Archive for the ‘Bluetooth’ Category

The Jabra Elite Sport Wireless Earbuds Review

jabra elite sport 1And now it is time to review another fine Jabra product! This time, it is the Elite Sport, a pair of wireless earbuds. And this isn’t the type that have the wire connecting them together, but one of those ones that look like earplugs.

I have talked many times at length about how Bluetooth earbuds are entering a new age as they have one microphone each. I see no reason to go into detail about this concept again, but needless to say, these are probably going to be the new standard of Bluetooth earbuds by the end of the year. I’m certain that as the prices go down on these, everyone will have a pair. That, or have one, and you lost the other one.

Not only are these one of those wireless earbuds, but they are made for sports. This means that they are made to stay in your ear in spite of strenuous exercise and be immune to sweat. In fact, it comes with a 3-year warranty against it. If you are concerned about them staying in your ear, they have ear gel and ear wing sizes that will keep them in.

jabra elite sport 2The Jabra Elite Sport is set up for exercise, but it has an integrated fitness application known as Jabra Sports Life. It has an in-ear precision heart rate monitor and you can monitor your absolute fitness level. There are other features with the app that syncs to your earbuds and allows personalized coaching speaking to you through the earbuds, as well as monitoring reps, predicting racing time, and much more!

So let’s talk about sound. Oh yeah, it is completely great. At this point in time, Jabra is one of the Bluetooth masters of sound, and so there is no point in denying how great the sound is. You can opt to block out all sound of the world around you, or maybe you need to filter in some background noise to be better aware of your surroundings. The option to do both is there!

So, how is the battery life? Well, how is 9 hours for you? I have to say that is excellent, and there is even a portable charging case that will give you two additional charges.

If you want to get in on this, head over to the Jabra site and lay down about $249.99 for it.

Posted by on February 3rd, 2017 No Comments

Thonet and Vander HOCH BT and LAUT BT Speakers

thonet-and-vander-1It has been a while since I have reported on a Thonet and Vander product. The last time was with the K├╝rbis BT Bluetooth Speakers, and these are speakers that very much rock. Also, they really like to brag that they have “German Engineering”. Today, I’m going to discussing the HOCH BT and the LAUT BT Speakers.

Let’s start with the HOCH BT, and it has some “pure, authentic sound” with 70 W RMS (35W + 35W) Power Output with 350 watts of peak power. I know those numbers are important to audiophiles, but let’s just say that it is loud, loud, and more loud.

Also on deck with these HOCT BT stereo speakers have a high desnity acoustic absorber that “prevents vibration and ensures sustainable performance”. They are also made of some HDAA wood and mesh as well. The HOCH BT is a 2.0 Speaker for crystal-clear sound and a great bass boost with 350 W peak power.

As far as connectivity, what do you think the BT stand for? Yeah, it can do Bluetooth, which will connect to any mobile device with Bluetooth compatibility. Oh, it can do RCA stereo input for wired devices as well.

You can find out more information about it on the Thonet and Vander site and it looks like you can order them on Amazon for $249.99.

thonet-and-vander-2And now it is time to talk about the LAUT BT, which is a 2.1 speaker characterizes for having a balanced and harmonic sound. It has a Crystal Clear, Authentic Sound, with its 68W RMS (34W + 17W x 2) Power Output for delivering 340 watts of peak power.

Remember what I said about the bragging of German design? It has the sophisticated acoustics with a high density acoustic absorber for the highest sound resonance. The LAUT BT is apparently made to become a home theater, and it is made for really bringing some serious sound to life!

What is very interesting is how there is an option for Bluetooth and RCA connectors, and yet there is a Bluetooth extension that is good for up to 132 feet. I have to admit that is pretty great.

Anyway, the LAUT BT is available on Amazon for a special price of $106.95, which is a markdown from $179. You can always go to the Thonet and Vander site for more information as well.

Posted by on December 20th, 2016 No Comments

Jam Audio Xterior, Voice, Xterior Plus, and Xterior Max Rugged Wireless Speakers

jam-audio-3So, being that I have reviewed two Jam Audio products already this week with the Jam Symphony and Jam Rhythm, and now I am reviewing more. I’m going to review four products from Jam Audio, and they are all Bluetooth speakers.

Let’s start with the Jam Xterior. I’m going to say that I believe that these people have misspelled the word “exterior”, and that is all. I will have to say that the Jam Xterior is very similar to the Superstar Hotshot Bluetooth Speaker from Monster.

It has one of those clip-on things so you can take it to a lot of places. If these places have dust, water, or if you might drop it, that’s fine. This small stereo speaker is made to take some damage.

If this is the type of speaker that you want, it is available in black and red on the Jam Audio site for $59.99.

jam-audio-4Now, I’ll move on to the Jam Voice, which is a portable WiFi and Bluetooth Speaker. Nothing new about that, but this seems to be a speaker made for Amazon Alexa.

In this way, you can just tap this speaker and ask about stuff. Not only that, you can pair with other speakers in the Jam Audio family, so you can get the answer for the question.

Not only can you get some great answers from Alexa, but you can answer calls directly. So far, this is the only product from Jam Audio that says “free Jam App”, and I find it odd that the other products say that.

If this is something that you like, you can get it on the Jam Audio site for about $79.99.

jam-audio-5Now, let’s talk about another Xterior speaker with the Xterior Plus. This particular speaker is made for going outside, as it is one of those waterproof ones.

I have reviewed a lot of speakers like these, and usually they just say that they are waterproof and make it so you feel comfortable taking to the beach and getting the occasional sand or water on it. This particular speaker prides itself that it floats, so I wouldn’t leave it too close to the shore or the tide will get it. So this is IP7 rated, and yes, it is drop and dirt proof.

It also has a screw mount for taking on a bike. If you want to take it on long trips, it is good for 8 hours of playtime. Then there are other bonuses like a speakerphone and voice prompts.

Yes, this really is quite the speaker, and it is available for purchase for $79.99 on the Jam Audio site.

jam-audio-6Well, it is time to conclude this review with the Xterior Max. It is another one of those tough speakers, but Jam Audio doesn’t seem to brag that it floats, so let us assume that it doesn’t.

It does have a rubberized exterior that will keep it protected, as well as integrated USB port to be a backup charger for other devices. Yes, this will come in handy when it is on the road, and it is good for 12 hours of playtime. By the way, it has the screw-on mount.

So it is good to go just about anywhere, which is why it is called the Max, I suppose. It might not be floating, but it is waterproof, as well as drop and dust proof.

You should be able to get it on the Jam Audio site for $119.99.

Posted by on December 19th, 2016 No Comments

House of Marley Riddim BT, Get Together Mini, and Bag of Riddim 2

house-of-marley-1Today, I had the opportunity to review three different products from House of Marley. In case you are wondering, they are related to the family of the late Bob Marley. At least, I believe they are, because when I first encountered them at CES 2012, Rohan Marley was on deck to talk about them.

I can’t seem to find any more Marley connection, but the company has a commitment to principles of superior quality, earth-friendliness, and a commitment to global charitable causes. As a result, their products feel more natural than most tech, and I am not certain how to describe it without these examples.

I’ll start with the Riddim BT, a Portable Audio System that is essentially a Bluetooth speaker, but I feel like I am underselling it by giving it such a brief explanation. I’ll get the specs out of the way and say that it is Bluetooth 4, and the set-up with its voice prompt was quite simple.

The sound is quite good with 2 x 8W 1.5-inch full range active drivers, a 2 x Passive bass radiator, and I’m trying out the sound as I write this. Man, it can really blast!

What makes it feel like the Riddim BT has come out of the House of Marley is that the sides feel made of wood (bamboo), and there is a removable leather strap. I’m assuming that you have to do something pretty complicated like unscrewing the screws the hold it in. I admired the versatility of the strap, as you can hold it from the top or on the side.

You can purchase the Riddim BT for $129.99 on the House of Marley site. And now to talk about two more House of Marley products.

house-of-marley-2Now it is time to talk about the Get Together Mini, another Portable Audio System with Bluetooth 4.1 capability. I would say that it isn’t too different than the Riddim BT, because it is a Bluetooth Speaker.

It also has bamboo and also has a 10 hour playtime. Oh yeah, did I mention that the Riddim BT has a 10 hour playtime? It does. Oh, the Get Together Mini doesn’t have a leather strap.

It does have 2 x 2.5″ Woofers, 2 x 1″ Tweeters, and a passive radiator. Oh, it has a USB port for charging devices. So yes, it is designed more for a desk or a table than a portable job.

However, if this is something that you want, you should go to the House of Marley site and pay $149.99 for it.

house-of-marley-3Now, let’s end with the last item with Bag of Riddim 2 Portable Audio System. If you are wondering why Riddim shows up on these products, it is because “Riddim is the Jamaican Patois pronunciation of the English word ‘rhythm’, but in calypso, soca, dancehall and reggaeton parlance it refers to the instrumental accompaniment to a song”. I got that from Wikipedia, by the way.

Anyway, the Bag of Riddim 2 Portable Audio System is kind of a cross between the Riddim BT and Get Together Mini. Like the Riddim BT, it is portable, but in a different way, which I will explain later. As for how it compares to the Get Together Mini, it is actually bigger, which is strange, because the Get Together Mini isn’t made to portable.

You can see that there is a bag thing that surrounds the speaker, and it is a great way to carry this great sound with you. I have to admit, it is a really good idea, and I don’t see a lot of other companies “borrowing” this design.

As for the specs, it has 2 x 3.5″ Woofer and 2 x 1″ Tweeter, as well as some bass ports. This one comes with a USB for charging a device, and it has 10 hours worth of playtime.

This one has a 12V AC adapter, but what makes this really great is that it has a bag that you can zip closed. So you can put that adapter and its various plugs in that small pouch.

I personally recommend all of these products, and if you want the Bag of Riddim 2, you can go to the House of Marley site and lay down $299.99.

Posted by on December 19th, 2016 No Comments

Sol Republic Relays Sport Wireless and Amps Air

sol-republic-2I don’t know why this is the first time that I am reviewing something by Sol Republic, but I can tell you that I hope it isn’t the last time. From what I can tell, they make a lot of great Bluetooth audio products like Jabra.

I’ll start with my review of the Relays Sport Wireless. This is one of those wireless Bluetooth earbuds that are made for those that love to exercise. These particular guys are “sweat resistant”.

You know how most of these physical fitness wireless Bluetooth headsets have these funny banana shapes on them to keep them in your ear? Well, you might notice that the Relays Sport Wireless don’t have those. Instead, there is this circular thing there that is designed to keep them in your ear, and I would imagine that it is patented technology. It also keeps your ears from hurting from having these earbuds in for too long.

In addition to the wireless and stick-it-in-your ear quality, there is the added bonus of having great sound. It has the “high energy deep bass and clear vocals”. There is another bonus of being able to activate Siri, control volume, and pause/resume/skip thanks to the one-button controls.

You should be able to purchase the Relays Sport Wireless for $79.99 in black, teal, and yellow on the Sol Republic site.

sol-republic-1Now it is time to talk about another pair of wireless earbuds called the Amps Air. This is one of those wireless in-ear headphones that is simply two little things that you put in your ear. I have said several times before that these types of Amps Air earbuds will replace the Relays Sport Wireless type of earbuds.

It is pretty obvious why. Why have the wire going in between your earbuds when you can just put one in one ear and one in the other. Like the aforementioned relays, these are resistant to both rain and sweat, and presumably earwax.

Granted, you will have less of a charge with them, as they are only good for 3 hours on a single charge. That might not sound like a lot, but it includes a USB-rechargeable charging case that can provide up to 15 full charges.

If this sounds good to you, then you can get this as a Best Buy exclusive. It is available on the Best Buy site for $179.99, but you can find out more information on it on the Sol Republic site.

Just to let you know, I’ve been seeing a lot of models from other companies like the Relays Sport Wireless and the Amps Air. I recently got off the phone with the guy who sent me these to review, and most users of both these products for music and not fitness. However, it looks like these products are designed with fitness in mind, so you should check these out if you are into exercise.

Posted by on December 18th, 2016 No Comments

Jam Audio Review: Jam Symphony and Jam Rhythm WiFi Home Audio Speakers

jam-audio-1I have written about Jam Audio products in the past, and I was surprised that I was sent these two stereo speakers to review. This is our review of the Jam Rhythm and the Jam Symphony, which allows streaming music from your phone through these speakers.

What is interesting is that you can sync up to eight of these Jam Audio WiFi speakers which will literally flood your house with sound. Seriously, I don’t live in a house with eight rooms, but these speakers can really flood the place with your music.

In order get your music on this connected speaker system, you need to download the free JAM application to stream Spotify, Rhapsody, iHeart Radio, with any personal music library.

jam-audio-2Now, I will have to admit that the Jam Rhythm and Jam Symphony doesn’t have a lot of differences between the specs. They have booming sound of immense bass with Massive 2.1 stereo sound.

Oh yes, one is bigger than the other. You can find the Jam Symphony on the Jam Audio site for $169.99, and you can find the smaller Jam Rhythm for about $119.99.

Posted by on December 14th, 2016 No Comments

Hands on with the Helix Cuff from Ashley Chloe

ashley-chloe-2I first encountered the Helix Cuff at CES 2016 last January, and it often takes a year before I can get the tech in my hands for review. I had never heard of the company Ashley Chloe, but they have certainly made a very unique product.

It appears that the Helix Cuff was created to meet a demand in the iPhone market. Even months before it was released, it was rumored that it wouldn’t have a headphone jack. So it just makes sense to invest in Bluetooth earbuds. What makes the Helix Cuff interesting is how these Bluetooth earbuds are implemented.

The Helix Cuff is a bracelet that locks on the wrist really well, and you can use it to store the Bluetooth Wireless earbuds. It is very unique how it does it, and you would honestly never know that the earbuds were even there. It looks like the Helix Cuff is marketed for ladies, as it could easily be mistaken for jewelry.

These wireless earbuds can respond to voice commands so you can access Siri or similar program on an Android phone. They also use aptX technology for great sound, and I can testify to how good that it is.

So, I would like to think that there is a future for the Ashley Chloe and the Helix Cuff, and it is hopefully yours. Seriously, if this is something that you want, I will highly recommend it, and it can be purchased on the Ashley Chloe site for $199.

Posted by on December 13th, 2016 No Comments

Spracht Konf-X Buds In-Ear Headset

spracht-1Every once in a while, I lose track of a company, and when it comes to Spracht, it has been four years since my last report with the BluNote + Chat. Spracht is one of those companies that makes a lot of Bluetooth headsets and speakers, but their products seem targeted toward those in business. These are the Konf-X Buds, and I have no idea how to pronounce them.

The Konf-X Buds are Noise Cancelling In-Ear Voice/Music Headset with multiple microphones for better conferencing. In many ways, the product reminds me of those wireless headsets that used to be around before smartphones became a thing.

Something tells me that the Konf-X Buds will work a lot better, as it has 3 MEMS impedance matched mics. Two of these are made to cancel out noise, and the other is made for the enhanced conferencing. By the way, there is a Mon button that can temporarily suspend Noise Cancellation, which will hopefully hear someone talking to you. The Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) In Ear Headset blocks out 90 percent of all outside noise.

If this sounds something that you would want for business and/or personal use, the Konf-X Buds can be purchased for $79.99 on the Spracht site.

Posted by on December 13th, 2016 No Comments

Sengled Pulse Solo, a Light Bulb/Speaker

sengled-1Here’s a really interesting product from Sengled known as the Pulse Solo, which has a function as cool as it’s name. It is essentially a light bulb that acts as a Bluetooth speaker.

Not just any type of Bluetooth speaker, but an integrated JBL speaker. It has 3-watt speakers, on two sides of the bulb. All you need to do is just screw it in, and you can hear the tones as you pair it.

From there, it is as simple as playing your tunes, and now what makes light also makes sound as well. Whoa, that sentence actually came out better than I thought. In case you are wondering why it is called the Pulse Solo, it is because it can only work on itself.

By the way, there is an Android/iOS app that can control the light, not to mention the sound. Now that is one useful feature!

Yes, this is something really great, but I will have to say that I wish the light was more spread-out, as it is only on top. Yeah, this is hard to explain, but I suppose if you have a product that is a stereo speaker, where else are you going to have the speaker.

You should be able to purchase the Pulse Solo on the Sengled website for about $49.99, which might be a mark down from the usual $59.99 price.

Posted by on December 8th, 2016 No Comments

Monster Christmas, Part 2: iSport Victory Bluetooth Athlete’s Headphone

monster-2I once reported last year for Monster that they want to “get rid of the crappy earbud” with the Clarity earbuds. It looks like Monster is keeping their promise of not making crappy earbuds and have made some Bluetooth ones for athletes.

The Monster iSport Victory Bluetooth is made for those who want to keep their tunes with them as they are working out. If you are the type of person who exercises about 8 hours a day, the iSport Victory should do it.

I believe what makes it a sports or athletic earbud is the fact that it comes in two sound profiles, warm-up and sports, along with Turbo Mode. It is also quite durable and sweatproof, and the cable is reflective for night running.

By the way, they are not only Bluetooth wireless, but they have some very light weight going on them. They have some secure fit ear-hooks, so they will stay in the ear, unlike a plain set of earbuds.

If this is something that you want or need, head on over to the Monster site and lay down $99.95. They are available in Black, Green, or Blue.

Posted by on December 6th, 2016 No Comments