Review of the Aventho Wireless from Beyerdynamic

In addition to the Beyerdynamic DT 240, we had a good time reviewing the Aventho Wireless. These Aventho Wireless are about the same weight as the one that I most recently reviewed, and besides the Bluetooth capability, there are some differences.

So, you will notice the design, and I suppose that I could describe it as minimalist, but in a very classy way. The earcups barely cover the ears, assuming that I have regular sized ears.

Beyerdynamic says that the sound adapts acoustically to the user’s hearing, but I am not certain how adaptable it is. Apparently, the sound quality is thanks to Tesla, but I am not certain how that applies either. It does use Mimi technology, which is apparently used by one million people. Yeah, I don’t feel right not knowing what that is.

One thing that I find most interesting is Beyerdynamic has offered a MIY application which is able to create a sound profile, track daily listening habits, not to mention adjust the sensitivity of the touchpad.

What touchpad? Oh, I probably should mention that the volume control of these headphones is on the right side, which you can discover pretty accidentally. All it requires is a slide of a touch. Oh, it comes with a microphone, so that’s good for taking some phone calls while you are listening to music.

You should be able to purchase the Aventho Wireless on the Beyerdynamic site for about $449.00.

Our Review of the Sennheiser HD 660 S

Well, it appears to be headphones week as we get to review another great pair of high-quality headphones with our old pal Sennheiser. The last time was the PC 373D, but this time it is the HD 660 S, the successor to the HD 650.

I’ll start by saying that the HD 660 S is made for serious audiophiles, which means that I might not be well-equipped to review it. I had an interesting thing happen when I tried to plug it in, as I could only get sound from one side. I really had to jam the cables in, which made things extremely tight, but it is working. Now, you can see from the picture that this guy appears to have speakers on the outside as well as the inside, but if that is the case, I couldn’t figure out how to blast the sound from outside like the inside.

But hey, all that matters is the sound that the user can hear. In fact, I’m watching The Cloverfield Paradox with it on now, and the crisp bass and mid-frequency response is quite something, all right.

When I first put on these guys, I was very pleased to feel the comfort of the earcups. I was able to adjust the size of the headband, but I’m not certain how comfortable the 660 S will be after a few hours of use.

So yes, for those that really want some serious sound, then your search may be over. I say may because you might be put off by the price, which is $499.99 on the Sennheiser site.

The Beyerdynamic DT 240 PRO Review

It looks like we have another chance to review another fine Beyerdynamic product with the DT 240 PRO. By now, I have lost track of how many of these headphones or earbuds that I have reviewed, honestly.

So, where should I start? I mean, I know that these headphones are surely made for professionals, but hey, they are made so anyone can use them. It has the over-ear design, and these earcups are made for comfort.

But hey, all that really matters about any pair of headphones or earbuds is the sound, right? Well, this has studio-grade reproduction, so you know that it is good. We are looking at clean, deep bass, plus a vivid midrange and precise treble as well.

Not only is the sound great, but there is also some great isolation to keep out background noise for minimal sound leakage. It feels like it has been made for podcasters, so I suppose that is the intended audience for the DT 240 PRO. I mean, it has PRO in the title so it must be made for professionals.

What I am not seeing on this is a gooseneck microphone, and I am quite surprised. I know that it isn’t wireless and all, but hey, the Beyerdynamic DT 240 PRO is something. It is available for purchase on the Beyerdynamic site for $99.99, which is a fair price for what you are getting, in headphones terms.

A Review of Cublets Robot Blocks Twelve Kit from Modular Robotics

I have to admit, when I received the Cubelets to review, I couldn’t help but compare it to the Makerblock Neuron Inventor Kit that I just reviewed. Is it coming to the point where I’m reviewing a STEM product every week? If so, I’m cool with it.

So, let’s talk Cubelets. I don’t think I could have done this review if it wasn’t for my son, because he was really into them. Unlike a lot of STEM toys, which seem to emphasize coding, the Cubelets emphasizes creation. When my son started working with the Cubelets Twelve Kit, it was difficult getting him to quit.

When you get the Cubelets, they come in this box where they are packed in a particular pattern. You see, these Cubelets essentially lock together with magnets, and they come in a 2 x 4 formation, with another 2 cubes on each side. I hope that isn’t too confusing of a description, and I might have to do some kind of unboxing to really show off this product, hmmmm…..

So here’s the deal. Each of the Cubelets has a function, and by connecting them together in different ways, you can make a kind of machine that can do all kinds of things. Fortunately, it came with instructions.

I’ll start with the Battery Block, which can be charged with a micro-USB. I noticed the Flashlight Block with a light bulb, and so I connected the Battery Block with it and turned it on. I saw a small green light on the Battery Block, and there was a small light on the Flashlight Block as well.

However, the bulb on Flashlight didn’t glow. I wondered if I did something wrong, but I then connected one of the Distance Blocks (yes, there are two of these particular Cubelets). This Distance Block had a sensor that could detect my hand in front of it, and when connected to the Battery Block and Flashlight Block, I created a luminescent flashlight that allowed me to change the brightness as my hand got closer to it. Granted, covering the Distance Block didn’t do anything, but you see what I am getting at. You see, I could magnetically lock these three blocks together in just about any order, and it worked.

So then I tried the Brightness Block, and I had a flashlight that was somewhat solar powered. The more light I shown on the brightness sensor of the Brightness Block, the brighter the Flashlight Block shone.

Are you getting this now? So let’s hook up the Drive Block, or two of them, because there are two. The Drive Block has these two rollers that look like small rolling pins. I can control their speeds in the same way that I controlled the brightness of the Flashlight Blocks.

So, yes, there is a lot that you can do with these. There are some other blocks like the Passive Block, which is like a wire of this Cubelets (that makes sense if you work with them). Then there is the Blocker Brick, capable of blocking a signal. What is really interesting is the Inverse Block, which essentially makes the Distance Block or Brightness Block have the opposite effect.

So there really is a lot you can do with this, and there is even a Bluetooth Block so you can sync it to your smartphone or tablet. To make this even more constructive, it comes with a male and female LEGO compatible brick. When you use these, you can make LEGO creations spin and go, just like some Technic or even MINDSTORMS creations.

I believe that the Cubelets is one of the finest educational toys, and the Twelve kits are available on the Modular Robotics site for $275.00.

BewellConnect MyThermo

So, let’s talk about thermometers. As someone who grew up in the 70s, I remember those mercury ones that you had to uncomfortably stick under your tongue. Remember how you had to shake them to reset them, and they were really fricking hard to read? There was like this silver thread that…how in the world did they ever figure out that this is we detect sickness?

I bring this up because progress has been made in the world of thermometers, and I am not talking about the kinds of numbers. This is the MyThermo from Bewell Connect, and it is a smart and connected non-contact thermometer that can take a temperature of a body without even making contact with him or her.

That’s right, even the thermometers are wireless these days. I may have no idea how the mercury thermometers work, but this MyThermo, I am completely clueless. Let’s just say that it runs on magic, which is defined as any technology that can be understood in its present culture.

Apparently, the MyThermo uses infrared technology, which is good for those situations for when you are not wanting to spread germs with your thermometer.

Now, the issue that I have with this is that I am not certain how accurate the results are. I mean, you have to hold it up to a forehead, and then push the button. I held it up to my son’s head and got an incredibly low value of seventy something. The next one was about 88, and I tried it on myself and got a low 90 rating.

Below is a picture of where to hold it in relation to the forehead, and I have to admit that when I first used it, I held it backwards. Now, the instructions say that you should measure the temperature elsewhere to confirm it, and you just should do that anyway. Apparently, you can use this thing on a bathtub or drink as well.

I’m not certain if I can really recommend this product, but honestly, if this works as good as it says, then you should have no problem seeing it in many hospitals. You can purchase the MyThermo on the Bewell Connect site for about $99.

Hands on with the OOMI Starter Kit

One of the many things that I was able to witness at CES was how it seems that everyone wants a “connected home”. It is very apparent that certain homes that are being built in the present are being prepared for the future, so that all of the electronics can be taken control via smartphone/tablet.

I can’t remember at what CES I saw this at, but OOMI was there. This was when they were just getting started, so it must have been a few years ago. They must have truly bloomed, as I had a chance to try out their OOMI Home Lighting Starter Kit.

This thing came with just about everything. It came with a tablet, which at first seemed odd to me. After all, there are lots of tablets available with iPad from Apple, many from Android, and probably a lot of Windows and others that I don’t know about.

Now before I forget later, I’m going to tell you that OOMI does have an app. Granted, it wasn’t rated high on the Android store, but I’m just going to assume that it can do everything that the included tablet can do.

So, the moment that I turned on the tablet, it told me what to do after hooking up to my wireless network. The OOMI tablet told me to plug in the security camera, and said that it would turn green or blue when it was hooked up. Then all I had to do is join a dot on the back of the tablet with the one on the back of the camera. In less than a minute, I was looking at myself on the screen of the tablet.

I honestly don’t know how it could have joined so quickly, so I am going to guess some kind of NFC tech. There was a lot of other quick instructions that the tablet gave, but I’m not certain what I quickly passed over. I did find that it was user-friendly, so much so that I decided to connect one of the smartbulbs and just join its spot with the tablet’s.

Needless to say, I was able to take command of the bulb, provided it was given power. Oh, this is required for set-up as well. so with one touch on the screen, the light is on or off, and from there, I can take control of its color with 12 standby shades. I can even make rainbow or pattern or even random shades to create a very interesting mood of the room.

Then it doesn’t stop there, as there is an OOMI plug, which looks as if it can give you control of an appliance, as well as seeing how much energy is being used.

I’m told that it still doesn’t stop there as you can use other Z-wave appliances as well. I’m going to just guess that OOMI designed this Lighting Starter Kit as a good method for those who want a connected home to have a connected home, without the experience. To that, I say it is a good investment, and it is available for purchase on the OOMI shop for $499.00.

Chilipad Cube for the Queen Size Bed

I have been wanting to review the Chilipad for a long time now, as it was a device that I saw at CES 2018. Generally, I don’t get a chance to review anything like this, so I’ll try and just summarize it, in case the picture doesn’t make it obvious.

If you share a bed with someone, then you might have an issue with one feeling too hot, while the other feels too cold. In all honesty, I don’t know if my wife and I have ever had this problem, but we have been in a car where I was too cold and she was too hot.

Well, you can see where this is going, can’t you? The Chilipad is a way of regulating two zones of climate control on your mattress, so the hot stays hot and the cool stays cool. Think of it as the McDLT for the bed, and honestly, I am not certain what age group wouldn’t understand that reference.

Now, when this thing came to me, the box was huge. I wanted to do an unboxing video, but it didn’t really work out on this occasion. Needless to say, I opened the box to find the pad itself folded on top, and this particular product isn’t like an electrical blanket or cooling. No, this is a pad that lays atop the mattress itself, and I will explain how it works later.

Once I opened the product and took out the Chilipad itself, I saw two boxes within the big box. Each of them said this: “Inside this box is your solution. No more sweating, tossing, and turning. Only Sleep Nirvana.” Within these two boxes are a cube, cord, and a remote control.

Now, these cubes are the key to how the Chilipad works. The Chilipad itself doesn’t work with the power of electricity, like an electric blanket, but water power. Yes, there is water being pumped through the Chilipad, and the cube allows that water to be either hot or cold, depending on what side of the bed that you are on. So there is now plumbing going through your mattress, but not near as much water as a waterbed. I didn’t really want to test how strong these pipes were, but you need to attach a weird pipe to the cube. I don’t know if you should let a dog or cat on the Chilipad due to their claws.

Yes, there is a Single and Dual Zone option on this, but I have said this before. I don’t know if I need to say this, but the cubes have to be filled with water into order to work. What was funny was how I couldn’t figure out how to fill them at first. There is thing that unscrews that I actually thought was a dial.

Of course, a dial is not needed, as the heat and cooling function are controls by buttons on the cube. Of course, they can also be controlled by the remote controls, which require batteries, as I found out. Honestly, I am not certain why the remotes are needed, for you are going to have to sleep with these remotes to work them. I think it might just be better to just have the burden of leaning over and playing with the switches rather than stashing the remotes under your pillows or something.

So, is the Chilipad worth it? I don’t know, as it really depends how much comfort means to you. I used to love sleeping with an electric blanket, but I had settled for sleeping near a fan or a space-heater, depending on the weather. However, I can’t guarantee a temperature of 55 or 110 F. Not only that, it uses less power.

Yes, I agree that getting a good night’s sleep is important, and if this is of paramount importance to you, then the Chilipad is for you. Still, I need to let you know that it costs a pretty penny at $999.00 on the Chilipad site. At this point, you are going to have to ask yourself how much comfort is worth to you. It certainly is quite a product, and I would not be surprised to see more from Chilipad in the future.

Our Review of the Makeblock Neuron Inventor Kit

We have had the opportunity to review a lot of great products related to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) technology before, and the Makeblock Neuron Inventor Kit is up there with stuff from UBTECH as well as LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3. Those are some plugs for my books, by the way, but I wish I had more time to write about the Makeblock Neuron Inventor Kit.

It is difficult to talk about the Makeblock Neuron Inventor Kit, but for those of you who are familiar with the aforementioned STEM toys, it might seem run-of-the-mill. Please don’t think that comment as this is a bad review, but the fact remains, it would probably take me a proper month to review the Makeblock Neuron Inventor Kit. As it is, I really only afford a long day to review this.

I’ll try by describing what is in the box, or at least on top of the box. There are these blocks, one of them is for power, and even has the international power symbol on it. There are other blocks labelled “Buzzer”, “Gyro Sensor”, “Servo Driver”, “Bluetooth”, and “Funny Touch”. There are others here that I won’t go into for now, but needless to say, connecting certain blocks together allows different things to occur. You can see what the individual blocks look like here:

For example, I found that I could connect the Power to the Gyro Sensor and that to a Buzzer. What did I get? I device that, if moved, will buzz. This is essentially what programming is, linking together all the individual tasks until they can successfully perform one big old task.

So yes, the Makeblock Neuron Inventor Kit is made so you can link blocks together and download code into them. Yes, there are other kits that can do the very same thing, but I have to admit the this is the first kit that I have seen that comes with these paper things for some series hard paper crafting. Like most of these kits, it comes with an app, and I was able to see instructions for making an excited rabbit that can make faces.

Of course, you can build a lot more, that’s for dang sure. Of course, the possibilities are infinite, and this is helped as its pieces are compatible with LEGO. Oh yes, so anything that you can make with Technic and MINDSTORMS is good to go for the Makeblock Neuron Inventor Kit.

So yes, I am going to recommend the Makeblock Neuron Inventor Kit, particularly if you are into STEM projects. Even if you aren’t this could be the thing that really gets you into it. It can be purchased on the Makeblock store for $119.99.

Simplehuman 8-inch Round Sensor Mirror

I’m going to have to say that I believe that Simplehuman is one of those companies that really can make a home a home. You know how some people have IKEA furniture all over their place, and it makes their home a little less classy as a result? If there was a house with Simplehuman products all over, I believe it would make a home more classy.

After all, I think we all need products like the Foam Cartridge Sensor Pump, another great Simplehuman product that we had the opportunity to review. I believe that there would be many a bathroom that would benefit from this 8-inch Round Sensor Mirror, which we also had the opportunity to review.

The Sensor is for what happens when you get close to it, as the ring of light around it will illuminate. If it is somehow too bright, you can turn down the brightness by tracing your finger around the side, and it will adjust.

Believe me, that light is helpful. It can go from 100 to 800 lux, and the mirror itself is 5x magnification. I’m not one for doing make-up in the mirror, but something like this could really help out if you need to put your “face on”. Just a word of warning, the circle of light that the sensor mirror makes creates this odd ring effect on the eyes. It kind of reminds me of the way the replicant eyes would kind of glow in Blade Runner.

In case you are wondering where the light comes from, it is rechargeable via micro USB cord. I am told that one charge is good for five weeks, which means that you can use this for quite a while before you have to plug it in again.

So, yes, I would recommend this product from the get-go. It is available for purchase without any shipping for about $200.00 on the Simplehuman site.

Our Review of Quantum Storey’s Operation YOU: Morning Nightmare, the “World’s First VR Book Series”

Okay, if you have been to Wal-Mart’s book section, you might notice this particular book/package. This would be a book/VR program from publisher Quantum Storey known as Operation YOU: Morning Nightmare. It is apparently the first VR (Virtual Reality, but you probably already knew that) book series, and it is only available from Wal-Mart.

I’m going to say that their claim is correct, and this book comes with a pair of fold up VR googles so you can connect it to your smartphone. Yes, there is an app that you use for this, and I am very pleased to say that it was very simple to set up.

Personally, I used my own pair of VR goggles with the Powis ViewR 2.0, and I found that this program allows me to step into another world. This is something that I really can’t describe, but hey, this is the lure of VR.

Unfortunately, I am going to say that I wasn’t too impressed by the experience. Now, in case you think I am going to give this a bad review, I’m not. This would be like me reviewing Veggie Tales and saying that it is terrible because it is too juvenile.

Yes, I, a middle-aged man, am not the audience designed for this. This book has the big print of a Dr. Seuss book, and even is told with rhyme.

What is interesting is that while the virtual program was running, it was reading the words in the book. So in all honesty, the book portion of this…program is rather superfluous. Seriously, the program reads the book to me.

Another thing that is not interesting is the book’s subject matter. The title of Morning Nightmare refers to the main character’s experience on a bus, and dealing with bullies.

Yes, this is an anti-bullying story. In fact, I will spoil it and say that the book explains how to deal with bullying. For those that remember the 1980’s, there were constant after-school specials and books that had an anti-drug preaching slant to them. These days, the youth of today are constantly told not bully, as my 15-year-old daughter will attest to from the numerous pep assemblies that she has been to.

I will have to say that the bullies of this book are creepy. One of them has a pet snake that will attack you, or something? Trust me when I say that you do not want to be trapped in a virtual world with them. Heck, I would rather be a powerless Neo with an Agent Smith than be stuck with these bullies.

Fortunately, this virtual program allows you to do certain actions over again should the bullies overtake you. By the way, these bullies took me out at least twice. When this happens, you end up being with this lady named Ray, or I will assume is a lady. It doesn’t matter, but my point is that this book feels like it is trying to be one of those Choose Your Own Adventure books.

However, I love the interface of this book, and how I could just look at something in order to interact with it. It ends with me playing frisbee with a dog, but it wasn’t as active as actually tossing the plastic WHAM-O discus with a hyperactive Labrador.

Geez, this sounds negative. I’m going to let you know that I believe that the technology for a VR series is there. The idea of a book that you can walk into is great, but I’m guessing that the programming of that is very complex. Morning Nightmare, the first book in this series, is really more of a proof of concept that this VR series works.

What I want to see is a more developed story that would be much longer. Perhaps the book and story could work together and not just have the program read to you. The issue is that this tech is still in its infancy, kind of like watching those old computer generated videos from the late eighties and early nineties, and then Toy Story changed everything.

I have a message for Quantum Storey. I’m going to come up with a way that this can really work, so you’ll be hearing from me soon.

In the meantime, you can purchase Operation You: Morning Nightmare on the Wal-Mart site for $17.49.

Oh, there is more! Operation You has three books known as The New Kid, The Kings Birds, and A Soldier’s Son. I have no idea what they are about, or even if the same characters will appear.