Outdoor Technologies for the Holidays, Part 1: Rhinos Rugged Wireless Headphones and Tags 2.0 Wireless Earbuds

It’s pretty great that there is a company that makes a lot of terrific electronics for the outdoors with an appropriate name like Outdoor Electronics. I’m going to be reviewing six of their products in the next few days, and I am going to start with two audio products with the Rhinos Wireless Headphones and the Tags 2.0 Wireless Earbuds.

Outdoor Technology Rhinos Rugged Waterproof Wireless Headphones

I suppose that the company named these Rugged Waterproof Wireless Headphones the Rhino because that particular animal is just so tough. I suppose that if a Rhino was a pair of headphones, it would have 40 mm drivers, right? I definitely associate this animal with being IPX6 Waterproof and shockproof, which means they can be dunked in water, and they will even float. Now I didn’t want to give them that particular test, but I am told that you just have to shake off the excess the water.

Since this is wireless I should probably get the stat of the playtime out of the way. It has 8 hours worth of playtime, and there is an ODT Audio application for iOS and Android that works with it.

I’m sure that I don’t have to say this, but there is a built-in microphone with controls for adjusting the volume, changing tracks, play/pause, and answering calls. Something that I did see that was different is that there is a walkie-talkie function, a button that allows to communicate in a private group of up to 99 people.

In short, I’m going to recommend the Rhinos for the holiday season, and you can find them on the Outdoor Technology site for about $129.95.

Outdoor Technologies Tags 2.0 Wireless Earbuds

Okay, let’s talk about some audio that is a little smaller with the Tags 2.0. Unlike the Rhino, I am not certain why it is called the Tags. I’m guessing that is the second version, hence the 2.0 label.

Anyway, these guys are good for 5 hours on a single charge, and it has some good sound too with a built-in microphone. It also has some inline controls similar to the Rhino like the volume and play/pause, on the wire and not the earcup.

What is interesting is that the cord is made thick so it will not tangle up. Also, the Tags 2.0 have a feature where you can snap them together when not in use. Then you just wear them like a necklace, and I should probably let you know that they are sweat and splash resistant.

You should be able to purchase the Tags 2.0 on the Outdoor Technology website for about $39.95.

Black Friday Holiday Gift Guide 2017

Well, Black Friday seems to come earlier every year, and so I felt that I had to write this on Thanksgiving. If you are one of those that believes he/she can get his/her shopping done early, then here is some advice, particularly for those who go online.

How about Headphones?

Let’s start with Beyerdynamic’s DT 770 Studio.

You might want to get some when you sleep with the Soft-Tones Pillow Speaker. You can also try the SleepPhones by Acoustic Sheep.

There are models that are wired and wireless from ZAGG’s iFrogz.

You can get some great earbuds from 1More with the Dual Driver LTNG ANC In-Ear Headphones.

Need a pair of Bluetooth earbuds?

I would suggest the Jabra Elite 25e for wired action. For wireless action, check out the New Elite Sport, also from Jabra.

The SleepPhones have a wireless version.

Oh, did I mention the iHome Fit (iB71), because that exists too.

Then there is the MOXYO Mission Wireless Earbuds.

There’s a Computer Accessory for you!

I recommend the IOGEAR Compact USB-C Docking Station with PD Pass-Thru and the Thunderbolt 3 to Dual 4K DisplayPort Adapter.

Then there is the OWC Thunderbolt Dock 3.

J5Create has several types that you can read about here and here.

You should see what Accell is making.

Need a Case for your Smartphone/Tablet?

UAG has some great ones like the iPhone 8/7 like the Monarch and PYLO, as well as the iPhone X.

Go with brands like Patchworks!

Now Toast gives you some good cover as well!

Catalyst also has several of them for the iPhone X and Apple Watch.

There are also some great ones from X-Doria. This might not be a case, but I recommend Armpocket for when you take your phone out on the road.

Oh, you should also get yourself a screen protector, like the type made by Invisible Shield.

Then there are the ones from Nomad.

There are also some from Bodyguardz.

If you want a Folio case for your iPad, check out these two from ZAGG.

Looking for a gift for a gamer?

There is the Crusher Wireless from Skullcandy.

There is the Custom Game for Beyerdynamic. Then there is always the SteelSeries Rival 110.

There is also the Logitech G433, a 7.1 Wired Surround Gaming Headset.

Chargers are always needed!

There are ChargeHub X3 and X5.

It is similar to the Nomad 3-Port Hub, Powerpack, and the Charging Cables.

Check out the RapidX DualX and X5 Rapid Car Charger.

Then there is the myCharge AdventureUltra and AdventureMax.

You can also go solar with the PowerKeep 12 and 36, as well as the Powerkeep Wanderer.

The M-EDGE Packlight, Tech Sackpack, and 8000 mAh Power Bank are also worth it.

Then there is the Bobine Flexible iPhone Dock.

Need to Boost your phones’ reception?

I would recommend the Wilson Drive Sleek Signal Booster for cars.

How about a Bluetooth speaker?

There is the iHome iBT77 Speaker as well as the iBT374. Then there is the iAVS1 for the Amazon Echo Dot. There is also the iPLWBT5 for the Apple Watch and your smartphone.

Need a keyboard?

Check out the Matias Wireless Aluminum Keyboard with Backlight.

Cherry also has the MX Board Silent and the G80-3850 MX Brown 3.0.

Like taking pictures with your smartphone?

Get yourself an Olloclip Pivot!

How about something for a biker?

No problem. Get the SmartHalo.

Want something for the kitchen?

Look no further than the Gourmia GTA1500 Digital Electric Air Fryer, Griller, and Roaster.

Traveling for the holiday?

I recommend the eGee Touch TSA Smart Travel Lock.

#ChurchToo: Victims Speak up About Sexual Abuse Within the Church

We talked about the #MeToo movement that was initiated by Alyssa Milano after the Harvey Weinstein scandals came out. There’s another important related topic to this that Christians need to be aware of. A new awareness campaign is coming to the light with #ChurchToo.

Yes, sexual abuse happens in churches as well. Not just the Catholics, but LDS, Protestants, et al.

People are taking to Twitter and other social media to bring this to light.

I find in general that people get a false sense of security when it comes to leadership, and most other people in religious settings. Many trust that because one is a youth pastor, or a leader of a church, that no harm can be done. I’ve heard too many terrible stories to think otherwise.

In the church we previously attended, they did make sure to do background checks for those working in the nurseries. Men were only allowed to change the diapers of their own children. I am still trying to decide if that is sexist, but I can see it as the church trying to cover themselves, which is probably smart on their part. Personally, I thought parents should be called to do their own diaper changes, but that was because nursery workers could get stretched thin at times. Of course, nursery age isn’t the only ones needing to be protected, so I encourage parishioners to find out what is being done to protect kids of all ages in their church.

 

Another thing that churches need to stop doing, and I mentioned this in the #MeToo post, is we need to stop blaming the victims. This really needs to stop. Women and girls shouldn’t be told that they need to wear a cover up from head to toe to make sure that they don’t cause boys/men to stumble. Our boys should learn how to properly treat females no matter what they wear.

The list goes on, and I encourage you to check out all the #ChurchToo stories.

Leave your thoughts and stories on this in the comments below!

The Jabra Elite 25e Review

Well, I sure am glad that I can review another Jabra product! Seems like only yesterday that I was reviewing the New Jabra Elite Sport, but it was actually last month. Yeah, Jabra is one of big leaders in the Bluetooth department, so I’m not about to say anything bad about them, nor about the Elite 25e.

You can see that the Jabra Elite 25e has quite a unique shape. The closest that I have reviewed recently was the Flex Force from iFrogz, where you can wear them around your neck and still put them in your ears.

That being said, let us discuss the numerous features such as the battery life, good for about 18 hours (22 days of standby). There is also a voice button the can connect you the user to Siri or Google Now, and thanks to its ability to resist the elements, the Elite 25e can be used in all types of weather.

So how is the sound? Well, if you like 10mm speakers, then you should like how the Elite 25e can handle your music, or even your phone calls.

You should be able to purchase the Jabra Elite 25e on the Jabra site for about $79.99, and it is a good deal.

IOGEAR Compact USB-C Docking Station with PD Pass-Thru

I must be on a kick with these computer accessories devices with J5Create, OWC, and this is my second one from IOGEAR (here’s the first one). I don’t know if this is going to be my last one for this holiday, but this is the Compact USB-C Docking Station with PD Pass-Thru (GUD3C03) is advanced.

You can see in the image how there is a male USB-C port to attach into such devices as a Windows USB-C laptop or a MacBook. Just to let you know, a Windows USB-C laptop can handle two extra monitors, while the Apple laptop can handle only one.

Since you can see the ports, I will let you know what they are. I’ll start with memory card readers for both SD and MicroSD, which means you have something to read your data with. Then there are also three USB 3.0 (Type A ports), good enough for charging and relaying data from any device with a USB output.

Then there is also three video connectivity options like HDMI, Mini DisplayPort and VGA ports. There is also an audio port in case you want to attach a pair of headphones or something of that nature. Oh, lest we forget ther is a GbE LAN port as well.

In addition to the 4K or Dual HD Monitor (1080p) setup, this can work as a mirror monitor possibility. There is also a way to charge your laptop when this device is docked. Just connect the manufacturer’s USB-C AC power adapter directly to the docking station while you work. All this, from a very portable device, and it fits in a purse or a large pocket.

It is hard to believe that something like this is available for such a small price of $99.95 on the IOGEAR site.

Thunderbolt 3 Dock from OWC

Once again, I am doing a review of a laptop/desktop accessory with the Thunderbolt 3 Dock from OWC. I am not certain what OWC stands for, but they seem to make a lot of really interesting products.

The Thunderbolt 3 Dock is enough to give your computer 13 ports, provided that it is plugged in with the Thunderbolt 3 cable. On the front is a USB 3.1 Generation 1 for delivering 5 GB data speed and power to the devices. There is also an expanded analog Audio In/Out to connect external speakers and mics. Oh, there is also an SD Card reader, which you can transfer a lot of files.

What is interesting is on the back are more ports. There are five USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, which is once again good for pretty much whatever you need. Then there is this S/PDIF pro-grade digital audio output for an enhanced audio performance, not to mention a FireWire 800 port and a Gigabit Ethernet port. Then there are two Thunderbolt 3 Ports which are good to up to 40 GBs. Then there is also a mini DisplayPort.

All of this is good for up to 40 Gb/s for two ultra HD 4k displays, or a 5K monitor. Oh, and it is great for more than that too, because it is just that good at what it does.

So if you have a home office or business, then this OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock is for you. It also comes with a 2-Year Limited Warranty. It can be purchased on sites like MacSales for $299.00.

IOGEAR Thunderbolt 3 to Dual 4K DisplayPort Adapter (GTC3DDP)

For some reason, I am reviewing a lot of computer accessories, as there are several ways to get your laptop/desktop to do more, provided you have the right tool. I’ve been reviewing IOGEAR products for a while, and I really like their Thunderbolt 3 to Dual 4K DisplayPort Adapter (GTC3DDP).

Basically, the Thunderbolt 3 to Dual 4K DisplayPort Adapter has a Thunderbolt 3 port and then gives you the capacity to plug in two DisplayPort 4K monitors in the two DisplayPort ports. You can also plug in a 5K monitor, provided you use both the ports.

So, it is a super handy graphical workstation, which means that you don’t need to purchase expensive graphical workstations. It has a capability to cycle the screen for up to 60 times a second, which is going to give you some really high quality video.

One thing that I really like about the Thunderbotl 3 to Dual 4K DisplayPort Adapter is how shiny the exterior is. I feel like it should be made durable, but I am not certain if it is.

You should be able to purchase it on the IOGEAR site for $99.95.

Patchworks Cases Omni Review

Today’s review is going to be very different today. This one comes from a company known as Patchworks, and I have reviewed their products in the past before. The last time was for the iPhone 7, Galaxy S7, and the Note 6. Yeah, you heard that last one right.

So, I am going to talk about all the cases that I received, starting with those for the iPhone X. Some of these reviews will have pictures, but some will not, and others will have prices that are only temporary.

Patchworks iPhone X Case Level ITG

Not certain what the ITG stands for, but maybe its Integrated…I can’t think of anything. Anyway, the Level ITG is certified U.S. Military Standard Drop Protection (MIL-STD-810G) for four foot drops.

Part of the reason for this protection is the shock absorbent Air Pocket on the inside that looks like a net. The rest is polycarbonate, and there is some kind of air pocket interior that helps the impact energy dispersion. It even has a pre-built space for a metal plate for a magnetic car kit.

You can purchase it on the Patchworks site in red, white, black, and pink for about $12.95.

Patchworks iPhone X Case Pure Shield EX

Unlike the Level ITG, the Pure Shield EX is a clear case, but with color on the edges. At least I know what the EX stands for, and it is “extreme”.

The Pure Shield EX has the same drop protection of four feet, but does not have that mesh thing going on in the inside. The edges have some kind of air pocket thing going on as well, and it has a real smooth grip about it.

The iPhone X Case Pure Shield EX is available on the Patchworks site for $12.95 with edges of black, gray, white, and red.

Patchworks iPhone X Case Silhouette

This next particular accessory is really minimalist, as it is just the edges. I have to admit that it has been a while since I reviewed anything like this.

It has that usual four-foot drop test passing grade, and it has an edge around it that has the same air pocket as the Pure Shield EX.

This really shows off the front and back of your iPhone X, but could leave the glass exterior a bit more vulnerable. It is available on the Patchworks site for red, white, black, pink, and gray.

Patchworks iPhone X Case Flexguard

Now this particular case looks a lot like the Level ITG, but it has a bit of a dotty texture. I don’t know how else to describe the exterior of it other than that.

As for the interior, it has that netted mesh look, with corners protected by the Poron XRD Extreme Impact Absorber, a very advanced shock resistant material. It is pretty lightweight, and quite rubbery.

This case is available on the Patchworks site for about $11.95, and only in black.

Patchworks iPhone X Case Level Aegis

If you are not familiar with “aegis”, it is another word for shield. It has that U.S. Military Standard Drop Protection, and has that four foot protection.

There is a German Polycarbonate with corners of Poron XD for extreme impact protection, with the mesh look of TPU. It also has the great air pocket interior, and you might notice that the exterior looks quite different.

It is available on the Patchworks site in black, red, white, and pink fpr $14.95.

Patchworks iPhone X Glass Screen Protector ITG Silicate

Now I am going to switch over to talking about iPhone X screen protectors. In this case, I will talk about another Patchworks product with ITG in its name with the ITG Silicate.

The ITG Silicate brags that it is 40 to 60 percent stronger than normal tempered glass screen protectors. So if you are trying to scratch it, good luck.

You can purchase the ITG Silicate for the iPhone X on the Patchworks site for $15.95.

Patchworks iPhone X Glass Screen Portector ITG Full Cover 3D

And now we have another great screen protector to review with the Full Cover 3D. I am assuming that the 3D is in its name because it makes the whole screen…protected. Yeah, the 3D covers the lip and so it is kind of three-dimensional.

Yes, the Full Cover 3D has a 9H hardness, anti-fingerprint, beveled edge, and a lot more. Considering the iPhone X being made of glass, you should have a lot of protection with this particular one.

The Full Cover 3D can be purchased on the Patchworks site for about $16.95.

Patchworks Chroma Cases for the iPhone 8/7 and iPhone 8/7 Plus

Okay, I am going to switch gears into the older and newer versions of the iPhone, but this is the Chroma. I am assuming it is called that because it is colorful, but it isn’t like it has a rainbow on it.

It is more vivid and metallic and it has the German polycarbonate on the outside and the TPU layer on the inside. The case can survive that four-foot drop, and it feels more smooth than it does rubbery.

You can purchase the Chroma for the iPhone 8/7 on the Patchworks site for about $13.95 in colors of silver, white, black, rose gold, and champagne gold (doesn’t look like the champagne gold is in stock, though). The one for the iPhone 8/7 Plus can be purchased on the Patchworks site here for the same price and colors.

Patchworks Galaxy S8 ITG Level Case

As someone who has recently purchased a Galaxy S8, I can say it is a slim phone, and this ITG Level Case is made for it well.

Of course, I have already talked about the ITG Level Case for the iPhone X, and the Galaxy S8 has the four-foot test going on, and that rib pattern on the inside made to take damage.

The Patchworks ITG Level Case for the Samsung Galaxy S8 is available on the Patchworks site for $12.95 in both black and red.

Patchworks Galaxy S8 Glass Screen Protector ITG Full Cover

So, there is a Patchworks ITG cover for the Galaxy S8, and it is no surprise that it comes with most of the same features as the one for the aforementioned iPhone X.

If you want a review, this means a 9H oil resistant coating, as well as scratch resistant. It is very easy to install with the double-coated adhesive, and it has a heat binding effect for the curved edge of Samsung’s latest smartphone.

The Patchworks ITG Full Cover for the Galaxy S8 for $14.95 on the Patchworks site.

Patchworks Galaxy Note 8 Level ITG Case

Okay, here’s the Level ITG case for the Galaxy Note 8, and this is what I will focus on for the next few cases/screen protectors. So what are we looking at here?

I would have to say nothing new, as it has passed the 4-foot drop test and has the rib patterns on the inside. I believe that in my previous reviews of the ITG Level cases that I didn’t bring up the anti-reflective ring around the camera hole.

You should be able to purchase the ITG Level Case for the Galaxy Note 8 in red, white, and black for $12.95 on the Patchworks site.

Patchworks Galaxy Note 8 Flexguard Case

Like I talked about with the Flexguard before, the Flexguard case has a rubbery feel, and it has the dotted texture so it keeps it from slipping out of your hand.

It also has that PORON XRD Extreme Impact absorber, which is good for taking what you want to lash out on the Flexguard, which shouldn’t be any more than life itself.

Looks like you can have the Flexguard in any color, provided that it is black. It is available on the Patchworks site for $11.95.

Patchworks Galaxy Note 8 Pure Shield Case

Like the other model I reviewed for the iPhone X, the Pure Shield case is completely clear. This one doesn’t have the “EX” in the title, but that doesn’t meant that it is not “extreme”.

This has a strong German polycarbonate with those aforementioned air pockets on the side for extra protection that is, of course, military grade. Yes, it has done the drop test and the protection test, so it is good.

The Pure Shield Case for the Galaxy Note 8 is available on the Patchworks site for $9.95.

Patchworks Galaxy Note 8 Contour Case

And now for a most unique case with the Contour! You can see how the back of it has this patch of transparency on it, for some reason. It is a good aesthetic, combining the clear cases with the opaque ones.

Apparently, this is the most rugged case ever, but the website says that it has survived the same amount of tests. It has polycarbonate and TPU, so yes, it is very good at what it does.

The Contour for the Galaxy Note 8 is available on the Patchworks site for $13.95 in Orchid Gray, Contour Gold, Black, and Deep Blue.

Okay, I am going to go ahead and end my review here, with just a few notes. First, there is a Full Cover for the Galaxy Note 8, and the one that I received said “Full Cover 3D”, which I believe is available on the Patchworks site for $14.95.

As someone who is personally using the Flexguard for the LG G6 (available on the Patchworks site for $11.95), as well as the Screen Protector for $11.95 on the Patchworks site. I can highly recommend Patchworks products, and look forward to reviewing more in the future.

SleepPhones Wireless from Acoustic Sheep

Normally, when I do a review of a product, I often say that it has been a while since I have reviewed an Acoustic Sheep product, but that just isn’t true, as I just reviewed the SleepPhones a few weeks ago. I’ve been reviewing a lot of stuff, and the SleepPhones are a decent product, but I didn’t mention the cord factor. This cord is a little bit troubling when you are trying to sleep, but tossing and turning is creating a very thin snake for your head.

However, having a cord on your headphones was a necessary evil before the invention of Bluetooth. Combine that with Acoustic Sheep’s “headphones in a headband”, and you have a recipe for some great sleep. I didn’t report about this the last time, but I have been informed that the SleepPhones were designed by a family doctor.

I also should have mentioned that the SleepCloud Breeze fabric, which is a trademarked thing, has a fleece fabric that is good for those who live in warmer climates. In all honesty, I haven’t given that much thought, as it is colder where I am at. I cannot really testify if these SleepPhones will be good in the summertime.

So let’s get the final stats out of the way. The SleepPhones are good for 13 hours of playtime, so you will need to recharge them every what, like two days? Maybe you will need to develop a habit where you just charge it daily, just to be safe.

All and all, the SleepPhones Wireless are the ones made for sleep, and they more than fulfill their promise. It is available for purchase on the SleepPhones site for $99.99.

Our Review of the Skullcandy Crusher Wireless Headphones

Man, it is good to review another Skullcandy (just one word) product again! It has been five years, and I am glad to be back at it again. I am very pleased to review the Crusher Wireless Headphone, and I realize that the company name refers to the candy on the skull.

I am assuming that the name of Crusher Wireless refers the way that they crush the brain (in a good way) with their stereo haptics and directional bass. I suppose that I could just talk about it, but I’m going to let a YouTube video at the end just show it to you. Rest assured, I have been reviewing products from this company for almost ten years now, and they do not disappoint. By the way, there is a bass slider on the side of the earcup made for more immersive bass, something that you will want for its noise isolating fit.

So that is the sound, but does it crush it on the battery level? Oh yes. We are looking about 40 hours of wireless sound. Oh, there is also a 3.5 mm headphone jack in case you want to do some wired listening, for whatever reason.

In addition to all these features, the construction is terrific and practical with a foldable design along with an included travel bag. This is quite a deal for the holidays, and if you want it, get it on the Skullcandy site for $199.99 in black and gray/tan.