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pufferfish (UK)
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Sonixx SX1 Wireless Sports Neckband Bluetooth Headphones - Folding Headset with Noise Cancelling Microphone -3 YEAR WARRANTY (Black)
Sonixx SX1 Wireless Sports Neckband Bluetooth Headphones - Folding Headset with Noise Cancelling Microphone -3 YEAR WARRANTY (Black)
Offered by iHeadphones UK
Price: £39.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Strongly recommended, especially for travel!, 24 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Disclaimer - I received these from the manufacturer to test and review.

These earphones are the type that fit over your ears and round the back of your head at the base where your neck is. In terms of whether you like that, well it depends on your personal preference. I always prefer earphones that have some kind of band as they tend to be more comfortable long term which these are.

The good points. I actually really like them, these are the main reasons:
- Big open sound. Some things like pop can feel a bit boxy but a lot of my music sounds superb through these especially when compared to ear plug type earphones. Bass is good too but not overpowering.
- Comfortable; they don't squeeze the head or pinch or pull, they're not heavy and they seem to just sit on my ears and they don't move when I walk.
- Excellent bluetooth range. They never cut out or stutter which can be a problem with smaller earphones which have smaller antennas. I can put my phone in any pocket or a bag and it gets a clear signal.
- Folding up small. They fit in my coat pocket. They're a bit fragile/bulky to carry in a trouser pocket but they do fine in a standard coat pocket.
- Standard charge cable - micro usb so chances are it's the same as your phone. The batteries last ages though!
- There doesn't seem to be much sound leak to people around you, compared to big headphones. I think they're closed back design.

The bad points
- Be careful with them around kids. They are fragile on the hinges and they don't open in a "logical" way so it would be easy for a child or some clumsy person to snap the hinge. This did happen with our three year old but I managed to pop it back in with no harm done - but still, be careful.
- Memorise the location of the buttons because you can't see or feel which is which when it's on your ear - unless you want to carry a hand mirror. Big button in the middle is pause though! I still have no idea which is volume up/down but I am lucky enough to own a pebble watch that I can use to control the music instead. Which it works fine with by the way!
- Rain stops play. I did wear them in light rain but I do feel that they will not handle a full shower. Unless you have a hood. Which is an easy solution to that problem!

Summary
Overall - as in the title - I do strongly recommend these earphones - they can be worn (by me at least) for hours without becoming sore or uncomfortable or getting a headache, and they can be worn outside while walking, on the bus, and so on, unlike much larger headphones. A really good design. I like it, and I think you probably will too especially if you prefer headphones to ear plugs and travel a lot.


FSL Reflex Bluetooth Sports Earphones - Twin Battery for Double Battery Life
FSL Reflex Bluetooth Sports Earphones - Twin Battery for Double Battery Life
Offered by iHeadphones UK
Price: £49.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Very good fit in the ear - will not fall out, 21 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These earphones were delivered in a nice EVA (hard neoprene sort of material) zip case which is great for keeping them good when not in use. The charge cable can fit in here too.
Sync with my phone was as simple as always - press and hold the play button when the power is off and you're in pair mode - red and blue flashing alternately (doing it while power is on will turn power off!). Then just scan on your phone for bluetooth devices, select the one that appears and away you go.
I particularly like the fit of these ones, because they have a solid wire which goes over the ear, and yet it can be bent to shape for perfect fit because it's metal (coated in plastic obviously). This really helps stop them fall out - they didn't fall out in an hour's walk, they didnt fall out while running. The best fit of any in ear plugs I've tried so far because of this solid wire over ear system.
Sound quality is very good - no issues there at all.
Control is fairly standard - plus/minus buttons to change track, play/pause button and hold the plus/minus to increase or decrease volume. Works fine on android as you'd expect.
One thing I'll point out is that the antenna would seem to be on the RIGHT ear - so best to keep the phone on the right side of your body for best results. Believe it or not even though the straight line range is several metres, your body and the side of your head are very good at shielding bluetooth transmissions. This is always the case with all the small bluetooth earphones I've ever used and exact range depends on your phone's bluetooth strength and local interference (eg a smart watch!), but just get used to using a right pocket not a left one and you'll never have issues.

Overall - a good pair of earphones - my new favourites for in ear, which is the type I use while out of the house. Two thumbs up from me!


FSL Decimate Safety Earmuff / Ear Defender for Shooting, Drumming, DIY, Studying, Motor Racing, Construction - NRR 34 dB - 3 Year Warranty
FSL Decimate Safety Earmuff / Ear Defender for Shooting, Drumming, DIY, Studying, Motor Racing, Construction - NRR 34 dB - 3 Year Warranty
Offered by iHeadphones UK
Price: £19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars very good sound attenuation and quite comfortable, 20 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I do a lot of DIY although oddly in spite of having some very loud saws and drills, I find some random household tasks damage my ears just as much, including but not limited to our carpet cleaner which is insanely loud. The loudest things I've used so far are a router table and an SDS hammer drill largely because you're up close to it. Mitre saws aren't so quiet either.
I've always used those "cheap" orange ones you get in the DIY shops, sure they attenuate the sound somewhat but they don't fit well and aren't especially comfortable especially if used in conjunction with goggles and a mask. I also have used those foam ear plugs but those really don't agree with me, my ears just don't like them at all, its hard to get the pressure right and you feel like pulling your ears off by the end of it.

So on to these ear defenders. They arrived in a respectable cardboard box with some respectable markings on them. CE, EN352-1, EP107, ANSI S3.19 and S12.2. I have no idea what these mean in the context of ear defenders but its nice to see some markings that indicate that these ear protectors are up to certain standards. The leaflet/manual provided with the earphones goes into detail on the test certifications and attenuation specifics - again not something I'm an expert in although I do have a grasp of how dB and attenuation works. I can see that they work best at higher frequencies (500hz+) so this would be perfect for power tools, drills, saws, routers, bad music, etc.

They fold up quite small too, the cups sort of contained within the headband so they'll fit better into a bag than most types.

Fit: they're supposed to be snug and snug they are. There's a lot more inward force on these than the cheapy ones. The length of the head band part can be adjusted by means of the metal arms which can be telescopically extended, so these should fit any head. You should have a very snug fit in order to achieve the specified protection in accordance with the manual. The headband is padded and the ear cups are very soft so it's quite comfortable.

How well do they work? A lot better than the ones I've used in the past! You cant hear much at all through them, they muffle out human voices pretty well too. If you put them on in an "ambient" room you pretty much can't hear anything other than the strange ringing of your own ears, which is disconcerting. Obviously when doing DIY or whatever, that won't happen.

So I would definitely recommend them especially to anyone who plans to use them a lot. They definitely represent a good investment long term.


OxyLED® N05 Tap LED Night Light Stick-on Anywhere Touch Tap Push Lamp, for Closets, Attics, Garages, Car, Sheds, Storage Room
OxyLED® N05 Tap LED Night Light Stick-on Anywhere Touch Tap Push Lamp, for Closets, Attics, Garages, Car, Sheds, Storage Room
Offered by Elecsmart
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars very bright!, 15 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This doesn't look like a touch light at all, so you'd be forgiven for not knowing where to touch it, the answer being the face around the light part (where the oxyled logo is).

Operation is simple - touch on/off, hold to adjust brightness. Brightness is stored so next time you touch it, it reverts to the saved brightness.

The sticky pad is very sticky so be sure you're putting it in the desired location. It won't fall off unless the surface is not smooth and clean. Batteries are sensible (AA size) and will last a while depending on brightness/hours of use. I suggest AA NiMH rechargeables as these work well with LED lights (they don't get dimmer as the power goes down as badly as alkaline!)

It's a very bright light so will do for cupboards or larger dark spaces, just be sure you can reach it!

The slow on/off is also a great feature.


Electric Shock: From the Gramophone to the iPhone - 125 Years of Pop Music
Electric Shock: From the Gramophone to the iPhone - 125 Years of Pop Music
by Peter Doggett
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An extremely detailed historical account, 8 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This book reminds me vaguely of the recent trend of TV documentaries on the history of music, but by nature of being a large novel, it's zoomed in a thousand times closer. If you enjoy watching those documentaries on TV, then you really will enjoy this book.
A word to the wise though, all but the most "musically enlightened" (who indeed would not need to read the book!) will need something like spotify at hand which does a fantastic job as a 'reference library' to give context to the artists mentioned, especially the early ones who are beyond living memory for almost everyone alive today. Without being able to bring up any of the songs at will (which spotify does an exemplary job of!) I would have been lost with the sheer quantity of new names the author throws at you, sometimes feeling like ten or more to a page - though I haven't counted.
Indeed the detail and length of the book is admirable, such that it feels more like an encyclopaedia than a novel, although it reads like a novel. It feels somewhere between the two which made it somewhat "heavy" reading. Though others have stated that you can drop in and out of the book any time, I did find it hard to drop inside of any given chapter, due to the reliance on information given previously. What I'm trying to say, it doesn't feel like a reference book to me, but instead a very, very in depth sequential account of the history of music.

I will go far enough to say that I doubt that anyone knows much about even half the material contained in this novel. I realise that the author is a music writer himself, but the level of knowledge that he must have researched for this novel is surprising. 650+ pages in my copy which on an even distribution, which it's not, is more than five pages a year over the time span it covers - and these are not small pages, nor is the font size large!

The only downside I can see from reading this novel is that you're in great danger of becoming a "music bore", so please exercise restraint in regurgitating that which you will learn from this book in public! And if you're a collector of music, especially vinyl, then you're going to have a hard time keeping your collection from growing significantly as a result of this book.

Overall though, on a serious note, I found the book fairly heavy going with a very high "factual" content which made it harder and slower to digest, but every bit of it is worth reading and not in the least bit tedious. A serious but highly recommended read.


Philips SC2008/11 IPL Lumea Precision Plus Hair Regrowth Prevention System
Philips SC2008/11 IPL Lumea Precision Plus Hair Regrowth Prevention System
Price: £418.00

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Early days but very impressed so far, 2 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Be sure to read the instructions; the quick start instructions are great and the fact that they are printed in colour really helps when determining your appropriate power setting based on skin and hair tone. They are very wordy though so allow yourself half an hour to read them. I would advise reading the instructions carefully - there are lots of safety warnings!

The handset initially feels light in the hand with a good-sized handle which I found I was able to use comfortably in either hand and even upside down. After a while it can start to feel a little heavy, particularly when you’re holding unusual poses for those tricky to reach areas, but a quick adjustment of grip and change of arms fixes this.

The system comes with interchangeable heads for different areas of the body which are easy to identify by the small symbols printed near the lens. They are easy to detach and replace; but not so easy that they fall off which robust handling.

Controls are easy and intuitive. The large ‘ready’ indicator light makes pacing of treatments easy and provides a target to look at so you aren't looking towards the intensely bright flash. The size of the indicator also means you can see it clearly even when treating hard-to-reach areas. The process is quick, taking around 2 seconds between pulses, so that even the small treatment areas permit didn't prevent me from doing my lower leg in around 8 minutes. Overall both legs, including the required initial shave, took me little over 45 minutes - easy to fit into a fortnightly routine.

Initial use took a few minutes of practice, particularly over bony areas like knees, but once you get the hang of it its quick and easy. The integrated fan for cooling the electronics and flash gun is quiet and discreet, but the intensity of the light pulses will make it difficult to do while your other half is sleeping.

The retail box is great, but bulky, so I expect most people would opt for the small zip bag for keeping the IPL gun and accessories together. The bag has a neat pocket for the extra lenses and wall charger but you will struggle for space - and I’d prefer it if there was room to keep the quick start manual inside for reference. I imagine I’ll end up finding an alternative bag to keep it all together.

Overall - love it, looks great, easy to use, great quality construction and well designed. Can’t speak for how effective it is after only one use, but I look forward to finding out!


HooToo® 7-Port USB 3.0 Hub, 2 Smart Charging Ports (12V/5A Power Adapter, USB 3.0 Cable, VIA VL812-B2 Chipset)
HooToo® 7-Port USB 3.0 Hub, 2 Smart Charging Ports (12V/5A Power Adapter, USB 3.0 Cable, VIA VL812-B2 Chipset)
Offered by Sunvalleytek-UK
Price: £69.99

5.0 out of 5 stars High spec USB hub for the demanding user!, 2 May 2015
The main thing you notice when you receive this item is how heavy the box is for a hub. This is explained by the fact that it's powered by the most beefy power supply I've ever seen on a USB hub. 12 volts at 5 amps. That's basically a laptop power supply. Why do you need such a beefy power supply? Well, for many reasons you don't, but this hub has 7 USB 3.0 ports and two phone/tablet charging outlets, meaning a total of 9 outputs! As I understand it, 8 of them are capable of 1 amp each and the other 2.1 amps, so at full load that's 10.1 amps at 5v. So, excuse the technical data, but 5A@12v will give you 10A at 5v (ish) if you allow for some conversion losses. To put it simply - you likely can run ALL ports at full power! Which is great. But will you? Well, only you can decide that...

My unit came with the correct UK plug which is nice to see, being that it's a legal requirement, and a robust looking PSU which has the relevant CE markings and is an inline PSU rather than a "wall wart" which is good as it won't take up three spaces in an extension lead. The hub itself is light and stylish with its glossy black finish.

In terms of operation, it worked straight away on my windows 8.1 laptop. No issues. One thing I did note is that it needs power to operate.
Speed-wise I'm struggling to max it out as most of the usb peripherals I have are still usb 2.0 or just plain slow like a seagate hard drive, but it's nice to see that this device isn't a bottleneck. It comes with a fancy high speed usb cable (A to B) which is the first time I've seen one of these, I had to google it!

Overall then, this is high spec stuff for the demanding user. Most of us won't ever max it out, so if you want a hub that will never lose power and disconnect devices due to overloading, this is going to be a fair bet. If you charge several devices at once, this is a fair bet. I'm tempted to use it as a charging hub when I'm not using it as a usb hub, because it can do that too, imagine the possibility being able to simultaneously charge 7 devices from one plug socket. If you even have 7 usb devices. The sky is the limit!


Foxnovo Li-ion Ni-MH Ni-CD Sound Prompt Battery Capacity Testing LCD Intelligent Battery Charger with UK-plug Adapter 12V Car Adapter for 26650, 22650, 18650, 18500, 18490, 17670, 17650, 17500, 16340, 14500, 10440 Ni-MH and Ni-CD A, AA, AAA, C, SC Rechargeable Batteries Black (2-Slots)
Foxnovo Li-ion Ni-MH Ni-CD Sound Prompt Battery Capacity Testing LCD Intelligent Battery Charger with UK-plug Adapter 12V Car Adapter for 26650, 22650, 18650, 18500, 18490, 17670, 17650, 17500, 16340, 14500, 10440 Ni-MH and Ni-CD A, AA, AAA, C, SC Rechargeable Batteries Black (2-Slots)
Offered by FoxnovoStore
Price: £39.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars much better than your standard quick charger!, 2 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The main charger I use for AAs and AAAs is an old maha powerex that I bought years ago for an insanely large sum of money, because back then you couldn't get any real alternatives if you wanted charge/discharge and an LCD readout. I thought it was awesome and once I realised that not all batteries are created equal, it revolutionised the way I use rechargeables as well as making me buy better rechargeables like enerloop and GP.
Fast forward to today and this charger essentially performs the same function. Granted you're missing some of the fine options like iterations of charging but seriously I never use those, I tend to throw my batteries in at 0.5C (C being the capacity) and return 2 hours later to find them charged.
This charger has two charge rates - 500mA and 1000mA, the former being ideal for AAAs and the latter for AAs (for me at least). This gives you a guideline charge time of around a couple hours for each battery which will not stress it like a "super fast charger" will whilst not taking 16 hours!
The charger is also a little better than the maha at knowing when batteries are full, or at least, it seems to be. I had a batch of duracells which the maha would constantly overcharge to the tune of 2-3 times the capacity - yikes - but this charged didn't!
I like how it beeps when it's done. It means you don't have to nanny it.
I also like how you can charge 18650 batteries too. And C size too.
You can also set it to discharge, for the purpose of testing the capacity after charging. Useful if you want to match up your batteries into sets with near equal capacity - personally I dont have the time but to each their own.
Overall it's two thumbs up for me - I like it a lot. Feature rich and simple, what more could you want.
Comment Comment | Permalink


2 x Foxnovo ICR18650 3100mAh 3.7v 11.5Wh High Drain IC Protected 18650 Rechargeable Li-ion Batteries
2 x Foxnovo ICR18650 3100mAh 3.7v 11.5Wh High Drain IC Protected 18650 Rechargeable Li-ion Batteries
Offered by FoxnovoStore
Price: £33.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Huge capacity!, 2 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The batteries are 18650 batteries, which I use primarily for torches (flashlights) although I am led to understand that they have alternative uses for these "vaping" things that are all the rage now. From a flashlight point of view, I was using a battery of capacity 1800mAh which was lasting maybe half an hour on full beam in my ridiculously high powered LED torch (it gets hot in use!). So, it was nice to get my hands on a couple of batteries with almost double the capacity each.
And they do seem to perform near the stated capacity in as much as they last a LOT longer than the old one I was using, so far I've had no issues with them at all. I charge them with the Foxnovo charger as it has automatic switch off at the end which is a must (though I think all chargers have this for Li-ion for safety) but it also beeps when it's done. See my review on that charger separately though.
So, would I recommend? Yes - as they seem to do the job well.


Wahoo TICKR X Workout Tracker with Memory for iPhone and Android
Wahoo TICKR X Workout Tracker with Memory for iPhone and Android
Price: £79.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't be faulted - definitely the best android fitness ecosystem around right now!, 30 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Full disclaimer here: I'm a big fan of these wahoo products. I painstakingly used to record my activities on a GPS watch and upload them to runkeeper manually via export files which was a pain, but I needed to record my progress/activities somehow.
Then wahoo came along and released an "ecosystem" that essentially does everything for you. Initially it was iOS only which did make me sad as I'm an android person, but finally they have fully (yes, actually fully!) supported android.
In the latest releases of the android software you get graphs of anaerobic/aerobic/etc zone activity within your workout by time, calorie burn per minute, and so on, and so on.
The great thing about the TICKR RUN and TICKR X over the original TICKR is that they added an accelerometer into the electronics, meaning that now you have more data - which is only a good thing! You get ground contact time, centre of balance, cadence, and other kind of things in there when you run, and of course that works outside and on a treadmill too. All these are displayed on a graph and are becoming more meaningful with recent versions of the app.
If you subscribe to beta testing you not only get the new versions first to evaluate but you currently get one on one contact with the developer himself including the ability to suggest new features or feed back on existing ones - be polite though :P
The TICKR X is recognised and works fully with RUNKEEPER too, and probably any other app that uses a bluetooth HRM.
If you are having disconnection problems then the first place you need to look is memory - android kills off apps when it's memory is "critical" and though it's beyond the scope of this review, I found some teething problems on android 5.0 due to a combination of the number of apps running and the memory leak bug they still havent fixed. Workaround seems to be to kill all your apps off frequently manually to avoid android doing it for you.
Now the one negative comment I have is that this tickr x offers little in reality over the tickr run - I have found offline workouts to at best offer little information (no GPS data!) and at worst to just not track at all. When walking around over a series of hours (eg shopping) the offline workouts import (sometimes!) with insane calorie counts, I had a 4 hour shopping trip after cycling the other day, the cycling used around 700 calories then apparently I burned another 2500 (lol!) shopping. I should have been a shrivelled mess after that! I would say they are likely to fix this in the future, I did report an overestimation of walking calories in the app in the past and they fixed it! ;)
Final note - you do need to be patient sometimes with things like this. There's a lot of variables, I run three (or four) bluetooth devices simultaneously on my phone and think of the number of variations of phone configurations and settings that wahoo devs have to consider. There will be bugs and you might be unlucky, but it's a wonder that they manage to make it as reliable as I've found it to be..so be patient with the devs and don't get angry if you have issues!
Now I wish they would support my pebble...!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 1, 2015 1:37 PM BST


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