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Profile for Mr. R. Braithwaite > Reviews

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Mr. R. Braithwaite "Tricky6" (UK)

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Bose ® QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones - Black
Bose ® QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones - Black
Price: £249.95

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just fantastic, 9 Oct. 2014
As a QC15 owner (quite satisfied but at times they lose a bit of musicality, especially in the treble and can sound a little artificial). I read a few reviews which basically indicated the sound quality from the QC15 wasn't any progress but I'd disagree. These are superb, very musical and just lovely to listen to. I use iTunes (360kps MP3), Spotify (320bkps) and also Qobuz (lossless FLAC for the best quality) as sound sources. As others have written the noise cancelling is fantastic, especially on an aeroplane where they do an amazing job of just serving you the music. If you've never tried decent noise cancelling headphone they may astound you. Not cheap but they are great and can be worn for long periods without any side effects (unlike my experience of B&W P5 and P7 which clamp a bit too hard). Wholeheartedly recommended.

Roth Audio OLI KH30 8 inch Active Sub Woofer with Rear Controls and Ports - Black
Roth Audio OLI KH30 8 inch Active Sub Woofer with Rear Controls and Ports - Black

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for the money, 26 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I struggled to find any reviews for this product but they are a UK company with some good reviews of their other speakers so I thought I'd take the plunge. Really glad that I did. This is replacing a B&W PV1 which expired (with a strange "tick tick tick" noise) and although it doesn't look as cool I've been impressed by the sound quality given that it is 1/4 of the price. It is used in conjunction with a Yamaha YSP-4100 sound bar and with the appropriate settings (basically passing all the <120Hz bass to the sub) and it sounds great on movies (in a 20 x 14 ft room) adding a lot of extension without sounding overblown. All in all this is a great buy at the price. Build quality and sound are fantastic for the money. Definitely give it a try if you are looking for a budget sub with some oomph.

Nokia Lumia 925 SIM-Free Smartphone - Black (Windows, 16GB)
Nokia Lumia 925 SIM-Free Smartphone - Black (Windows, 16GB)

54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great device, very impressed, 22 Aug. 2013
As a long term Apple fan (up to the 4S) and more recently Android via GN2 and then HTC One I got this phone by way of a change when my company introduced a bring/buy your own phone (it replaces an awful Blackberry Curve). I've got the 32Gb Vodafone version, I think I'd struggle with 16Gb. Not sure it was a great move from Nokia to limit the 32Gb to Vodafone. Anyway...

I've tried WP8 devices beforehand and always sent them back (last one was the Lumia 920 which was too big, poor battery life and used to regularly crash) but after 2 months of use I'm pretty smitten with this and in fact I've started using it as my main phone over the HTC One (great device but still suffers from the android bug bear of being unintuitive/too complex). The 925 comes pre-loaded with the new Amber OS update which I believe is starting to roll out now. It introduces some useful new features including glance view (useful as a night clock), double tap to wake and flip to silence.

First off the build quality is great, different in look and feel but right up there with Apple. I use the lightweight charging case to keep it safe and unlike most cases the phone looks great with it on as you still see most of the phone. There is an official Nokia wireless sat nav car dock you can get which makes it a breeze to pop in and out without any wires (power cable from the dock excepting) and the (again optional) charging stand is great by the bed to pop on and use as an alarm clock. Shame they are not a bit cheaper or I'd have bought a few to spread around the house.

WP 8 itself is really quick, intuitive and easy to use. Fine, it doesn't have a quad-core CPU but doesn't need it. I think it has the best of Apple (easy to use) and Android (customisable UI) together. Re-sizable live tiles work very well at showing you what you need to know without always having to start an app. The dedicated camera button is so much easier than messing around with lock screens and helps to get photo's and videos of the kids before the moment has passed.

Inbuilt MS Office properly renders documents (unlike most iOS/Android clones which especially on PPT and complex Word docs usually screw things up) and the Outlook email client basically just works as you would expect.

Much has been written about lack of apps for WP 8 but I've found pretty much everything that I need including Spotify, a Sonos app (Phonos) and CoPilot (if you want a full feature sat nav). The many free/built in Nokia apps are generally great quality (sat nav, standard maps, music etc). Microsoft have recently launched great apps for weather, news and finance.

The screen quality is great (might not be 1080p but other than "bragging rights" I'm not sure quite how much difference this makes in every day usage on a screen this small), the battery easily lasts a day (unlike my HTC One which really struggles) and I'm a pretty heavy user (4 email accounts, Skype, Lync and voice calls etc).

The camera is the best I've used on a mobile phone, especially as others have noted in the dark. Don't kid yourself that this is as good as a decent compact camera but it is a great phone camera. There are various effects/lenses that can be used to generate some fun and unusual photos which can then be shared via social media.

The things I don't like are mainly down to Microsoft issues. There is no ability to download "official" TV/films on the phone the same way you can on Android (via Play) or iOS (via iTunes) and videos you purchase for Windows PC devices cannot be transferred to the phone "as is" which is a big oversight (something to do with DRM). There are of course ways around getting video content on the device, some legal some probably not so! Other niggles include lack of a notification centre (although you can kind of organise your favourite apps via live tiles to create one at the top of the page), the voice recognition is a little patchy at times and I can't find a way to upload multiple photos into a specific Facebook album (whether by the Photo app directly or via Facebook app). Also something I hope they fix is the sound management as there is just one level for "in call" phone volume and one for "everything else" including notification/media/alarms.

I'm hopeful that with some of the new low end devices (e.g. Lumia 520) that the ecosystem will take off and soon WP8 will be a true contender. From my experience with the 925 it deserves to be and I'm sure the next OS release will sort out most of the niggles. All up this is a great device for work and play, I love it and very much recommend it.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 22, 2014 11:21 AM BST

HTC One 32GB UK SIM-Free Smartphone - Silver (discontinued by manufacturer)
HTC One 32GB UK SIM-Free Smartphone - Silver (discontinued by manufacturer)
Offered by Dealco
Price: £369.99

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Apple design with Android flexibility. Superb if not quite perfect., 9 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you like the flexibility of Android but wish for the design and build of Apple this could be the phone for you. Build quality and "feel" is certainly premium. May be not quite to Apple standards but head and shoulders above your typical Samsung plastic device. The Sense UI also has some "Apple-esque" touches to it, very minimalist (within the constrains of Android). Personally I love it and there is very little not to like. It's great in the hand, screen is big but not too big (last phone was a Galaxy Note 2 which while a good phone is hard to handle size-wise and doesn't feel very premium).

I have found the camera great for "snaps" (don't get any designs on it being like a proper camera but then none of the others any much/any better). In particular it has some great video/photo "mix" abilities which take still and video from an "event" (I think GPS related) and creates a 30 second video which can be uploaded to Facebook et al and has a number of "re-mix" options. It is quite effective.

As all have mentioned it operates very quickly with no noticeable lag (unlike the GN2). It also allows you to take photos/video from the lock screen without having to unlock. There is also a "car" mode which can either be manually activated or if you have the official HTC car kit operates automatically. This give you a stripped down, "big button" interface which can be customised to include the apps you want. Simple but works really well.

The built in speakers are good for a mobile phone but don't expect any "hi-fi". It does go pretty loud and makes for a good speaker phone. Call quality great so far. "Beats Audio" makes the built in speakers sound better but if you have a half way decent pair of headphones it ruins the sound quality. Easily turned on/off though.

Any downsides? I guess more than 32Gb/expandable storage would be useful (by the time you've downloaded apps, added some tunes and video there isn't much left, especially if you run TomTom). Battery life is worse than GN2 but it does "just" about make it through my day (4 email accounts including Exchange and Gmail on push, FB, Twitter, LinkedIn and photo/video upload enabled, as is Bluetooth and Wi-Fi), basically everything is "on". I'm sure with some careful options switching the battery would last longer.

HTC deserves to move back to the top with this phone. It has many of the thoughtful/lovely design touches of some of their earlier phones without any of the Samsung "useless gimmicks". Buy it.

No Title Available

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Close but not quite there, 21 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It appears my search for decent wireless headphones continues but these are the best I've found (aside from some issues which may or may not be a trouble for you).

First off, unlike some (most) wireless headphones that I've tried these do actually sound very good. In fact I've got a pair of wired B&W P5's and I reckon these might sound better, they have a very clear sound. That is providing you don't use the noise cancelling option which unfortunately ruins the sound completely. Not just "a little bit" but worse than the free headphones you get with your phone. Not quite sure who at Sennheiser listened to them in this mode and thought "that's good enough". It hollows and thins out the sound terribly. Who cares if the noise cancelling works when it sounds this bad. Ug. The headphones themselves without noise cancelling do actually get rid of some background noise but I've yet to try them on a flight where I'm sure the roar will seep through.

As my Galaxy Note 2 supports Apt-x then I can only comment using this and it exhibits little (if any) of the normal "Bluetooth" (ie. hard and compressed) sound. They sound suitably "hi-fi" with over Bluetooth and via the cable. Very listenable and engaging. No complaints at all here.

Build quality is "adequate" at best and they are not a particularly good looking pair of headphones. Considering the price I'm sure materials could have been better, they are quite plasticy and not very "premium". Having said that they are also light and extremely comfortable to wear.

A caveat others have flagged is that they don't go very loud, in fact they struggle to go "loud" at all. On cable only then you run them at full wack and still wish for more volume. They are a little louder via Bluetooth (when I'm guessing an amplifier is kicking in) but I've still had to use the Pre-Amp setting on my media player to boost the level a little and it starts to sound a little "coarse" at max volume (from both headphone and phone even when pre-amp is set flat).

So, there you go. If you don't mind about/need noise cancelling and (I am assuming) have an Apt-X compatible device then these sound good and are very comfortable for long periods. For the money however I would expect noise cancelling not to affect the sound at all and for the build/looks to be better. Have decided to send them back...

PC Trading® PCI-Express 4 Port USB 3.0 Expansion Card - Win XP, Win Vista and Win 7 (32-Bit + 64-Bit) Compatible - High Speed up to 5.0 Gbps (625Mbps) - Driver CD Included
PC Trading® PCI-Express 4 Port USB 3.0 Expansion Card - Win XP, Win Vista and Win 7 (32-Bit + 64-Bit) Compatible - High Speed up to 5.0 Gbps (625Mbps) - Driver CD Included
Offered by PC Trading
Price: £14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works very well but poor installation instructions, 16 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This works really well, I'm easily getting constant 35Mb/s transfer rates (between an external USB 3.0 and internal fixed 7200 RPM drive) Between my SSD primary drive and the USB 3.0 drive I have seen 80-90Mb/s read & write speeds at times. So, it is at least 3-4 times real world faster than USB 2.0 and some times much more. I'm using it primarily for backup with Windows 8 (both File History and File Recovery capabilities). Note you do need to install the drivers even on Windows 8. The instructions for this aren't that clear as they bundle a whole bunch of other products on the mini-CD. If you read the "readme" you can work it out but could be a lot clearer.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 25, 2013 8:38 PM GMT

Parrot Zik by Philippe Starck Wireless Headphones - Black/Silver
Parrot Zik by Philippe Starck Wireless Headphones - Black/Silver

12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good looking, shame about the sound quality, 14 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Looks like I'm going to differ from the other reviews here. Firstly they do look great, build quality is fantastic and I found them comfortable to wear. The app you can get for Android (or iOS) works but is the only way of changing the settings and the headphones don't come with the correct firmware so you need to download and update this before you can get it working. It doesn't take long but the instructions don't cater for Windows 8. Windows 8 doesn't seem to need to install any drivers, it just mounts the device straight away (look in Windows Explorer).

Given various reviews on here and on the Internet I was expecting at least "reasonable" sound quality but was really quite disappointed. They sound very "Bluetooth" if that makes any sense which I think is a reflection of the limited bandwidth between headphone and device (hence requires substantial compression and loss of quality). Quality via wired connection was a bit better but still not great considering the price.

You can hear most of what is going on but to my ear they had a metallic, harsh sound with none of the warmth you get from "hi-fi". I have the similar issue with the Bluetooth set up in my car, it works but isn't nice to listen to. They lack the subtle sonic textures you get from a good listen.

In comparison I have tried the Sennheiser 550x which have the Apt-x Bluetooth enhancement (increases bandwidth and reduces compression) and they sound a million times better. However enabling noise reduction on these ruins the sound completely. Not a great option either!

The Parrot headphones in comparison don't seem to sound much different whether noise reduction is enabled or not.

Given poor audio quality I didn't get as far as trying them out for calls.

So, all in all I was disappointed and have sent them back. If you're not bothered about "hi-fi" audio quality too much then they do "work" and the app works well at controlling the options. Also noise reduction works very well.

It seems there is yet to be a wireless headphone that can sound good, manage phone calls and have good noise reduction...

Memorex EMI46104PWHT Mini Alarm Clock Radio
Memorex EMI46104PWHT Mini Alarm Clock Radio

4.0 out of 5 stars At last an all-round decent alarm iphone dock!, 4 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I would have expected that someone would have nailed the iphone alarm dock by now but we have tried several and hit problems like no battery back up, screen much too bright at night, huge size which takes up half the bedside cabinet, too many buttons/complex to use, sound quality a bit naff. I bought this for my wife and she is very happy with it. It's very compact, sound quality surprisingly good, easy to use and the display is dimmable at 7 levels. At the bottom level it hardly emits any light into the room and definitely won't disturb your sleep. Build quality is also very good, it looks much classier than in the photos. Guess you could question the price given lack of DAB or Internet connections (there is also a larger model in the same range seemingly available for a lot less) but it has few compromises. Only two downsides I can see are that there is only one alarm time setting (so you can't have different alarms for different days of the week) and it seems that the alarm volume is pre-set rather than being linked to the volume knob. It increases in volume from 20% to 70% over 4 minutes but 20% still seems quite loud first thing! :-)

Samsung SE-406AB/RSBD Slim External 3D Blu-ray Drive
Samsung SE-406AB/RSBD Slim External 3D Blu-ray Drive

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does the job well, 13 Mar. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this to connect to my Samsung XE700 slate device. Build quality is ok, plasticky but well enough made and pretty light. Makes a bit of noise when spinning up. It includes Cyberlink PowerDVD (albeit V9 which is an older version) so you can play Blu-ray films once installed. It's just simple plug and play and its worth noting that it is fine with one USB connection if you only want to play DVD's or Blu-ray. It only needs the other USB for writing DVD's when it needs more power (it doesn't do blu-ray write). With this in mind then it suits me fine. Note the dual-USB cable supplied only give about 10 cms of stretch between sockets so the ports must be close together (unless you have an extension cable).

Tannoy i30 Premium Digital iPod Speakers System
Tannoy i30 Premium Digital iPod Speakers System

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly impressed, 13 Dec. 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've listened to a fair few "compact" iPod speaker systems and having received the Tannoy system today I'm very happy with both the sound and build quality. It's never going to get past the fact that the speakers are close together but still the separation and musical quality of the source is nicely exposed. I'd say it goes "pretty loud", certainly great for the size but again don't fully expect it to be a complete replacement for a more "normal" stereo system.

Seeing as Amazon has now loped the price down to £140 I'd say it was a total bargain. It would be good value at £200. Very highly recommended.

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