Mindkoo Mini Rechargeable Bluetooth V4.0 Speaker MK-025


This little speaker is built like a tank! The model is made from a smooth silk finished metal and the speaker feels far heaver in the hand than you would expect. It feels a like a far more up market product than I would expect for the current Amazon price of £20.99.

Packed in the attractive mid range box along with the speaker are short USB to micro-USB charging cable, a mini-jack to mini-jack headphone cord, and an easy to read and well written User Guide. I include a scan of the User Guide at the end of my unboxing video.

From opening the box the speaker feels like a quality item, sophisticated and stylish as well as being robust and tough due to the metal shell and recessed buttons.

On the front is a semi recessed rocker style button which controls volume and track selection. On the rear is a small bay containing the USB charging port, the AUX in audio port, and a Off/On button which also pauses music and can be used to answer phone calls. Personally, I would have rather had this button on the front where it could more easily be accessed.

The device paired up well enough with my Android phone with Bluetooth and the connection was stable enough when in use although I did find the range a bit of a let down but in the same room it was fine.

Audio quality is OK bearing the size of the speaker in mind. You are never going to get fantastic sound quality from a speaker this size and you do not get it here. For general use it is fine.

This is a decent quality little speaker, well made and attractively designed that performs adequately but little more for playing music.

The Good
Great price
Attractive design
Good User Guide
Great build quality
Good packaging

The Bad
Mediocre audio
Poor Bluetooth range

More info and purchase

MindKoo Bluetooth Wireless On-Ear Headphone MKO-023

Like so many other techy gadgets the price of Bluetooth headphones is falling and falling fast. In fact when I first tried this headset several months ago it came without the headphone stand included with this package and was priced at £39 rather than the Amazon price today of £18.99.

But what do you get for your money?

Inside the attractive but distinctly mid range box aside from the headset itself was a standard mini-jack to mini-jack audio cable, a charging cable, a rigid carry case, and a self assembly headphone stand. Included too was a well written and easy to read User Guide making a pleasant change from the usual tiny, grainy and hard to read offerings.  However, the User Guide refers to a phone app which can be downloaded but since it is for sport and tracking I fail to see what this headset can do with it.  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 lightweight but does not look it and in fact looks far better than it feels in the hand. The body seems a bit flimsy but the headband and ear cup padding is reasonably thick and supportive. The build quality seems OK 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. Although the headset feels lightweight to me 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 is supplied with a plain audio cable and a USB to micro-USB charging cable but both work perfectly adequately. The track and volume controls are nicely positioned on one earcup and easy to find and identify although raised nodules would make locating the buttons by touch easier. The headset does not fold for storage but the earcups rotate fully to allow the headset to be stored in the case provided.

Bluetooth Pairing 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. It is a pity there are no voice prompts to aid pairing. It does have NFC however, and this makes pairing with a suitably equipped device even simple. 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.

This headset is lacking a few features often found even on cheaper units these days. The is no FM radio or SD card slot no to the newly developed and much trumpeted aptx technology

The most important feature of any headset is the audio quality, and bearing in mind that this is a mid level device I was very 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 above average but not spectacularly so.

Although it was mentioned neither on the Amazon page nor on the box my headset came bundled with a rather nice headphone stand. It arrived disassembled but it was the work of a moment to put it together. It was a bit lightweight but looks well and does the job.

This a well made set of headphones, lightweight and comfortable to wear with decent sound quality although in today’s market slightly on the expensive side for what they are. The headphone stand bundled with the headset makes it a rather more appealing buy for the low price.

The Good
Great price
Easy touch controls
Good build quality
Lightweight
Comfortable
BT/Wired modes
Headphone stand included
Rigid carry case
Microphone
NFC
Bluetooth 4
Rotating earcups

The Bad
Feels flimsy
No voice status prompts
No aptx
No SD card slot
Non folding
More info and purchase

LESHP UFO 216W Full Spectrum Led Grow Light

This robust and powerful grow lamp panel from LESHP arrived simply packed in a plain eco friendly cardboard box in accord, I like to think, with the ethos behind the product. Inside the box was the lamp itself with UK mains cord and and bulgin plug, amd a hanging frame. Nothing else was included and no User Guide was supplied.

The 216W Full Spectrum LED light frame itself is quite heavy with an ABS plastic frame on a metal light board. At nearly 1Kg it is no lightweight but this is the price that has to be paid for the robust and durable construction. It is quite chunky too at 60mm but the circumference of the circular lamp is quite small at 175mm which means more units could into a small growing area. The cable is of a reasonable length feet but has no in line switch and there is Off/On switch on the device itself which has to be powered off and on at the wall socket. It consumes 216W of power when use, more than similar units I have tried but this one has a built in fan which comes automatically when the unit is turned on and is probably needed to get so many LEDs into a small frame..

In use it works well, although far too early to say yet how effective it is for plant growth. When operating the fan is not too loud but if you used multiple units it could be a problem.

The advantage of this lamp over some rivals I have tried is that it has a small footprint for the number and power of the LEDs. It has a far more robust construction than some lightweight fan free rivals I have tried but at the cost of increased power consumption and weight. At the current Amazon price of £59.99 it is not cheap but it does feel like a professional piece of kit built to last and has a high output for such a small size.

The Good
Good build quality
Eco friendly packaging
Robust construction
Hanging bracket kit included
Uk power cord

The Bad
Heavy
Higher power use than some rivals
No power switch

More info and purchase

450w Electric tile cutter from UK-Performance-Parts

Our builder let us down when constructing our new conservatory and in the end we decided to cut our losses and tile it ourselves. Gillian and I had some experience in tiling we had tiles our kitchen and put a new tiled floor down in the bathroom. Somewhere in the house was the electric tile cutter we used for these jobs but after an exhaustive search only the motor and not the essential top plate could be found. The upshot was that a new tile cutter had to be bought. Since it was for this single job a budget device had to be found and after a search on Amazon this one seemed to be the best.

In the box was the device itself with the blade already in place. Using it was just a matter of fitting the cutting guard and parallel guide bar. A mitre gauge is included to allow for for angled cuts and the table will tilt to allow for chamfered cutting. The User Guide is comprehensive and well written and though of a decent size it is poorly printed and hard to read. I enclose a scan of it at the end of my unboxing video.

I found it easy enough to use but one annoyance was that the rather ill fitting blade guard prevented a tile from traveling the whole length across the table and also the guide prevented me accurately keeping the cut accurate at times.
In the end I removed the guide and found the cutter much easier to use but of course this meant that even more care than usual had to be used when operating it. Another minor annoyance was that the distance markings on the shiny Parallel Guide are hard to read when it is wet and dirty from use. Clear black markings here would have been better.

I was very happy with using the device. It was not too noisy when operating and seemed throw up much less water than previous cutters I have used. I was pleased to see that the motor would slow down and stop smoothly if over worked and there were no jams or blockages. Cleaning the device after use is a tiresome and messy job but then so it is with them all.

This is a decent quality device available at a very attractive price. It has a few minor issues but nothing that would prevent me buying another if I needed to.
The current Amazon price of less than £40 makes it all the more attractive.

The Good
Great price
Good build quality
Well written User Guide
Tilting table
Not too noisy
Auto motor cut-off
Blade guard poorly fitted and is obstructive

The Bad
Cutting guard prevents full tile travel
User Guide poorly printed
Parallel Guide markings hard to see.

More info and purchase

LUJII Mini 130 ml Atomization Humidifier

This has to be the smallest and neatest aromatherapy oil diffuser I have ever tried and at a current Amazon price of £13.99 it is not a bad buy at all.

The diffuser arrived simply packaged in a brown cardboard box inside of which was the diffuser itself, a short proprietary USB power cord, and a rather hard to read User Guide. I enclose a copy of the User Guide at the end of my unboxing video, set to full frame and pause to read it.

The unit looks very attractive on the desk and I think that the desk, given the rather short USB cable provided, is where it is intended to live. It has twist off top to gain access to the 130ml water reservoir where a plastic tube links it to the burner above . Just release a drop or two of essential oils into the water tank to give fragrance to the humidified air. A cotton pad is provided which is to be placed into the water tank during use. This is not a feature I have seen with any other oil burner and what it does I do not know.

There is just one control. A simple touch style button on the front turns the device on with LEDs and diffuser, a second touch turns off the LEDs whilst the diffuser continues to operate, a third touch switches off the whole unit.

It works well and sits at the desk silently emitting the calming aromas whilst adding moisture to the air. It does have a calming effect conducive to clear thought and enhancing work flow. Take care where you position it as with all diffusers some moisture may be precipitated around it.

This is a excellent little device that for a relatively small price will make your working day that bit more zen like.

The Good
Great price
Compact size
USB powered

The Bad
Non standard cable
No colour pattern selection
Short power cord
Low power LED
Some moisture may be precipitated around the burner

More info and purchase

Mini Waterproof Bluetooth LESHP C3 Speaker by OUTAD

This new plastic bodied waterproof Bluetooth speaker from OUTAd is currently on offer at £23.99 on Amazon which for a pocket sized speaker of this quality is not bad. It is nicely made, looks good and sounds fine for the size.

Supplied in an eco friendly plain cardboard storage box, was the speaker itself, a USB charging cable, audio cable, a lanyard strap and a User Guide. The User Guide is well printed and easy to read if rather small. I enclose a copy on the end of my unboxing video, switch to fullscreen and pause when needed to read it.

Build quality is excellent. The speaker body consists of a front facing plain grill covering the speakers and microphone with one status LED. On the top are the standard dual use four track, volume and power buttons with a lanyard strap cut out on both corners. One one side is a grommet protected bay concealing the micro-USB charging and audio in ports

Setting up the speaker for Bluetooth pairing is easy enough thanks to the LED guided status prompts. It paired first time my Nexus 6P phone and connected automatically when rebooted. The connection is good and I experienced no drop outs in use.

Sound quality from this speaker is good for the small size but more bass would have been good, but given the size and form factor it is not technically possible. That said, the audio quality is perfectly adequate for normal use and in fact better than I was expecting for the nature of the device. Also it lacks some features found on many rivals devices, such as NFC, FM radio and a TF card slot but again given the small size the lack is not to be wondered at.

The main selling points for this speaker are the unusual design and robust build together with the IP67 waterproofing which would make it perfect for camping or outdoor use. It can even withstand a total immersion in water for up to 30 minutes.

This is a great speaker for outdoor or camping use. The build quality is good and the speaker looks much more upmarket and sophisticated than I was expecting. Battery life with my limited testing seems fine and it is good for the claimed ten hours between two and a half hour charges.

The unusual design, good build quality make this an appealing buy and for the price would make a useful and easily packed addition to any camping trip.

The Good
Good sound quality
Audio in port
IP67 Waterproof
Robust build

The Bad
No TF card slot
No powerbank feature
No carry case
No FM radio
No NFC

More info and purchase

Bluetooth Waterproof LESHP C29 Speaker by OUTAD

At the current Amazon price of £36.99 for a pocket sized speaker this is by no means cheap but it does have some unusual features not the least of which is the unusual metal design and build which makes this new speaker from

Inside the eco friendly plain cardboard packaging, robust enough to serve as a storage box, was the speaker itself, a USB charging cable, audio cable, a lanyard strap and a User Guide. You don’t really need much of a User Guide for a speaker but the supplied guide is well printed and easy to read if rather small. I enclose a copy on the end of my unboxing video, switch to fullscreen and pause when needed to read it.

Build quality is excellent. The speaker body consists of a front facing plain grill covering the speakers and microphone with one status LED. On the top are the standard dual use four track, volume and power buttons with a lanyard strap cut out at one corner. One one side is a large grommet protected bay concealing the micro-USB charging and audio in ports

Configuring the speaker for Bluetooth pairing is easy enough thanks to the LED guided status prompts. It paired first time my Nexus 6P phone and connected automatically when rebooted. The connection is good and I experienced no drop outs in use.

Sound quality from this speaker is good but more bass would have been good, but given the size and form factor is not to be wondered at. That said, the audio quality is perfectly adequate for normal use and in fact better than I was expecting for the nature of the device. Also it lacks some features found on many rivals devices, such as NFC, FM radio and a TF card slot. Note that it is advised not use the speaker when the battery is charging an annoying drawback found with many speakers of this type.

The main selling points for this speaker are the unusual and very robust metal design and build together with the IP67 waterproofing which would make it perfect for camping or outdoor use. It can even withstand a total immersion in water for up to 30 minutes. The slight drawback here is the metal body makes the speaker heavy for its size and would make it sink like a stone if it did fall overboard.

This is a fantastic speaker for outdoor or camping use. The build quality is good and the speaker looks much more upmarket and sophisticated than I was expecting. Battery life with my limited testing seems fine and it is good for the claimed ten hours between charges.

The unusual design, great build quality make this an appealing buy and although not cheap it has qualities and some features the others lack.

The Good
Great Build quality
Good sound quality
Audio in port
IP67 Waterproof
Metal body

The Bad
No TF card slot
No powerbank feature
No carry case
No FM radio
No NFC
Cannot use whilst charging

More info and purchase