MP3 Players & Accessories

By May 15, 2017 Read More →

Neewer 48v Phantom Power Supply Unboxing

81X6hSKFqlL._SL1500_The Neewer 1-Channel 48V Phantom Power Supply with Adapter is a cheap Phantom Power supply. Package includes XLR 3 Pin Microphone Cable for any Condenser Microphone Music Recording Equipment (8 feet.)

  • Input Voltage: 110V
  • Delivers reliable 48V phantom power for condenser microphones and transfer sound signal to sound card in a compact, durable, plastic housing.
  • Universal XLR input and output, compatible with all kinds of microphone music recording equipment.Comes with one XLR audio cable with high-quality XLR male and female connectors.
  • Features a single channel unit with balanced mic inputs and outputs to connect in-line with your mic and mixer.
  • On/off power switch and LED indicator for ease of operation. One Adapter is included. Simple to use and ideal for stage and studio use.

Note: Phantom power provides a 48V voltage to the condenser microphone, but phantom power does not enhance the microphone sound quality and improve the normal volume; Microphone, Pop Filter, Mic Stand and 3.5mm to XLR Female Microphone Cable in the picture Not Included

By May 2, 2017 Read More →

Sennheiser Flex 5000 Unboxing

Image48Sennheiser is looking to improve your Tv watching experience and turn your wired headphones into wireless headphones. A sleek and elegant transmitter/receiver set brings Sennheiser audio expertise and leading edge digital wireless technology to those wishing to improve their TV viewing with a personalised listening experience.

With three different hearing profiles to enhance TV, movies or music, to choose from. Plus a unique Speech Intelligibility feature that reduces TV background noise for added clarity.

Grab yours from Amazon here.

By April 29, 2017 Read More →

Google Home Review

P1030686Google reinvented the wheel when it came to the Chromecast. A small, inexpensive piece of hardware that changed the way we used our television. Can they do it again with a speaker that hopes to change the way we deal with life? Thanks to out friends over at Maplin who can provide you with a Google Home of your own.

Google have taken a speaker, put their Google Assistant software inside and styled it up to be distinct and attractive in almost every home. From a design point of view, things are impressively well balanced.

Home was originally released in the United States 6 months before the UK launch on the 6th of April and must have sold well enough for Google not to kill it in the early stages, much like the Nexus Q. The reason for the delay is an obvious one, the differing services for geographic locations. Alongside adapted the voice recognition software of the assistant to allow the huge variety of vocal tones in the United Kingdom work.

This £129 system really has to impress if it is to be taken seriously as there is some tough competition from Amazon managed to beat Google to the market with the Echo and Dot hardware. Much fuss has been made of these and the ease of triggering the assistant and even some false orders.

Looking around the device, on the sloped top is a touch sensitive panel with a couple of microphone holes. The centre has a rotational dial with different colourings depending on the function being used.

To be back of the Google Home is a mute button, a small LED and the Google Logo.

Below this is the speaker cover, this is a material finish, and is available in various colours. The fabric adds a little more of a homely feel to the unit.

On the bottom is a rubber ring to prevent the unit sliding and the power connector.

The closed comparison of Google’s design is something like an air-freshener. Some might scoff that the top is plastic and unable to change colour, and they might be right. For £129.99 it feels like there could have been perspex with an LED to create a little ambience. Perhaps, this is a look we might see in the future and the device is refined over time.

The two microphones on the top of the unit appear to be the only microphones on the device. When asked, Google Home cryptically replies there is “at least one.” Whilst the Amazon Echo features 7 microphones Google equipped the home with only two. Google Home has never failed to hear me.

Google home 802.11ac Wi-Fi and some Bluetooth capability, however, the Bluetooth has not yet been activated.

Interacting with Google Home couldn’t be easier, you talk, it listens. Once connected to Wi-Fi, sorry no ethernet here, the experience is entirely audio based. Save for a little touch action on the top for volume control. Popping out simple commands receives an appropriate response and if you are unsure what to do, you simply ask that too.

As Google is connected to, arguably, the largest online resource of search requests you might think there is little it can;t answer. Unfortunately, there is. Questions and requests cannot be too complicated, the Assistant will respond with a standard statement that things are being worked on and she cannot do. When I say she, the Assistant admits she cannot talk like a “bloke” at the moment.

Much has been made of the ability to continue a line of questioning on a particular topic, for example, “Who is the President of the United States of America?” the Answer with a little extra information if give. Following this with “How old is he?” meets with silence. I had been under the impression this flow of questioning was a thing, however, it would seem not, for the time being at any rate.

To wake the device with “Okay Google” or “Hey, Google”. Two phrases worked deep into the bowels of the system, and the user is unable to change, so if your dog is called “Blokey Doodle”, chances are Google Home is going to wake up and you are going to give your Dog a more sensible name. Thankfully the trigger words are harder to accidently use that Alexia from Amazon that seems to be leading to light pericombobulations amongst users, but it can cause other friends and family’s phones to jump into action.

Once Google Home’s personality has been summoned, four coloured dots dance on the top of the unit as it listens to you and formulates a reply. Google Home consults Google’s Knowledge Graph and uses a superb vocabulary to generate a reply. If there is a fairly concrete record online Google is able to answer most factually orientated questions and states it’s source as backup, for example, “according to Wikipedia.” Complex questions can stump the little piece of plastic, however, whilst is tries and you can’t help but feel sorry of Google Home the first couple of times you stump it.

However, understanding your knowledge needs is not Google Home’s only trick. You can connect to Spotify, remember particular numbers or phrases, set alarms and timers, and give you a basic crash course in languages. Home plugs itself into Maps and gets to know what is around you, being able to offer tips on where to find local services.

At this the time of writing, Google Home has seen a couple of firmware revisions, however, nothing major. My experience was based on feature available at launch. The main app to interact with Google Home is the newly redressed Chromecast app, now titled Google Home. This really only serves as an aid for setup, inspiration and troubleshooting. There is very little you can actually do from here.

The settings are where most of the action is. You can configure the News source from a limited range of choices, step a Shopping List as a default when you realise you are out of Milk and some other rather standard settings.

After this, the app serves to help you get the most out of Home. recommending services on Google Play and audio prompts it for the handiest features. There is no definitive list and search the web will find many more interactions not listed here.

Google Home manages to be both things, an assistant and a toy. Only time will tell if it will stick like the Chromecast, or will it fade away into obscurity. With the Google Assistant being ready for action on your phone it will make the draw of Google Home ever more difficult, however, it’s something that at least needs to be tried to see if it actually fits.

Over the last fortnight, I have been considering adding two more units to you home as the Home has become an invaluable asset to my daily routine. From reading me the headlines and weather outlook in the morning to reminding me of appointments to reminding me how to spell pericombobulations for this review. Despite Home sitting beside some computer speakers, I find myself throwing the oddly podcast over it as the sound quality is perfectly acceptable for voice. And I admit that I have played the inbuilt trivia game more than one.

However, will it last? Once you have tired of trying to catch it out and finding Easter Eggs there is life in the platform. I can think of a number of little additions that will prove invaluable to be down the road. Google Home is continually evolving and I love the idea that this will be here beside me. Certainly my phone can do it, however, the trigger has to be turned on and this doesn’t help battery life.

Google Home might occupy a small amount of space, however, it offers some big opportunities. Many thanks to Maplin for providing a unit for this review, check out their listing if we have sold you on Google Home

 

By April 25, 2017 Read More →

MIXX Audio Launches S3 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker & Digital Alarm Clock

unspecified3UK audio specialists Mixx Audio today announces the launch of its S3 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker with built in digital alarm clock. The Mixx S3 offers great sound and functionality; whether as a bedside wireless speaker, a digital clock with alarm or a phone charger, as well as being portable enough to use in all areas of your home. All this, in one in stylish, lightweight device.

The Mixx S3 is the perfect solution for anyone who is looking for a speaker that is small in size, sounds great and is incredibly easy to use. Available in pink and black, with anti-slip base to reduce surface vibration and dual speaker design for bass and detail, the S3 is packed full of extra features. Heavy sleepers need not despair as its two alarm settings will ensure you are up in time for your first meeting, your lecture or to get the kids to school before the bell rings. For those reluctant to emerge from under the duvet, there is also the comfort of a touch to snooze button for those extra few minutes of rest!

 

Whilst being used as an alarm clock, the S3 can power up your phone with its built in charging port so you can wake up gently with your phone fully charged, ready to start the day with a strong coffee and your favourite tunes pumping.  The built in microphone allows for hands-free calls so ideal for multi-tasking and calls on the go.

The S3 uses Bluetooth 4.0, allowing it to easily connect to any audio device such as smartphones, laptops or tablets within 30 feet/10 metres and has a rechargeable battery with up to 7 hours music playback. There is also the option of an additional back up battery option to retain clock time and alarm.

So, if you are looking for one device which wakes you up, charges your phone, plays your music, allows for hands free calling and is light and portable, the Mixx S3 is for you. Style, versatility and functionality for anyone, anywhere.

The Mixx S3 is available from www.mixx-audio.com for £40

By February 23, 2017 Read More →

Aukey Portable Wireless Speaker Review – Model SK-M12

IMG_20170214_233310-e1487799030824Has this top amazon seller sent me a speaker to replace my hi-fi system? I usually have music blasting in the background if I am home alone doing housework, my wife listens to music during her home exercise routines and whenever we are having parties it always helps to have some music in the background to keep the kids entertained.  I suppose with it being 2017 it is time to move into the world of wireless and put this speaker to the test.

Out of the box, the Aukey Portable wireless speaker looks and feels like a premium device with the smooth black rubber casing and the silver grills. This brick shaped speaker weighs 650.6 grammes and is 20.9 x 8.3 x 7.3cm (L x W x H). The speaker uses Bluetooth 4.1 and Aukey state you can get up to 30 hours playtime connected via cable or 12 hours wireless play with the  2600mAh lithium battery.

On top of the speaker you have the control panel, volume buttons, call button (pressed twice dials the last number dialled on your phone) the power button and Mode button (presumably pop, rock, vocal)

On the left-hand side there is the USB charging port, Aux-in, and reset button. These are covered with a red silicone cover

On the right-hand side, there is a detachable handle which can be used to mount the speaker on a hook.

At the bottom, there is a 1/4″-20 standard tripod screw mount

The speaker paired via Bluetooth to my phone effortlessly.  Browsing through my music collection I had a mixture of dance, country, rock and pop are being played and I must say I was impressed.  The sound output was crystal clear, with fantastic bass and treble with no noise distortion at maximum volume. Aukey state ‘Dual 5W drivers produce deep lows, textured mids, and clear highs to enjoy at home or outdoor’

When testing the speaker outdoors the 33ft wireless range opened a world of opportunity for summer BBQ’s.  The Aukey Wireless speaker has not only impressed me, my wife and kids but other members of our family have been impressed by the sound quality from ‘the brick’ speaker. On a single charge, I have got two weeks worth of listening without having to worry about charging the battery, listening to the speaker for about an hour a day I have had no issues or problems. It currently has found a home at the kitchen sink with the splash proof grills it has made washing the dishes a more enjoyable task!

I would definitely recommend this Aukey speaker for £29.99 on Amazon this is truly a smart purchase and will hopefully be able to explore more of the Aukey range soon.

Package Contents: Aukey SK-M12 Bluetooth 4.1 Speaker, Micro-USB Cable, 3.5mm Audio Cable, User Manual, 24 Month Warranty

 

 

By February 1, 2017 Read More →

A look at the Aukey Portable Wireless Speaker

Image33It’s ruggedized, cheap, loud and portable, but is it any good? We take a look the the AUKEY Bluetooth Speaker with 12 / 30 Hour Playtime, Enhanced Bass and Water Resistance

Dual 5W drivers produce deep lows, textured mids, and clear highs to enjoy at home or outdoor.

Latest Bluetooth 4.1 Instantly connects your phone or tablet and automatically reconnects to the last device used among 33ft wireless range.

Up to 30-hour playtime and talk time, stream your music wirelessly with A2DP Bluetooth or plugged in via AUX input with included 3.5mm audio cable.

Easily manage audio playback and calls with volume controls, and built-in microphone. Choose your sound signature with the Mode switch. Built-in 1/4″-20 standard tripod screw mount for outdoor use.

Package Contents: AUKEY SK-M12 Bluetooth 4.1 Speaker, Micro-USB Cable, 3.5mm Audio Cable, User Manual, 24 Month Warranty.

Grab one from Amazon for £29.99.

By December 5, 2016 Read More →

Creative MUVO 2c Unboxing

vlcsnap-00016The Creative MUVO 2c is a neatly priced Bluetooth speaker with some killer features.

Firstly, the speaker is beautifully compact. Easy to throw in a bag and produce when needed. The stylish design with turn some heads, however, it is the compact size that really impresses, so much sound from such a tiny device.

Secondly, your are good, where you use it. The MUVO 2c is splash resistant meaning it will sit by the pool or on the beach and you don’t have to give it a second, though.

Thirdly, the tunes will keep coming. Not only does it have a 6-hour battery life, it also can connect to almost anything, Bluetooth, MicroSD and an Auxiliary input mean there are a tonne of options.

All this makes for the perfect package this Christmas, and at only £39.99, there really is no excuse.

Featuring a water-resistant outer shell, the compact Creative MUVO 2c lets you take your epic tunes through your life’s adventures. With a 6-hour battery life and a size that fits in the palm of your hand, you can play your music out loud anywhere beyond your imagination. Connecting to the MUVO 2c is simple. Simply connect via a host of input sources including Bluetooth connectivity. You can also connect two MUVO 2c speakers together wirelessly to enjoy a wider stereo experience and bigger sound performance. The MUVO 2c is available in four colours. Complete with a rubberized finish, the tactility makes the speaker easy to grip in your hand.

By November 16, 2016 Read More →

Griffin iTrip Clip Bluetooth Adaptor Review

2016-11-16Not long ago, those evil people at Apple stole our headphone sockets and forced us to use their proprietary headphones or one of their adaptors. There was fighting in the streets, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!

Or at least so the media would have you believe. As it turned out, most people just got on with it and the fact that Apple provided both a set of headphones and an adaptor in the box meant it really wasn’t much of an issue after all. Now, to say that it didn’t present a few little logistical grumbles would be fair. For instance, you cannot charge your device whilst listening to music unless you have a different adaptor or Bluetooth headphones. Then there is the fact that you have to always have the adaptor with you if, like most people, you have multiple sets of headphones – one in your bag, maybe one in the office and one at home. Apple would tell you that the adaptors are only £9 each, so you can buy more. Of course, they would.

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Then comes along the Griffin iTrip Clip (no apple accessory can start with anything other than an “i”), an absolutely genius diminutive device that solves a problem simply and tidily. The iTrip allows the user to plug in any regular old headset and instantly convert it into a Bluetooth set, complete with handy-dandy controls for media playback and volume up to a range of 15m. It also has a built-in microphone to allow you to make your headphones into a Siri-compatible hands-free kit. Want to plug it into your car’s aux socket and stream music and calls from your phone? It’ll do that too! And the joy of it is that the device itself is very small and neat, it weighs almost nothing and has a clip for attaching to your clothing. There is no display on the device, but red and blue LEDs indicate its status and helpfully lets you know when the 4-6 hour active battery life is coming to an end. So how much is this do-it-all-dolly? You’ll find it for under £20! Bargaintastic!

Now the device is by no means perfect, I noticed immediately that the volume was much louder than when the headphones were plugged directly in. Normally I’d have the headphones volume sitting around half way, but through the iTrip, I get the same volume at about a quarter of the way up the scale. Not a huge deal, but if like me, you like to listen to music at night just before you drift off, the very first volume point is about the right volume for me, but if you wanted it any softer…..unlucky. When turning on, off or connecting to a device there is an electronic voice that confirms the action. Handy, but watch out, this is loud too! In saying that, I’d rather have to turn the volume down than have to max it out just get any sound out.

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Music streams perfectly clearly through the little Griffin, the responsiveness is spot on and there is very little lag time between pressing the button and the reaction on the device, but I did notice that when I was watching videos, there is an ever so slight delay between the video and the sound. This delay isn’t present when the headphones are plugged directly in, but it is consistently present when using the iTrip. It’s only slight, but it’s enough to throw the lip synch off just enough to make everything looked like it’s been dubbed into English.

The clip used to attach the device to your clothing is somewhat stiff and is moulded into the unit. Personally, I would prefer something a bit less snappable if you are trying to push it onto a heavy coat etc, maybe a spring clip or similar. This is a very minor issue though and for £20, if it snaps, you aren’t going to be in floods of tears, mourning its loss.

I’m amazed that Griffin can produce this device in the £15-20 range and at this price point the functionality it delivers dwarfs its few little niggles. Sure, I’d like a longer battery life, but then the device would probably have to be bigger and the price would definitely go up so it’s a good balance. This is an easy recommendation for anyone with an iPhone 7, but beyond that, it will also work with any phone or tablet, making it a versatile little gizmo that anyone could use. Thumbs up from me.

By November 1, 2016 Read More →

iTrip Clip Bluetooth Headphone Adapter Unboxing

image6-copyGriffin has sent a sample of their iTrip Clip. This little Bluetooth device cuts the cable between your smartphone and headphones to deliver some wireless freedom between your phone and some wired headphones.

No headphone jack? NO problem! – Don’t worry if your favourite smartphone doesn’t have the headphone jack. iTrip Clip connects your favourite headphones wirelessly to your smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth 4.1.

Set it and forget it: iTrip Clip reconnects automatically with your smartphone or tablet once properly paired.

Fingertip controls: You’re in complete control of your smartphone or tablet with iTrip Clip’s play, pause, skip tracks forward and backward and volume controls. Activate Siri, and make phone calls, too.

Clip in and go — iTrip Clip’s built-in clip slips onto a sleeve, shirt collar, or bag strap for total control at your fingertips. We actually love iTrip Clip for running and outdoor activity because it’s small enough to clip onto a hat or visor.

Wireless headphones, wireless in-car audio, wireless everything – Wirelessly connect your headphones, car stereo, or home audio system to any smartphone. Built-in handsfree mic is perfect for video and audio calling.

Cut the cables that tie you down. With iTrip Clip.

https://griffintechnology.com/

By October 6, 2016 Read More →

Google Home in a nutshell

download-31Tuesday the 4th of October saw Google enter into a new domain, launching an item of hardware that intertwines all of the smart technology brands they have been purchasing for the last number of years and packaging them up into a neat solution to become a central feature of your home, Google Home. What this boils down it is that Home is a voice-controlled speaker. As highlighted by the Google Pixel, launched the same day, Google Home is that it will be powered by Google Assistant. This app is Google’s updated  smart digital assistant, much like Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, or Amazon’s Alexa, and will help you get things done. Current Android users will know saying “Ok Google” to their phone provides much functionality, this does that and much more.

 

The hardware on display is a small, minimalist cylinder with an angled top. The bottom part of the casing is modular and can be replaced with bases of varying colours. Above this is white with four LED lights built into the slanted touch sensitive surface. Google mentioned the design is based on wine glasses and candles. No hardware specs have been confirmed for the innards.

Google Home works a speaker, it will streams audio over Wi-Fi, using your voice or smartphone as a control mechanism. Imagine the Chromecast functionality for music. So far only Google Play Music, Spotify, Youtube Music, TuneIn. iHeartRadio and Pandora have been mentioned as compatible. We would expect other sources to work when the Home ships worldwide. You’ll also be able to connect to multiple Home speakers at the same time too, so you should be able to create a Sonos-style multi-room system with relative ease.

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You’ll also get some home automation features, which means you’ll be able to control various connected products around the house. Much like the Audio side, only a few brands have been mentioned, Nest Thermostat, Samsung SmartThings and Philips Hue lightbulbs. IFTTT is listed so the potential is almost limitless!

Will the Google Home be a hit or the new Nexus Q? The price of $129 seems welcome and if you have Nest or Hue Lightbulbs it might be a no-brainer. However, I feel for many it might be an impulse purchase and will probably will only really benefit the family with the most hectic of schedules or perhaps Google Employee themselves.