MindKoo MK-BH09 Bluetooth On-Ear Headphones

At just £24.99 this has to be one of the most inexpensive over-ear Bluetooth headphones I have tried. In fact, it proved to be rather better than I was expecting. Inside the box aside from the headset itself was a standard mini-jack to mini-jack audio cable, soft storage bag, charging cable, and a small, well printed and very comprehensive User Guide. I reproduce the User Guide at the end of my unboxing video. Switch to full screen and pause as needed to read it.

The headset is very lightweight but has rather stylish and upmarket good looks. The aluminium alloy body feels a bit flimsy and the headband and earcup padding are thin and with visible trailing wires leading to the earcups. That said, the construction quality seems OK to me with no sign of the padding on the band working loose, poor stitching, or weak joints – all elements that have failed on similar headsets I have owned in the past. In fairness, it must be said that the visible wires are flat format and robust. Time will tell and if something fails in the future I will update the review accordingly.

The headset is supplied with a plain audio cable and a USB to micro-USB charging cable but both are decent quality and work just fine. The track and volume controls are nicely positioned and very easy to find and identify by sight and by touch. The earcups have limited mobility and do not fold for storage.

The Bluetooth 4.1 pairing is simple enough and achieved in the usual way by depressing the Multifunction/Power button for several seconds. Once paired I found the connection to be stable and strong. The headset will also work with the supplied audio cable when the battery fails and there is little if any difference in quality when used in either mode.

The most important feature of any headset is the audio quality and bearing in mind that this is a budget device I was fairly happy with the sound. There is a decent amount of bass and it is clear, smooth and undistorted. Mid tones are clear and detailed and very easy to listen to. The sound is rather flat but comfortable and never abrasive or sibilant, at least to my ears. The sound is good but nothing to write home about.

This a well-made set of headphones, lightweight and comfortable to wear with decent sound quality and at a price that is hard to beat. These would be a great for general use or as the first set for a youngster.

The Good
Easy touch controls
Good build quality
Good audio quality
Lightweight
BT/Wired modes
Microphone
Carry bag
Bluetooth 4.1
Good User Guide

The Bad
Thin padding
Feels flimsy
Non-folding design
No aptx support

More info and purchase

Hangsun MC70 Corded/Cordless Leg Air Massager

I have tried quite a few different types of massagers for relaxation and to help with various minor health issues but this is the first of this type I have ever seen. Priced at a pretty reasonable £49.99 it seemed worth giving it a try.

Inside the attractive mid-market product box was the massager control unit with two compression cuffs, a UK power supply and a well written but rather brief and hard to read small sized User Guide. I include a scan of the User Guide in my unboxing video, switch to full screen and pause as needed to read it.

The device consists of a hand-held control unit which also contains the internal 3.7 V 1800 mah lithium battery. Each two hour charge should give about the same amount of active use. The control unit has four buttons: at the top a large Off/On switch with below it a massage intensity control offering three operating levels indicated by colour LEDs. Next are buttons for Manual or Program use each with status LEDs.

Using the device is easy enough and it can be used to massage legs or arms. Firstly, fit one or both cuffs in the same way you would when having a blood pressure reading taken. Connect the cuff tubes to the control unit, both must be connected for the unit to function. Switch the massager on using the Power button and then press either the Manual or Program button for the massage type you need.In Manual mode the device swaps between two massage points alternately, Program mode offers four different massage patterns selected by repeated presses of the button. In either mode you can then press the Air pressure/Inensity button to the level you select. The massager will automatically switch off after fifteen minutes but can be turned off at any time using the power button.

I found it quite relaxing when setting to a low-intensity level but more invigorating and at times uncomfortable when set higher. It is too early yet for me to fully pronounce judgement but I do feel better after using it and my legs certainly feel like they have been well and truly massaged.

The Good
Good price
Good build quality
Easy to use
Works well

The Bad
Poor User Guide
No storage case

 

More info and purchase

APEMAN Trail Camera H45 Upgraded

A trail camera is a camera which 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.

This £45.99 new model H45 from APEMAN arrived packed in an attractive mid-market product box inside of which was the camera itself, metal floor/surface mount with screw fittings, tree mount retaining strap, micro-USB to USB cable, two User Guides. 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 large, reasonably well printed and in understandable English. I usually include a scan of the User Guide with my reviews but the Guide is too long to reproduce here.

The camera takes four or eight AA batteries, a lot but it means it can be left to operate untended over extended periods. Take note that if used intensively the batteries will very quickly run down but in normal use should last up to six months. The batteries are housed in a compartment in the main body of the unit. It has the option to use an external 6v power supply (not supplied). On the front of the device are the LEDs, infrared 26 LED panel, wide angled motion sensor. On the side are clips to secure the front and rear sections of the camera, these work well but I would prefer it had they been more robust. When the clips are released the front and back of the device open out like a book. On the underside is a metal tripod screw and a grommet protected external power supply input. On the inside of the front face is a 2.4″ colour LCD screen, with navigation buttons alongside. Below is a three-way turret switch for Off/TEST/ON. On the underside of the inside front panel are a full-sized SD card slot (for cards up to 32GB), mini-USB port. A full sized card is far easier to fit on location with gloved hands than the micro-SD cards used by rivals. The camera is rated IP66 which means it should withstand heavy driving rain but not water immersion.

Some trail cams just have a standard motion sensor on the front, others have front and side sensors. This one has a single sensor but it has a 90-degree wide angle view with a 20M range so it should be able to match the multi-sensor rivals whilst consuming less power to do so.

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 and sensors and screen, switch it to TEST mode and press the MENU button. From here you can now set the image and video resolutions, video recording lengths and other parameters. 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. Time should be spent on best positioning the camera for the front and side sensors and the device can help you with these using visual indications of when you are in range during setup. To avoid battery drain it is crucial to place the camera in a location free from false positives – moving foliage, traffic, etc. Remember to insert an SD card first and to format it using the camera software before use.

I was pleased and not a little surprised by the photo and video quality, too often budget trail cameras fall down here by using cheap hardware to save production costs, but not so here. Image quality is excellent for both Video and stills considering the budget price.

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 quality and improved build quality.

The Good
Great price
Good image quality
Good build quality
Range of mounting options
Simultaneous stills and video option
Scheduling
wide-angle motion sensor
Excellent User Guide
4 or 8 battery option
Audio recording option
Full-size SD card

The Bad
Clips could be stronger
Heavy battery drain when used intensively
32GB maximum card
No memory card included
No carry case

More info and purchase: https://goo.gl/eyFXyG

EDIFIER Studio W806BT Bluetooth Over Ear Headphones

This new Bluetooth headset from EDIFIER at £54.99 it is not the cheapest I have seen and concentrates on audio quality rather than add-ons and little-used features. Inside the attractive mid-market box aside from the headset itself, there is a USB Charging Cable, 3.5mm Audio Cable and User Guide. The User Guide although comprehensive is rather small and hard to read. I attach a scan of it to my review, switch to full screen and pause as needed to read it.

These headphones have a quality feel to them with and are solid, well made and robust. The headband and earcups have a soft and rather luxurious PU leather feel although the padding is adequate rather than generous. The headset frame looks good with an attractive silk finish. The build quality seems excellent to me with no sign of the padding on the band working loose, poor stitching, visible wires or weak joints – all elements that have failed on similar headsets I have owned in the past. There is nothing to make me suppose that the headset is not well made. Time will tell and if something fails in the future I will update the review accordingly.

The headset comes with good quality audio and USB to micro-USB charging cables and both work perfectly well. The three control buttons are on one ear cup only and are easy to find and identify by touch and rather less so by sight. There are the usual track/volume buttons on the side but sadly no separate power Off/On switch. The multifunction button is on the front face of the earcup and also contains the single status LED. The buttons are large and not flush as they too often are and this makes them easy to locate and for me, this is a major feature.

Bluetooth Pairing simple enough and achieved in the usual way by depressing the Multifunction/Power button for several seconds until the red/blue LED flashes then look for EDIFIER W806BT on the pairing screen of your phone. Once paired I found the connection to be stable and strong. It will pair with two external devices at once. The device will also work with the supplied audio cable when the battery fails and there is little if any difference in quality when used in either mode.

This headset is lacking a few features often found even on cheaper units these days. The is no FM radio or SD card slot but how many people actually use them? More importantly, I was sorry to see there is no NFC pairing option or AptX codec support and surprised that no carry case of any kind was included, a curious omission for a mid range unit.

Keeping in mind that this is not a high-end headset I was very happy indeed with the audio quality. The bass is good, clear, smooth and undistorted. Mid tones are clear and detailed and very easy to listen to. The sound quality of this headset has to be the main selling point for this headset

I like this headset. It is well made, comfortable and easy to wear even for extended listening sessions and with above average sound quality for the price. This is a good quality headset at a mid-range price lacking a few perhaps unneeded features found even on cheaper rivals. Nevertheless, the excellent audio reproduction and good build quality make this a good buy for the price asked.

The Good
Good price
Excellent sound quality
Easy touch controls
Good build quality
Comfortable to wear
BT/Wired modes
Microphone
Bluetooth 4

The Bad
Cheaper rivals
No SD card slot
No Radio
No NFC
No carry case

More info and purchase

ACEPC Intel Atom Windows 10 Mini PC

Firstly for those in doubt, yes this is perfectly functioning PC with built-in wifi running a fully licensed legal version of Windows 10 v1703 b15063 in a box the size of an Android TV box. The best thing is, priced at just £95.99.

In the attractive mid-market product box was the mini PC itself, a power supply with UK and EU fittings, an HDMI cable and a small but well-written User Guide. I include a scan of the User Guide at the end of my unboxing video. Switch to full screen and pause as needed to read it.

There is no more setup required than with any other new computer. Connect the power supply and the HDMI cable to your monitor and switch on. You will then be presented with the standard Windows 10 setup screen which walks you through getting the computer up and running. You will need to connect either a normal keyboard and mouse or a wireless mini keyboard with USB dongle as I did. Windows recognised the dongle at once and so all setup could be done wirelessly. Once configured you can then update Windows 10 to the latest build and security version.

The device can be used as a normal stand-alone computer and I was surprised just how snappily it worked. I was expecting it to be very slow and sluggish but this was not the case. That said, with an Atom processor and just 2MB of RAM you can forget all about rendering 4K video or other processor intensive operations but for word processing and web browsing it is more than adequate. It is well specified for the size and price with Bluetooth 4, USB 3 and with a good range of ports: audio out, Ethernet, HDMI, mini-USB, power in, two USB, microSD card.

Many people will wish to use this as a home theatre media player and there are a host of applications to support this. The PC is silent in operation as it needs no fan and is easily small enough to blend in with other set-top box devices behind the TV. It comes with 32GB of built-in memory and after Windows has updated itself there is about 15GB left, enough for a range of applications and for use as a home theatre media player additional storage can be connected to one of the USB ports. Other users may wish to replace Windows with Linux for even faster operation.

This is an excellent mini PC and is fine for use as a dedicated single purpose device or as a general purpose PC for web browsing. The

The Good
Great price
Easy configuration
Built in wifi
Bluetooth 4
USB 3
HDMI
Licensed preinstalled Windows 10
Smooth, fast operation

The Bad
No gigabit LAN
No 5Ghz wifi
Runs warm
No USB-C

Mijiaer 9100 Plus True Wireless Earbuds

There seem to be loads of True Wireless Earbuds available now. Initially, only high-end models were available at great cost followed by loads of cheap and nasty clones with poor sound, complicated pairing routines and poor linking but now decent quality but reasonably priced devices are starting to appear.

I have been looking for a pair of back up true wireless earbuds for use in situations where I may lose my expensive Jabra Elite Sport set. I will use the Jabra’s as a reference point in this review, which may seem unfair but this set is good enough to stand the comparison.

This new headset from Mijiaer arrived in a small but stylishly designed product box. Inside were the earpieces themselves, charging case, carry bag, a short USB to micro-USB charging cable, three sets of buds (one set prefitted), spare wing set, and a User Guide. The User Guide is poorly translated and hard to read nevertheless I enclose a scan of it on my unboxing video.

The case has an internal 450mAh battery which is charged using the supplied USB cable and it is the case internal battery which charges the earbud batteries. The case will be able to fully charge the 50 mAh earbud batteries several times with each charge taking about one hour. There are a set of LED’s on the case and LED’s on each bud to show battery status. Long press the case button to show battery status and start manual charging. Press the button a second time to stop charging. The buds will charge automatically when placed into the case.

Pairing the earbuds was easy enough although more of a performance than with Jabra’s.
1. Press the right earbud soft touch button until you hear the ‘Power On’ prompt.
2. Same thing for the left earbud.
3. The buds pair automatically with each other and you will hear s ‘Pairing Successful’ prompt from each bud
4. The left bud LED will flash blue/red to indicate pairing mode to an external device.
5. On your phone pair in the usual way to Bluetooth device ‘Touch Two Plus’. You will hear a ‘Pairing Successful’ prompt.
This is more easily performed than explained and is made easier by the use of voice prompts during the pairing process. It only needs to be done once.

The two buds can work independently of each other as mono buds and setting them up to do so is another procedure explained in the User Guide.

Audio quality was fine and rather better than I was expecting. There is decent bass with mid and upper tones clear and well defined. I found the tone to be somewhat harsher and less refined than from the Jabra’s but more than good enough for general use.

The headset has a microphone and can be used to receive and make calls and when testing I found the conversation was clear and audible both ends. Calls can be muted/rejected/ended/redialed by pressing the left button. Tracks can be paused/played advanced forward by double pressing earbud buttons in various combinations. Unlike with many budget earbuds, the audio volume can be controlled from the buds by pressing the right button.

One selling point of this headset is the use of soft-touch non-clicky earbud buttons. This makes them more comfortable to use as a softer press is needed but at the expense of a less positive operation. Another selling point is that the headset is IPX5 water resistant, not waterproof but OK in the rain or for an exercise session. Battery life is good and at least equal to the Jabra’s and I have obtained several hours music playing time following a charge. The charging case is robust and well made and magnetically holds the buds at least as well as the Jabra’s although the case looks and feels cheaper and lacks the auto On/Off feature which is one of the best features of the expensive rival.

At just £45.99 this headset is a fraction of the price my more expensive set but gives it a run for its money as regards sound quality and features. It falls down a bit on functionality and convenience of use and of course, none of the Jabra sports features is present (not that I ever use them). This is by no means the least expensive TW headset available but as the market cools down a new generation of well-specified good sounding devices such as this is emerging.

The Good
Soft touch buttons
Good audio quality
Audio volume controls
Nice packaging
Charging case
Bluetooth 4.1
Voice prompts
Good battery life
Single bud operation option
Water resistant

The Bad
No auto On/Off
Fiddly initial setup

More info and purchase

OBOR Volcano Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Diffuser

This new and very unusual aromatherapy oil diffuser from OBOR was supplied in a plain and eco-friendly white cardboard box. I think OBOR have missed out here as a suitably eye-catching box could really help to sell the item. Inside the box was the diffuser itself, the volcano cover, a power supply with a two pin USA plug, and a well written and easy to read User Guide (which I include on the end of my unboxing video – switch to full screen and pause to read it.)

This is a basically small 100ml LED lit aromatherapy oil diffuser with a large resin cover in the shape of a volcano. Steam comes from the top of the volcano and it can scroll through all seven colours or be manually configured to any colour at low or high brightness. The device can work as a diffuser alone with the LED turned off or as a novelty lamp as there is also an option to disable the diffuser. As well as switching the LED off you can also use the unit with or without the cover as it looks good and operates perfectly safely either way.

With a reservoir capacity of 100ml this unit is on the small size but should still diffuse the oil aroma for up to four hours according to the User Guide.

To operate the device is simplicity itself. Detach the volcano from the unit and the diffuser from the water tank, fill the tank with water, add a few drops of your favourite essential oil, replace the top and cover, plug in and switch on by pressing either the Mist or Light buttons on the base. You can scroll through the colours in Low or Bright mode by pressing the Light button or switch them off altogether. You can set the diffuser to one of two levels or off by pressing the Mist button. Short pressing the Mist button can control the operation time You change the settings with the volcano in place as it is raised slightly above the tabletop or by fitting the volcano in place after starting the unit. Be aware that due to the nature of the misting process some water may be precipitated around the device so do not locate it close to sensitive objects. This diffuser emits a fair amount of mist, more so than most of the others I have tried, which is a good or bad thing according to your outlook.

This is a fun, attractive and eminently functional unit and should answer all your needs when looking for an oil diffuser and humidifier. It would be perfect to use in a nursery or child room either as a diffuser or nightlight. The price at just £32.99 must be hard to better too. The only drawbacks are the lack of a UK plug the no timer option.

The Good
Good build quality
Eco-friendly packaging
Good User Guide
Safety auto off feature
Seven light colours
Timer option
4 hours operating time

The Bad
No sample oil
No UK plug
Some adjacent water precipitation

More info and purchase