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Profile for M. Hadfield > Reviews

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Content by M. Hadfield
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Helpful Votes: 1386

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Reviews Written by
M. Hadfield "Ammonite" (Runcorn, Cheshire, UK)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

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Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless NoiseGard Adaptive Noise Cancelling, Bluetooth Headphone with Touch Sensitive Control and 30-Hour Battery Life - Black
Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless NoiseGard Adaptive Noise Cancelling, Bluetooth Headphone with Touch Sensitive Control and 30-Hour Battery Life - Black
Price: £319.99

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful sound quality, easy set up, touch control, what more could you want., 4 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Sennheiser is a name I associate with quality audio products, especially microphones, but I’d never actually used anything they made until I received these headphones. So, as you might imagine, my expectations were high.

In the box:
the headphones
a 50” USB charging cable
an airplane type (two prong) adapter
a 6.3mm jack to 3.5mm socket adapter
a 50” cable with a headphone jack to 3.5mm jack with a built-in switch/mic
A protective case

Charging is via the supplied USB cable. Plugging in the cable lights up a series of tiny white LEDs on the headphones. With the progress of the charge indicated by the location of a flashing LED. Each LED represents 20% of charge so there are 5 of them altogether. The headphones are switched on by twisting the earcups through 90 degrees - essential to wear them, but you need to remember to twist them back to switch them off after use. Also they will only fit into the case with the earcups twisted into the off position.

Next to the LEDs, on the right ear piece, is a tiny button with a music symbol on it. This is apparently the Effect Mode Control. None of the paper supplied with the headphones tells me what it does. On pressing the button a pleasant female voice informs me “Effect Mode Club”, press again, “Effect Mode Movie”, and again “Effect Mode speech”. The fourth press switches it off. The sound quality shifts with each press so I’m guessing it’s some sort of built-in, pre-programmed, graphic equalizer.

Just above that, on the edge of the right earpiece, is the noise cancelling switch. You can have this off, or in one of two ‘on’ states. I’ve never used noise cancelling headphones before so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. There is significant reduction in ambient noise, but complete disappearance – no. Setting two, of the switch, gives more effective noise cancellation than setting one. I’ve only used these at home and been able to test them with self-generated noise – tapping, kettles, etc. There is a muffling, and masking of low volume noises, but tapping hard with fingers on my desk is still audible, though nowhere near as loud as without the headphones. So my conclusion would be that the noise cancellation is effective and it’s really nice to be able to switch it off, and have two levels of cancellation to select.

The charging port and the cable socket for non-Bluetooth use are on the lower part of the right earpiece. All of these controls sit around the rim, on the edge of the hard plastic, just behind the soft ear padding.

The right ear piece has some other surprises too. It has touch controls to control volume by sliding up (increase) or down (decrease). When you hit the top limit the nice lady whispers in your ear that you have reached maximum volume setting. This maximum setting, while plenty loud enough, is nowhere near as loud as I can get with wired headphones plugged directly into my amplifier. So if you like to deafen yourself these are probably not for you. You can also pause playback with a tap on this earpiece. Sliding your finger horizontally gives you fast forward/backward, or next/previous track options too. Very nice design and easy to use once you get used to it.

The headband is nicely padded and very comfortable. The ear cushions are beautifully soft, though I have to say I can only manage to wear them for around an hour before my ears start to feel just a little uncomfortable. I think this might be because the central hole in the padding is a little small for my ears. The earpieces pull down from the headband by about an inch and a half’s extension.

Sound quality is superb – rich and warm, with a lovely bass quality.

Bluetooth connection was straightforward with an in-ear notification (by that nice lady again) if no paired Bluetooth device is located when you switch on. And you can use them for phone calls too – though I haven’t tested this particular function.

Worthy of serious consideration.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 16, 2016 4:30 AM BST


Canon PIXMA iP8750 A3+ Wi-Fi Photo Printer
Canon PIXMA iP8750 A3+ Wi-Fi Photo Printer
Price: £189.00

126 of 128 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Print quality is superb. Canon's software support leaves a lot to be desired - fortunately the printer works brilliantly anyway., 29 Jun. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I hadn’t planned on buying a photo printer, all I needed was an inexpensive printer for printing bits and pieces. But when I started doing my research I found a disappointingly high percentage of negative reviews on printers in the price range that interested me. I rapidly found myself in the territory of photo printers before the proportion of good to bad reviews suggested I was unlikely to be wasting my money. I’m a keen photographer, and since the arrival of digital I’ve created very few prints and so the family albums have, sadly, disappeared. Maybe it’s time to get back to printing, I thought.

I ended up with a short list of two Canons, one more than double the price of the other. I ended up plumping for this Canon printer. Not because of the price, but because of the size and weight of the Pro – 10S. The reviews also suggested that the picture quality of the iP8750 was as good as or better than its more expensive cousin.

It’s an A3+ printer so it takes up a fair bit of space. With the packets of paper I’ve acquired, spare ink cartridges, paper input support extended and the output tray pulled out, it takes up a whole desk. Luckily I have one in my spare room so that’s where it now lives.

Set up involved following the picture sequence on the quick set up guide. I found some set up videos on Canon’s web site’s product page for this printer, so I’d already watched them before the printer turned up. They helped and I recommend checking them out before unpacking anything. Canon provide set-up ink cartridges with the printer. These are low capacity so I’d encourage ordering a set of spares (not much change from £60) when you buy this printer. The inks need installing after bits of orange tape and a chunk of orange plastic have been removed. The ink cartridges, and their corresponding slots, are obviously identified with a colour abbreviation code. You will notice there are two blacks. The pigment black is used purely for documents, the other black is used solely for photographs. There is no user choice in this. Correct installation is rewarded by an orange light lighting up on the tip of the cartridge body.

After closing the lid the next step was to run the installation software. That was as straightforward as installing any else. Wi-fi set up was accomplished by pressing the wi-fi button on the printer – until the blue light was flashing, then running downstairs to the router to press the WPS button on the back of the router. That was all it took. You don’t need a WPS button on your router, but if you have, then wi-fi set-up is a piece of cake.

The installation software left two obtrusively big widgets on my desktop. One was a video window running a slide show, the other was Canon’s proprietary software ‘Canon Quick Menu’. This software does things like tell you what ink type is required; opens a web page called ‘Useful Functions on the Printer’; issues ‘useful notices’; and other stuff that I’m highly unlikely to need so I haven’t made any use of this at all. Included in this is something with the really stupid name of Creative Park Premium which opens ‘My Image Garden’ (your own images) and lets you format them in interesting ways – well, interesting to Canon it seems. This software, when it runs produces two error messages on my system (Tvichw32 Driver Open Error & Can not load ASPI Layer Driver). I contacted Canon, they passed the buck and told me it was Microsoft’s fault and that I should contact Microsoft. That irritated me no end especially since these error messages only appear when starting Canon’s supplied software. Canon get 1 * for customer service. ‘My image garden’ won’t run if the printer is switched off, it checks that you have legit Canon cartridges in the printer before it will run.

Fortunately this supplied software is completely unnecessary for printing images or documents if you have other image editing software that allows you to print. Both Lightroom and Photoshop facilitate this, so I’ve managed just fine without it. By the way, the error messages don’t prevent any of its functionality, they are just irritating.

Back to the printer. The paper-support tray feeds almost vertically into the back of the printer. It is made from three telescoping pieces of flimsy plastic. The paper out tray is also a flimsy telescoping four part tray that pulls out at the front (bit of orange tape hidden on the underside of this that you need to watch out for). They all fold away very neatly and have lids that make the printer look quite attractive when it’s not being used. These flimsy trays do not appear as if they will take any stress without breaking so make sure you can place your printer where they will not be accidentally knocked, brushed up against, or have anything dropped on them.

Straightforward printing is a doddle. Printing using ICC profiles from Photoshop is a little trickier, because you need to understand Canon’s secret codes in order to identify which profile applies to which Canon paper. You also need to switch off printer control using the driver software – otherwise it will just override your Photoshop choices. I’ve put these codes at the bottom of the review for those who may be interested in using Photoshop to control the printing. Canon’s supplied printer driver has a ton of options and it’s worth checking out Canon’s information pages on how to best make use of the different settings. To just leave it at the basic settings, and not explore some of these options would be to waste much of this printer’s potential.

Image quality is superb. I’ve only used Canon’s Plus Glossy II and Pro Platinum and I’m completely happy with the results.

The only problem I’ve noticed is that when I created my own black border in Photoshop, the resulting print showed it thinner on the rear edge of the image. This is something I need to play with a bit more. I don’t know whether it is down to the printer, or the settings I’m using. There are a lot of options to play with, and I’ve only had it a week, so plenty to explore yet.

In conclusion, I’m totally happy with this. Image quality is superb, and without any fiddling, is a very close match to what I see on my monitor. If it proves reliable, then I’ve made a good purchase and am happy to recommend it. Check out my setting up images too.

Codes for ICC profiles for Canon paper
PR = Photo Paper Pro and Photo Paper Pro II
SP: = Photo Paper Plus Glossy
MP: = Matte Photo Paper
SG: = Photo Paper Plus Semi-gloss
GL: = Photo Paper Plus Glossy II
PT: = Photo Paper Pro Platinum
The numbers (following above code) relate to quality as set on the slide bar
3= Standard quality
2= High quality
1 = something better than High
So the ICC profile for Photo Paper Plus Glossy II High Quality = Canon IP8700 series GL2
So the ICC profile for Photo Paper Pro Platinum High Quality = Canon IP8700 series PT2
So the ICC profile for Photo Paper Pro Platinum High+ Quality = Canon IP8700 series PT1
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 18, 2017 9:16 AM GMT


Defenders Slug and Snail Band (35 mm Wide Reusable Copper Band, Extends to Length 55 cm, Suitable for Natural, Organic Gardening)
Defenders Slug and Snail Band (35 mm Wide Reusable Copper Band, Extends to Length 55 cm, Suitable for Natural, Organic Gardening)
Price: £4.98

2.0 out of 5 stars Didn't work for me, 27 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My daughter has successfully used copper tape around plant pots to deter slugs, so I thought this particular item would be a roaring success. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. This product is manufactured from two pieces of flexible copper fastened together so that they can be pulled apart to make a longer strip. There are cut-outs on each end so the strip can be fastened into a rough circle. Fastened in this way it was just long enough for a snug fit around the base of a 5 litre plastic plant pot I happened to have lying around the greenhouse.

For my test I had a pot which was just showing a young dahlia shoot appearing. These shoots had been nibbled by slugs but were still growing. I placed the pot outside on a concrete slab, in an area with no shortage of slugs, with the copper strip surrounding the base of the pot. There was a gap of around an inch between pot and copper. I’ve only checked it once or twice in around three weeks and in that time, for a short period there seemed to be fresh growth, but when I went for my final check this morning, before writing this review, there was just the tiniest stub of shoot. It had been slugged off completely.

I’m not suggesting this is an exhaustive experiment. I resisted all temptation to go out at night with a torch and throw slugs against the copper to see their reaction, or even watch what happened should they accidentally come into contact with it. But at the end of the day all I was really interested in was ‘does it keep the slugs out of the pots’? In my garden I’m afraid it doesn’t. Crushed up eggshells, in my experience, are a far more effective and environmentally friendly deterrent.


Measuring Range -58°F to 1562°F / -50°C to 850°C, AVANTEK Non-Contact Dual Laser IR Infrared Thermometer for Cooking and Automotive
Measuring Range -58°F to 1562°F / -50°C to 850°C, AVANTEK Non-Contact Dual Laser IR Infrared Thermometer for Cooking and Automotive
Offered by PLEMO UK
Price: £23.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Light, easy to use, seems accurate., 16 Jun. 2016
This is a nice little unit that pretty much looks like every other remote reading thermometer I’ve ever seen. Easy to use, operated by a trigger, it gives a reading on an illuminated LCD display. The readout is clear and easy to read. It does useful stuff like keeping track of the maximum and minimum of a set of readings, and working out the difference and the average for you. It also has an alarm feature that will alert you if the temperature is above, or below, a preset range. It is switchable between Fahrenheit and Celsius and claims a range between -50C and +850C.

It runs from a PP3 battery (supplied) which fits under the flip down cover that surrounds the trigger. In operation you get two laser pointers. These are optional and can be turned off, but to me they are the only way I have any idea exactly what I am measuring the temperature of. The best I can figure out is that the two laser pointers indicate the top and bottom points of the diameter of the measurement circle – at around 10’ the laser spots are 14” apart.

I’ve no real way to test the accuracy of this but I pointed it at the central heating thermostat (which has a digital temperature display) and the remote thermometer gave me an identical reading – down to a tenth of a degree. I’m happy with it.

This product was supplied to me for review purposes.


Miller's Collectables Handbook & Price Guide 2016-2017
Miller's Collectables Handbook & Price Guide 2016-2017
by Judith Miller
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book, clear pictures and descrptions, plus a guide price to give a rough idea of value, 16 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Watching all the antiques programs on TV can leave you wondering whether some of that junk in the attic might be worth a fortune – if only you knew how to tell the junk from the treasure because it all looks the same. Well Miller’s Collectables is a great place to start to get a feel for what might be valuable and what’s fit for the skip.

The book is laid out a little like a catalogue, though with much more explanatory text accompanying the clear and detailed images. It covers the A to W of the antique world (Advertising to Wine) with 50 main categories. Huge subjects like ceramics and glass have their sections subdivided with ceramics, the largest, having 25 sub-categories. The book is beautifully arranged and well laid out, though I think, simply because ‘collectables’ are a massive subject, there isn’t a great deal on any one specific subject – four pages on Corgi cars, but only a single item for Tri-ang trains. Surprisingly, though, there is even a page on fossils.

It’s a great book for browsing in idle moments. Full of interesting tidbits of information and fascinating snippets of historical trivia. For instance Louis Vitton ended up being famous because he invented a traveling trunk with a flat top so it could be stacked. Until that time trunks had had domed lids. His high class luggage empire began with that simple bit of design.

Lovely book, a must for the bookshelf of anyone interested, but not an expert, in this subject.


Umenice Automaitc 9-Rib Travel Umbrella Windproof With 210T Fabric Teflon Black
Umenice Automaitc 9-Rib Travel Umbrella Windproof With 210T Fabric Teflon Black
Offered by Umenice UK
Price: £32.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a very nice little brolly, 15 Jun. 2016
This is a very nice little brolly, though I have to say it is a bit on the heavy side. The weight I put down to high quality construction, which in itself is unusual in my experience of umbrellas.

The folded length is 11” and it’s about 2.5” fat. It weighs in at almost 15oz. The open diameter is around 3’. There are 9 spokes and it has a 3-section pole. It opens with quite a whack so the spring that drives it seems quite powerful. The operating button in the handle seems well designed, looks smart, and operates smoothly. Opening is one press of this button, closing is another press of the button which just collapses the canopy. You then have to collapse the pole by pushing with one hand on each end against the strength of the spring. This requires a little force because of the strength of the spring. As you would expect it comes complete with a slip on cover.

The brolly is easy to fold up neatly. The Velcro holding strap is of a generous width and works well. The cover fits on easily.

In the rain it does its job and is just about big enough to provide protection for two people. I haven’t tried it in any wind yet so I’ve no idea how well it stands up in really bad weather though the instructions suggest a ‘super strong frame system to prevent breakage or rib distortion in big winds. If the canopy ever inverts, just press the button, the ribs will correct themselves back to closed position.’ Sounds brilliant, so let’s hope it works as advertised.

I like it. It appears to be a quality product so I’m happy to recommend it.

This product was supplied to me for review purposes.


Manuka Doctor Manuka Honey 12+ Total Active 250 g
Manuka Doctor Manuka Honey 12+ Total Active 250 g
Price: £15.55

5.0 out of 5 stars Tastes great, but I think I'm suposed to put it on cuts and things., 10 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I’m not really sure how to write a honey review. ‘It tastes really good’ just doesn’t seem enough. But it does taste really good. I like honey, I’ve tried a fair few and purely from a taste point of view this would come in at No2. This is one of the few honeys I’ve found that I’m happy to eat straight off the spoon. No1, by the way, is another New Zealand honey that is no longer easily available in the UK.
Judging from what I see on health food sites, honey specialists, and supermarket shelves, I feel safe in writing that Manuka’s biggest claim to fame is its ridiculously high price. Manuka is a plant specific honey made by bees collecting nectar from the manuka bush. Manuka honey has powerful antibacterial properties, but the honey is only considered strong enough to have any therapeutic use if it has a UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) of 10 or above. This product claims the UMF is 12+ though it doesn’t use the term UMF on the label just a big 12+ so it could mean absolutely anything.
The main medical use is for wound treatment (and I’ve been eating it!!!), there are other medical/healing claims made for this product, but there is little clinical evidence to support any of them, so they may or may not be accurate.
I’m going to give it full marks for taste and leave it up to you to decide if it’s worth the premium for any healing properties you may wish to make use of.


eBoot 8.2 Inch Nylon Tube Brush Pipe Cleaning Brushes with Packing Box, Set of 10
eBoot 8.2 Inch Nylon Tube Brush Pipe Cleaning Brushes with Packing Box, Set of 10
Offered by eBoot
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for cleaning the aspiration tube on my Nespresso coffee maker, 10 Jun. 2016
This is a set if 10 brushes of varying diameters from around 2mm to 25mm. Each brush is around 21cm long and the set of ten are each attached to a keyring style split ring so they are easy to separate should the bunch of ten make them a little awkward to use individually. The brush fibres have a little stiffness to them, but they flex easily.

I obtained a coffee machine a little while ago and the milk-frother unit has a narrow tube that sucks up milk. I found that following the cleaning instructions that came with the machine made no impact on the fat deposits that were slowly accumulating on the inside of this tube. I’ve been looking for some time now for something that would get inside and do the job. So when these brushes arrived that was the first task I attempted. One of the brushes was the perfect size and the tube was clean in a matter of moments.

They are slightly upmarket pipe cleaners, and they are simply made with the twisted wire of the handles being used to hold the brush fibres in place. Nevertheless, they are perfect for getting inside pipes, tubes, and small bottles. I like them.

This product was supplied to me for review purposes.


AmazonBasics Tripod Boom Microphone Stand
AmazonBasics Tripod Boom Microphone Stand
Price: £16.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice, basic, mic stand, but it does not come complete with a microphone clip., 6 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Folded the stand is 3’ tall; fully extended, but ignoring the boom arm, almost 5’ 4”. The boom arm has 2’ 3” extension. There is one cable clip on the bottom section of stand and one cable clip on the boom arm. The central extension operates easily with a rotating collar that is easy to grip and tighten. The tripod legs do not lock into place but are held by a folded piece of metal that prevents further upward movement. The angle of the boom arm is operated by a large plastic handle. Again easy to grip and tighten. A much smaller version of this allows the boom arm extension to be locked into place. This was the only part of the stand that I felt was a little flimsy. It does the job and I’m happy to recommend it. My only real complaint is the lack of a microphone clip, so, if you didn’t get one with your mic, you’ll need to purchase this at the same time as the stand. Without a mic clip it is useless.


External DVD Drive,Bengoo Latest External CD Drive USB 3.0 Ultra Slim Portable DVD Rewriter Burner, Optical Drive CD+/-RW DVD +/-RW for Macbook Air, Macbook Pro, Dell, Acer and laptop,computer
External DVD Drive,Bengoo Latest External CD Drive USB 3.0 Ultra Slim Portable DVD Rewriter Burner, Optical Drive CD+/-RW DVD +/-RW for Macbook Air, Macbook Pro, Dell, Acer and laptop,computer
Offered by BenGoo Inc.
Price: £26.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seems well made, looks good when mated with a Macbook, 6 Jun. 2016
This attractive looking device is around 5.5” x 6”, with a depth of just over half an inch. It is a silver colour that’s a very close match to my Macbook pro, and I must admit that when sitting side by side they look as though they were made for each other. The top surface has three slightly bevelled edges that create a nicely finished ‘look’. The door is black, with the usual tiny release button and green LED to let you know when something interesting is happening.
In use it makes the same sort of noises that DVD drives inevitably make.
It has an odd connector – at least I haven’t seen one like that before though it may well be the latest standard. One end is the standard full-size USB connector, but the other end is like two tiny connectors fused together. Still despite its oddness it works perfectly well.
It reads discs, it writes discs, the discs written on a MAC are readable by my PC. What more could you ask for? It seems well made, and while I haven’t had it long enough to review on reliability, it looks good and does what it’s supposed to do.
This product was supplied to me for review purposes.


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