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Chappers "chappers" (UK)

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Sony MDR-100AAP High Resolution Overhead Headphones - Black
Sony MDR-100AAP High Resolution Overhead Headphones - Black
Price: £149.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sophisticated set of cans, 15 Oct. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
What’s good:
Excellent audio quality
Sturdy ‘machined’ feel
Very comfortable to wear
Thoughtful audio cable

What’s not so good:
Can't think of anything

It’s hard not to get overwhelmed with the sheer number of offerings in the overhead headphones market, and when you venture up into the more premium offerings there are no less varied brands and styles to choose from.

At this price point you’ll be wanting to make decisions around whether you want to stand out from the crowd, or show an understated sophistication in your ‘phones of choice. These Sony cans fall into the latter with the dark grey finish. The ‘Sony’ logos are subtle and etched into the bands.

The headphones are supremely comfortable to wear, with great sponging on the ear sections, and a bit of cushioning to the head strap (which is particularly helpful if you lack hair on the top of your head). The various joints and twisty bits all have a nice machined feel to them. There are no buttons or controls to worry about, they are just simple and feel good quality throughout.

The supplied 3.5mm-to-3.5mm cable is about a metre in length and comes with an in-line microphone and single button for rudimentary device control and ability to use for phone calls. The plug that goes into the headphones themselves is straight and has lugs on one axis to make sure that when you plug it in doesn’t spin round - which can sometimes transfer static noise into your listening experience - a nice but noticeable touch. The plug on the other end is set at 90-degrees which makes it more easy to grab hold of an unplug. Some people prefer certain styles and cable choices, but then having the cable entirely separate there’s nothing to stop you using an alternative cable of your choosing.

The audio experience is exemplary to my ears. Where lesser headphones I have listened to have sounded shrill or harsh when music reaches certain heights, these remain convincing. The lows are well-rounded and aren’t overly forced or over-enhanced. They make listening to music feel quite refreshing and enjoyable as you pick up little nuances in music that earbuds or headphones with less fidelity might miss out on. Obviously your source material has to be of a decent enough standard, but you get the gist.

For the price, in my book I guess it’s quite a lot to spend on wired headphones, but now that I’ve had the benefit of trying them for myself, they are really really good. If you value out-and-out audio quality and don’t want to shout about it to passers by in how you look, these Sony’s make a sophisticated and well-reasoned choice.

CORAL 31504 Paint Brush Set
CORAL 31504 Paint Brush Set
Price: £9.98

4.0 out of 5 stars A great set of mid-range brushes that do make a difference, 10 Oct. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
What's good:
Soft-touch notched grips
Fine synthetic bristles
Minimal bristle loss
Hook holes in the handles

What's not so good:
Not ideal for oil-based paints
There are cheaper 'premium' brushes available

I would typically opt for the cheapest brushes available, and then simply throw them away after extended use. So naturally, these brushes are a bit of luxury for me, as one wouldn't expect to dispose of brushes that cost a bit more.

We have just started completely redecorating our house so I have had ample opportunity to try these brushes out. Before use, I pulled on the bristles to see whether any would come off in my hand and was pleased to note that only one bristle from each brush came loose. The bristles used in these brushes are a fine synthetic type which make them ideal for use with water-based paints and perhaps less so with oil based paints for which you would be better off using a brush with natural bristles. Compared to my usual budget brushes, the paint went on very smoothly and with minimal fuss. I haven't actually appreciated that better brushes made any significant difference but I am happy to report that using these brushes did make the painting process a bit less arduous.

A particular aspect of these brushes that I like are the handles. Not only are they a good economic shape and length but they make use of soft-touch materials with notches etched into the sides to help with grip. Also the handles feature holes in the tips which allow you to hang the brushes up for storage or when drying - which is a simple detail often left out of cheaper brushes.

Overall I am very pleased with these brushes and I will do my best to maintain their condition so that I may use them repeatedly over the course of my redecoration project. For a price of £9.99 at time of review I realise there are cheapest sets of brushes available but I can wholeheartedly say that if you expect to look after your paint brushes then these are a worthwhile investment.

TP-LINK HA100 HD Bluetooth Stereo Audio Music Receiver Adapter with NFC Technology for iPhones, iPads, Smartphones, Tablets, Laptop and any Bluetooth-enabled device, 3.5 mm or RCA Jacks
TP-LINK HA100 HD Bluetooth Stereo Audio Music Receiver Adapter with NFC Technology for iPhones, iPads, Smartphones, Tablets, Laptop and any Bluetooth-enabled device, 3.5 mm or RCA Jacks
Price: £19.66

4.0 out of 5 stars Extends the functionality of older audio systems with relative ease, 20 Sept. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
What's good:
Does what is says on the tin
Comes with an NFC tag sticker for more practical locating
Fair price (at time of review)

What's not so good:
Short supplied USB cable

Small and neatly packaged, this little device offers all you might need in order to add Bluetooth audio streaming to a powered audio product you already have such as a HiFi system or AV receiver/surround sound system which presently lacks such a connectivity option.

A 1 Amp mains adapter with the USB socket on the bottom edge provides the juice to a fairly dinky device. When powered, a little micro LED on the front shines white. When a pairing is active it shines blue. You can search for it using your device's Bluetooth search functionality, or simply hold your phone or tablet onto the Music Receiver's top surface and it will trigger an NFC pairing. An NFC tag sticker has been thoughtfully included that you can have position in a more convenient location such as near your front door ready for when you arrive in from work meaning you only need to touch this sticker to your phone in order to initiate the connection and start streaming (although you might still need to power on your receiving device manually - it depends on the device).

There are two types of hookup available to connect this device to your audio system, a 3.5mm to 3.5mm audio lead, or a 3.5mm to RCA lead. Personally I favour the latter as I am using it to hook into an old surround sound receiver which currently has plenty of free RCA sockets at the back.

Audio quality is fine but obviously depends on the quality of the source material as well as the quality and configuration of your audio system.

For a price of £19.90 (at time of review) I think that's a fair price to pay for adding simple functionality to an older audio system which might for all intents and purposes be totally fine aside from a lack of built in audio streaming.

Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 Speaker - Black
Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 Speaker - Black
Price: £148.64

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful volume and useful functionality, 20 Sept. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
What's good:
Unexpectedly compact size
Decent voluminous sound
MicroSD and micro USB mass storage options
1Amp USB charge output
Can be optionally charged using the micro USB port instead of the 15V mains socket

What's not so good:
Exposed ports so be careful of splashes
No full-sized SD card port
Only recognises MP3 and WMA audio formats

I was expecting this speaker to be larger. Given the c. £150 (at time of review) price tag, I thought a bit of heft would go with the territory, but I was rather surprised when such a small box arrived. Nevertheless the build quality is good all round. I am no stranger to the 'SoundBlaster' name having been brought up building PCs from scratch, and I suspect that it is perhaps this niche that Creative are penning their hopes on, as those with a leaning towards home audio solutions are more likely to favour traditional home audio brands such as Denon, Sony or Panasonic for their portable audio speakers.

This device is intended as a portable wireless speaker to be used in impromptu situations where mains power may not be readily accessible, such as out on a patio or some such place. Cheaper Bluetooth rechargeable speakers exist but they generally lack punch or are limited in features.

This 'Roar 2' speaker has some genuinely reasonable bass reproduction courtesy of two side woofers which you can see flexing their muscle in heavier tracks. There is a button atop the device labeled TeraBass/Roar which toggles between 'off'; TeraBass; and TeraBass with 'Roar'. The manual suggests that having the speaker plugged into mains power will give it a further volume boost and in fact they recommend using mains power if you are utilising the 'Roar' feature. Both these sound settings provide some added fullness to the sound.

You can use a MicroSD card with MP3 or WMA tracks on to play directly from the card, and there are controls on the device to allow for play, pause, track advance or back, as well as a random/repeat toggle. With music played from a memory card, you can set it to a sleep mode which is handy.

One potentially useful feature is that the device can record to microSD, either a voice recording or the song currently being played.

When connected to a phone via Bluetooth it can also answer the phone and be used as a speakerphone. You can also use NFC to connect your device which is a quicker method of pairing.

Overall this is a great portable rechargeable speaker with great better life and most importantly offers strong volume without sounding too tinny. Obviously there is only so much sound fidelity that you're going to get from such a setup, but this is a good effort. Whether it is worth the £152 price tag (at time of review) is up to you. The socketry and functionality are a boon, although as everything is exposed to the front of the device you do have to be careful where you place it. You wouldn't want the rain to get in. If those factors are manageable in your situation, then you've got yourself a great little device here.

Home Security Alarms
Home Security Alarms
Price: £34.10

4.0 out of 5 stars Basic bunch of simple alarms - description lacks clarity, 12 Sept. 2015
This review is from: Home Security Alarms (DIY & Tools)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
What’s good:
Additional 3x standalone sensors complete with batteries (4x LR44 type per sensor)
Simple functionality
Loud alarm
Good value
Flexibility of left/right-handed mount of sensor pairs.

What’s not so good:
Comes in a wretched blister pack - which I absolutely hate
Main unit comes without batteries (requires 3x AAA type)
Main unit only has 1-4 numerical digits
Wouldn't take much to disable it or smash it to shut it up
'Chime' is quite a harsh sound
You have to make a choice between ‘Chime’ and ‘Alarm’
Additional sensors are adhesive-mount only
Should be more clear that this is intended as ‘Shed or Garage’

Man I hate blister packs! These things should be resigned to the history books. They are a nightmare to get into, and impatience will lead to cutting your hands.

That aside, this is a rudimentary wireless entry alarm with a bonus inclusion of three standalone window/entry sensors. It’s pretty basic, but if you have appropriate use for it, it could be all you need.

I have for example, a couple of small outbuildings and a garage that I like to keep locked. Having an alarm on the primary entry points is an added piece of security that reassures me. Granted these aren’t the most sophisticated things in the world, but at least they’re something. As an alternative use, you can set them to ‘chime’ which can make for an additional alert for less obvious access points into a property. If you happen to have external doors which aren’t immediately visible to the main body of the house, then having chimes on the door entry can help alert anyone resident that a door has been opened.

One downside is that you have to make a choice whether to have the unit operate in ‘Chime’ mode or ‘Alarm’ mode, and that decision is made from within the battery compartment of the main unit. This may or may not be a problem for you, but I would have thought it better to have the chimes as simply an on/off toggle within the unit itself, and have the Alarm functionality enabled or disabled by entering your desired 4x digit code. If you have it in alarm mode then there is an entry/exit delay as you might expect, although if a burglar were to notice the device on their way in, 30 second is plenty of time to pop it off the door, prise it open and take out the battery (or smash it).

You are provided with 3x screws in total, one for the main unit and two for the sensor of the main unit. The remaining additional sounder and sensors have no screw holes. You are provided with adhesive pads for this purpose.

I should point out that the additional sensors are entirely standalone, they do not link to the main unit in any way. You simply attach them where you want them, and set the mode to 'chime', 'alarm' or 'off'. When you trigger one of these the sounder will go off immediately with no delay for the duration that the door or window is open. To silence the alarm, simply close the door or open the front sliding battery compartment and flick the switch to 'off'. Not exactly burglar-proof I grant you, but the fact that the alarm sounds immediately might be enough to deter opportune shed thieves.

Interestingly, the pack comes with two manuals - one for the main unit (model HS-SGA) and one for the additional sensors (model HS-DWA). At the top of the main instructions, it actually refers to the unit as ‘Shed & Garage Alarm’ - which I think should give you some indication as to what is expected of this unit. In light of this, I think the description on Amazon could do with being updated to reflect the reality.

Overall, I actually quite like this package. It doesn’t pretend to be anything other than a simple off-grid alarm principally for sheds or outbuildings, but could be turned to other uses if you see fit. There are no fancy displays or keyfobs. It is what it is. I’d have liked all the batteries to be included and I think the chime/alarm choice limitation is a bit of an oversight, but the relatively decent value for money at £35 (at time of review) makes up for that. The brand ‘Sabre’ is a bit of an unknown in the UK at present, but I’m looking forward to seeing more of what they have to offer.

Bosch PHD5987GB Brilliant Care Keratin Advance Hair Dryer - White
Bosch PHD5987GB Brilliant Care Keratin Advance Hair Dryer - White
Price: £39.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Not the Bosch quality I was expecting - it's OK overall, 12 Sept. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
What's good:
Comfortable to hold
3x heat settings plus cool setting
2x speed settings plus turbo setting
Removable rear guard for cleaning
Diffuser and concentrator nozzle
Decent power

What's not so good:
Plasticky build
Some irregular fit & finish
Flimsy rear guard panel
Buttons are not ergonomic
'Keratin' button is nothing more than simply a low-speed & low-heat setting
Doesn't really feel like a Bosch product

First impressions are that this is a smart-looking shapely hairdryer with a good amount of adjustment for speed and temperature, and making use of the 'ionic' feature that does seem to have good results on keeping longer hair from getting too static and fly-away.

When you get to close inspection and use of the device however, it loses some of its shine.

The control buttons are neither a slider nor a toggle, and as a result are a bit awkward to use. Your fingers don't sit comfortably on them. The cool shot trigger also doesn't seem to be placed quite in the right place to be ergonomic.

The gloss white plastic finish is quite Apple-chic but this is eroded by the questionable fit a finish. The small light on the top for example is not uniformly positioned - sticking up slightly on one side. The rear guard can be popped off to access the gubbins for cleaning and unblocking, but the guard feels very flimsy with the hinge and fastener being likely weak points.

The 'Keratin' button so it turns out is nothing more than a default setting to prevent you scalding or burning your hair. I can't see that it does anything else apart from that.

The device is quite lightweight which is a plus point and while it is quite comfortable to hold, it is a little slippery. The power cord is a decent length.

Overall, while I have mentioned a lot of negative points, I think a lot of that stems from the fact that I would normally expect better from the Bosch brand. I have seen a few of Bosch's other new products lately and I am starting to wonder if their standards are lowering a bit in order to meet more competitive price points? This is still a good device, but I'm not getting that Bosch quality feel I was expecting.

Russell Hobbs 22550 Occasions Griddle with Removable Plate
Russell Hobbs 22550 Occasions Griddle with Removable Plate
Price: £59.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Such a handy device - would benefit from some ergonomic improvements, 28 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
What's good:
Legitimately useful device for impromptu cooking sessions
Large cooking surface area
Simple controls

What's not so good:
Short power cord
A built-in thermometer would have been handy
A built-in spirit level would also have been handy
A means to lock-in the cooking plate would have been handy

What first struck me as I assembled this unit was that the cooking area was nice and large meaning you can get a fair bit of space to griddle. There is not much to this product: the outer frame which 4x rubberised feet to help it not to slide around; a drip tray that slots inside the frame; the cooking plate itself which slots on top with the protruding 'safety bar' of the outer frame going the same side as the power socket of the cooking plate. The temperature control unit then slots into the side of the cooking plate.

It's simple enough, but one thing I will say is that the cooking plate is not fully secured onto the outer frame, as on the opposite side from the temperature control dial, you can still lift up the plate using the handle which I had initially thought would have been locked-in' for secure carrying to a different location. That's just something to bear in mind.

The length of power cord is a bit miserly at around 0.7 metres.

You need to make sure the device is situated on a flat surface to ensure that any cooking juices flow properly into the drip tray through the hole. It might have been handy to have a 2x directional spirit level built into the frame to help check this before you start, but that's a bit of a wish-list item and by no-means essential.

You should apply some butter or a little cooking oil to the cooking surface to help it along, then whack the thermostat up to full and turn it on. The light next to the dial is similar to a cooker light, so when it is illuminated it is heating, when it goes out then it is at the required temperature (or higher). Again, this is simple enough but I would have liked something to give an overall indication that the unit is turned on - in case you forget to turn it off, and also it might have been nice to have a thermometer or some kind of indication of the actual surface temperature of the cooking plate as it might be hotter than you are wanting.

Those minor gripes aside, this is a really useful bit of kit? We have so far found it very useful to cook outside on our low patio table for grilling kebabs whilst we site around it with friends. It makes for quite a social cooking experience and saves some of the faffing about that you can get with a regular barbecue, not to mention the reduced cleaning.

For a price of £59.99 (at time of review) I notice that it is a bit more expensive than some of its similarly specced competitors, but on the whole I am happy with what's on offer and how it all feels. I'd like to see some additional design elements in future models that might improve disability, but overall I like it a lot.

Hangerworld 45 cm Wide Coat Hangers Garment with Non-Slip Trouser Bar, Pack of 30
Hangerworld 45 cm Wide Coat Hangers Garment with Non-Slip Trouser Bar, Pack of 30
Offered by Hangerworld
Price: £25.62

5.0 out of 5 stars I have bought so many of these!, 19 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
What's good:
Grippy trouser bar
Well packaged
Decent value
Notches for hanging straps

What's not so good:
The odd slightly rough hanger in a pack

Looking back in my order history I have so far purchased 3x lots of wooden hangers from HangerWorld so I'm in a good place to comment on these. The box design has changed since my last lot, but comparing them to the previous batches, the construction of the hangers is identical. They are a standard size wooden hanger with a trouser bar that has a grippy transparent plastic wrap on the bar to help prevent garments from slipping off the bar. There are also notches cut in the upper sections of the hangers for hanging straps of garments.

The only slight negative is that there are the odd hanger where the wood isn't quite so smooth as the others, and the dowel of wood that forms the trouser bar isn't always a neat join, but I've only thought that on a couple of the hangers in this pack.

Overall these are a great standard hanger with the thoughtful grippy trouser bar finish, and at a price of £26 (at time of review) for 30x hangers that means a price of £0.86 per hanger which I don't thing is that bad. I hate wire hangers or those nasty plastic ones that you sometimes get from shops, so having them all wooden is a nice finish to any wardrobe.

Bosch TDA3020GB Power III Steam Iron, 2800 W - Black
Bosch TDA3020GB Power III Steam Iron, 2800 W - Black
Price: £52.16

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some cut-backs in this mid-range iron from Bosch - nice shape though..., 16 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
What's good:
3 metre power cord
Tapered rear section of soleplate offers a slight improvement on manoeuvrability
Water level is easily visible
Steam output is good
Inoffensive low-contrast looks

What's not so good:
Water drips from the sprayer
Over-sensitive water spray button
No provided water cup (not necessarily a bad thing)
Water filling cover is very flimsy
Soleplate is merely 'OK'

Curious to find out whether having a soleplate with a point at the rear made any difference, I have been using this iron for a few days of hard labour. I have come away with an impression that whilst the shape of the soleplate on this iron does offer some slight improvement in manoeuvrability of the iron when traversing backwards over garments, there remain other foibles in the design and manufacture of this iron that hold it back.

For starters, the water sprayer on my example leaks. It doesn't take much encouragement to cause drips of water to fall out of the front of the iron, not helped by the fact that the water spray button is extremely sensitive and takes only the slightest catch of your thumb to trigger a spray onto your garment.

The water spout cover on this model is a similar design to other Bosch irons of this era but this one is translucent plastic and somehow doesn't feel very assured in its function. It wobbles when in an open position, and it doesn't close with any kind of satisfaction. Granted it's only a small aspect of an iron but I don't like it. That being said, unlike some other modern Bosch irons, at least the water level is relatively easy to make out as the side walls of the iron aren't too opaque as to make it too hard to see. Unfortunately, this redeeming feature is undone by the fact that this iron does seem to go through more water than I was expecting - a fact that I realise is difficult to quantify, but you come to know how much water you're likely to go through in your day-to-day ironing routine.

As with other Bosch irons, there are some really good features that might otherwise swing it for you, such as the very welcome 3 metre power cord, the decent power level and strong steam output, the comfortable grip and well-designed ergonomics of the whole thing, and the generally very good build quality (water spout cover aside).

For a price of £49.99 (at time of review) I would have to say that I'm not happy with the water dribbling aspect. I might have expected that from a cheaper model, but not in this price range. Perhaps mine is an exception? I would consider the Philips Azur range as strong competition and worthy of a look before you take the plunge.

Bosch TDA5070GB Steam Iron, 3050 W - Black/Red
Bosch TDA5070GB Steam Iron, 3050 W - Black/Red
Price: £49.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good value but I find the soleplate drags, 14 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Whats good:
High power
Long power lead
Not bad value (at time of review)

What's not so good:
Slightly draggy soleplate
Black plastic looks a bit cheap in person
Indicator light isn't very visible

This is the model down from the 5080 and so loses out on the SensorSecure function. Also, the soleplate while made of the same ' Ceranium Glisee' material, has fewer steam vents than more expensive models.

Strangely, just like the 5080 that i tried, the soleplate has a degree of drag and friction that is not apparent in the seemingly identical soleplate found on the 7000 series. This continues to perplex me. Perhaps it will get smoother with time?

As per other Bosch irons, this model is nice to hold and aspects of it are clearly well thought out. It is still quite heavy for an iron so if you're looking for a lightweight steam iron you should probably knock this whole range off your list.

If the weight doesn't bother you and slightly dragging soleplate is less apparent, what you end up with is a well thought-out iron with a generous power cord - often something overlooked by manufacturers. The device us week built with ergonomic controls. The recessed button tops and temperature dial are thoughtful. The high power level means it gets up to temperature quickly.

The black plastic does still seem to have a cheapening effect on the iron somehow. From a distance it looks quite trendy, but up close to my eye it doesn't work so well. I am also not keen on the power light on the sides of the heel. It illuminates in red but it isn't as visible as it could be.

For a price of £42 (at time of review) I think that represents decent value for money. The £40-50 price bracket is hotly contested and you are getting a decent product with some thoughtful design. I'm not keen on the looks in person and I don't find the soleplate as smooth as it probably aught to be, but I think it warrants a 4 star.

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