PDP, Part 1: Afterglow LVL 5 Plus and Afterglow AG 9 for the PS4

pdp-1Well, it has been a while since we have reviewed a PDP product, and they are best known for creating video game accessories that can glow. I requested quite a bit of products from this company, and I was surprised that they sent a bunch to me. Today, I’m going to be talking about two products, specifically for the PS4 with the Afterglow LVL 5 Plus and the Afterglow AF 9.

The LVL 5 Plus has 40 mm Neodymium drivers as well as a dynamic haptic driver. This great sound will be on your on your head in the form of a comfortable headband design, and you can drown out the rest of the world with some over the ear cups.

While I’m on the subject of ear cups, PDP was smart enough to put the volume and mute right on the ear cup. There is also a nice and adjustable boom microphone.

Oh, and by the way, it does have the lights. They are blue because it is the PS4. I think the model for the Xbox One is green. I wonder if the color of the lights is some kind of standard for gaming systems.

You should be able to find the Afterglow LVL 5 Plus on the PDP site for $49.99. Okay, just to let you know, the Afterglow LVL 5 Plus for the PS4 is a wired headset, but the Afterglow AG 9 is completely wireless.

pdp-2Well, I suppose that is as good of an excuse to start talking about the Afterglow AG 9, and it has powerful 50 mm drivers with two distinct audio modes of Bass Boost and Pure Audio. It also has a unique headband design for adjusting for comfort, and it has the blue lights.

Another feature is the boom microphone that is flexible and removable. Yes, it is made for making conversation online while you are playing on the PS4. The wireless capability is achieved thanks to the included USB transmitter.

You should be able to purchase the Afterglow AG 9 on the PDP site for $99.99.

Hands-on Review of Jabra, Part 2: Sport Pulse Special Edition

jabra-2This is a Jabra Sport Pulse Special Edition, and it is another one of those wireless earbuds that goes around your neck. It is billed as “the world’s first sports headphones with automatic fitness testing”.

The Jabra Sport Pulse Special Edition has a built-in heart rate monitor in the ear. It is apparently made with US military standards, which means that it can withstand war or the worst workout, maybe both. Seriously, if something is military standard, that means it can take a hit, right? Well, this also has passive noise cancellation and enhanced bass.

It also has automatic VO2 Max tracking, which is “a scientific way to measure your absolute fitness”. It is a way of getting the maximum rate of oxygen that the body consumes during exercise, and helps determine the endurance level. So it has some VO2 Max levels for enhancing the user’s performance, as I don’t know much about this until I read about it. I think this is what makes this the Special Edition, but i’m not really certain.

These can do music and take calls for about 5 hours. That might not sound like much, but how long is your workout, anyway? By the way, you can integrate with apps like Endomondo, Strava, MapMyFitness, Runkeeper, and Runtastic. There is also a Jabra Sport Life app that will plan and monitor your exercise performance.

In case you are worried about the earbuds falling out, that won’t happen as it has a perfectly secure fit with COMPLY isolation foam ear tips. I am told that it has a 3-year warranty against sweat, so it must be resistant against some wetness and weather as well.

If this sounds like something you want, then head over to Jabra site and pay $159.99 for them.

The Scribble n’ Play from Boogie Board

boogie-boardYou might be familiar with Boogie Board as they make these eWriters. They are not the eReaders like a Kindle, but something that you can write on electronically. While it may not be the Sync that allows you to save something, the Scribble n Play is definitely made for a younger audience.

You should be able to write or draw on the Scribble n Play with anything like your fingernail, and it leaves a rainbow trace. I didn’t know how to describe it any better than that. By the way, your drawing can be erased at the touch of a button.

If you want to save your drawing, there is an eWriter app that is available only for Apple products. You can save your creation, and upload it to the cloud, sharing it with everyone. I checked, and I couldn’t find it on Google Play.

Of course, you don’t want to use your fingernail when drawing on this, so it is fortunate that it comes with four styluses. These are the yellow things that fit on the sides of the Scribble n Play, and they have four different points. One is a small point like a Sharpie, the other is a Magic Marker, another is a like a small comb, and the last is a wide tip.

The only downside is this: I found out that the styluses have these side marks, but they don’t really do anything. Like they have these waves, but if you press them on the board, they don’t make waves. You’re going to have to try it out to see.

The Boogie Board Scribble n Play has this rubber blue band so you can strap it to your hand, which is another great feature. If you have someone who has young hands, or you just need something to scribble on, then the Boogie Board Scribble n Play is for you, and it can be purchased for $34.99 on the Boogie Board site.

Hands-on Review of Jabra, Part 1: Halo Smart Wireless Earbuds

jabra-1I have reviewed a lot of Jabra products in the past, and I am pleased to review another with the Halo Smart Wireless Earbuds. They are one of those that wrap around the back of the head, like the iHome FIT Wireless, and I am told from Jabra that this style will soon be replaced with the wireless earbuds (coming next year from Jabra).

I am told that the Jabra Halo Smart can be worn all day, and part of it is the design. There is some kind of bendable design to make it easy. I will have to admit that I’m sort of becoming immune to the feeling of headphones in my ears, as I have them practically in my ears all the time.

Of course, you can be listening to music and take phone calls. It is definitely made for the Siri and Google Now era as there is a special button devoted for it. I suppose if these are comfortable enough to wear all day, then you might as well have your personal voice assistant to talk to.

The Halo Smart allows for 17 hours of talk time or 15 hours of music on a full charge. There is an app that tells you how much battery life is available.

Another feature is that the Halo Smart is wind and weather resistant, but that is all the information that I have about it. It doesn’t sound like you can dip them in water, and believe me, I am not testing that.

You can purchase the Jabra Halo Smart on the Jabra site in Black, Black with Blue, and Black with Red for $79.95

Hands on with the Thinium ReCHARGE+

thinium-1I think that the Thinium ReCHARGE+ is very close to another product that I just reviewed this week with the Prong. This particular charger is not made to be a charger and case, but is a decent enough mobile battery. This is the Thinium ReCHARGE+, and it is made for micro USB Android phones.

I’ve been noticing a particular trend in mobile batteries to have these prongs that fold out so you can plug it into the wall, and that certainly makes the Thinium ReCHARGE+ the charger for everybody.

The Thinium ReCHARGE+ is essentially a plastic rectangle that has some great stuff on it. It has this micro USB that can just pop out at the bottom, and then you can plug in the ReCHARGE+ to charge it up. By the way, there are some suction cups included to make certain that your Android phone stays in one place.

To recharge the ReCHARGE+, you just extend the USB connector and plug it into a USB port, because every device has one these days. By the way, the ReCHARGE+ has a USB port for charging other things.

I highly recommend the Thinium ReCHARGE+ if you have an Android phone, and it really comes in handy. It is available on the Thinium site for about $69.99.

iHome for the Holidays, Part 3: iHome Wireless Bluetooth Speaker or iBT9

ihome-3Okay, so it is time to conclude our iHome review products for the holiday with a product that isn’t going out of style anytime soon, the wireless, waterproof, and shockproof Bluetooth speaker. That’s about the best name I can give this product, besides its name of iBT9.

I’ll just get this out of the way and say that I have seen this product before from Fugoo and others, but this does not make it inferior. The iHome Waterproof speaker is understandably waterproof and dustproof, and it is also made to be shockproof.

Just imagine taking this to the beach. That seems to be the thing that I always say when I am reviewing speakers like this. You can stream your tunes to it via Bluetooth, so make certain that your tablet or smartphone has a good playlist. I’m told that you have nine hours with a full charge.

This has the usual stuff like an aux-in jack, and a USB port for charging other devices. So it is part speaker and part mobile battery.

You should be able to pick the iBT9 up at the iHome site for about $99.99.

Reticare Protectors on Screens Reduce Eye Damage

reticareOkay, it is time to talk about something potentially uncomfortable. The issue is that we are living in a world of screens on our smartphones, tablets, and computers, but we are not thinking about the effect of it. Fortunately, there is Reticare.

I first encountered Reticare at CES 2016, and I allowed the spokesperson the time it took to discuss the problem with our modern age. I guess I knew that I wanted to write about it there.

The issue is that new digital device screens emit 5 times more high energy light than previous ones, and this high exposure to light increases eye strain and increase risk factors to the retina. This can lead to eye strain and even do some irreversible damage to your retina.

Blocking this high-energy light will improve cell survival, and so this is what Reticare is for. As you can see, it is a cover for the iPhone, and it is also available for tablets, laptops, and monitors.

I wish I could say that I saw improvement with Reticare, but the issue is that Reticare is made for long-term improvement. This is something that really needs to be proven to see if it works well. I am told that it reduces risks of sleep disorders, eye strain, and macular degeneration.

The issue is that isn’t your iPhone worth the $19.99 for a decent screen protector that might protect your eyes as well? I would definitely say that it is worth it, and can be purchased for $19.99 on the Reticare site.

iHome for the Holidays, Part 2: iHome FIT Wireless or iB73 Earbuds

ihome-2Well, it is now the second day of the iHome holidays with the iHome Fit Wireless. This product, also known as the iB73, is one of those Bluetooth 4.0 earbuds that goes around the neck.

Granted, it is probably not the first Bluetooth product of its type for iHome, and these type of models are being phased out by the wireless earbuds that will be the thing to have in 2017.

However, let’s live in the now and talk about the iPX5-rated water resistant and sweat-proof design. Yes, it is definitely designed for those with active lifestyles, and the custom fit ear cushions should keep the iHome iB73 in your ears.

They also have that built-in microphone for a switch so you can take phone calls. The controls are located very close to the ears, by the way. It’s odd design, but at least your fingers will find it quickly.

As far as the amount of time you will have to listen to your tunes, I am told that you got about 8-10 hours on a full charge. Of course, it includes the micro USB cable and a handy travel pouch.

You should be able to purchase the iHome Fit Wireless on the iHome site for $79.99 in blue, red, or green.

Brydge 12.9: Keyboard for the 12.9-inch Version iPad

brydge-1I have reviewed Brydge products before, and they make some really terrific keyboards for the iPad. There are a lot of keyboards made for tablets, and this has some special clamps made to hold an iPad. I was pleased to try out the Brydge for the 12.9 inch iPad Pro.

Other than the bigger width, I wasn’t certain what I was expecting. The 12.9 inch iPad Pro fits right in the clamps, and it then folds up together. Part of the surprise was the light weight, because an iPad Pro 12.9 and the 12.9 inch Brydge actually weigh less than the 13-inch MacBook Pro. That’s good engineering, considering that the keyboard is all aluminum.

This is the beauty of the Brydge, as it can turn an Apple tablet into a laptop, or the next best thing, at least. It’s great for someone who is more productive when hearing the clickity-click of keyboard buttons, rather than being dependent on touchscreen technology. So it is perfect for the older generation, like me. By the way, the hinge can go back 180 degrees, better than most laptops.

brydge-3So, how good is the battery life? Like the model for the 9.7 inch iPad, it is good for 3 months on a full charge, and can be charged via the included micro USB cable. As an added bonus, the keyboard has backlit keys.

At this writing, the Brydge 12.9 is available on the Brydge company website for a price of $169.99. That could be a special holiday price as it regularly goes for $189.99. It is available in Silver, Space Gray, or Gold.

iHome for the Holidays, Part 1: Vanity Speaker or iHome iCVBT5

ihome-1Ah, yes, there is nothing like iHome for the Holidays. I have reviewed many iHome products many a time. So many times, that I just don’t feel like putting in hyperlinks. I’m going to close out this week with three different iHome products, and I’m going to start with the most unusual: the iHome Vanity Speaker or iCVBT5.

The iCVBT5 is essentially made to be that one vanity mirror that we all have to take a good look at ourselves. It has the 1x and 5x magnification settings, and it also has some bright LED action going on. The issue is that this vanity mirror is a speaker.

You can join it with a mobile device via Bluetooth or just a wired connection. The iHome Vanity Speaker is something that should be wireless, but it does require plugging it into the wall. I’m not certain if you should use it by your bathroom sink if you are worried that the cord could get wet. What is interesting is how the iHome iCVBT5 has a USB port, so you can charge something while you’re looking at yourself.

The one drawback for the iCVBT5 is that the box says full spectrum color, and I thought that meant you could make the LED light on it any color. That might be a great feature for the next version of this product, but sadly, the only color of the light is white.

Still, the iHome Vanity Speaker is a very, very useful item for any home in any room. It is available on the iHome website for $99.99.