Blackloud’s Soundot AF1 Earphones Allow Access to FM Radio Without Wi-Fi

photo credit:Blackloud

What is Blackloud Soundot AF1?

These excellent earbuds, made specifically for iPhones, provides something that other earphones don’t. When these babies are plugged into your iPhone, you can access FM radio signal without WiFi access.

The Soundot app, available in the iTunes store, is user friendly. It allows for easy control of the FM tuner and adjusts Equalizer and Sound Effect settings.  You don’t need the app to enjoy music on these earphones, though. They have the ability to save EQ and sound effect settings into the headset. This way you can listen to quality music on other music apps and iOS devices.

As with other earphones, there is a microphone that allows you to take calls, or control Siri. The multi-function controller on the mic has controls to adjust volume and select between songs as well.

The bass is quality with its dual dynamic driver design.  The build overall is impressive, and you can experience the premium sound quality advertised on the box for yourself.

Soundot Specs

Driver size: 15mm and 7mm
Codec: 21-bit audio Codec with 24-bit DSP
Microphone: Omni-directional
Material: Metallic Case
Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
Sensitivity: 11dB/mW at 1kHz

Looks Great! How do I buy the Soundot?

The Soundot is priced at $79.89 on the Blackloud website. Great Christmas present if you know someone who wants quality sound, and would like to listen to FM radio without needing WiFi!

Thanks to Blackloud for sending us this product to review free of charge in exchange for our honest and unbiased analysis. No other compensation has been given.

Review of IONA Dock for iPhone and iPad by Landing Zone

Finally, to wrap up our Landing Zone review series, we will conclude with the IONA dock for the iPhone and iPad.

The IONA is a great dock for those who are looking for something to hold an iPad or iPhone in order to FaceTime, watch movies, listen to music, read recipes, or do a variety of activities without having to hold your device.

Size and Aesthetics

The aluminum base is 4.5 inches in diameter. The dock stands at 6.5 inches tall and is a white, plastic material. It weighs in at 1 lb. Most of the weight is in the sturdy base which has a rubberized bottom to accommodate a solid hold. The base also rotates 120 degrees, so you can easily adjust to your viewing preference. The backing that your device rests on is an aluminum material like the round base.

Compatible Devices and Cases

Included in the box are different bumpers to make many different iPhones and iPads compatible. You can use it with iPhones 5 and 5s, and all the way up to 6s and 6s Plus. Do you have an iPad mini? The iPad minis 2 through 4 will work as well. The iPad Air and the Air 2 can also fit.

Most cases will fit on the dock. Thicker cases like Otterboxes and those with battery cases will not work. If you don’t have a case, there is a bumper to use. You’ll see this in the next video I post in…

Set Up

The IONA is relatively easy to use. Here’s a great video that can show you how easy it is to set up.

Other Cool Features

As you may have seen in the video, you can charge your device while it is docked. It didn’t use to come with a Lightning Cable, but the company decided to start including one that is 4.5 feet long, and it is an official Apple cord. You can also use the one that came with your phone.

There is a slot that makes the audio input port accessible, so you can plug in headphones or a speaker while your device is docked as seen here:

The designer, Mike Nuttall, made sure to make the dock stand at a perfect height and angle to match with other screens like the MacBook computer and Thunderbolt monitor shown here:

All in all, a great little docking station that sells for a very reasonable price of $19 on the Landing Zone website.

This concludes the series of Landing Zone products we were sent to review, and I’ll throw in the disclaimer that we have not received any compensation from this company, and this is my fair and unbiased analysis of the product. I’ll also include the photo credit to Landing Zone for all pictures used in these reviews.

Gamevice for iPhone Review

TechnoMark recently introduced a Minecraft bundle of this device I’m about to review, but we actually were sent a physical model to review, so this entry will be about GameVice for the iPhone.

GameVice is a game controller  that you can fit your iPhone (there’s also one for the iPad, and another one for Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note 8 as well) in, and play video games in the palm of your hand.

Similar to a Playstation controller, it has a little joystick on either side, and the little up/down,left/right cross on the left side. Instead of geometric shapes on the right, there are four buttons labeled A, B, X and Y. There are even the shoulder buttons on the top- or front of the controller (however you would view it). They are the L1/L2 and R1/R2 buttons.

So basically, this gadget is made to turn your phone into a gaming console. It’s reminiscent of a Nintendo Switch.

There are games you can download off the Gamevice Live app that curates games you can play with a map to the controls for each game and a link that allows you to download for the Apple Store (or Google Play- depending on your device).

There is no extra battery needed for the Gamevice. It simply runs on your phone’s battery. If you need to charge your phone, you can charge it through the console while you are playing. There is also a earbud jack to plug into so others around aren’t disturbed by the noises coming from your game.

You’ll want to make sure you get the correct one for your phone or tablet. The one we received to review fits the iPhones 7, 7 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 6 and 6 Plus. This means that it can accommodate a few different sizes. Once you insert it in to the Lightning connector and get the other side around your phone, it will hold pretty securely. When not on your phone, it’s accordion style back folds up for compact storage.

If you buy the Minecraft bundle that TechnoMark talked about (linked above), you get a cool case to put it in. As it is, the Gamevice for the iPhone has a listed price on their website for $79.95. You can also buy it in Apple Stores.

Gamevice sent us this model to review free of charge. No other compensation has been received for our unbiased and fair impression.

Review of ITSKINS Cell Phone Cases (ZeroGel, Spectrum, and Supreme)

Maybe you want protection for your phone, but don’t want to shell out $40 for a high-end case? ITSKINS is a company based in China, and run by a French man that offers protection for various phones. Today we are reviewing 3 levels of cases- ZeroGel(Level 1), Spectrum(Level 2), and Supreme(Level 3).

Starting off with the ZeroGel, these translucent cases are offered in a variety of colors like the above clear case, pink, black, purple, and various colors of blue. They are nice and thin, but still offer great protection- drop certified at 1 meter/3.3 feet. This one is the basic, ultra slim design.

The case is flexible, with raised edges to protect the front of the phone if it is set on its screen side. It has the shock absorbing design that looks like honeycomb.

This style of case is listed at a price of $17.99 USD on the ITSKINS website.

For a couple of dollars more ($19.99 USD), you can upgrade to a Spectrum case, which looks similar to the slim protection, but is Drop Safe up to 2 Meters. The case we received to review fits the iPhone X, and came in a translucent black color, but you can find them for many types of phones in several different colors. You can find the one for your phone here.

Finally, at least for this review, you can get the level 3 protection of the Supreme case. This one runs a bit more at $29.99, but offers even more protection with a droptest level of up to 3 meters! There are other level 3 cases available from ITSKINS, but this one is the slimmest. 

As you can see in the image, there’s a 4 layer protection going on.

These 3 levels of cases were sent to us to review for free in exchange for a fair and unbiased review on our site.

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.”

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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:

“Stop!

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!

ZNitro Glass Screen Protectors

We were sent these tempered glass screen protectors from ZNitro to review. ZNitro cases are claimed to be Hammer Tested™, scratch proof, resistant to smudges and fingerprints, and have superior hardness.

Here’s a video that shows how to apply, and shows the hammer test as well as its scratch resistance.

I did not do the hammer test on my phone. I did place the protector on my phone to see how well my finger could glide over the screen, and found that to be smoother than the current protector- which is plastic. My phone is different from the style provided to us(iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus), so I did not try applying it.

There are mixed reviews on Amazon about these screen protectors. Some have found that they chip and crack easy(but they have saved the phone’s screen. One person replaced the product 4 times in six months and paid $12.99 each time with the warranty ZNitro provides. Several people complained that the screen interfered with some phone functions(calls were muted, light sensor, etc.), but that could be due to improper fitting on their phone. Others had no complaints at all.

The screen covers come in a variety of colors for the iPhone and Galaxy S4, but for the S5 and other styles of phones, it is limited to clear, black, or white. Most screens run at about $39.99 on the ZNitro website. You can also opt for a privacy screen on some for $10 more. Amazon.com seems to be selling these for around $20.