Bluedee Dynamic RGB Computer Sound Bar

This new $49.99 soundbar from Bluedee is designed with computer use in mind although of course, it will work with any device equipped with a standard audio out port or Bluetooth.

In the branded mid-range box were just the soundbar itself and a well written and comprehensive user guide. Build quality seems excellent and weighing in at 2.16 pounds the 16.42 x 2.99 x 2.68 inch device feels substantial and made to last.

The soundbar has a matt black finish with a fine mesh speaker grill along almost all the front face with a discreet logo centrally positioned and a 3.5mm headphone port on the right. On the front lower face is a long multicolored LED light with a second green LED array on the bar end. On the other end is the large multi-purpose control wheel used to customise volume, select lighting modes, set up and configure Bluetooth connections, play/mute audio and answer or reject incoming calls. The device has a split hardwired 1.4m cable, with USB for power and a standard 3.5mm plug for audio.

I was pleased to see the soundbar features the latest Bluetooth 5 wireless technology which means connections will be faster, easy to initiate, lag-free and more stable. To set up Bluetooth, after connecting the USB power port, long-press the control knob and the LED bar will flash blue/red and as it does so connect your Bluetooth sound source to the soundbar which shows up as ‘SK010’. When connected the LED will revert to the previous display and the soundbar will beep, it will beep again when disconnected. The soundbar will automatically connect to the sound source when detected again. Long press again to turn Bluetooth off.

The unit offers four modes for the front LED: Color Gradient (default), Breathing Gradient, Rhythm, and off. They all work well and look good without ever being too obtrusive.

The sound quality is good considering the size of the speakers with a decent level of punchy bass and a higher register that is not too sharp or sibilant. Audio quality through headphones is excellent as you would expect with the speakers automatically muting

What are my suggestions for the next version? I would hope it would have pluggable rather than hard-wired cables,a microphone, a USB hub feature and perhaps a slightly lower price point as the current price although not excessive is not the cheapest I have seen.

That said, if you need a cleverly designed and well made computer soundbar with decent quality audio you need to go a long way to find one better than this.

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Nocihcass Cycling Helmet with Sun Visor

This attractive and well made £14.88 cycling helmet from Nocihcass arrived simply packaged without a branded product box. Although the helmet was perfectly well protected it does make it rather less appealing as a gift. Inside the bag were the helmet itself, a branded carry bag, a clip-on sun visor and a small but well-written User guide. I include a copy of the User Guide in my unboxing video.

The build quality of everything seems fine, tough, robust and at just 240g perhaps the lightest cycling helmet I have ever worn. The outer shell is made from Polycarbonate and the inner shell from Expanded Polystyrene with a padded liner that can be removed for cleaning. The helmet is fully adjustable with a quick-release buckle and head size regulator and should fit almost every head size between 57 – 62 cm, a slightly more restricted range than on some others I have tried and not necessarily a bad thing. It also has a fully flexible comfortable chin pad. Most importantly it conforms to the CE&EN1078 standard to provide maximum impact protection

The headset is a standard one in many respects and from a distance looks the same as the although with the Nocihcass discreetly printed on the side. That is fine by me and in fact and makes me wonder why some helmets are more than twice the price of this one. It has a plastic front visor that is detachable and clips into position and is held in place by two push-fit catches. The visor can be locked out the way above the eyes when not needed and quickly and easily clipped in place when the sun comes out.

This is an excellent quality cycling helmet, well made, comfortable and protective with the clip-on sun visor both useful and rather stylish. It is a good, basic helmet lacking only a few frills such as lights and a magnetic visor. Although this is one of the most inexpensive cycling helmets I have tried it feels just as well made and reassuring to wear as the more expensive rivals.

The Good
Great Price
Showerproof
Good User Guide
Detachable Lining
Adjustable Size
Removable Sun Visor
Carry Bag

The Bad
Poor packaging

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Nocihcass Eternal Rose

This rather well made and beautifully presented display item from Nocihcass may well not be not to everyone’s taste but those that do will appreciate the quality of work and care that has gone into the production of this gift item.

It is a set of three preserved miniature roses encased in a robust glass dome mounted on a wooden plinth. On the underside is a compartment for three AAA batteries used to power the discreetly hidden LEDs which illuminate the dome and a turret switch to turn the lights on and off. The item is presented in a lavish black display box secured with a bow and magnetic catch.

The roses, which are real and not artificial, should last up to five years if properly displayed avoiding direct sunlight and excessive humidity. It may even be wise to store the dome in the box when not needed for display over extended periods.

Credit has to be given for the build quality of this item which really is first-rate. The glass of the dome is thick although not overly weighty, the rose display itself is colourful and exquisitely presented with illumination from evenly spaced warm white LEDs, the base is made of real wood stained black and the power switch is discreetly recessed and smooth to operate.

In the right location and in the right home this display item will add charm and atmosphere to the room. Priced at £29.46, if this item appeals to you, then it would be a rather nice buy and well suited as a gift or present on a special day.

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APEMAN H55 Wildlife Camera

ut what is a trail camera? A trail camera is a camera that is designed to operate unattended outdoors and to automatically capture pictures or video of anything that triggers the built-in motion detector. They are mainly used to monitor wildlife activity but could be used for security purposes also.

I was interested to try this new mid-range trail cam from Apeman but I was a bit apprehensive as it had had some negative reviews but in fact it was better than I expected and apart from a rather slow frame rate gave some pretty good results.

This £71.99 new model from APEMAN, better known perhaps for their range of Action Cams, arrived packed in an attractive mid-market product box inside of which was the camera itself, metal ground/surface mount with screw fittings, retaining tree mount strap, data cable and User Guide. Although the camera itself is made of plastic and is rather lightweight (which is perhaps no drawback) build quality seems fine in general. The User Guide is small but, well printed and well written and up to the usual Apeman high standard for their documentation.

The camera takes eight AA batteries but remember that if used intensively the batteries will quickly run down but in normal use should last several weeks. The batteries are housed in an easy access compartment in the base of the unit. There is also an option to use an external power supply (not supplied).

On the front of the device are the lens, light sensor, motion sensor, Status LED, 940nm 40 LED infrared panel. On the side are clips to secure the front and rear sections of the camera together. When the clips are released the hinged front of the device opens out. When closed on the base are a grommet protected external power supply input and a metal tripod mount. On the rear are loops for the mounting belt or wire. On the inside of the front face is a 2″ bright and clear colour LCD screen, with menu navigation buttons to the side. Below are the speaker grill, motion sensor and three-way turret switch for Off/Setup/On. On the side of the unit and protected by the hinged door, are the full-sized SD card slot (for class 6 or faster cards up to 32GB), a full-sized card is far better than a micro-SD as it is far easier to manipulate when on location or at night. On the base and again protected by the door is the power-in port (DC 6v, adapter not included) and mini USB data port. I would question too the use of the ancient mini-USB port rather than the new USB-C or even micro-USB. However, an improvement over some rival models is the IP66 rating, which means the camera is protected against dust and heavy rain.

One problem with all trail cams is the delay between the motion sensor being triggered and the camera operating. According to the user guide, the sensor here has a delay of 0.5 and this is mid-range being neither the slowest nor fastest available. Be sure to position the camera so that wildlife moves toward the lens rather than across it to give the sensor the best chance of catching worthwhile results.

Although there are plenty of refinements and fine-tuning that can be made the camera can be up and running very quickly with the default settings. After inserting the batteries and removing the gels covering the lens, sensors and screen, set the turret switch to SETUP and press the MENU button. From here you can now set the image and video resolutions, video recording lengths and other parameters such as time stamping, time-lapse, Time Lapse etc. One particularly useful feature is that you do not have to choose between Video or Stills as you can set it to record both at once. Remember to insert an SD card first and to format it using the trail cam settings before use.

I was pleased and not a little surprised by the photo and video quality, too often trail cameras fall down here by using cheap hardware to save production costs, but not so here. For the price image quality is excellent for both Video and stills at up to 20MP and gives decent quality 1080p video albeit at a rather slow 20fps. Care must be taken to position the camera to avoid false motion sensor alerts – foliage, vehicles, etc – as this will soon flatten the battery.

This camera can be great fun if you have a big garden and wonder what goes on there when you are away. Professionals might look to pay more for higher resolution, faster frame rate, longer battery life and improved build quality.

The Good
Good price
Good image quality
Good build quality
Simultaneous stills and video option
Time-Lapse Mode
Excellent User Guide
Audio recording option
IP66 Water/Dustproof

The Bad
Heavy battery drain when used intensively
32GB Max SD Card
Mini USB Port

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SUNNEST Video Conference Lighting Kit

The market seems to be full of these video conference lights these days although this newer model is better and has some features the others lack.

In the box were the light itself, a heavy-duty and suction robust clamp with additional pads, a small screen clamp, a USB charging cable, and a well written and easy to read user guide, Build quality all seems fine, the fill light is constructed from lightweight plastic but seems well made enough, the suction mount is made from plastic but seems pretty robust if over large.

The 2000mAh battery-powered light is charged by USB and I was pleased to see that a USB-C interface is used. The suction mount works well, and unlike the many clamp mounts will not damage the laptop or monitor and does not cover part of the screen. The suction mount can also double as a tabletop self-supporting stand. The small clip mount is a bit feeble but does work on most laptops apart from some Macs. The light itself at 850 Lm is not super powerful but more than adequate for use as a short-range fill light.

In use, the pocket-sized light is simple and easy to use with a rear button to turn on and off and dials on the side for stepless colour temperature and brightness. Unlike the simple preset rivals here the colour temperature can be set seamlessly between 2500K-6500K at any brightness level. On the rear is an LED battery status indicator.

The is a nice little unit, well made and well designed, that works well and gets the job done with a minimum of fuss and bother. Although it is designed for use as a fill light for video conferencing, many photographers may take advantage of the compact size, lightweight and battery operation to take it with them when out and about to provide extra light on location. It is a shame there is no carry case but for the £18.99 price, you can’t have everything.

This is an excellent buy for Skypers, Zoomers, Face Timers, YouTubers and photographers everywhere.

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Jinhoo DVD Player for TV

Not so many people use DVD players these days and they have almost become a niche market. However, I do still have a large archive of DVDs which at present I can only watch on my computer or by playing them on my old X-Box. This new budget-priced DVD player from Jinhoo will come in handy if and when I need to play them, It can also be used to repurpose an old TV or monitor in the bedroom or spare room although it is attractive enough for living room use.

The DVD player arrived nicely packaged in a rather upmarket and posh looking box inside of which was the player itself, an infrared remote control, HDMI cable, a/v cable set, and a large and well-printed User guide.

Build quality is good and more than acceptable for the £33 Amazon price and I was pleased to see the remote is full-sized with proper clicky keys. The cables all seem good quality and the User Guide is very comprehensive and well written.

In use, the DVD player works well enough. It supports all the usual DVD and CD formats and upscales standard-sized videos to 1080p. A limited number of other video and audio file types can be played from any attached USB drive up to 16GB in size. A few newer video formats are not supported and the User Interface is a bit clunky and dated but it gets the job done.

As a backup player, or a budget way to view your old DVD’s this player is fine. The device is compact sized but clearly designed for living room use rather than the office and sits nicely next to other media players. For the price, you cannot expect premium level quality but it works perfectly well and looks good, if not fantastic. It is a multi-region DVD player and will play all your DVDs perfectly well. If you need more than that then expect to pay much more

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Travor Dual Wireless Microphone System

The wireless setup I use currently cost me nearly £150 and consists just of a transmitter and receiver and I had to supply my own mic. The easy to use kit includes two transmitters, four microphones and all the add ons and accessories required to work on stage or with your camera or phone straight from the box. For just £68.99 can it be any good?

In the box are two headset Mics, two clip-on Lavalier mics, two transmitters with belt clip, receiver, two charging cables, 6.3mm to 3.5mm jack plug adapter, smartphone Y cable splitter, 3.5mm camera adapter cable, receiver cold shoe mount and a well written and easy to read User Guide. No batteries are needed as the transmitter and receiver are both rechargeables. Build quality seems fine, the hardware is all made from metal and although lightweight nothing is seems likely to fail anytime soon. I was pleased to see the mics can be screw-locked to the transmitters to prevent accidental unplugging, a nice touch.

Using the device could not be simpler. After charging the transmitters and receiver, pair the devices together by short pressing the power button on each. When a single device is paired to the receiver the receiver LED will be either blue or green depending on which transmitter is connected, when both transmitters are paired both green and blue LEDs will show.

The transmitters each have small LED displays panels that show the current battery level, the volume level for the connected microphone and the selected radio channel frequency. Press the Up/Down buttons to vary the volume for the mic and long-press the two buttons together to switch the radio channel.

The receiver and transmitters have built-in batteries which can be recharged through a standard 5v/1A USB connection. The current battery level will show on the transmitter LED screen and on the receiver, an LED shows blue when the battery level is good and red when it is low. A separate LED on the receiver shows red when charging and green when charged. A two-hour charge should give you up to six hours of run time for all three devices.

You can use the supplied mics or any other suitable microphone. You may need to adjust the volume control on the transmitter for best results, this is important and allows you to use a wide range of mics. The system should work with almost any camera, computer or stage show setup and adapters are provided for the 6.35mm large-format jack sockets often used on stage, as well as for smartphone and camera usage.

The connection between the devices was instantaneous every time I switched them on with no need for channel switching or reboots. I was impressed by the wireless range and I noticed no dropouts or signal loss when positioned in the line of sight as much as 30 meters or more away from the camera. Latency between the mic and camera is almost non-existent. There is some background noise audible, frankly, for this price price point you have to expect it, but this can be lessened by having the gain set as high as possible on the transmitters, changing radio channels, and by replacing the supplied mics. When background music is used or for stage use, this should not be too much of an issue.

Microphone audio quality was good with the lav mics but plosives (popping sounds when speaking words starting with P or B) were evident with the headset mics but could probably be improved with better mic positioning. The included microphones are clearly budget ones and better sound quality will be obtained with more expensive microphones connected.

To sum up, I was impressed by the ease of use of the system and of the quality of the wireless connection. The supplied mics are OK but improved results will be obtained when better microphones are connected. There is some audible background noise but it is not too bad and has to be expected with a budget system. Also, be aware that this system will not work with Macs or Bluetooth speakers.

If you are a YouTuber, filmmaker, produce presentations or stage shows, and want to try a wireless connection this might well be a great first system. For the low price, it has to be an option to consider.

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WISELAZER 4K Support 1080P Projector

This new model from WISELAZER is a fair bit smaller than my current home cinema projector, although at £259.90 is around the same price. Will the smaller size lead to compromises in performance?

In the box are the projector, infrared remote control, UK Power Cable, HDMI Cable, cleaning cloth and a large and well-written User Guide. The best way to learn about what this unit does and how to use it is to study the User Guide, and so I include a scan of it in my video.

Build quality seems fine, the unit is smaller than my current one, which is perhaps too large, but it is still substantial enough to feel hefty and robust enough to absorb the odd knock. The projector itself is pretty minimalist with an attractive matt textured finish with the only button one for power on the top surface. On the back are ports for USB, HDMI, audio out and power in. The remote is a full-size one with proper clicky buttons and is easy and intuitive to use.

Natively, the unit supports 1080p but will downscale 4K files seamlessly enough. I found that most but not all file types were not recognised when played directly but since I use the projector with an HDMI connected Fire TV stick -with the USB port used to power it – this was not an issue. Although the projector itself has a 5G wifi connection, the Fire TV stick’s wifi gives me all I need both from the internet and my network NAS as well as giving good quality in-sync audio via Bluetooth, which is handy as the projector itself does not support Bluetooth.

Audio comes from two built-in speakers and is good quality and although not super loud it still easily drowns out the pleasingly muted fan noise. I suspect that again many users will connect a fire stick or similar device and use an external Bluetooth speaker.

Video quality is excellent with a wall-filling image bright enough for curtains drawn daytime use. At night the image is even better as regards colour, dynamic range and contrast. The image from this projector beats my current one and is both sharper and more detailed with no sharpness fall off away from the centre. It is a short-throw projector with a wider than average lens which allows it to be used in smaller sized rooms with no reduction in image size. My current projector has to be positioned about three feet further back to generate an image of the same size. However, if you are limited to a more remote position for the projector that should be no problem as the image size can be zoomed bigger and smaller directly from the remote control. Likewise the remote can be used for manual keystone correction to compensate for image distortion when the projector lens and screen are not correctly aligned.

This is an excellent projector with superb image quality, decent sound and a good range of features including smartphone mirroring. Some users may mourn the lack of controls on the device or the single HDMI and USB ports, but I am not one of them. For me, the projector is just a vehicle for the content delivered from the connected source and I doubt I will need to have more than one device connected to it.

This is a fantastic projector for the mid-range price and gives great results. Pair it with a Fire TV stick or Roku and it becomes a viable alternative to a big screen TV costing many times the price. I would be quite happy to buy this projector again and would not waste too much time trying to find a better one.

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POOPHUNS Planet Star Projector Night Light

I have tried quite a few of these star projectors and although they all have the same core technology they do vary in the specific features they offer, This new model from POOPHUNSi is no exception but is smaller in size than most of the rivals as well as offering planet images although the price of just £35.99 is pretty much in line with the rest.

The new model has the often used rounded design, a projection area of up to 50 Sq Metres, along with a full range of front panel controls as well as a dedicated remote, USB-C power in and an enhanced range of visual displays and patterns.

In the box are the projector itself, USB power cable, remote control, and a large and easy to read user guide. Build quality seems fine and the 390g 12 x 11.5 x 10 cm projector, seems well made and robust and quite a lot smaller in size than many of the others. I was pleased to see that the remote is a full-sized one rather than the usual credit card sized jobs and that the USB power in port uses the latest USB-C interface. All the key functions can be controlled directly from the unit itself where a full range of button controls are included, but it is easier and simpler to use the supplied remote control. An image of a planet can be incorporated into the projected pattern and this must be made through the large thumbwheel on the device itself.

This device is not just a star projector it is also an excellent Bluetooth speaker, with a choice of Bluetooth or TF Card inputs, full track and audio controls on both the device and remote.

The unit is powered through the USB-C input and requires a 5v/2A input. Be sure to use a standard USB power source and avoid high power chargers as they may not work with this unit.

Setting it up for Bluetooth could not be easier, just look for the Bluetooth device BT DQ-M3 on your phone. The projector’s excellent internal speaker can play music from any Bluetooth source as well as from any TF card inserted into the port on the unit.

The main selling point, however, is the light display itself and this really is remarkable. Basically, it consists of red, blue, green, and white shimmering wave-like patterns with green laser stars on top. Unique to this device is a moon and planet image which can separately be switched on and off. The wave colours can be combined and the intensity and duration of the stars also controlled through the remote. There are 15 LED colours available and four operating modes: Sleep, Auto, Sound and Flash. In Music Mode the light patterns will change in time with the music. The device will turn off automatically in sleep mode and also has a user-definable timer that can be set from the remote. Hours can be spent finding the best effects combination. Of course, it looks best, at night but is perfectly bright enough for use in curtains drawn daylight room.

This is an excellent device, fascinating and enjoyable to use, well made and well priced and far too much fun for just the nursery or bedroom.

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imodomio Submersible LED Light

Although simple to operate this little pool light from imodomio is rather cleverly designed and gives you quite a good deal for the £14.89 price.

In the box can be found the pool light, remote control, charging cable, two sucker mounts, and a well written and easy to read user guide. Build quality all seems fine with both the light and credit card sized remote made from robust plastic.

The unit has a built-in 1000mAh Lithium Polymer rechargeable battery powered through the USB port on the base and protected from water by a large hexagonal grommet seal. One three hour charge should give at least seven hours of constant use.

On the base of the light is a detachable plastic arm and this used as a wrench to tighten or release the grommet seal protecting the USB charging port on the underside of the light. It also holds the metal flotation weight in place which needs to be removed to allow the light unit to float. The two small sucker mounts also attach to the arm to allow the light to be stuck to the pool walls. The lamp is also magnetic and can be attached to any suitable metal surface. Also on the base is the three-position operating switch, which can be set to On, Off and open (to remove the arm).

The light features 18 LEDs, a mixture of white and RGB and all controlled from the remote control, there is no way to manual control the colours so take care not to lose the remote. A range of colour combinations, patterns and dimming levels can be set from the remote, which uses radio to connect and has a range of up to 19 meters in normal use and ten metres underwater. Although the light is waterproof I do not think the remote control is so do not take it in the pool with you. Because it is radio based no line of sight is needed to the light for the remote to function. Should you purchase additional lights they can all be controlled together from the same remote control.

The light works very well indeed and much care has clearly gone into the design to ensure that it does. The use of an expensive radio remote is certainly a welcome bonus not expected for the low price.

This is an excellent little light, well made, robust, works well well with some very clever design features and all in all a great buy for the low price.

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