Profile for J. York > Reviews


J. York's Profile

Customer Reviews: 463
Top Reviewer Ranking: 387
Helpful Votes: 3522

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J. York RSS Feed (Cypress, TX United States)

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Jabra STEALTH Bluetooth Headset - Retail Packaging - Black
Jabra STEALTH Bluetooth Headset - Retail Packaging - Black
Price: $97.79
6 used & new from $86.40

3.0 out of 5 stars pretty good, but my voice sounds very "digital", September 12, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Jabra STEALTH is a remarkable engineering feat. It is so small and light, you'd think it was a hollow piece of plastic. Yet it has voice-guided pairing, very loud volume, and very competent noise cancellation.

In the box is the headset and a full array of different ear pieces, depending on what you find most comfortable. There's also a 6 inch USB cable for charging (but no charger). I went ahead and used my iPhone charger to top off the battery and it worked great.

Pairing was very easy. The first time you turn it on, the STEALTH starts giving you instructions through the earpiece. I'd say it took no more than 90 seconds from power on until I was paired and working. I paired two phones and it is able to connect to both at the same time; always nice if you have a personal and work cell phone.

Every time you power it on it tells you how much talk time is left before the battery runs out. I like that instead of telling you "90% battery" it tells you "5 hours and 30 minutes of talk time". So far the battery life seems to track accurately with the estimates. When I make a 30 minute phone call, the battery life will drop by 30 minutes.

In my (very) loud car with the air conditioner blowing full blast, people had difficulty understanding me but I could hear very well. As soon as I turned down the air conditioner fan, I could be understood by everyone but some people still had trouble recognizing my voice due the digital sound. The noise cancellation is able to take care of the drone of the car exhaust on the highway.

I've mentioned a couple of times that this thing is capable of being very loud. You can use it in a loud environment and still be able to hear just fine. At the loudest setting it downright hurts my ear.

This is the first in-ear Bluetooth headset that I've found that is loud enough that I can clearly hear what is being said, even when I'm accelerating. I usually only use this in the car when I'm sitting on mute in a conference call so this works well for me. I am a big fan of the noise cancellation but I do wish the sound quality didn't alter my voice so much that people couldn't tell it is me talking.

Tile Lock Scrabble
Tile Lock Scrabble
Offered by AreYouGame
Price: $19.98
29 used & new from $13.99

3.0 out of 5 stars miniature scrabble board, September 11, 2014
This review is from: Tile Lock Scrabble (Toy)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Tile Lock Scrabble is a portable take on the classic board game. The board is shrunken to 11x11 inches (compared to the traditional 14x14) and is a solid piece of plastic instead of a folding piece of cardboard. There are small rubber feet to help keep the board from sliding around. Because the board is rigid, you can support It on your knee or on an uneven surface.

To help with the portability, this board features tiles that are held in place by small posts all throughout the board. This is what they refer to as the "tile lock". Once a tile is in place, any lateral movement of the board won't cause it to move out of place. A major problem with this design, and the reason that I give this product three stars, is that if you bump the board up and down, the tiles still go flying. They are only held down by gravity.

The board comes with four plastic tile pews.

Overall, I found the small 11x11 size with the small plastic tiles difficult to get used to. The tiles are smaller than a traditional scrabble board and a bit slippery. Because of their shrunken size, my adult-sized fingers fumble with them a lot. Unless I was using this in a motorhome or somewhere without a table, I'd probably opt for the full-sized game and not worry about the tile lock capability.

Bose SoundLink On-Ear Bluetooth Headphones - Black
Bose SoundLink On-Ear Bluetooth Headphones - Black
Price: $249.95
6 used & new from $249.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars all-around great performer, September 7, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These Bose Bluetooth headphones sound really good and are great at removing background noise from phone calls. They're very lightweight and comfortable and the battery life has been impressive.

+ Great all-around usability, from pairing to daily usage
+ Great noise cancelling microphone
+ Light and comfortable
+ Audio is quite good
+ Sturdy construction should last a long time

- A lot of noise bleed

Right out of the box, it was clear that Bose put a lot of effort into making these headphones as easy to use as possible. The great usability starts with the voice-guided pairing process. I was able to pair two phones and a laptop in just a couple of minutes. The voice prompts tell you what to do along the way. The voice prompts also read the name of each device you're connected to so you don't have to guess. It can connect to multiple devices at the same time.

I spent a couple of hours listening to music and was pleased with the wireless sound quality. Sound quality is slightly better when wired (which is an option with these headphones), but the difference is subtle. The headphones are snug but don't press too hard on my ears or disturb my glasses. Laying on my back, even my pillow wasn't at odds with the headphones; they stayed perfectly on my ears. There are a lot of articulation points which I think allows them fit different contours with ease. The over-ear design has not caused any perspiration (which is a problem I've had with other headphones)

One problem surfaced during my music session. If you turn the volume up to about 50%, noise starts to bleed out to everyone around you. Just for grins, I dug out a trusty old pair of wired Sony over-the-ear headphones and cranked them up to about 80% before anyone could hear my music. The Bose headphones do a pretty bad job of keeping the music in your ear. This will probably be a problem for some people depending on where you do your listening. Also, after hearing these headphones side-by-side with my old head phones (Sony D700), I have to report that the Sony had a clear edge in sound quality. The Bose sounds really good, but the Sony sounds great (even compared to the Bose wired).

My primary use for these is for wireless phone calls. I take phone calls on my iPhone and also through VOIP applications on my Windows 7 laptop. From my phone, the Bluetooth works great. It connects in only a second or two after power on and the range is quite nice. I'd say you can easily walk 20 feet from the phone without hearing a single glitch in the sound.

Most impressive when making phone calls is the noise-cancelling microphone. You sound like you're in a sound booth. I recorded a couple of voice memos to myself and all of the noise of my air conditioner and ceiling fan was eliminated. What's really amazing to me is that there is no visible microphone to speak of. This great sound quality is picked from a microphone positioned at your ear.

Battery life is about 10% per hour in my testing. I've had multiple 1-hour phone calls that dropped it 10%. I haven't tried a longer call yet. I can definitely live with 10% per hour.

VOIP calls from my laptop haven't worked yet because Windows 7 reports that it can't find a driver. These headphones are just now coming on the market and I expect this problem to be resolved soon. I'll update my review to remove this comment once Bose releases the Windows 7 driver.

A few miscellaneous notes. I love the large "L" and "R" printed on the inside of each ear piece. You don't have to study these headphones to know which way to put them on. Why doesn't everyone do this?

Although a USB cable is included for charging, no charger is included. I ended up charging them using my iPhone charger and it worked well.

Battery life is very easy to monitor. Every time you turn them on a voice will tell you the remaining battery percentage. There is also a battery LED that lights briefly any time you power them on or adjust the volume. After two hours of music, the battery charge dropped by 10%.

The set comes with a formed protective case that beats the heck out of a typical pouch. The case has a small inner-pouch for holding the enclosed 4' cord (used when your battery is dead and you still want to listen to music).

The right headphone has buttons for volume up/volume down/and a play/pause/hang-up button. The buttons are easy to feel and identify when wearing the headphones.

Given the great battery life, long term comfort, fantastic microphone noise cancellation, and stellar usability, I am really loving these Bose Bluetooth headphones. If you are looking for something only for music, you might want to shop around, but if you will use these for mixed usage of music listening and phone calls, I think you'll be very happy with these.

OXO Good Grips 6-Piece Plastic Measuring Spoons with added Scraper
OXO Good Grips 6-Piece Plastic Measuring Spoons with added Scraper
Price: $4.99
2 used & new from $4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars love the way they snap together, September 6, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a quality set of measuring spoons. Oxo Good Grips have comfortable, thick handles that are easy to grasp even when your hands are wet. The spoons snap together in place of a standard ring. This is handy because they stay together in the drawer but are also very easy to separate when you want just one.

The included scraper tool works well for leveling off each spoon and also snaps onto the rest of the spoons.

All of the spoons are imprinted with their size, ranging from 1/8 TSP to 1TBS. A different color is used on each so you can quickly identify them after a few uses. The ink seems like it will last a long time; I tried to scratch some of it off with my fingernail but didn't even make a mark on them.

One complaint is that the tablespoon label is illegible because it is a light yellow background with white text. I'm unable to read "1 TBS" under any lighting. Of course, the tablespoon is huge and is obviously a tablespoon, so I'm not too upset about this.

Mead Trapper Keeper Snapper Trapper Binder, 1.5-Inch Capacity, 12 x 11.75 Inches, Red (72680)
Mead Trapper Keeper Snapper Trapper Binder, 1.5-Inch Capacity, 12 x 11.75 Inches, Red (72680)
Price: $15.81

4.0 out of 5 stars well built but difficult to snap closed, September 3, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Trapper Keeper is a competent three-ring binder with a flap that closes to lock in loose papers when you're on the go. It is very lightweight but still seems sturdy. The 3-ring mechanism is made of metal and all of the rings line up perfectly so your paper doesn't snag when leafing through the pages.

The flap is held closed by a snap (not Velcro like some older Trapper Keepers). Once snapped, it is very solid and doesn't flip open on its own.

Inside each cover is a pouch that can hold 15-20 sheets of paper. Once the Trapper Keeper is snapped closed, you don't have to worry about these papers falling out.

Even though there is a clear material protecting the Trapper Keeper, there isn't any way to insert your own paper or decorations. This isn't a problem for me but I know some people like to get add a bit of personality.

I have a couple of complaints. First, the ring mechanism is very loud. When you snap it open or closed, it makes a loud metallic pop that is going to turn every head in the room. Don't try to add or remove paper in the middle of class!

I also found the snap for the flap to be difficult to line-up. I end up fumbling around with trying to line up the snap every time I want to close it.

TP-LINK TL-PB10400 10400mAh Dual-Port Ultra External Battery Portable USB Charger Power Bank, Fast Charging, High Capacity, Compatible with iOS and Android Devices, One Micro USB Cable, Practical Flashlight
TP-LINK TL-PB10400 10400mAh Dual-Port Ultra External Battery Portable USB Charger Power Bank, Fast Charging, High Capacity, Compatible with iOS and Android Devices, One Micro USB Cable, Practical Flashlight
Offered by Network Giant
Price: $49.99
28 used & new from $45.96

4.0 out of 5 stars works well, convenient size, September 2, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This TP-LINK battery pack does a good job of charging both my iPhone 5 and a power hungry iPad 3. It has two ports and you can charge both devices at once.

This battery pack doesn't include its own charger so I used the 12W charger from my iPad. Using that charger, it takes almost 8 hours to charge the TP-LINK. Once done, the TP-LINK can charge an almost depleted iPad 3 overnight.

The two USB ports are labeled for the max amperage that they support. The 1A port is for phones only and the 2A port is for a tablet or a phone.

The TP-LINK battery pack is reasonably compact and not a burden to carry around as an extra source of power, especially when travelling where you might need some extra juice. It does carry a bit of weight, but it's not that noticeable.

There is an included flashlight but I found it useless. You can't find the "on" button in the dark which means you can only turn it on if you already have light available. And once it's on, the feeble blue light is uncomfortable on the eyes and doesn't provide much visability.

I dinged this product 1 star because the charge indicator LEDs don't seem to be accurate. One time, the TP-LINK told me that it was "half full", but then I tried to charge my iPad and it gave up after adding only 6% to the iPad's charge. I would expect a half-full battery to add 40 to 50% to my iPad's charge level.

Overall though, it works well and is a good safety net for those that travel or use their phones a lot.

Denon HEOS 7 Wireless Speaker
Denon HEOS 7 Wireless Speaker
Price: $599.00
6 used & new from $599.00

2.0 out of 5 stars potential is there, needs updates, August 29, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Denon Heos 7 hardware is a thing of beauty with beautiful sound to match, but the limited and poorly executed feature set leaves me completely unimpressed.

+ Easy setup; up and running in 2 minutes
+ Really good sound with an appreciable amount of bass
+ Looks great anywhere you put it
+ Cloud integration allows music to play even if you turn off your phone
+ Tenacious wifi; works in a part of my house where nothing else works

- Very limited music source options
- Lag in volume control (up to 5 seconds)
- Doesn't pause music when you get a phone call
- HEOS app on iPhone is very buggy
- No random playlists (all songs play in same order)
- Doesn't work with iPhone volume buttons (seriously!!!)
- No AirPlay support

I've always been a fan of Denon and have owned multiple of their top-end AVR systems. The Denon HEOS 7 seemed like a great idea: Denon sound quality and design for the digital age. Setup was fantastically easy. I can't stress how easy this was to setup. It took no more than two minutes and I'm confident my mother could succeed.

I happened to setup the HEOS 7 in a part of my house with horrible wifi reception. To my great surprise, it connected immediately and has never disconnected. I have tried many times to use AirPlay speakers in this room and have always had to relocate them in the end. The Denon appears to be here to stay!

Denon's approach to delivering music to the speaker is more cloud-centric and less reliant on the audio you might be channeling through your phone, tablet, or computer. This has pros and cons. Mostly cons. By using a cloud approach, Denon has to collect all of your usernames and passwords for things like Pandora, Spotify, etc…). Unfortunately, you're strictly limited to cloud services that Denon has elected to partner with. At this time, that means Pandora, Spotify, Rhapsody, and TuneIn. No SiriusXM, no ESPN app, no iTunes Radio, or basically any of the thousands of local-programming apps you can listen to on your phone.

Denon could have addressed all of those additional sources by supporting AirPlay or Bluetooth as an alternate way to pipe in music. They do support DLNA, but that is difficult to setup and definitely not something my mom could get to work.

Aside from the limited audio sources, the Denon HEOS app is quite buggy. The HEOS application crashes randomly (and frequently enough that you'll get annoyed). Some screens like "advanced settings" or "local playlist" never load until you click on them 3-4 times.

A crushing annoyance is the fact that the volume controls on my phone do nothing to control the volume unless the screen is turned on, unlocked, and the HEOS app running is front-and-center with the "now playing" screen showing. No such thing as mindlessly reaching for your phone to crank it up for a song you like (or to crank it back down when it's over); you have to jump through hoops to get to the volume screen. And if you get a phone call, good luck; the music keeps playing at full volume even after you answer the call. By the time you can adjust the volume or pause the music, your incoming phone call will have gone to voicemail. As if this is not bad enough, volume changes sometimes take up to 5 seconds to register on the speaker. I timed it.

Access to local music/audio is hampered by the HEOS app. In my case, an Apple iPhone 5 with several playlists loaded. The HEOS app sees my local playlists but can only play them in order (no random function). Even though I paid for iTunes Radio, I can't listen to it through the HEOS.

There is no way to advance or rewind through a song or audio book. If there is an internet disruption, music stops playing and won't resume when the Internet comes back. Also, when your connection is restored, your song (or audiobook) will start over at the very beginning (with no way to seek through the audio).

Unless you listen to nothing but Pandora, Spotify, Rhapsody, or TuneIn, I think almost anyone would be disappointed after purchasing this product.

With the problems being related to software/firmware, the good news is that Denon has an opportunity to address these in future updates. Let's hope the future is sooner rather than later. I will update my review as updates are released. I have high hopes that the software will grow into the 5-star potential of the Denon hardware.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 6, 2014 4:09 PM PDT

Mead Academie Felt Tip Markers, Pack of 20, Assorted (98028)
Mead Academie Felt Tip Markers, Pack of 20, Assorted (98028)
Price: $14.99
2 used & new from $14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars great starter kit, August 28, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These markers are great in the classroom. They are comfortable to hold and have a firm tip that can be angled to a fine point or rotated for a wider swath. The color application is uniform and smooth. I don't get any smudging on my hand when I use them, though it is easy to blend the colors.

The color palette of the set has a good range of related shades that make it easy to take a hue from dark to light.

I like that they include a hard case for so that you can keep them organized and easily tote them around. The lids snap on quite firmly so you don't have to worry about them working loose and drying out the markers.

A good entry-level set.

Pioneer Ceramic Drinking Fountain Big Max
Pioneer Ceramic Drinking Fountain Big Max
Price: $49.84
12 used & new from $45.89

5.0 out of 5 stars stylish and functional, August 26, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I got a new dog this year and she refused to drink out of our old plastic dog bowl. She'd walk up, sniff the water, and then walk away. Since I can taste "plastic" when drinking from a plastic glass, I thought maybe it was the plastic that was scaring her away.

We bought this ceramic bowl and it is a major upgrade to the appearance of our kitchen and, happily, our little puppy drinks from it happily without ever turning up her nose.

I love the filter as it gathers up all of the little doggy crud and keeps the water crystal clear. The fountain is nice and keeps the water moving which I believe the dogs like. Most importantly, the pump is very quiet with only a gentle hum. My refrigerator is far far louder and I really don't notice it.

The smooth, round surface is very easy to clean. I appreciate that they sell replacement pumps for about $20. The filters are pretty inexpensive and I don't mind having to change them out once per month.

Post-it 1/2 Inch Notebook Kit, Includes 25 Full Adhesive Notes, Yellow, 2 x 2 Inches and 100 Arrow Flags, Bright Colors (ED-FLIPOUTM)
Post-it 1/2 Inch Notebook Kit, Includes 25 Full Adhesive Notes, Yellow, 2 x 2 Inches and 100 Arrow Flags, Bright Colors (ED-FLIPOUTM)
Price: $5.49
3 used & new from $5.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars magic adhesive, August 26, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This post-it kit is a great enhancement to any notebook. The entire pack has a small strip of adhesive that allows you to "tape" it to the inside of a notebook. From there, it's always with you.

The flags are great because you get enough colors to differentiate things and they are very easy to write on with a pen. I also like that you can move the flags around over and over and they still stick.

The sticky notes are smaller than the regular ones but have adhesive along the entire back so they don't curl up. They stick well but are easy to remove when you pull on them. 3M seems to have found the perfect balance between adhesion and release so that you don't get sticky goo all over the place and you don't have the notes falling off.

This is a great setup for anyone that frequently relies on a notebook.

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