Silver Belkin, Part 2: Belkin Air Protect SheerForce Case

belkin-3Okay, time to look at another Belkin product, and this is Air Protect SheerForce Case for the iPhone 7 Plus.

I have to admit that I always like iPhone cases like this. Granted, I was given the one for the iPhone 7 Plus, but you can see what I mean. It is transparent, which means you might not be able to see that there is even a case on your type of iPhone.

As for the name of Air Protect, it is so named because of the Air Protect Technology. It has some kind of air pockets on the side for some interesting protection on the sides of the phone, plus access to all the buttons.

The Belkin Air Protect SheerForce Case has a soft squishy feel to it, and I always like the feel of them. They are very durable as well.

You should be able to purchase the Air Protect SheerForce Case for the iPhone 7 Plus on the Belkin site for about $29.99.

The Mod Mic 5 from Antlion Audio

mod-mic-1Yes, this is the ModMic 5, and I have actually heard that there are four of them before this. I haven’t really heard of them, but is it really possible to hear about every tech product in existence? I’m trying to keep up with them on this blog alone.

Needless to say, the ModMic 5 has an interesting function. It is made to add a high performance microphone to any pair of headphones. In fact, it has dual microphones for maximum flexibility. I suppose that people who don’t have a microphone on their headphones really need this product. It can attach to a pair of headphones with magnetic clasps, and it has a cable clasp for protecting wires.

It also comes with a Y-adapter and a powered USB adapter to allow for current generations of whatever devices that you could bring up. I should probably tell you about some of the features, it has a noise canceling uni-directional cardioid capsule for loud environments or a sensitive omni-directional capsule for high quality voice recordings. It has a modular mute switch and a flexible design.

So, if you want to get into the ModMic 5, head on over to the AntLion Audio site and lay down $69.99 for it.

Silver Belkin, Part 1: The Valet Charger

belkin-1Okay, I must be getting pretty desperate with my Christmas puns, as I had to resort to “Silver Belkins” with this one. Yes, this is another review of a Belkin product, and I am going to start with the Valet Charger.

The Valet Charger is a Power Pack 6700 mAh for an Apple Watch and an iPhone. You can see in the picture here how it is your typical mobile battery, and you can insert your USB cord there and get some juice for your phone. The Valet Charger comes with a micro USB cord to, for charging the battery.

I believe what makes this really interesting is that it has a place where you can just put your Apple Watch. Yes, you can just lay it there, and you can charge your Apple Watch and your iPhone at the same time. The Valet Charger has some smart chips that can automatically detect the connected devices to charge instantly, and it is safe charging as well.

Apparently, it has the power to recharge an Apple Watch eight times, and an iPhone three times. So, if this is something that you want, go to the Belkin site and lay down $99.99 for it.

A Very Ventev Christmas: Chargesync, Mini Charger, Powercell, Minipro Window Dashmount, and Wallport

ventev-3I have had some great experiences with Ventev products before, and it began several years ago when I encountered them at a conference like CTIA or something. This is a company that makes some great accessories that can do just about anything. Today, I am going to be reviewing five products from them that were sent to me.

I’ll go ahead and talk about the Chargesync Alloy Apple Lightning Cable. There are several charging cables that you can buy from Ventev alone, and this one is for Apple devices and the one I got to review was 4 feet long.

I am told that this has “an ultra-sleek brushed aluminum housing and is braided with a high tensile wrap providing a premium finish and ‘no-fray’ durability”. The end result is a cable that feels very hard and tough, like a metal chain without the links.

It is pretty great, and it is available in eight colors for a price of $29.99 on the Ventev site.

ventev-2I’ll start with the Dashport r1240 mini, which is made for a cigarette lighter. Okay, those that don’t smoke probably use that thing near the radio as a charger, and so do I. It is kind of interesting how we learned to adapt, right?

Anyway, the Ventev r1240 mini charger is able to give your car an extra USB port, and it will charge up a 2.4A output. This allows for charging a smartphone or tablet at its most fast rate.

You should be able to purchase this at Ventev’s website for a price of $24.99.

ventev-4So let’s talk about the Powercell 3015+ Battery Charger, which is a portable battery and wall charger.

It isn’t anything that we haven’t seen before, and this is one of those types that have one of those retractable prongs so you can just plug it into the wall. What makes this really interesting is that instead of having 4 little lights to indicate how much power it has. Instead, it has a percentage on the side, so I will give them points for being different.

This mobile battery can deliver 12.5 hours of extra talk time, and it costs about $39.99 on the Ventev site.

ventev-1As for the Ventev Minipro Window Dashmount, this is one of those things that allows you to attach your smartphone to your windshield.

How does it do that? Well, it has one of those suction cup things where you push a handle down, and it will stick there. I’m sure that this thing has a proper name, but I’ll be darned if I know what it is.

Anyway, the suction-cup thingy is attached to a claw. This claw is spring loaded so it can open up and you can plant the smartphone in it. You can then use the phone’s map function safer on the road, and you can adjust the angle thanks to a ball-in-socket functionality.

This can be purchased on the Ventev site for about $24.99.

ventev-5Okay, it is time to write about the last product, the Ventev wallport r2240 charger. I’m not certain how to describe it other than a universal dual output USB port.

So yeah, you have not one, but two ports that you can use on a typical outlet. And yes, it can charge two devices at the fastest possible rate, and this includes tablets.

Yeah, I’m not certain what else I can say about this. I mean, I had to review it because it was sent to me. Okay, that is the first and last time that I will say that about any product that I am reviewing.

Anyway, all five of these products would make great stocking stuffers or gifts, and this one is available on the Ventev site for $29.99.

Yule Logitech, Part 1: G231 Prodigy Gaming Headset

logitech-g213-prodigy-gaming-headsetWell, I had a terrific time reviewing some products from Logitech, and I like making Christmas puns, so this is Yule Logitech! Get it? I’m going to start with the Logitech G231 Prodigy Gaming Headset.

It seems like I have been reviewing a lot of gaming headsets lately, and the ones that I like are the lightest ones. The G231 Prodigy is one that I picked up and it was like feathers.

But enough about weight, we’ll go ahead and talk about the sound. Since it has 40 mm neodymium drivers, it has high-quality stereo sound for full immersion in your games. The are good for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and the PC. I am not certain if the mesh cloth ear cups have anything to do with it, but it certainly sounds just fine.

The G231 has a folding unidirectional microphone, which will allow you to adjust so you can be heard. Speaking of folding, the earpieces is able to lay flat on the floor, as the earcups can swivel 90 degrees. Oh, and referencing the last sentence about speaking of being heard, there are some on-cable controls to keep the sound close at hand.

If that sounds like something that you might like, you can pick it up on the Logitech site for $69.99.

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.

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.

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.

Our Review of the Jimu Robot Tankbot from UBTECH

tankbotIn case you are wondering, this is a sequel review to our review of the Buzzbot and Muttbot. This is the same robot building kit from Jimu Robot from UBTECH, and you can read my review of that at the link, as well as my comparison to Lego.

The Tankbot is one of those robot kits where I am surprised that all the pieces that are in the kit are used, with only a few exceptions. Generally, the Lego collections allow for more than one creation. In the case of the Tankbot, what you see is the main thing that you can build, but you can build a lot with it.

Okay, I suppose that I should stop making Lego comparisons. Perhaps I can just get this other comparison out of the way and say that the Tankbot resembles a certain robot who was the star of a Pixar film. I mean, look at the colors of orange and black! I’ll spell it out for you: Tankbot is WALL-E.

The Tankbot is not able to crush garbage into little cubes, but he does have some cool tank treads. He can also reach out and grab things. My son and I tried it out and we found that he was quite adept at grabbing soda cans.

Like the Buzzbot/Muttbot, it comes with six servos, which are the small motors used to power certain things. In this case, it can operate both treads individually, which allows the Tankbot to turn on a dime with the remote control.

I have already talked about how the Jimu Robots use an Apple or Android device for Bluetooth wireless control in my last review, but there is something else that the Buzzbot/Muttbot doesn’t have. This has an infrared sensor that allows the Tankbot to pick up, detect, and maneuver objects around it. It is possible to program this, but I have to admit that I didn’t spend a lot of time doing this. My son seemed to take it on and was getting used to it in minutes.

Yes, this is one of those STEM toys that will educate kids as well as entertaining them. It is a toy that I will recommend, just like I will recommend the other models. You can get it for about $149.95.

As a holiday bonus, I have an unboxing video here with me and my son! This one addresses the Buzzbot/Muttbot, as well as the Tankbot.

Gumdrop Cases for the Holidays 4: DropTech iPhone 7 Case

gumdrop-4Okay, this is the last review of a product from Gumdrop Cases. This time, it is the DropTech Series for the iPhone 7, and it is different than the other ones that I have reviewed.

Unlike my first three cases that I have reviewed, this Gumdrop Case is made for the smartphone. I was thinking that it would have that tire tread look to it, but it actually is a transparent case. The border is that rubbery feel that feels imported from the aforementioned tire tread tablet cases.

Just to let you know, the transparent protection is only on one side. So it will cover the back of your iPhone, but you will have to purchase a screen protector for the front. By the way, the case has an obvious “Gumdrop Cases” label on it. Then again, I don’t think I know any case of a protective case that didn’t have a label on it.

All in all, I would recommend this, so head over to the Gumdrop Cases site and lay down $34.95 for it, and snap in your iPhone 7.