Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle New Edition - Sgt. Pepper Shop now Shop Women's Shop Men's
Profile for observer100 > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by observer100
Top Reviewer Ranking: 6,887
Helpful Votes: 613

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
observer100 (UK)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-12
pixel
Yamaha EPH-100 Stereo In-Ear Earphones iPod / iPhone / iPad
Yamaha EPH-100 Stereo In-Ear Earphones iPod / iPhone / iPad

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 26 Jun. 2013
At the lower price, under £100 from a supplier in Birmingham, these are outstanding value. Sound quality judged with a variety of classical music recordings is very noticeably better than with other in-ear phones i've tried. I particularly loved the sound of one of my favourite violinists with these phones because of the detail audible in the sound of a fine instrument and a virtuoso performer. In-ear phones are never going to sound as good on-ear phones, but these are brilliant in-ear ones.

Providing five rather than just three ear bud sizes seems an excellent idea though in my case the medium ones already fitted are fine and fit better than any other earbuds I've used. The design also makes insertion considerably easier than the fiddling and ear-pulling which seems necessary with other earbuds to get a half-decent fit. They come with a high quality long extension lead and jack adaptor and an excellent carrying case, though a simple gadget to wind the lead round would be a good addition.

A pity they don't have a microphone and controls to use with a mobile phone. OK, they're for audiophiles, but why not let iPhone users have the benefit? This doesn't stop me from giving five stars because they're so good otherwise.


Digital Silence DS-101A Stereo Analogue Ambient Noise Cancelling Headset with Microphone - White (discontinued by manufacturer)
Digital Silence DS-101A Stereo Analogue Ambient Noise Cancelling Headset with Microphone - White (discontinued by manufacturer)

4.0 out of 5 stars A bargain and a little miracle, 18 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've owned the original Bose and own the current high end Sony big NR headphones. They don't live up to the hype but are definitely useful provided you lower your expectations. All, including the DS-101A, are pretty amazing at getting rid of low frequency sounds, vehicle noise, noisy machines and snoring, and worth the hassle for this. Although they reduce higher frequency sounds such as speech they are far less effective for that. The upside is that you can hear safety instructions and destination announcements adequately. The downside is obvious. What happens is that these sounds are indeed quieter when you switch NR on, but you quickly adapt to the quieter sounds so that subjectively the effect is far less and that conversation remains just about as annoying.

However, the DS-101A compares excellently with the really expensive rivals but at a price which ought to make them wildly popular. Although there are other earbud NR headphones (family members own Sony and Panasonic ones) the DS-101A is so good that there's no point in considering more expensive alternatives unless perhaps they use replaceable batteries and you want that.

These come with a nice little pouch. Other manufacturers please copy. They don't supply the microscope you may need for reading the leaflet, but hey, you can't always have everything.

All noise-cancelling earbuds depend on a really good fit in the ear canal which some people find difficult to achieve. These have the usual three sizes of soft end pieces and if you don't like them I suppose you could try some of the alternative ones you can buy. I have no experience of the individually moulded ones as used by broadcasters and the music industry but their wise use despite the high price must mean they're better. Perhaps the manufacturer should consider a deal with a chain of ear mould suppliers, offering a discount on individual ear moulds.

Why only 4 stars for this outstanding product? Only because of the gap between what the promotion material promises and the inevitable reality.


Thin Charger White (2013 Version)
Thin Charger White (2013 Version)

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 24 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It's frustrating to have sleek tablets, laptops and iPods which need bulky and awkward chargers to be usable on the road. The ThinCharger 2100 ma USB charger has robust fixed live pins and the folding plastic earth pin is easy to use and seems robust enough. The charger, unlike cheap USB chargers, delivers enough power for an iPad to show that it is charging and show the percentage charge. I appreciate the ThinCharger's LED which glows red when a connected device is charging and green when it is fully charged, and don't find this redundant. So you don't have to switch the Pad or Pod on to see if charging has completed. Increasingly extension leads have sockets with individual switches. Occasionally I've plugged a charger in but forgotten to switch its socket on, or switched the wrong one. The LED on the ThinCharger protects against this mistake and encourages switching off when the charger is plugged in but not in use.

A flange around the mains pin end of the casing adds to its (small) bulk; it is surely there to meet safety regulations. The red/green LED can dither around the fully charged condition; this is a not a problem as it would not bother anyone sensible and is a negligible price for having the light so sensitive to even slight under-charge.

The UK 13 Amp plug and socket system is a pain in the neck for travellers who now have so much low power equipment which uses only two of the pins. This device helps. I was pleased I could get it in white or black to match the charger it replaces. I got a discount by ordering two; appreciated.

Happy to recommend this great little piece of British design to those who travel and to anyone who needs a decently made USB charger delivering this amount of power.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 27, 2013 4:20 PM GMT


Adonit Jot Pro Full-Stylus Stylus Pen for Apple iPhone / iPad with Touchscreen and products, Red
Adonit Jot Pro Full-Stylus Stylus Pen for Apple iPhone / iPad with Touchscreen and products, Red

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth it, 5 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought a refurbished one cheaply because I was sceptical. I need not have been. It can write more precisely and compactly than the common type of stylus or a finger. This turns handwriting of notes on the iPad into a practical proposition, with a choice of iPad handwriting apps available. But I could not quickly find a source of spare discs in the UK. I read on the web that these styli can become erratic due to dirt and wear, and that cleaning and other dodges can help. Seems like it's worth taking good care of the stylus.


How To Deliver A TED Talk: Secrets Of The World's Most Inspiring Presentations
How To Deliver A TED Talk: Secrets Of The World's Most Inspiring Presentations

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strongly recommended, 23 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This short text is outstanding and condenses winning principles into its small space. It is worth reading, re-reading and studying. Of course there are lots of books on how to give talks, and their advice does vary. It would be terrible if everyone read this book and followed its advice in a formulaic way. But used with reasonable intelligence this book could be a vast boon to audiences even more than to speakers.


The "Al-Aksa Is in Danger" Libel: The History of a Lie
The "Al-Aksa Is in Danger" Libel: The History of a Lie
Price: £4.58

5.0 out of 5 stars Factual. Summarises the important information in one place., 8 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
So much writing about the Arab-Israel conflict is emotive, with facts or factoids selected to suit the emotion. Shragai has performed a valuable service by collecting significant and relevant information on a pervasive strand of conspiracism in one place. The disproportionate importance of conspiracy theories in the Middle East is not generally understood by Westerners and the material should provoke reflection on the nature of politics in the Middle East. I recommend this book strongly.


Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye: A Do-It-Yourself Mouth Care System for Healthy, Clean Gums and Teeth
Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye: A Do-It-Yourself Mouth Care System for Healthy, Clean Gums and Teeth
by Ellie Phillips
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.50

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars To a layman this seems a useful book., 6 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Ellie Phillips, a dentist trained at a prestigious dental school, explains the slightly unorthodox tooth care routine (elaborate if done fully) she favours after long professional interest in the subject. Because of the limited information dentists give I bought the book despite its off-putting and misleading title. Is her advice based on decent evidence, or is this yet another dubious healthcare book?

Reassuringly, Phillips gives references to scientific sources for many of her claims although I don't have time to check them properly. Her book carries endorsements from people who appear to be experts. To my uninformed eye, most of her book seems to make sense and provide important information new to me.

A few things cause me concern. Briefly she refers positively to a 'holistic medicine' approach. Popular as this is with many people, it is a slippery term generally used to endorse practices not supported by the evidence nowadays expected in medical practice. Doctors have learned the hard way that treatments which seemed self-evidently good were in fact useless or harmful. Much of Dr Phillips' evidence is her own experience with some patients. Such experience is known to be fallible and more rigorous doctors use elaborate research designs to minimise and check for the effects of chance and all-too-natural bias. She is not keen on the fairly popular oral irrigators such as WaterPik, but her view is not based on objective oral health outcomes. To be fair, neither is the supporting evidence and she makes it clear that her personal view is just that.

Dr Phillips is a strong advocate of xylitol, a readily available sugar claimed to have protective properties for teeth and gums. She recommends a routine and makes striking claims (with references) for benefit. Even here there are problems. What is the evidence that swallowing the xylitol rather than bathing the teeth and gums in it does any good? Have possible harmful effects of swallowing been looked for? Although pure xylitol is reasonably cheap and available in supermarkets, products such as sweets and chewing gum incorporating enough xylitol seem worryingly expensive. And it seems she sells them and other recommended products, so she has a commercial interest. Again, to be fair she clearly and repeatedly points out the cheaper alternative which she does not sell.

The book is repetitive and contains quite a lot of blank pages as part of the page count.

If the book is broadly right, as I think it could be, it describes a revolution in dental care.

In summary: thought-provoking, informative, seemingly weak evidence in parts. But how do we know the information in your dentist's office is any better? They don't have time to put their evidence on display for critical examination. As the book points out, The American Dental Association and British Dental Association dental care sites don't mention xylitol. The California Dental Association supports xylitol in its Evidence Based Guidelines for Health Professionals (PDF). I would welcome comments adding other consensus statements by mainstream academic dental experts on the topics the book covers.


Wilhelm Tell - William Tell [German English Bilingual Edition] - Paragraph by Paragraph Translation (German Edition)
Wilhelm Tell - William Tell [German English Bilingual Edition] - Paragraph by Paragraph Translation (German Edition)
Price: £3.06

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent idea for a good price, but could do better., 6 Oct. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As advertised, this product does three things. It's good for language learning from intermediate level up, it's a way of acquiring some significant German culture (with genuinely helpful explanatory notes), and it is a work of art enjoyable in its own right. The chunking of text works well. It's good value for money at its price.
However, it falls quite a bit short of a reasonable ideal. Mainly this is because the English translation reads to me like one intended for performance rather than one optimised for language learning (perhaps it's cheap because an existing translation was used). It's a rather free (and to my taste often a bit disappointing) translation whereas for learning German the balance should be much more towards the literal, even at the expense of rhythm and style. A learner at the level this product is aimed at will be introduced to Schiller's art and philosophy from the German, needing help from the English only in order to understand bits of the German.
Kindle turns out to be rather a good tool for language learning because you can purchase (or even get free) a German-English dictionary and make it the main dictionary. I use this method even though I have good printed dictionaries, because it is much faster and much more convenient. However, the Kindle system is horribly clunky for making lists of words for revision: it's easy, but the resulting list is of rather substantial chunks of text rather than just the words. Considering the wide use of Kindles it would surely be a boon for language learners if it were possible to make a tidy vocabulary list of newly learned words, preferably with the translations but without excessive contextual junk.
I don't want to put you off too much from buying this item. Language learning is a funny old business on which I am no expert, but I believe a lot of it works by vast repetition and what seems like very soft logic, in contrast to the old concept of trying to teach it like maths, an approach which left me hardly able to buy a rail ticket in France after years of school lessons in which I was rated as having done well. We learn our first languages without translations after all. It may be much more important that you enjoy what you are reading so that you are motivated to fight on. With Schiller's text you are of course reading something enjoyable and completing it should give you the reward of a sense of achievement.


Case Mate CM011198 Gelli Case for iPad - Tomato
Case Mate CM011198 Gelli Case for iPad - Tomato

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for iPad 1 (not suitable for later models), 19 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Easy and perfect fit. Red is not the colour I'd have chosen, but having got it I'm entirely happy with it and the price was much better than the other colours. High friction feel to the back protects the iPad from slipping off things. Very happy with purchase.


Straight and Crooked Thinking
Straight and Crooked Thinking
by Robert Henry Thouless
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.68

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant classic, brilliantly brought up to date., 2 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Several of the other positive reviews describe experiences uncannily similar to mine. It is one of a small number of books which have had a major, lasting effect on me, for which I am thoroughly grateful. It should be in every decent school and public library: I'd not have discovered it if it had not been on a library shelf. I'm so delighted at the appearance of this new edition, revised just as it needed to be.

Lucid and well-written as the book is to me, it's true that now and then you have to think. What's wrong with that? It'll do your brain a lot of good. Some other reviewers find some examples obvious. Had these been omitted the book would be criticised for omissions. Really, it's not a problem; it's a brilliant and necessary book.

I agree with a criticism of the page graphics, but that's the feathers and we're interested in the meat.

Buy this book. Give it to people. Recommend it. You'll be doing your bit for a slightly better world.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-12