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Profile for Andrew Sutherland > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Andrew Sutherland "Sutho" (Surrey outposts)
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Jam Audio 2.1 Symphony Wireless Wi-Fi Speaker for Streaming Music
Jam Audio 2.1 Symphony Wireless Wi-Fi Speaker for Streaming Music
Price: £149.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Good hardware, fine for streaming local content,Spotify and anything via iOS but USELESS for other web-streaming on Android, 16 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Strictly from a build point of view, this speaker performs pretty well – it’s got decent, rich, room-filling sound quality with a remarkably powerful bass – it’s a big, heavy piece of kit; excessively large and powerful for the average-sized room if I’m honest. It runs off the mains so it’s not remotely portable, but if you’ve got a big room with a convenient spot near a power outlet, no sweat. You can play through it via an aux input or stream to it over your home WiFi from anything that supports a DLNA connection. There’s no Bluetooth. Setting up the WiFi is easy. Thereafter, streaming LOCAL content (that’s to say, music actually saved on your device) to the speaker from your phone requires that you the Jam WiFi app. But it's a lousy and buggy app that crashes lots and is clunky had a horrible interface. There’s countless other third party apps will let you do much the same better e.g. BubbleUPnP. The beauty of the speaker being DLNA compliant is that any device on your home network can stream to the speaker including PCs and laptops… you just navigate to the music file in Windows Explorer (it cannot, far as I can tell, be done from within iTunes), right click and select ‘Cast to’ and pick the Jam WiFi speaker. Works like a charm using Windows 10. So if your music is mainly saved on a laptop then this is a real winner. Mine’s on a PC but I think I can probably sort something out with Plex or equivalent to connect to that via my phone, I really need to explore that side of things. So far so good-ish. It’s also easy to play Spotify, Tune In and Tidal, because it’s got the option to steam from them built into the Jam WiFi app (which, as mentioned, is awful). But where this bad boy really falls down is for all the other streaming services like Amazon Music or Google Music. If you use Apple devices, there’s no problem here either; it’s easily done using the iOS system-wide AirPlay (which basically allows you to ‘cast’ whatever audio your device is playing). But with android phones, you're restricted unless you've got an LG or HTC, for which there are in-app shortcuts (detailed here: http://uk.jamaudio.com/wifi-help-center/). For Samsungs and others, like my Moto G3, it's very difficult to do... you pretty much need to ‘root’ your phone first, which I don’t want to do. This feels like a major, major shortcoming to someone like me, who wants to steam lots of Prime music via the Amazon Music app on my android phone (ditto Soundcloud, Bandcamp, iPlayer, YouTube). The extent to which this matters will depend on what kit you’ve got and how you prefer to play music but I would hesitate to recommend this to most android users who want to stream anything except Spotify.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 18, 2016 12:24 PM BST


Vision Media X 25 Single Clear CD Jewel Case
Vision Media X 25 Single Clear CD Jewel Case
Offered by Vision Media Store
Price: £11.17

4.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best single clear CD jewel case replacements out there, 14 Aug. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
One of the perils of buying CDs online is that invariably some will arrive cracked or broken from transit. I'm the kind of person who gets bugged by this so like to replace busted cases but, as others have said, jewel case quality out there varies enormously- some are truly dreadful; thin, brittle and generally nasty. These are among the best quality replacements I've seen- decent, rigid plastic, completely transparent (not opaque like some rubbish quality ones), with a good closing mechanism, so it stays shut but doesn't require brute force to open. The trays (which are also clear) are easy enough to pop out and put back, but again, fit in place nice and tight. All round, not quite as good as some preimium cases you'll find on on shop bought CDs, but not far off, and way better than most empty cases being sold by media outlets on the internet. Incidentally I bought mine from "Vision Media Store and Fulfilled by Amazon" and they arrived securely packaged with not a single case damaged; furthermore the cases were shrinkwrapped with no fingerprints, scratches or smudges. For someone like me, prone to being excessively orderly and fussy, these things matter!


Scotch 21g Glue Sticks (Pack of 2)
Scotch 21g Glue Sticks (Pack of 2)
Offered by K Direct
Price: £3.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty much indistinguishable from Pritt Sticks, 14 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As a lifetime user of Pritt Sticks, I find these Scotch glue sticks to be almost indistinguishable. They seem to achieve just as good a bond for paper and card (my only use) and work out as OK value when bought in twin packs like this. The 21g size is ideal for my purposes. Also worth noting that they are solvent free and will wash off clothes at 40 degrees (no difference from Pritt Sticks there either). At the end of the day, it's hard to get excited about a glue stick but I hit it off with these bad boys just fine. Ergo buy with confidence.


AmazonBasics Nylon Braided USB A to Lightning Compatible Cable - Apple MFi Certified - Gold (3 Feet/0.9 Meter)
AmazonBasics Nylon Braided USB A to Lightning Compatible Cable - Apple MFi Certified - Gold (3 Feet/0.9 Meter)

4.0 out of 5 stars Top quality USB/Lightning cable coated with nylon rather than PVC, 11 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Excellent quality USB/Lightning cable. Do not be misled by the name of the 'Amazon Basics' line; there's nothing cheap or second-rate about it, in fact, it's got way better build quality that most regular charging cables, including the Apple ones supplied with their devices. This cable is different from most becuase it's not rubber/plastic/PVC coated; instead, it's coated with a nylon braid, making it look a bit like a 3ft bootlace, but as a consequence it's sturdy and not prone to fray or for that matter, tangle. Metallised ends that fit snugly and with a velcro tie to keep it shortened if you prefer- handy. Difficult to find fault really. If I was being picky I guess I'd say that the beige colour is a bit naff but at least you can pick it out easily from among all the white and black ones.


Play-Doh Town Ice Cream Truck
Play-Doh Town Ice Cream Truck
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative, ice cream-themed Play-Doh fun for a tenner, 5 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
You don't get terribly much Play-Doh here but we already had tonnes so no bother, the main 'sell' here are is the accompanying kit; an ice cream truck which dispenses Mr. Whippy-style 'ice cream' and accompanying figure, 2 ice cream cones, 2 lolly sticks and a mould, as well as various moulds for food to decorate the ice creams with. Perfect for my three year old daughter whose abiding love of a) small figurines, b) ice cream and c) making a mess with play-doh has seldom found a clearer means of expression; perfect!


Zero K
Zero K
by Don DeLillo
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, emotionally resonant late period DeLillo, his best since Underworld, 5 Aug. 2016
This review is from: Zero K (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a Supreme novel from DeLillo, much more involving and emotionally resonant than his more recent stripped down works like Falling Man, Point Omega etc. albeit just as beautifully written, with the same mastery of form. The plot is an economical but highly thought-provoking twofer; the first half centres on a billionaire who is inspired by the terminal illness of his wife to seek immortality for them through ‘cryopreservation’; his son Jefferey is the first person narrator and it is his own later story which makes up the novel’s second act, a much more human drama, a kind of mediation really, that raises deeply philosophical questions about humanity and the nature of time. Yes, the plot is sparing, but the book simply brims with ideas. I read it over the course of a weekend and emerged with head and heart feeling nourished.


Mitre Monde Match Football - White/Green/Grey, Size 5
Mitre Monde Match Football - White/Green/Grey, Size 5
Price: £20.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Top quality Size 5 ball, doubt there's better at this price, 5 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Good quality Size 5 latex football. N.B. Arrives completely deflated. Have only been using it for kickabouts on grass rather than anything competitive or serious but would doubtless be up to the job for more serious play. High quality ('shiny') PU coating looks very durable. Maintains inflation and shape well and most importantly very responsive with nice amount of weight. For under £20 I doubt you can get a better ball.


3M Peltor Kids Ear Muffs Neon Green H510AK-442-GB
3M Peltor Kids Ear Muffs Neon Green H510AK-442-GB
Price: £20.76

3.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly good but there are better (cheaper) kids ear defenders, 5 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My 4 year old son is autistic and has auditory processing problems so finds it helpful to wear ear defenders in loud settings to muffle the sound and keep him relaxed. The ones we normally use are Edz Kidz Ear Defenders, which are cheaper than these ones. As far as I can tell, their noise cancelling properties are similar; the main difference is that these ones are more of a lightweight design and clamp around the ear a little less tightly. Also the mechanism for making these ones bigger/smaller is a bit flimsier and the pads are a slightly softer material. I personally prefer the Edz Kidz ones, which are a bit more robust and are also easier to fold up small for transportation albeit if he’s wearing them for long spells, they do seem to make him sweat more than these ones, which sit around the head less closely. These are absolutely fine but for half the price you can get something which in my view is functionally superior. Sizing absolutely fine for most kids as adjustable.


Garnier Ambre Solaire Kids Protection Trigger Spray SPF50 200ml
Garnier Ambre Solaire Kids Protection Trigger Spray SPF50 200ml
Price: £8.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Good if rather thick sun cream with clever trigger application, 30 May 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I tested this alongside the more expensive "Garnier Ambre Solaire Rapido Kids SPF 50 High Protection Non-stop Spray" Garnier Ambre Solaire Rapido Kids SPF 50 High Protection Non-stop Spray 150 ml and found this one much more more viscous, takes a bit longer to absorb into the skin and leaves the skin a little bit stickier feeling afterwards. The trigger application is really good (much quicker and gives better coverage than applying by hand) and there's a child-proof lock to stop it being sprayed by accident (or by small people) that actually works. The cream itself seems good - 50SPF, waterproof, smells nice, no ill effects with sensitive skin and, most importantly, does the job in terms of sun protection.


I Still Do
I Still Do
Price: £9.65

25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocrity in extremis, 24 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: I Still Do (Audio CD)
Hilariously predictable to see the surfeit of 1* and 5* reviews for what is palpably a 3* album (+/- one star depending on your disposition), being full of neither great nor terrible songs, but with fleeting moments of both... To those decrying the covers-heavy, zero-risk, Clapton-by-numbers-ness of it all….what were you expecting? And to those heralding it a “Masterpiece”, what are you on?! Twelve tracks here, only two of which are God-awful ('I will be there’ and 'Catch the blues’, both dreadful, the latter embarrassingly so), but it's otherwise pretty unremarkable stuff, save for three particularly nice takes on blues standards: Leroy Carr’s ‘Alabama Woman Blue’; Skip James’ 'Cypress Grove’, and; Robert Johnson's ‘Stones in my Passway’… although my choice of adjective is telling, since even these fail to really catch fire. A nod, too, for the original 'Spiral’, since I'm feeling charitable... otherwise it's all a bit too sleepy, all a bit too Sunday morning… deftly assembled but devoid of any rough edges or defining guitar playing. I certainly cannot see myself playing this bad boy again in the months, yet alone years, to come.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 30, 2016 2:29 PM BST


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