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SilentSinger (London)
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Nocs NS500 Aluminum Earphones with Remote and Microphone - Gold
Nocs NS500 Aluminum Earphones with Remote and Microphone - Gold
Price: £68.37

5.0 out of 5 stars Nocs NS500 Aluminium Earphones with Remote and Microphone, 24 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was in dire need of a spare set of earphones to attach to my iPod and Samsung Galaxy S4 after my last pair got damaged and went mono. Anyway, here is the Nocs NS500 Aluminum Earphones with Remote and Microphone, I must admit that I'd never previously heard of the brand previous to receiving the item, but apparently they're a Swedish brand.

Build: I had the white colourway which had gold speakers and flat white leads which closely resembled tagliatelle. Apparently the leads are Kevlar lined. There is a panel with three buttons contained within the leads, the top button raises the volume, the middle button pauses the track you're playing with one press and moves it on with two; the bottom button lowers the volume. I tested this function with my 7th generation iPod. There is also a black square zipped pouch to store the headphones when not in use contained within the package - it's felt lined and feels very good quality. Four pairs of differently sized ear buds (to obtain a perfect fit) are also included, as is a clip.

Sound: I initially tested the earphones by listening to a YouTube track via my laptop; the sound was very clear indeed and the bass prominent, but not overpowering; the sound was well-modulated. I then tested it on my iPod by initially listening to pop music and the sound was crisp, clear and well-modulated. On slightly funkier tracks (i.e. Beck) I was able to hear all of the different instruments and sound effects. The sound quality whilst listening to podcasts was very clear and it was easy to hear the speaker's voice and tone.

I then plugged the earphones into my husband's Sony MP3 Walkman to determine whether classical tracks sounded clear and crisp and I can confirm that they do. Mozart sounded smooth, well blended and rather beautiful.

Finally, I used my Samsung Galaxy S4 to test the earphones. Firstly I listened to a YouTube song via this medium and was seriously impressed by the quality - a 1980s Howard Jones track sounded fresh and clear. Secondly, I switched to BBC iPlayer radio and found the sound clear on both Radio 4 (spoken word) and Radio 2 (music).

In conclusion: writing as somebody who's a fan of listening to both the spoken word and music on earphones I can honestly say that these earphones are very impressive indeed. Granted, they're a little on the expensive side, but I think that it's a price worth paying for both build and sound quality.


De'Longhi Magnifica ESAM04.320.S Rapid Long Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machine
De'Longhi Magnifica ESAM04.320.S Rapid Long Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machine

4.0 out of 5 stars De'Longhi Magnifica Bean-to-Cup Machine, 23 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have now owned this coffee machine since late 2013 and it's still proving very popular in my household. I purchased it to upgrade the previous entry-level Gaggia machine we'd been using for the last couple of years. The one thing I would say about this machine is that it is rather large and you need to take this into consideration when planning your purchase, maybe it's because it's a bean to cup machine? Who knows? The build is rather plasticky, which is somewhat disappointing, but it doesn't really detract from the machine's operation. I have found the undercup reservoir to flood, considering that I always place a cup or jug under the machine when it carries out its initial and pre-switch off rinses.

Using it is rather easy once you know how and the manual is easy to follow on this score. It's all digital and there's a bit of faffing around to be done at the start (adjusting the machine to suit the hardness of your water etc) but once that's done and you're au fait with the operation it's a doddle. I won't lie by saying that it's a quiet operation - both the bean grinding and steam functions are incredibly noisy, but I guess that's par for the course? It's easy to adjust the mill for the bean grinder and apparently the finer the grind, the stronger the resulting coffee? The milk frother works well and I have also used it to prepare the milk for hot chocolate.

The digital display is fairly self-explanatory and de-scaling doesn't take too long (you'll need to purchase the special De'Longhi bean to cup descaling stuff which is sold in a pack of two by Amazon). I've never been able to fathom the cup warmer, but am always pleased to read how many coffees I've made in the machine so far.

Cleaning the unit isn't difficult and it's worth doing this fairly regularly, otherwise residue can build up within and impair the machine's function. I use a small vacuum cleaner to remove any debris and wash the drip tray and the grounds container in warm water.

In conclusion: a great product for the price paid; we really like it. I'd probably want to upgrade to a better, less plasticky model next time, but this is fab for now.


Philips Marvel Spider-Man Children's Table Lamp - 1 x 4 W Integrated LED
Philips Marvel Spider-Man Children's Table Lamp - 1 x 4 W Integrated LED
Price: £34.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Philips Marvel Spider-Man Children's Table Lamp, 23 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My seven-year-old son is one of those children who can't bear to sleep in the pitch dark and we used to have an Ikea bug light on the wall to ensure that there was some light in the room, but unfortunately this broke a few weeks ago, so this replacement has come at a very convenient time. Assembling the unit from the box was fairly simple - the shade needed to be clipped together and the the base attached, but there were easy-to-follow instructions included which explained everything. The bulb is a standard LED one and is included within the box because it's attached to the top of the lamp's stem.

It provides a really subtle white light in the evenings which is great; the shade has translucent bits etched into it and it therefore shines out in a kaleidoscope effect, which is rather sweet. Spiderman looks as though he's leaping out of the lamp in 3D (if that makes any sense whatsoever...?) There's a rocker switch attached to the lead so it's easy for (slightly older than mine) children to operate.

In conclusion: a splendid little bedside lamp, perfect for any young boy's bedroom. The design details and quality of the build really lift it above cheaper and less efficient products.


Ultrasport Unisex Adult Multifunctional Fitness Mat, PVC   - Black ,Medium
Ultrasport Unisex Adult Multifunctional Fitness Mat, PVC - Black ,Medium
Price: £24.90

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fitness Mat: Soft Comfort and Support Underfoot Whilst Exercising, 22 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Firstly, I would like to point out that this is a fitness floor mat to be used either under heavy home exercise equipment to protect the floor and/or to provide more padding, comfort and support whilst jumping around in one's lounge/home gym/garage etc. It isn't a fitness mat which can be used to carry out floor exercises such as sit ups, glue lifts, yoga etc, although it would be perfect placed under another mat to provide added comfort.

I use it in my lounge to provide a non slip area to carry out basic aerobic moves on, also I have placed it directly under my WiiFitU balance board to provide additional security on my laminate flooring. It's rather nice underfoot and feels warm and padded, it has the added bonus of being very easy to roll up and store away neatly, something which I believe any home fitness fan will appreciate. My only slight beef is that it's not that big and I have a much larger surface area when I interlock four floor guards prior to working out.

In conclusion: a very useful product and perfect for all of us home exercisers. It would also muffle some of the noise created by people doing aerobic moves in apartments/flats.


Roberts Radio Revival iStream2 DAB/DAB+/FM Internet Radio - Black
Roberts Radio Revival iStream2 DAB/DAB+/FM Internet Radio - Black
Price: £199.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Roberts Revivial Internet Radio, 22 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have owned a couple of Roberts radios in the past, but have never used an internet radio, so I thought this would be a good device to listen to one of my favourite mediums on around the house. The model is very stylish, with a nod to the retro look - i.e. leather and and gold/brass effect trims (although some people may find this detail rather tacky!) but it certainly stands out from the more standard plastic or aluminum models which dominate the market. It includes all of the general and mostly standard features of these radios, including both DAB and FM radio settings, USB access for MP3 access, and an alarm plus clock facility. The advantage of this particular model is that it links to home wifi to provide an internet radio facility, also it can access your PC playlists and Spotify account. Unfortunately for me these were of no value as I’m finding Windows playlists increasingly redundant as you can’t download these any more against the rapidly diminishing numbers of non Apple MP3 players available on the market, and whilst I have a Spotify account, I don’t have the streaming facility (which costs £9.99 a month to run) for this so I can’t comment on this feature of the radio.

However, that aside, I used all the various other features, so I’ll comment on those. Firstly, the instruction manual is quite long and somewhat detailed, but not so complex that it's impossible to plough your way through it. If you don’t have much grasp of the various technologies described, it's fairly intuitive, so tuning into and setting up time, alarm, DAB and FM presets are all relatively easy with a bit of patience. The sound quality if quite impressive (at least in terms of radio amplification, but not comparable to the sound emitted via high specification speakers). It's possible to improve the enhance the sound via the equaliser mode, which has an option to create your own EQ. The reception for both the DAB and FM modes is fairly impressive in this postcode, although I couldn't possibly comment for the rest of the UK. My particular interest in this radio was the internet radio access (which I’ve only accessed via the ‘Tunein’ app for at the moment, so it was nice to have this on a portable device which you can play out loud without need of a Bluetooth speaker. Aside from the stupendous range of channels on offer, there was the added bonus of the large range of podcasts available, so you can catch up on your favourite programmes without the need to download them onto an iPod or MP3 player. Having said that, I would say though that I found the quality of sound from the internet slightly poorer than that from the DAB, but given the rich range of options, that’s rather a small price to pay.

In conclusion: I would say that the device is somewhat good value for money, but the experience would be fully utilised by being able to access PC playlists and the full roaming Spotify facilities. If these aren't in place, it would be difficult to receive the full scope of this device.


Ultrasport Women's Antibacterial Fitness Top with Quick Dry Function - XL, Grey
Ultrasport Women's Antibacterial Fitness Top with Quick Dry Function - XL, Grey
Price: £18.45

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultrasport Fitness Top, 9 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This fitness top was rather timely because I've just embarked on (another!) fitness campaign to lose two stone of unwanted lard. Firstly, the description of this top and Ultrasport ladies fitness clothing in general should include an idea of exactly what the XS-XL sizes actually equate to in UK dress sizes, because they currently don't and internet sales aren't going to be boosted by not providing such basic information. I have this top in a size XL and I'm guessing that they are about a size 16-18? I am a 36F cup and wore a sports bra underneath and there was plenty of room. The slightly low cut V-shape was filled in by my bra, so it really didn't show.

This top was a perfect fit and the length was great on my 5ft 9in figure and only rode up a tiny amount during exercise. It was seamless and very comfortable and didn't restrict movement during stretching, lunging and bending. The driweave technology was also excellent because it's still very hot and humid and exercising inside often makes me feel very clammy indeed; these dried quickly and there was no unpleasant odours(!) emanating from my person.

The top laundered well, after the second wash I noticed that some of the design had cracked a little, as did the matching shorts. I washed them on 30 degrees and line dried them. I don't own a tumble drier, but I imagine that it wouldn't fare well in one, but being microfibre, it was so quick to dry that there's really no need.

In conclusion: a nice top for dance, running, yoga or general workouts. I found it an excellent fit.


Ultrasport Women's Antibacterial Fitness Pants with Quick Dry Function - XL, Grey
Ultrasport Women's Antibacterial Fitness Pants with Quick Dry Function - XL, Grey
Price: £18.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ultrasport Fitness Pants, 9 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These fitness shorts were rather timely because I've just embarked on (another!) fitness campaign to lose two stone of unwanted lard. Firstly, the description of these shorts and Ultrasport ladies fitness clothing in general should include an idea of exactly what the XS-XL sizes actually equate to in UK dress sizes, because they currently don't and internet sales aren't going to be boosted by not providing such basic information. I have these shorts in a size XL and I'm guessing that they are about a size 16-18?

These shorts are a little too short for me because I'm 5ft 9in and tended to ride up during exercise, which wasn't great. I did wear a pair of cotton knickers under them though, so maybe that affected things? They were seamless and very comfortable otherwise though and didn't restrict movement during stretching, lunging and bending. The driweave technology was also excellent because it's still very hot and humid and exercising inside often makes me feel very clammy indeed; these dried quickly and there was no unpleasant odours(!)

They have washed well, after the second wash I noticed that some of the design had cracked a little. I washed them on 30 degrees and line dried them. I don't own a tumble drier, but I imagine that they wouldn't fare well in one, but they were so quick to dry that there's really no need.

In conclusion: a nice pair of shorts for dance, running, yoga or general workouts. Taller ladies should probably opt for a slightly longer style unless you've got impressive muscle tone in the upper thigh area.


I Know Nothing: The Autobiography
I Know Nothing: The Autobiography
by Andrew Sachs
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.60

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Manuel's Musings, 9 Aug 2014
Andrew Sachs is one of those rare breed of chameleon-like actors who has a huge body of impressive theatre, TV and film history under his belt, but he's so good that you'd be forgiven for not recognising him. I was previously aware that Sachs grew up in Germany and had Jewish roots and that his family fled the Holocaust, but reading his account of it made it seem fraught with danger, suspense and most of all, sheer bravery on his parents' part. Growing up through his teens in north London Sachs was able to find a way to hone his performance skills prior to drama school and eventual fame.

Being a huge comedy fan I was very interested to read the background information about the filming of Fawlty Towers and was horrified to hear about Sach's rather serious burns during one of the crazier scenes, ditto the John Cleese/frying pan incident! However, ever the professional, Sachs took it in his stride. It's nice to hear that he still brings Manuel out of retirement for charity purposes.

The chapter concerning the Russell Brand/Jonathan Ross 'Sachsgate' scandal was beautifully written and so sensitively put that you'd hope that nothing similar would ever happen again. A few years on it does seem a horribly crass thing to do to an octogenerian national treasure. That said, it's clear that Sachs has put the whole thing behind him.

In conclusion: a great book for all fans of comedy and entertainment. It drops a star because it did drag a little in places, however that didn't detract from the content of the book.


The Tracks of My Years: The autobiography
The Tracks of My Years: The autobiography
by Ken Bruce
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.57

4.0 out of 5 stars Ken The Bruce, 9 Aug 2014
I've pretty much only just started to appreciate Ken Bruce's weekday morning show on BBC Radio 2, hence why I thought that I'd find out more about the man behind the voice. Bruce spent his early days growing up in Scotland, but after an aborted early career as a trainee accountant he worked his way up slowly in his chosen medium: radio. There are quite a few tales of heavy drinking sessions with colleagues which I'm guessing, along with a punishing work schedule contributed to the failure of Bruce's first two marriages? He does tell a ripping yarn about the 'insider' stuff listeners rarely hear about, but he's very discreet and doesn't name names, although I made an educated guess regarding the identity of one of his nightmare interviewees.

Probably the most interesting and informative parts for me were the background to the hugely popular daily quiz 'PopMaster' and how he created with Phil 'The Collector' Swern. Of course, Bruce's moving chapter about his autistic son, Murray, is very poignant indeed and as a Mother of a son with the same condition (albeit not quite as severe as Murray's) it was brilliant to read such an intelligent and informative piece. The snippets about the behind the scenes stuff about Eurovision were also very amusing. I also didn't get the impression that Bruce employed a ghostwriter for this book (unlike Tony Blackburn!) and I'm very glad that he stuck to his own prose.


Betula Unisex - Adult Energy Clogs And Mules White Weiss/white Size: 43
Betula Unisex - Adult Energy Clogs And Mules White Weiss/white Size: 43
Offered by angies-shoeshop
Price: £17.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Flipflops, 8 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I won't write a great deal here as I've already reviewed these flipflops in the black colourway, but rest assured, they're absolutely brilliant - lightweight, yet supportive. They are simply in a league of their own and no, I don't work for the company! Buy them, you won't be disappointed!


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