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Reviews Written by
Benson (Cardiff, UK)
(VINE VOICE)   

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Sony SRS-XB10 Compact Portable Wireless Speaker with Extra Bass - White
Sony SRS-XB10 Compact Portable Wireless Speaker with Extra Bass - White
Price: £58.47

4.0 out of 5 stars A speaker ready for the harsh outdoors, 22 May 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This speaker packs some punch for something so little. It is very light and made of a very durable material. It is an appealing design and is lined with what feels like rubber, so I can't imagine dropping it will phase it at all. A silicone strap is attached to the speaker; I believe the intention for this is for shower use but you could hook it to whatever you fancy really. You can just tell from the design that this speaker will fair well against water (it is listed as IPX5 Water Resistant). There is also a mic/speaker phone system so if you use the speaker with your phone you can use it to chat with your caller.

I had it working within seconds of taking it out of the box and proceeded to push it to the max volume to see how it faired. Sound remained crisp and I was satisfied with how loud it could go (when experienced in a small room). Perhaps due to the size, anything going on behind the vocals sounded a little muddy at times depending on the track. The bass is the best you'll get for a speaker in this price range but don't expect to be blown away. A speaker of this size and design simply can't execute "big" bass. However, I will say other speakers of this design have an almost indistinguishable bass which Sony have seemed to overcome with their designs. You can hear bass, it just might not be as boomy as some like.

Battery life is said to be 16 hours and you can buy a second speaker if you want a more immersive sound experience. I've not been able to try that out so can't comment on what that feature is like.

I actually purchased the SRS-XB2 model a few months ago. This is more inline with the Beats Pill, yet is a fraction of the price. I've been really pleased with that model and the bass is more impressive on that. Obviously, the compromise with the SRS-XB2 is that it is heavier and slightly more expensive.

If you want a light, durable speaker that will take a beating, this is the one for you. Perfect for outdoors, the shower and even the kitchen. You'll only be disappointed if you expect sound that will replace your high-fi system.


Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight: A young man's voice from the silence of autism
Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight: A young man's voice from the silence of autism
by Naoki Higashida
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A must for anyone working with the non verbal, 21 May 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Along with the Canadian writer, Carly Fleischmann, this is a fascinating insight to what it might be like for those living with non verbal autism. I work as a music therapist and began a clinical placement with very limited understanding of autism. This book was extremely useful to me when trying to understand my clients as an individual rather than a diagnosis.

I also found the book really resonated with my experiences working with those with dementia. Many types of dementia lose speech ability and experience frustrations trying to communicate, not unlike how it must be for those living with non verbal autism. It really makes you think about offering choices where your assumptions of choice might be completely off. Apple or orange? What if the individual wanted a hot drink?

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to any kind of practitioner working with autism and/or non-verbal communication.


ION Audio Mic and Stand Kit   High Quality Recording/PA Microphone with 3M XLR Cable and Tripod-Foot Stand
ION Audio Mic and Stand Kit High Quality Recording/PA Microphone with 3M XLR Cable and Tripod-Foot Stand
Price: £24.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Affordable and useful, 21 May 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
For the price I couldn't really fault this. I've got it for use at the care home where I work, so now whenever we have events it adds a touch of elegance without breaking the bank. The microphone is no Sure performance mic but if your needs are simple this will serve you well. As a professional singer myself I would not recommend it for professional singers. However, if you have a child who is a budding pop star this would be an ideal start up piece of kit as you won't be too worried about damaging it at this price. The stand is sturdy and easy to assemble and adjust.


LG 43UH603V 43 inch Ultra HD 1080 Smart TV WebOS (HDR Pro, Local Dimming, ColorPrime Pro, Ultra Surround)
LG 43UH603V 43 inch Ultra HD 1080 Smart TV WebOS (HDR Pro, Local Dimming, ColorPrime Pro, Ultra Surround)
Price: £349.00

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceeded Expectations, 29 April 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've wanted to get a new TV for my bedroom for a while. Upgrading from a modest 17 inch seemed quite the jump to this 43 inch but price wise it was pretty unbeatable considering its features.

I've almost had it a week now and I'm delighted to say it has transformed my life. For my bedroom, having such a big screen has been phenomenal. My old TV was not a smart TV so I was using a Playstation 3 to access Amazon Prime, BBC, Netflix etc. The playstation 3 didn't always seem to be able to cope with streaming, often stopping and rebuffering. It was getting rather annoying. I'd read some reviews had experienced issues with this TV connecting to the wifi. It hasn't proved a problem for me and my router is quite far away from the TV (downstairs in a separate room). The biggest delight has been how quickly the TV can stream content compared to the playstation. I'd wait minutes on the playstation but i'm finding the wireless streaming ability of this TV to be outstanding. So far I've tried it with Amazon Prime, ITV streaming and YouTube. It's worked easily with all. Watched 'The Pianist' the other night on Amazon Prime and it felt so immersive on this new TV I felt really pleased I had bought it.

Upscaling wise I tested it with a Sabrina the Teenage Witch DVD, a show that was not broadcast in HD so it seemed a fitting disk to test out to see how the TV coped with it. I thought it did a grand job and while you can tell the show is not HD quality, it was perfectly viewable and while not in cutting edge HD, this is a quality you would forgive from a 90s TV show. Blu rays were pristine and crisp as I expected.

I thought the YouTube content looked especially good but there are issues with quality where the youtube videos are not in HD... again something I was expecting and that I don't have any qualms with. YouTube has begun offering SHD videos and I'd imagine in a few years the minimum quality of all content will be at least HD. Until then, poor quality videos look very pixelated but it's to be expected.

As other reviews mentioned, the sound is fantastic. I'd contemplated the idea of a sound bar but for my bedroom it doesn't seem necessary when the built in speakers are good.

For a bedroom, this TV is outstanding and worth paying that bit extra if you didn't want to spend too much. If you're purchasing for similar reasons to myself... mainly watching blu rays and streaming content via Amazon Prime etc you will love it. If the TV is for your living room you may find more to criticise. Personally, if I had been buying a TV for my front room I would go bigger. As a bedroom utility though it is simply outstanding.


Hallmark Beauty and the Beast Birthday Card "True Beauty" - Medium
Hallmark Beauty and the Beast Birthday Card "True Beauty" - Medium
Price: £1.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blank card for versatile use, 29 April 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A very high quality card and perfect for any fan of Beauty and the Beast/Emma Watson. This particular design ("True Beauty is Found Within") is blank so suitable for any occasion or a "just because" note to a friend.


Brabantia Pedal Bin newIcon with Plastic Inner Bucket, 5 Litre - Matt Steel
Brabantia Pedal Bin newIcon with Plastic Inner Bucket, 5 Litre - Matt Steel
Price: £26.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Elegant, 18 April 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My main bin is a brabantia one and I personally really love the brand. It's sturdy and well made and is an elegant addition to a bathroom or the ideal size for the food waste bags.


Cressi Unisex Tortuga Sports Sunglasses, White/Light Grey Lens, Uni
Cressi Unisex Tortuga Sports Sunglasses, White/Light Grey Lens, Uni
Price: £14.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Quality without breaking the bank, 18 April 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I thought the glasses were extremely high quality. They come with both a soft pouch and a hard case to keep them protected. They have a water repellent lens so while they are perfect for water sports they are also handy for the florida sunshine if you get caught in a down pour during those humid months. I thought the tinting was about right; not too dark and not too light.

Only thing to be mindful of is the actual shape of the frame which seems quite wide. This won't suit everyone so be cautious if you aren't sure what sort of frames suit your face shape and you want to look fashionable!


ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY The Ultimate Guide to Beauty and The Beast
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY The Ultimate Guide to Beauty and The Beast
by The Editors Of Entertainment Weekly
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for Beauty and the Beast fans!, 8 Mar. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I ordered this before seeing it and was expecting a rather expensively priced magazine. In actual fact, it is more like a paper bound book (96 pages) and is beautifully presented, albeit a little cheaply to keep the price down. Nonetheless, this is a must have for beauty and the beast fans. If like me, you are very excited for the movie you will love everything this guide offers, from magnificent stills from the screen and behind the scenes to exclusive interviews with the films stars and creative team. There is also plenty of historical Disney information including facts about the animated movie, the Broadway stage show and the Oscars. I particularly enjoyed the section on the new songs written for the movie in which we are treated to a vocal lead sheet for 'How Does A Moment Last Forever'.


The Primal Pantry Cocoa Orange Paleo Protein Bars, Pack of 15
The Primal Pantry Cocoa Orange Paleo Protein Bars, Pack of 15
Price: £28.60

4.0 out of 5 stars Jaffa cake esque but chew cautiously, 8 Mar. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I really liked the taste of these bars. Having tried a number of other brands of protein bars I have compared this product against those. If you've had any of the maxi muscle protein bars you'd probably agree they are rather chewy, verging on nougat consistency. While these bars still have an element of chewiness it is not overbearing and can be swallowed in a few bites with what seems a natural amount of chewing.

Taste wise I would say they are not unlike Jaffa cakes and as they have a very slight cake like texture this seems very fitting.

The only thing I found a little odd (and it's not necessarily a criticism but an observation) was the presence of what seemed like some type of very fine ground nuts (ingredients say almonds but felt more like tiny peanut pieces). I am all for nuts but found I wanted to chew very carefully as they are so small they kind of feel like they might crack your teeth, not unlike finding a tiny shard of glass in your food.

Other than that I would highly recommend. A tasty snack and far more nutritious than opting for crisps or chocolate. I personally found them quite satisfying in that I was't inclined to binge on more snacks after having one.


STABILO Point 88 "Pastel" Fineliner Pen - Assorted Colours (Pack of 8)
STABILO Point 88 "Pastel" Fineliner Pen - Assorted Colours (Pack of 8)
Price: £5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More for an artists kit bag, 8 Mar. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Really nice quality pens that are comfortable to hold and easy to use but would stress they are more suitable for art projects.

I was intending to use them to write notes in hope it will make the information stand out and be easier to absorb when reading back. They are not ideal for that purpose though as they are pastel colours and extremely faint, regardless of the paper type you use. The 'fineliner' tip, while not ideal for making text stand out, is rather brilliant when wanting to articulate precision.


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