminate 99.9 percent of harmful germs in 10 minutes, according to Coral UV. Items made with plastics, glass or silicone are listed as safe.

Does it work to eliminate the harmful germs? That’s not for me to decide after reading up on the effects of UV light on germs. A device like this does give me the peace of mind that I’m doing all I can.

In addition to sterilization, the contents are dried in warm temperatures in 40 to 70 minutes. Times for sterilizing and drying will vary depending on the contents, ranging from just 10 minutes for some items to be sterilized up to 70 minutes for sterilization and drying.

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Using the Coral UV sterilizer is as simple as opening up the cover, loading your items, closing the cover and pressing a button. The UV light bulbs need to be changed every 12 months and the filter every 3 months. Since my review unit is new and doesn’t need anything replaced, I did look for where the bulbs and filters are; both are easy to locate and change.

Touch-sensitive buttons are responsive for whatever choice you make to be sanitized and/or dried, which is then displayed on a timer that lights up the remaining time. When the lid is closed and the UV lamps are on, an indicator glows blue. A safety feature shuts off the UV lamps when the cover is open, and any remaining time will continue when it's closed.

According to the Coral site, the UV sterilizer is FDA and EPA registered and ETL certified. The Coral website has third-party lab testing reports posted and full explanations about UV light and its effects on eliminating germs.

The exterior of the Coral UV measures 10.5-by-10.5-by-10-inches, weighs 5.7 pounds, which almost mirrors the size of my air fryer. A stainless steel basket, three extra replacement HEPA filters, one UV lamp replacement tool, and a screwdriver are included.

http://coraluv.com, $149.99

Mini speaker passes the test

Bluesound’s Pulse Mini 2i Bluetooth 5.0 speaker is great to turn on, pair your smartphone or tablet, and play music. Then the fun begins, because there’s more to this story.

The attractive, compact multi-room streaming speaker produces great sound and lets users create a music scene perfect for specific environments.

Before you power the speaker, it’s important to know the features of the Pulse Mini 2i that shows how to use it to take control of your music.

Features include dual-band Wi-Fi as well as support for two-way Bluetooth aptX HD, ensuring interruption-free music. Don’t get just one Pulse Mini 2i, two are better since a pair can be grouped for one big sound spread out in a house.

Music can be controlled from the music app within your smartphone, iPad, or wherever it streams from but another option includes the BluOS Controller app for iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, and Windows & Mac OS X desktops.

And if that is not enough, there’s also the RC1 remote control, which operates all the Bluesound Players. The wireless remote is well-designed with a user-friendly and ergonomic design and layout. Program up to 10 presets with a single touch so a phone or tablet doesn’t have to be touched.

When I review high-end speakers such as the Pulse Mini 2i, I always come back to a trick a friend told me years ago. Despite any personal preference, he told me to crank up the sound in all directions; bass up, treble down and reverse it with the bass down and treble up. While doing this test with the volume up, is the sound clear and distortion-free?

The Pulse Mini 2i passed the extreme settings test and provided sound that was clear. Once done I adjusted everything more toward my liking with just a little extra bass.

Specifically, the sound comes from a pair of 4-inch woofers and a pair of 0.75-inch tweeters.

Backlit touch controls for volume, music selections, play, and pause on top along with a well-designed and unobtrusive caring handle. The back has ports for the power adapter, Ethernet, type A USB for memory sticks, mini USB for product servicing, optical/analog in and a headphone out port. The Wi-Fi and Ethernet are ideal for connecting to a home speaker system/network.

The speaker measures 13.2-by-6.8-by-6.1-inches with a 7.9-pound weight. The bottom has a pair of 1/4” - 20 threads, which are great for attaching the speaker to a variety of hardware equipment (not included) with the matching thread.

Other features allow the Pulse Mini 2i to work with Apple AirPlay 2, and integrates with voice assistants Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, and most cloud and music services. An AC power adapter, Ethernet cable, and mini-jack to link adapter are included.

www.bluesound.com, $499 available in white or black matte

(Contact Gregg Ellman at greggellman@mac.com. Follow him on Twitter @greggellman.)

©2021 Gregg Ellman. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.