iHome for the Holidays 2017, Part 4: Bedside Stereo Speaker System for Amazon Echo Dot (iAVS1)

It is very funny that I am writing about iHome’s Beside Stereo Speaker System for Amazon Echo Dot (also known as “Spot for the Dot” or iAVS1). I have recently discovered a show known as Mr. Robot, and in the second season, there is not only a huge twist but a character who converses with Alexa.

I have to admit, that I haven’t had the chance to review Amazon’s Alexa device so I can constantly as it questions. However, I am going to set up this article in the form of an interview.

Me: Alexa, what is iHome’s Bedside Stereo Speaker System for the Amazon Echo Dot?

Alexa: Also known as the iAVS1, this “spot for the dot” is made for the Amazon Echo Dot. It is a compact bedside clock speaker.

Me: How does one connect the Dot to the iAVS1?

Alexa: It can be directly connected via audio with the hardwired aux-in cable.

Me: So what can I do with this?

Alexa: You can ask me anything, and I will try and provide you with the correct answer within the capability of my programming.

Me: Can you play my music?

Alexa: Whatever the Echo Dot is connected to, the iAVS1 amplifies the sound with a Reson8 speaker chamber.

Me: Can I set my alarm with this?

Alexa: Absolutely, yes.

Me: What powers the iAVS1?

Alexa: It is powered by a 100V-240V universal AC adapter.

Me: Can I power the Dot with the iAVS1?

Alexa: Yes, through MicroUSB cable connections.

Me: Is there an option for a battery backup?

Alexa: Yes, with 2 AAA backup batteries for the clock, which are included with the iAVS1.

Okay, just to let you know, I didn’t actually have a conversation with Alexa to get this faux interview. Truth be told, I have no idea if Alexa would answer a question such as “how much does this cost”.

The answer is $69.99, and it is available on the iHome site.

iHome for the Holidays 2017, Part 2: The Bluetooth Docking Clock Radio + Triple Charging with Watch Charger (iPLWBT5)

I believe that the first time that I reviewed an iHome product, it was one of their iPod docks. This is a rather antiquated product, but the iPhone and now the Apple Watch has created the need for a new kind of dock with this Bluetooth Docking Clock Radio + Triple Charging with Watch Charger (iPLWBT5).

Being an iPod/iPhone dock is not the only thing old school about this, as it definitely hearkens back to the days of alarm clock radios. Yeah, if you remember the eighties or even the nineties, then you probably have one of those things. I’ll go ahead and highlight the alarm feature of dual alarms and separate wake times.

As you can see, you have the option of plugging in an iDevice and the Apple Watch. Both are set up to charge, and the iPhone/iPod cradle is set up for a Lightning charger. Oh, did I mention there is a USB charging port? Because there is one.

By the way, you can stream your audio thanks to its Bluetooth compatibility. This also works as a great speakerphone, and there is some voice control as well. I believe that the Melody Music Assistant, which seems to be some kind of new feature for all iHome products, is made for using your voice for accessing music from iHeartRadio, Spotify, or others.

As for other features, let’s talk about how you can sync the clock with an iOS device. Then there is an auto dimming feature that can somehow sync with the environment. Then there is the 6 FM presets, because this is what it does.

In short, this iHome iPhone/iPod dock is really made to compliment your room, not to mention your home. It can be purchased on the iHome site for about $129.99.

Our Review of the BOBINE Flexible iPhone Dock

This KickStarter funded project was sent to us to review from [FUSE] chicken.¬† This company makes a variety of charging cables, travel cables, phone docks, and stands. The product we were sent to review is called BOBINE, and is touted as “the world’s most flexible iPhone dock.”


photo courtesy of [FUSE] chicken

photos courtesy of [FUSE] chicken

Unfortunately, as we don’t have iPhones, and the BOBINE is designed specifically for iPhones, I was unable to actually use the product on my phone, but I did unbox the product, and got to experience how well it is manipulated to be used in various manners- such as this tripod. It seemed to be a very sturdy cord, and handy to use for charging your phone while











Youtube videos of the product in action in a moving vehicle show that it’s not as stable as a mount on your dash- a bit wiggly, but sufficient to use for hands- free calling or getting directions.

This YouTube video demonstrates ways to flex the stand to make it more sturdy.


I enjoyed the tag that was attached to the cord:

“While this product may seem self- explanatory, PLEASE READ the Start Guide first!”

The other side read:


Twist me, curve me, bend me, but PLEASE DON’T fold me or be overly aggressive as I have feelings too.”

Attached to the instructions is the personal e-mail for the founder of the company. It’s nice to see companies with personable service and a sense of humor.

This nice product is 24 inches long, comes with a unique registration code so you can obtain a warranty within 90 days of purchase, and it’s available for $34.95 on the company website. Free shipping on product over $50, too!

Our Review of the Olloclip Pivot

Olloclip PivotAt this point in my life as a reviewer, I review an Olloclip product a year. If for some reason that you haven’t heard of Olloclip, they create these photo lenses made for smartphones, particularly for the iPhone, that allow for focuses and a fish-eye lens. The Pivot is essentially a holder for one of their Olloclip lenses, and I’ll start with a disclaimer saying that the Olloclip lens, like the one I reviewed last year, is not included.

It does come with a handle which has that threaded Universal Mounting thing on it. On this particular handle is a button that allows for some rotation, about 225 degrees of spinning. You can see that circle in the middle which allows you to stick your finger for extra support.

The end result is a device that reduces the shakiness in your video. The Pivot also has a Universal Clamp, a 1/4-20 mount for a GoPro adapter. There is also some kind of cold shoe mount so you can put on one of those flash things.

By now, if you are not familiar with my reviews of Olloclip, then you know that I never give them bad reviews. There is a lot of love, work, and care put in Olloclip products, and the Pivot is available for about $49.99 on the Olloclip site.

Bodyguardz Pure Screen Protector for iPad Pro 10.5 and Trainr for the iPhone 6S/7 Plus

Well, it is time to review another great product from Bodyguardz, and they are very good at making screen protectors. They also make some cases, and today I am going to review both a screen protector and a case.

BodyGuardz Pure Premium Glass Screen Protector for Apple iPad Pro 10.5

bodyguardz Tempered iPad Pro 10.5If you are not familiar with a screen protector, then you probably need one. I remember seeing one of these ten years ago, before the age of smartphones really hit. It is a simple thin piece of glass to keep the touchscreen safe, and the Bodyguardz Pure is Tempered Glass for the iPad Pro 10.5.

This one is made from ion fortified tempered glass that is not just as hard as steel, it is harder than steel. This has some extreme impact and scratch protection that is optically clear with anti-smudge coating.

The end result is one of those screen protectors that goes on pretty easily as it comes with an installation kit and a microfiber cleaning cloth. By the way, it won some innovation awards back at CES 2013.

You should be able to purchase the Bodyguardz Pure Premium Glass Screen Protector for the Apple iPad Pro 10.5 on the Bodyguardz site for $59.95.

BodyGuardz Trainr Case for the iPhone 6/6S/7 Plus

Bodyguardz TrainrI actually reviewed this protect’s brother with the Trainr Pro, but this is just the Trainr Case with Unequal Technology. I’m not certain what makes it unequal, but it is made of sport-grip materials with a clear back and has some composite padding.

Similar to the Bodyguardz Pure, it is able to absorb impact, on contact. Also, this has some impact gel with a polycarbonate back, and the end result feels like a soft grip. The entire thing is actually quite flexible to easily accommodate the iPhone 6/6S/7 Plus, and presumably the iPhone 8 Plus.

If this is something that you like, head on over to the Bodyguardz site and pay $39.95 for it. It is available in Black/Gray, Gray/Blue, Gray/Mint, and Rose Gold/White. About the only difference between the Trainr and the Trainr Pro is that the Trainr Pro has this removable armband.

UAG 2017 Part 2: Monarch Series for iPhone 8/7/6S and PYLO Series iPhone 8/7/6S Cases

Well, in addition to the Monarch and PYLO series for the iPhone X that I reviewed yesterday, today is going to be another UAG (Urban Armor Gear). This time, we are talking about the iPhone 8/7/6S and iPhone 8/7/6S Plus.

Monarch Series iPhone 8/7/6S Plus

UAG Monarch iPhone 7 and 6 PlusWell, this is the time where I could seriously just cut and paste the Monarch review for the iPhone X. I suppose that the Monarch case for the iPhone 8 Plus/7Plus/6S Plus/6 Plus is just that, but it is bigger.

Yes, it has the same 5-layers of protection, and the top grain leather and alloy metal hardware. It also has that same terrific look with the honeycomb traction grip.

There is something that I forgot to mention in my last review of the Monarch Series. It meets 2X military drop-test standards, and I don’t know why I forgot to write about the protection of this series offers.

Also, I forgot to mention that some of the colors of Monarch for the iPhone X look really similar. Not so with the iPhone 8/7/6 Plus, as it only comes in three options: Platinum, Graphite, and Crimson. The Platinum is kind of silver with black, and the Graphite is the one that you see here.

You can purchase the Monarch for the iPhone 8 Plus and its accommodating series of Apple smartphones on the UAG site for $59.95.

PYLO Series for the iPhone 8/7/6S

UAG PYLO iPhone 8Again, there is hardly any difference between the PYLO for the iPhone x and the one for the iPhone 7/6S. It has that transparent case with soft corners, but there is one thing that I want you to notice.

Just look at the images on my two articles. Go on, I’ll wait. Do you see it yet? Here’s a hint: look in the corner for the hole for the camera. You can see that the iPhone 8 version has a hole that is horizontal, but the PYLO for the iPhone X has a more vertical look to it. Yeah, I thought that I would point that out because I needed something to write about, and no one else is writing about that.

So, you can purchase get the PYLO for the iPhone 8/7/6S Case for $39.95 on the UAG site.

UAG 2017 Part 1: PLYO and Monarch Series, both for the iPhone X

Since the unveiling of the new iPhone, I have been itching to try out some of their newest accessories. I was pleased to receive in my mailbox the more new ones for the iPhone X. Today, I will discuss the PLYO and Monarch Series from our old friend, UAG (Urban Armor Gear).

Just as a reminder of the iPhone X, it was kind of a “one more thing” at Apple’s big event on September 12. The iPhone 8 will accommodate last year’s iPhone 7 model, but the iPhone X is an entirely different animal. It has a big price and a 5.8-inch screen that goes from edge to edge, with no home button.

PLYO Series iPhone X Case Review

UAG Plyo iPhone XI would imagine that it would be difficult to design a case for the iPhone X with its all-screen design. It’s pretty clear that they went with the hard plastic route, and the PYLO has a clear look, at least on its backside.

It is entirely different feel than the edges, which are very soft and flexible. It is designed to clearly be cushioning the sides, and the tactile buttons stand out well. Of course, it is set up to meet military drop-test standards.

It’s all very great, and it is pretty light as well. Just to let you know, it is set up for Apple Pay and the wireless charging feature. It’s a solid case, and can be purchased on the UAG site for $39.95 in Ice (Clear), Ash (Gray), and Crimson.

Monarch Series iPhone X Case

UAG Monarch iPhone XI’ll start by explaining that the Monarch is similar to PYLO, as it is Apple Pay and Wireless charging compatible, but it is a different set-up. Unlike the PYLO, it isn’t made with a solid plastic mold, but it boasts “5 layers of protection”.

Part of these layers is grain leather and alloy metal hardware. The end result is what has become almost a trademark for UAG with what looks like steel framework and black fill-in. Yeah, I can’t figure out how to describe it either, but there are some weird screws in it.

As for the sides, they are very soft with “honeycomb traction grip”, which you can see in the picture is aptly named. The tactile buttons are also prominent, which is also a part of their “premium design and precise engineering”.

The Monarch case is also available on the UAG site in Graphite, Platinum, Crimson, Black, and Carbon Fiber for $59.95.

IOGEAR GearGuard for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8

IoGear GearGuardWell, since we have relaunched our website, I feel it is time to do something that I haven’t done in a while: a review of a tech product. In fact, we are going to do a lot of tech reviews in the next few months due to it being the holiday season and all.

Most of you know that I have reviewed a lot of screen protectors. Most of them are basically the same, and I was pleased to review the GearGuard from a company that I am pretty familiar with, IOGEAR.

Like most screen protectors, you don’t really know it is there. This is pretty interesting, because it has about 5 layers of protection. So it is good for stopping cracks, grease, water, dust, fingerprints, and all of them.

However, one of the best selling points of this products is that it is easy to install. It has one of those pre-installation tools that will insure that you get it right. So if you have a fear about not installing this correctly, I hope that I have assuaged it.

In fact, the price is very small at $10.95, and it can be found on the IOGEAR site at certain stores. By the way, this was made for the iPhone 7, but I’m assuming that it will fit the iPhone 8, because I have heard that the iPhone 7 accessories will fit the iPhone 8.

The Trainr Pro from Bodyguardz

Trainr ProI’ve seen a lot of great products from Bodyguardz, and the Trainr Pro is one of their more unique ones. They are really great at making screen protectors, but the Trainr Pro is both a case and an armband.

The Trainr Pro has a transparent case that has “unequal technology”, which means that it has some kind of design for an active lifestyle. The case is made of some kind of transparent plastic to show off the back of the Apple device. It also has some padding on the sides on the inside and out on the sides.

I suppose that it is called the Trainr Pro because it is made for the workout. This Trainr Pro has a removable armband that pops on and off, and it is also have some elastomer construction as well.

It is something that I would recommend, and it is available on the Bodyguardz site for $49.95 in Black and Gray, as well as Gray and Mint. Granted, that is for the iPhone 7 Plus, and there is also something available for iPhone 7.

Earin True Wireless Earbuds Review

Only_Buds_front-620x400With all the activity we do, it’s great to not to have to be tied down to something. Many earbuds have you hooked up to a line trailing down your arm, neck , back, or leg. There’s an option, though, for those who don’t want strings to hold them down. We were sent these wireless EARIN earbuds to review, so here we go.

Coming from a Swiss startup, these Bluetooth- enabled earbuds come in a nice package. The box that holds them looks like a cardboard box, but it opens and closes magnetically, and the magnets also attract the earbuds so that they don’t fly out when you open the box. We still recommend that you carefully open the box because there still is a chance for them to fly out, and those little guys are miniscule and round, and they roll.

The box contains the wireless earbuds, a charging capsule reminiscent of the flashy-thing in the Men in Black movie, a micro USB cable to charge the flashy-thing, stabilizers to make extra sure they won’t come out of your ears with heavy activity. There’s also the Comply foam tips that give a tight seal, or if you would rather, there are Silicone tips.

The case, or flashy-thing, will hold the earbuds as they charge, and you had better be sure to put these earbuds in the case when you aren’t using them, as that is the only way to turn them off. If you just put them in your pocket, the battery will drain on them, so it’s best to keep them in the case. It will likely be a safer place to keep them anyway. A simple light will turn on while it’s charging the earbuds, another light on top indicates that the case is charging itself.earin-true-wireless-earbuds-with-charging-case-and-aweni7-5

There are complaints that sometimes the right ear bud will cut out, and there is sometimes lag when watching videos. The left ear bud is the one that connects to your device, and the right one is a slave, so it’s not always as reliable as the left.

Other wireless earbuds on the market might run less expensive on price, but we haven’t been able to compare the sound quality of them. We have reviewed the Jabra¬†wireless earbuds, and they are about $100 more, though the Earins used to be the same price, and the Jabra had the addition of being able to take calls because of the microphone. You can’t take calls on the Earins. You can also check your heartrate with the Jabra pair.

Earin does have a special app that you use on your phone to control the bass boost, the balance of volume in each ear, and you can see how much battery life you have left in them. Speaking of battery life, there is about 3 hours of battery life in them, and you can charge them up to 3 times in a fully charged capsule.

Earin is coming out in the future with the M-2 earbuds. These look to be more advanced with a microphone and a way to control them with touch interface on the earbuds. The question will be whether they are comparable in price and quality to the other wireless earbuds out there. Still, at $149, the M-1 might be what you are looking for.