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techpuppy "aka stylepuppy" (UK)
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DBPOWER® LTL5210A 12 MP Infrared Camera Hunting Camera Trail Camera for Wildlife Surveys, Scenery Shooting, Automatic Detection Field, Home and Office Security Forensics, Supermarket Security Evidence
DBPOWER® LTL5210A 12 MP Infrared Camera Hunting Camera Trail Camera for Wildlife Surveys, Scenery Shooting, Automatic Detection Field, Home and Office Security Forensics, Supermarket Security Evidence
Offered by buyinsummer
Price: £128.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Country boffins, not bumpkins..., 22 July 2014
The Ltl Acorn Wildlife Camera is an ingenious mix of technologies all fitted into a quirky but effective end product. The principle is simple enough - use angled InfraRed sensors to see the wildlife coming and switch on the camera, when they pass directly in front of the camera lens take a picture or shoot a short video. Of course getting it all to actually work is probably a lot harder, but it does within some limitations. At first sight the Ltl Acorn doesn't seem that impressive, the build quality is good but nothing special and you have to doubt if it's truly weatherproof, although ours has suffered a few showers without any problems so far. The design is certainly more ingenious than stylish, but that's probably as it should be. There's a trapdoor at the bottom which opens to reveal the SD card slot, the Off/On/Test switch, the USB port, the battery compartment (4 x AA's) and a power port to run it off a mains adaptor (which is not supplied). The trapdoor can be locked shut with a fiddly little latch or there's a small hole on the side which could take a mini padlock or cable-tie for extra security. The trapdoor has a rubber stopper which can be opened to connect a mains adaptor and there's also a tripod mount, but you really will have to secure the trapdoor shut to make use of that without causing damage.

When you switch the camera into 'Test' mode the screen on the back is activated and you can review your images or change the settings of the camera allowing you to configure it to suit your situation. You can set the camera to take still images or short videos or to take both, a still image immediately followed by a video. The camera is listed as being 12 megapixels but be aware that it's actually a 5 megapixel and the extra pixels are achieved through interpolation. Videos are created as avi files using the Motion JPEG codec and will probably need to be converted to other formats to play on some devices, like smartphones (depending on which smartphone app's you have). The quality of the images isn't bad, this is hardly a top-flight digital camera, but as a fun device they're acceptable. Video files aren't great quality but again, given the nature of the device, they're good enough. You can also set the delay between each photo being taken, so you do or don't get lots of images of the same animal passing by. You can also vary the sensitivity of the IR sensors, so they are more or less easily triggered by passing wildlife - I found them surprisingly sensitive and even small birds landing some distance from the camera are enough to trigger a photo. At night the camera switched to InfraRed mode and uses the inbuilt IR-LEDs to take pic's - because the LED flash is InfraRed you (and presumably most wildlife) cannot see it, there isn't any visible flash as photo's are taken. The night-mode pic's are probably my favourite, looking like a cross between NatureWatch and Most Haunted, even if it is only next door's cat that's captured.

At first sight I though the Ltl Acorn was a bit over-priced given the build quality and dubious weather-proofness, but when you realise all the different tech that's in here to make things work it makes more sense. Plus it's a really fun way to engage with the wildlife in your garden, especially if you have kids as they'll love checking the camera every morning to see what was captured overnight. In the end it's a really fun product, not the greatest photographic quality, but really fun. So maybe the countryside is now populated by country boffins and not country bumpkins? (Disclosure: item was received for unbiased review)


Panasonic Silver 5 Blade Wet/ Dry Foil Shaver
Panasonic Silver 5 Blade Wet/ Dry Foil Shaver
Offered by Southern Electric
Price: £192.30

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pocket lawnmower..., 17 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've been using electric shavers now for about 30 years and apart from a brief affair with a rotary (it didn't work out) I've always stuck with foil-style shavers, but this is my first Panasonic. First impressions were not that great to be honest, the shaver feels lightweight (not necessarily a disadvantage) and there's an awful lot of chrome-effect plastic and shiny-shiny-ness about it - overall the styling is (to my taste) a bit tacky looking. Things did improve when I started shaving with it, it does do a very good job. If you've tried different electric toothbrushes and appreciate the difference between a mechanical version and a sonic version then you'll understand how the Panasonic Silver 5 feels in action - it has that same sonic buzz and speed. The speed of the cutter block seems to give a very quick and tug-free shave too, compared to my other shavers, it glides fairly effortlessly over your face and captures the majority of hairs on the first pass. If you're someone with very sensitive skin this might be a good shaver for you, it shaves close without having to go back and forth across the skin and causing aggravation. However, the head of the shaver is weirdly over-sized, with four foils and a wide flange around them. Only the middle two foils do the heavy lifting, the (small) cutter block inside only operates within those two foils, and the two outer foils catch stray hairs and neaten the finished result. This all works well but the over-sized head just gets awkward in tighter areas of your face, like when trying to catch every last hair on your upper lip.

There are two shave settings, one which automatically speeds/slows the shaver as necessary as you move across different areas of your face and one which keeps a fixed speed - I tend only to use the variable one and didn't really notice it working but that's probably as it should be, it just works. You can also use this shaver for wet shaving, in the shower perhaps, but I should mention I never use it that way so can't comment on its effectiveness. There's a little trimmer on the back side of the shaver for neatening sideburns, although it does seem a bit of an afterthought. You will need to pop it out occasionally though because getting a neat edge with the over-sized head is difficult to judge, you just can't see what you're doing.

The Silver 5 comes with a dedicated cleaning and charging unit and that does a good job too, although it takes its time about it. A full clean cycle takes about 90 minutes which allows for 10 minutes of washing before the unit actually warms up slightly and gently blow-dries your shaver (off and on) - for about another 80 minutes! As with most of these cleaning units you'll have to find a steady spot for it to sit, as they can leak cleaning fluid if they're moved or tipped over. To make the special washing fluid Panasonic have developed small sachets of concentrate which you simply mix with tap-water in the cleaning unit. That sounds like a great eco-friendly idea - unfortunately it's not very wallet-friendly as they're currently around £15 (with shipping) for a pack of three with each one lasting for a month of cleaning. Sorry Panasonic, but paying nearly £5 for a little sachet of (admittedly effective) concentrated detergent is risible.

The only other expense with an electric shaver should be the replacement foils and cutter-blocks and the Silver 5 seems slightly expensive there too at the moment. Panasonic suggest foils will need replacing annually and cutter blocks every 2 years and the shaver will display a warning after one year of use to remind you. In the end my only real issue with the Silver 5 is the price. It does a really good job, it gives a close shave with virtually no discomfort, it's quick and reasonably quiet and the cleaning unit refreshes and recharges it nicely (if slowly). However, there are much cheaper shavers that do the same thing and that have a more expensive style and build-quality than this Panasonic does, so I just don't see how Panasonic justify the extraordinarily high price.


Red Fox Tub-O-Butter Jar 10.5oz
Red Fox Tub-O-Butter Jar 10.5oz
Offered by Sahara Beauty
Price: £4.25

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grease is the word..., 10 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The other reviewers are right - this feels just like Vaseline® with some Cocoa Butter in it, but it works. It's all wrong, it shouldn't work - it's based on mineral oil, contains a paraben, has the consistency of axle grease and it's cheap - but it does work. You do have to be moderate with the amount you use and take a moment or two to really smooth it into the skin but it does make a big difference. I've been prone to patches of very dry and itchy skin but they've all gone since I started using this regularly and my skin feels in better shape than it has for years. The smell is sweet but not too pronounced and you aren't left smelling like the Milky Bar Kid, as with some cocoa butter products, because it fades quite quickly. Normally I'd avoid a mineral oil product because historically they haven't agreed with my skin or done anything useful - but this must be the exception that proves the rule.


The Gro Company Height Chart Sticker Set Alfred and The Aliens
The Gro Company Height Chart Sticker Set Alfred and The Aliens
Price: £12.08

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Are we nearly tall yet?..., 3 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These are a really fun way to cheer up a child's room and so much better than smudged pen marks on the doorpost. You get four good-sized sheets of stickers full of different pre-cut components and your job, as the full-height grown-up, is to assemble the different pieces into the basic wall-chart. It takes a little bit of common sense to get the right pieces in the right order and at the right height (so the pre-printed measurements make sense) but it's not that big of a challenge. Avoiding bubbles caught under the stickers isn't too hard either, certainly easier than getting than getting that screen protector onto your smartphone was! The stickers themselves are really good quality with an almost matte finish, similar to silk-matte emulsion paint, and adhere quite readily to clean paintwork - they're not recommended for use onto wallpaper for some reason. They're printed (including the white areas) onto a translucent film with just a narrow 'halo' around each die-cut piece. The assembled chart goes up to 1.3m marked out in 10cm divisions - but with no smaller increments shown you might want to keep a ruler handy for settling arguments between similar-height siblings or friends. Once the basic chart's in place you can have some fun -- sorry, the kids can have some fun -- placing all the other pieces that come in the set around the chart, adding on the extra details. If you really want to extend the fun there are other matching sticker sets available and even matching bedlinen.

We got two sets, the All Aboard set and the Alfred and The Aliens set. The Amazon page doesn't show pictures of the finished assembled designs so it's worth visiting the Gro Company's own site to see a preview. The All Aboard set has a road which winds its way back and forth up your wall and then you can place the vehicles, traffic signs and trees where you want them. It's printed with muted pastel colours so would be great in a room where you want something fun but not too brightly coloured. The Alfred and The Aliens set is much more brightly coloured with googly-eyed aliens, spaceships and lots of stars to add around the completed chart. The Alfred and The Aliens chart has a straight edge on the right side so it also looks effective placed into a corner of the room or up against a doorpost. Both styles would probably become a favourite part of any child's room and that's just as well, because once the adhesive has taken there's probably no removing them without repainting the wall!


Tefal GV7620 Steam Generators
Tefal GV7620 Steam Generators
Offered by Deals4u Limited
Price: £139.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hot and steamy..., 30 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Tefal GV7620 is a no-frills no-fuss steam generator iron which pretty much delivers everything you'd want for average family usage. At first I was a bit dubious that a one-heat iron would cope with every type of garment and concerned that it might damage the more delicate items, but it's been fine so far. However, there is an 'eco' setting which reduces the heat and steam output slightly if you're particularly concerned about a garment. For heavier weight items, like pairs of jeans, it's been fine and the high and constant steam output makes most things easy. With no heat setting to worry about there's only one button to switch on and while it's heating up, which only takes a minute or two, an internal LED flashes to let you know it's not quite ready yet. It seems to take another minute or so for the steam generation to reach full strength, but it's not far behind and doesn't hold you back. The weight doesn't hold you back either because the iron itself feels lightweight and nicely balanced - all the heavy parts, the water storage and steam chamber, are kept in the base.

The iron only emits steam when you press the button inside the handle, it doesn't automatically steam when in the horizontal position like conventional irons, so you have great control over it. Tapping on the button on the outside of the handle produces a prolonged burst of steam, three consecutive short blasts actually, though I'm not sure what purpose this really serves. It's also too easy to accidentally tap this button if you set the iron down upright on the ironing board resulting in a cloud of steam you didn't really want - so it's much better to get into the habit of replacing the iron onto the base between uses, placing it down at an angle means your finger doesn't tap the button by mistake. The water tank is a fixed part of the base whereas on a previous Tefal steam generator iron my mother owns it's removable for filling - I prefer the fixed tank because there's less opportunity for spillage or leaking. You will need a jug or bottle for filling, nothing is supplied with the iron, but the tank's opening is large enough to make it easy to fill without spilling - an old cleaned-out milk carton works well and they have about the same capacity as the water tank does. As you work the iron occasionally refills the pressurised steam chamber with water and on my mother's earlier model this sounded like a pneumatic drill going off, however it's very much quieter with this model. There's also a clever device for easily removing limescale but as I live in a soft water area I haven't had to test this out yet. The tank stores enough to keep you going for hours of ironing, which could be as much of a curse as a blessing really...

Although Tefal refer to this model as 'compact' it doesn't seem that much smaller than the average to me and thankfully most of the size reduction seems to come from removing the internal cable storage from the iron, not reducing useful things like the water tank storage. I was a bit concerned by the fixed-heat feature but in practice it's been fine for everyday items, if you're regularly ironing heavier or more varied items maybe it would be worth the extra spend to get a variable heat model. Tefal do seem to have eliminated most of the little niggles from earlier models and the GV7620 seems like a refined and highly effective steam generator iron for everyday use - it just works.


Tefal Infiny Press Revolution Juicer with Two Filters for Juice/ Coulis, 300 Watt
Tefal Infiny Press Revolution Juicer with Two Filters for Juice/ Coulis, 300 Watt
Price: £160.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Go slow..., 16 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Looks aren't everything, but there's no denying the Tefal Infiny Press Revolution Juicer makes a very impressive addition to your kitchen worktop. It feels exceptionally well made (in France) and stands quite tall when it's fully assembled, it only just slides underneath the wall cabinets in our kitchen and you'd have to pull it clear to actually use it. There are quite a lot of parts to assemble, but they're made from good quality materials and fit together precisely. The topmost piece clicks into position with a little safety latch which stops the juicer from running until it's fully assembled - my heart sank a bit seeing this latch because so often they get broken off and the whole appliance becomes useless until you repair/replace it, but this latch seems strong enough to last, with a little care.

This is a 'slow' style of juicer, meaning it uses a vertical auger which rotates slowly and crushes the fruit through a fine mesh sieve to separate juice from pulp. The 'slow' method of juicing has become quite fashionable in juicing circles (do people really juice in circles?) and is supposed to provide more juice and better juice than the usual centrifugal juicers - but slow juicers are usually very expensive, even double the price of this one. The Infiny Press Revolution has the usual two outlets, one for the juice at the front and one for the squeezed-out pulp at the back-left (you get a set of two collecting jugs with the juicer) but the actual chute for the pulp is moulded into the motor base of the juicer and cannot be removed for washing, you just have to wipe it clean afterwards, which seems less than totally hygienic. For safety reasons the three feed-tubes in the top are quite narrow so you do have to cut your fruit or vegetables into chunks slim enough to drop down them. You also have to go at the pace of the juicer, which isn't that fast, and be aware of not overloading it with too much at once or it starts to protest and the sieve starts to back up slightly. At the base of the sieve is a little rubber trapdoor and the pulp gets squeezed through there on its way to the exit and the more fibrous fruit and vegetables, like celery, pineapple or mango, can block this trapdoor if you aren't careful. I found it was better to feed things through in a random mix to avoid this happening, so the juicy fruits keep the fibrous fruits moving through.

So what about the juice? It's really superb! The more common centrifugal juicers liquidise the fruit and vegetables, like a food processor would, and then spin it to separate out the juice and that means they make a kind of (admittedly often delicious) fruit slurry. This juicer doesn't make slurry, it makes juice. It's much more like the premium juices you pay lots of money for in the supermarket, the really good stuff, except it's fresher and tangier and available in any combination you like. You can also vary flavours as you go, testing the juice as it fills the jug - just add a few grapes to make it sweeter, add an apple or half a lemon to make it tangier. Although the fruit and veg' you'll need can be expensive you shouldn't waste anything because it's hard to make a bad juice, as long as you're tasting it as you squeeze it!

So what about the washing up? It's really not superb! There are about 8 different pieces you have to wash afterwards (including the jugs) and a couple of them, the auger and the sieve, need extra attention to remove the bits of pulp embedded within them. You even get a special toothbrush-shaped tool for this job - thankfully it works too. So even if you're planning to throw them all into the dishwasher you'll still have to hand-wash those two pieces first anyway. I just found myself hand-washing all of them - those crystal-clear plastic jugs and other pieces look so good I don't want a dishwasher spoiling them, so it seemed the best way.

So I guess the big question is - is it worth the expense and the effort of preparing the fruit and/or vegetables and the chore of cleaning up afterwards? Of course it depends on the individual, but if you're the kind of person who enjoys really good coffee and doesn't mind, or even enjoys, the ritual of making it using a good Espresso machine then you'll probably love this juicer. It makes superb juice and it's endless fun trying out new combinations. Personally, I don't think I'd use it very often just to make a single glass of juice for myself - but for making a jugful for the dinner table or to keep chilled in the fridge, it's a treat not a chore.

UPDATE: I discovered a great use for the coulis sieve that's include with the juicer - making real fruit ice lollies! The extra pulp that the coulis sieve allows helps keep the ice lollies softer and avoids the rock-hard ice-cube effect, so they're nicer to eat. You need stronger flavours for lollies, as the cold has an anaesthetic effect on your tongue, and I found mixing berries with a 'base' juice (try watermelon or apple) works really well and you feel you're getting your money's worth from such expensive fruits. I also discovered, by accident, that some combinations of fruit and berries separate out slightly into layers as they're freezing - so you get striped lollies which change flavour as you eat them! I use this Kitchen Craft Deluxe Lolly Maker with these Ice Lolly Sticks and when one batch is frozen they they get stored in a freezer bag while I get the next batch ready. It's a real Summer treat to have pure fruit lollies with no added sugar or colourings and really worth a try!


Linksys EA6900 Dual Band AC1900 Smart Wi-Fi Router with Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 and Adjustable Antennas
Linksys EA6900 Dual Band AC1900 Smart Wi-Fi Router with Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 and Adjustable Antennas
Price: £148.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Linksys EA6900 Smart Wi-Fi Router, 16 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm not sure where to start with this Linksys EA6900 Smart Router - and neither was it. When I first unpacked it and started the setup routine it just wouldn't work, the 2.4GHz band wi-fi connection was visible but nothing would actually connect to it. Eventually I had to bypass the 'easy-setup' and connect via Ethernet and do things the old-fashioned way. Eventually, after much fiddling and a few restarts, I discovered that the 2.4GHz band network wouldn't connect to anything as long as the 5GHz band connection was active - switch off the 5GHz network and it was fine. I left it that way overnight and then tried testing it again the next day and... it all worked fine, even with the 5GHz band enabled. I can't explain why it decided to start functioning overnight - it might have been a firmware auto-update, but I had already checked for available updates and I don't think the version number had changed. So it's a bit of a mystery - but if you have the same problem getting an EA6900 going then grab an Ethernet cable and switch off the 5GHz band network for a while.

Once I got past the shaky setup it's been fine, actually it's been rock solid and rarely, if ever, needs restarting to keep it happy. The EA6900 is my second Linksys router and I got it to replace an EA4500, which has been great and easily the best router I've ever had. There are a couple of differences, notably the AC1900 network option and the external adjustable antennae, but for the most part they're very similar routers. There's a great selection of services and options onboard and the widget-style interface to configure these is attractive and mostly logical - although sometimes settings you'd think would belong together are in different sections. You can see which devices are currently connected (but not what they're doing), setup parental controls (with options to block access for certain users at certain times to certain websites - so goodbye Facebook, hello homework!), set media prioritisation options (to encourage smooth video streaming for instance), run a speed test for your current broadband connection, set up and manage a guest connection (which lets visitors access the internet but not your other devices) and finally you can manage the USB device settings. The option to connect a USB device, like a flash-drive or hard-drive, and share the contents across your home network is one of the best features of the EA6900 and there are actually three file-sharing systems onboard which you can use in any combination to suit your needs. First there's simple file-sharing on your local network, with the option to allow/block access to certain folders to certain users. There's also an FTP server onboard, which allows you to share your files across the internet. Finally, there's a very simple UPnP/DLNA media server onboard which shares music and video across your home network to compatible devices like smart TV's or games consoles.

Once the router's up and running it's also possible to login and change the settings using the Linksys Smart WiFi app on your iPhone, although you'll have to setup an account with Linksys to enable this - the connection between your router and phone is made via the internet and not just via your home network. There are also a few paid app's for the Linksys range of smart routers but they are quite limited in function and imagination and Linksys' own free app is probably all you'll need.

The antennae which have to be attached to the back of the router certainly look impressive but I'm not convinced they make much difference - the signal footprint really doesn't seem any better than it was with my Linksys EA4500 - although to be fair that still means it's pretty good. There's no advice about positioning the antennae apart from a suggestion to place them in the angled positions you see in the product photo's - so is there any advantage to moving them at all, I couldn't detect any? The router supports Beamforming, which tries to focus the signal to each specific device, but this has been around for a while although it's only now with AC1900 that there's an agreed industry standard - so that feature may only be really relevant for AC1900-compatible devices. I can't test the AC1900 signal because I have no compatible devices at the moment, but I'll update this review later with any relevant results. The addition of a USB-3 port is welcome as it means file sharing from an attached device across your home network, especially via Ethernet, is extra speedy. Note that if you have a NAS server, or similar device, that can make use of dual Ethernet connections this router will support Port Trunking, although you'd be advised to test different configurations to see which works best.

Although I had teething-problems getting the EA6900 going it has turned out to be as stable and fast as the excellent EA4500 it's replacing - so for me that's great. The extra features, like USB-3 and twiddle-able antennae are nice but not that compelling on their own - I'd suggest that if you already own a top-flight router then the only real reason to upgrade to the EA6900 is to get an AC1900 home network, assuming you have the compatible devices of course. However if you have an ageing router, or something basic that your ISP supplied, then the EA6900 could be a big jump in performance and/or options and is worth investigating.


Vinsic Tulip 3200mAh Power Bank, External Mobile Battery Charger Pack 1A for iPhone, iPad, iPod, Samsung Devices, Cell Phones (Silver)
Vinsic Tulip 3200mAh Power Bank, External Mobile Battery Charger Pack 1A for iPhone, iPad, iPod, Samsung Devices, Cell Phones (Silver)
Offered by High Tech International
Price: £29.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bunch of power..., 14 Jun 2014
They say the best camera is the one you have with you and that must apply to back-up battery packs too. I've got several power banks already and while they're very useful it's sometimes a bit of a thought to carry them around - it's fine if you've got a suitcase or rucksack to throw them into but you wouldn't want them weighing down your pocket. The Vinsic Tulip is different however and it's so small and perfectly-formed that you could easily drop it in a pocket and not worry too much. It's very nicely made and finished too, with the look and feel of an Apple device, sheathed in smooth aluminium.

It's simple to use, just charge it up with the short (good quality) USB cable supplied and go - then when your smartphone or other device starts flagging simply plug it into the Tulip and switch on. The row of white LED's quite clearly show how much charge is left and you should get at least two full recharges of an iPhone before it's time to recharge your Tulip. Note that the output charge is the standard 1.0A and so heavy-drain devices like iPads (which require 2.1A) will not recharge from the Tulip but will run from it like an external power source. It seems to take between 2 to 3 hours to charge up, so it's not hard to make sure it's ready for action when you need it. The Tulip isn't the most capacious power bank I own but it's the sleekest and most portable - and probably the prettiest, which might explain why it's called Tulip? A really neat and affordable solution to an everyday problem. (Disclosure: device was received for unbiased review)


Brainwavz HM9 Hi-Fi Noise Isolating Headphones
Brainwavz HM9 Hi-Fi Noise Isolating Headphones
Offered by MP4 Nation
Price: £85.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Be afraid Sennheiser, be very afraid..., 14 Jun 2014
It's going to be quite hard to review these Brainwavz HM9 Headphones without sounding too gushing. It's not that they're the most 'transparent' or 'neutral' sounding headphones I've tried, qualities you'd normally value in hi-fi equipment - it's just that they're one of the best sounding I've ever tried (and I've tried a lot!) with a rich and immersive sound that's incredibly seductive. If I wanted to be an audiophile anorak about it I'd say that the mid-range is too prominent and the high-end is a bit soft - can't fault the bass though, it's tectonic and effortless - but it doesn't matter, they sound so warm and detailed that you feel like you're inside the music and not listening 'at' it and you'll want to stay there for hours. They're very efficient too, meaning they're loud, even when used with less powerful devices like portable media players or smartphones they can really crank up the volume. It's never at the expense of clarity or precision though, the stereo soundstage is wide and expansive without sounding fake and you hear every little detail.

They arrive in their own egg-shaped zipped case together with a choice of three different cables - a short ribbon one for iPods or similar, a smartphone cable with an inbuilt mic and pause button (but no volume control) and a long ribbon cable for use with your HiFi or TV. Each of the cables has a little collar on one end which snaps very securely into the headphone and you have to be sure to push the (correct) plug fully into the headphones when you swap cables. The build quality of the headphones is excellent, with solid aluminium sides and nicely padded headband and (removable) earpads and although they feel quite heavy as you hold them once you're wearing them they're very comfortable. The earpads sit on your ear rather than around them and, for me, they take a bit of adjusting to get a comfy effective fit, but it's worth it. Even without music playing they block a lot of extraneous noise, thanks to the closed back design, meaning they'd be useful in noisy environments - although they're a bit large and heavy to be easily portable.

I've had countless pairs of Sennheiser headphones over the years and maybe I'm too used to the Sennheiser sound, which usually has a sharp clear treble response, so the HM9's sound a bit soft to me - but to be fair, they're soft in a very nice way. I'd also expect that if these headphones had the Sennheiser badge on them they'd be double (or more) the price they actually are, they really do feel and sound like a premium headphone. The other problem I had preparing a review of the HM9's was that I kept forgetting to listen to the headphones and just got carried away listening to the music - and surely that's the biggest compliment I could pay them? (Disclosure: item was received for unbiased review)


York 15kg Chrome Dumbbell Set and Case
York 15kg Chrome Dumbbell Set and Case
Price: £36.31

5.0 out of 5 stars Smarter than the average dumbbell..., 14 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I needed a set of mid-weight dumbbells for using with an aerobic interval training regimen and these fit the bill just about perfectly. The chrome finish makes them look less 'backstreet-gym' but not quite 'executive-toy' and the range of possible weight combinations would make them suitable for a range of people and exercises. The metal parts do arrive slightly covered in a chalky residue presumably left over from manufacturing, but it just polishes off. The rubber handgrips make them more comfortable to use for aerobics and high-impact routines because you don't need gloves to protect your hands from being 'grated' by rough textured metal - but the rubber really smells when they're first unpacked and although the rubber odour seems to be fading it does still taint your hands during use, hopefully it will eventually disappear.

The bars seem quite long which means you can load them up with weights, but it also means you have to be aware of them during exercises like reciprocating curls, to avoid clanging them together continually. The splinlock collars have a (loose and easily lost) rubber washer on the inside surface which squeezes against the plate as they're tightened and stops them working loose as you exercise, a problem I've noticed before. The box they come in is heavy-duty moulded plastic with a inbuilt carrying handle and makes a perfect home for them between workouts or for moving them around - although you do have to disassemble them to get everything in there. For the (Amazon discounted) price paid they're a great buy, they look better than the average and are just what I needed.


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