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Huixinda Solar Powered Bluetooth Speaker - Wireless Portable Speaker for Camping, Beach, Cycling, Party, Fishing, Boating
Huixinda Solar Powered Bluetooth Speaker - Wireless Portable Speaker for Camping, Beach, Cycling, Party, Fishing, Boating
Offered by Boom Shop
Price: $25.99
2 used & new from $25.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Solar charging is nice, sound quality is just OK, build quality is nice, August 29, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
If you don't mind the sound quality, this is an OK speaker with the nice option of solar charging.

Pros:
Light
East to carry
Solar charging

Cons:
Sound quality

I am a bit critical of audio devices. I have a set of standards I want my headphones and speakers to meet or exceed. I adjust these based on the price of the device and the capabilities it has.

In this case, the sound quality to my ears is a bit tinny, with a lack of bass. With a little EQ you can adjust this, but it never meets my standards. All I want is believable bass, clear mids, and sharp, but not harsh, highs. Out of the box this speaker can't adequately deliver on any of these. One factor at play here is the frequency response (100 HZ to 20 KHx) and the actual size of the speaker. Getting thumping bass out of a speaker this size is pretty much impossible without make a lot of sacrifices elsewhere in design.

But then you take into other considerations, such as solar charging, and my disappointment in the sound quality lessens. If not for the solar charging capabilities, this speaker would be 2 stars at best.

The sound is, based on many BT speakers landing on my review desk, closest in quality to one of those round shower speakers. It is passable, it provides noise, and gets loud enough for personal use. For use in a large area, I'm not sure this holds up. I have it in my living room at full volume, and yeah, you can hear it in the living room. Move into another room and it almost disappears.

I have used this as a hands free calling device as well. It works OK enough, and I can hear my chat partners and they me. It's not amazing, but it's not completely horrible either. It's a bonus feature and treated as such.

Let's take a look at charging. If you plug this in, it will recharge in 3 hours. If you charge this over solar.... well, I hope you have a lot of time on your hands. It seems to almost charge the speaker enough while listening to keep it from having the battery die completely, but solar charge time is glacial at best. Given that it's on there, it is a nice addition to help eke out a few extra minutes of listening.

Listening time for me, without it charging while playing via solar, was around 3.5 hours average over 3 charges. Not bad, not amazing.

Stick this on your bike, stick it to your backpack, and enjoy headphone free listening. Don't expect audiophile quality though, and appreciate the solar charging.

Overall, sound is OK for the size. Capabilities are good, and solar charging works.

Sample provided in exchange for a fair and honest review.


Outdoor Sports Waterproof Shockproof Dust-proof Portable Bluetooth Wireless Speaker with Built in Mic and Rechargeable Battery Hands Free Call [Green]
Outdoor Sports Waterproof Shockproof Dust-proof Portable Bluetooth Wireless Speaker with Built in Mic and Rechargeable Battery Hands Free Call [Green]
Offered by Boom Shop
Price: $29.99
2 used & new from $29.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Rugged, sounds quite good, August 29, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
If you are looking for a rugged BT speaker that you can take with you hiking, camping or feel safer having next to the pool, then look no further.

I tried this for several hours before writing my review and tried over BT and via the included AUX input.

BT pairing is pretty simple. Power it on, flip the power switch (behind the rubberized door on the side of the speaker), hold down the play button on the top of the speaker, and it should go into pairing mode. Turn BT on for your device, and pair and boom, you're paired, ready to listen.

If you want to use AUX IN, it's easier. Plug the included cable into your device, plug the other end into the speaker and play away. In this mode, however, be aware that volume is controlled ONLY by your device. The volume, next, previous and pause options only work when paired via BT.

In terms of sound quality, I would say this is a 3.75 - 4 stars when judged against similar priced and similarly configured speakers. Bass is not very boomy out of the box, but mids are clear, and highs are sharp without becoming harsh. For the price and size, this sounds good.

I also ran a frequency response check on the speaker, and it seems to cover about 40 Hz up to 17 KHz (I can't hear higher than that, so I will ASSUME it goes to 20 KHz at least). Good stuff.

The speaker itself has a caribiner clip, and the included carabiner clips easily to a good back pack. The outer edges of the speaker is covered with rubber, and the AUX IN and USB input/charging ports are covered with semi-sealable rubber. This is why it's "splash proof." KEEP IN MIND - splash proof is just that, splash proof. You can't submerge this in water, or allow it to sit for any length of time in the rain and expect it to continue to work.

The speaker worked, for me, for about 6.5 hours averaged over 3 chARGES. This was NOT full volume and if you drive it at full, I would assume you would get less than this.

Overall, this is a nice speaker with some good capabilities and great options. Sound quality is good (audiophiles need not apply though). And the rugged capability means you won't have to worry about breaking it while camping and so on.

Recommended.

Sample provided by Huixinda for review purposes. A positive review was neither requested, nor demanded, in this exchange.


StarTech.com MSTMDP124DP MST Hub - Mini DisplayPort to 4x DisplayPort - Multi Stream Transport Hub - MDP 1.2
StarTech.com MSTMDP124DP MST Hub - Mini DisplayPort to 4x DisplayPort - Multi Stream Transport Hub - MDP 1.2
Price: $147.13
40 used & new from $139.73

5.0 out of 5 stars Ensure you have support on your device for this - if you do, 3+ monitors from the hub is a sight to behold, August 29, 2015
Before buying, ensure you know what your laptop/tablet/desktop is capable of supporting. I have a Surface Pro 3 with the built in Intel video. With this configuration, I can pull off a total of 3 displays - my SP3 screen and 2 DP capable monitors. Higher end video cards from AMD offer this capability - just not ALL video cards are capable of this. To avoid disappoint, you will want to investigate this prior to shelling out for the MST hub.

There are also some Ultrabooks and laptops that will fully support 4 monitors through DP MST.

That being said, I have access to a Dell Precision laptop at work, and connected this up to 3 monitors - it worked perfectly and I saw no issues at all.

From the SP3, the two monitors worked well, no issues, and scrolling and video viewing remained smooth. The SP3 did have the fan kick on and stay on though, so that is a consideration.

You can also drive just a single monitor through the hub, but that sort of defeats the purpose.

Build quality is nice, and with how small the device is, it would be easy to travel with if you needed it. I don't imagine many would have this use case, as this is better served just sitting on the desk, but it is possible. The power brick that comes with it though, which is required for operation, is heavier than the hub, so keep that in mind if you need to travel with it.

The hub is made from metal and seems like it could take a beating. The only concern I could have is that the MiniDP cable is built into the hub, so if for some reason it ever breaks at that connection point, you will have to replace the entire device. Since it's meant for plug in and leave it on the desk, I am not really worried about this in the slightest, but if you plan to travel with it, be aware. And for the record, the connection point IS reinforced, so I really don't even think heavy travel and usage would cause it to break, I just mention it as it could go wrong.

If you are using Windows 8/8.1/or 10, this is plug and play simple. Connect it, let the laptop find it, and you can now plug monitors in as needed. For those running Windows 7, sorry, MiniDP to MST support is only in Win 8 and higher. I do not know if the Mac can support MST, sorry. If you are running Win 7, don't forget you can get the upgrade to Win 10, if you need this capability and your computer supports it, so that is an option. You would need to decide if you want Win 10 or not, however.

The StarTech MST hub, if you have supported hardware and enough monitors, is easy to use and offers seamless support across all monitors. It's definitely a sight to behold when multiple monitors light up from a single tiny connector, connected to this hub.

Recommended.

Sample provided in exchange for an honest review.


StarTech.com Thunderbolt to eSATA with USB 3.0 Adapter (TB2USB3ES)
StarTech.com Thunderbolt to eSATA with USB 3.0 Adapter (TB2USB3ES)
Price: $84.24
63 used & new from $84.24

5.0 out of 5 stars Depending on use case, this could be a great option - works well and offers extra versatility, August 29, 2015
If you want to add eSATA and an extra USB3 port to your Mac, or supported Windows PCs, then the StarTech adapter is right for you.

First, be sure you have a Thunderbolt connection. Most Macs built within the last few years have them. Some Windows based Ultrabooks have them, but it seems to be a rarity with most just tossing on USB3 instead. Thunderbolt has the advantage of being faster, but USB has the advantage of having more peripherals available.

Why I like this, is that I can use any SATA drive as an external hard drive. This is a huge advantage in price, because for whatever reason, Thunderbolt external drives are stupid expensive. At prices currently, a single 1 TB Thunderbolt drive will run about $150-$175. A similar USB3 drive is $50-$70. A bare bones drive, that you can put into a relatively inexpensive enclosure that offers eSATA, will run a total of $75-$95. Of course, you then add on the cost of this adapter and it's the same or more expensive than a Thunderbolt drive, but the use case for me is more attractive. Why? I am an IT guy. I swap hard drives in and out of machines all day. There is no Thunderbolt dock where I can just drop a drive in and have it work. There are plenty of USB3 docks or adapters, but they are much slower than Thunderbolt. In comes eSATA. Sure, it's a bit slower, but now I can use a SATA to eSATA adapter, plug it in and it works at a great speed vs USB3. Thunderbolt still beats eSATA, but try finding a Thunderbolt cable that isn't horribly and stupidly overpriced.

What I find is that throughput is quite good. Transfer rates are on par with internal drives, and for me, that's the key. Pulling data from a drive is 30-40% faster than USB3 so my work is done more quickly.

The added USB3 port is icing on the cake I guess. It's nice to get an extra USB3 port to use, especially when manufacturers skimp on ports on laptops and tablets these days.

Recommended if you have the use case for it. If you want fastest possible transfer rates though, just bite the bullet and go Thunderbolt. If you work on computers and need easy and fast access to pull data from drives, the eSATA port is the best of both worlds.

Sample provided in exchange for an honest review.


LEDMY DC 12V Flexible Led Strip Light Lamp, Led Tape, SMD3528-1200Leds, IP 20 Non-waterproof String Light (Warm White, 3000K) 16.4FT/5M
LEDMY DC 12V Flexible Led Strip Light Lamp, Led Tape, SMD3528-1200Leds, IP 20 Non-waterproof String Light (Warm White, 3000K) 16.4FT/5M
Offered by LEDMY
Price: $99.99
2 used & new from $44.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Be sure you have no problem soldering before buying and have access to a proper power supply, August 29, 2015
Before you buy these, be sure you know how to wire them up, and be aware of what use case you have for them. The lights come in a roll, as shown in the photo, but do not illuminate with what is provided. At one end you have bare wires, and the rest of the strip is just LEDs.

My original use case for these was to use them as bias lighting behind my TV. I figured I would cut it to length and be good to go. The problem is that these lights are BRIGHT. Too bright for me to use as bias lighting. They are also not cool white, they are warm white. Not good for bias lighting.

What they can be good for though, is adding low cost lighting to any room or location in the house. With the ability to cut them at ever 3 LEDs, and having soldering points for new power wires (not included), you can use this one strip as one giant strip around a room, or you can trim it to proper sizes and use it in multiple locations.

I like them, but I have yet to figure out where exactly I can use them.

Sample provided in exchange for an honest review.


Sunwee Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 Sports Earbuds Mini Neckband Stereo Earphones Headphones High-fidelity Sound Headsets Earpiece Sweatproof for Running Gym Jogger Exercise with Noise Cancelling CVC6.0 Mic
Sunwee Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 Sports Earbuds Mini Neckband Stereo Earphones Headphones High-fidelity Sound Headsets Earpiece Sweatproof for Running Gym Jogger Exercise with Noise Cancelling CVC6.0 Mic
Offered by WCB Direct
Price: $99.99
2 used & new from $29.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Overly bass-y. If you like bass, 5 stars. If you want neutral sound out of the box, these are 2 stars, August 29, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
If you like bass, you will love these. If you like your music to be more neutral, you will need to adjust EQ to get these dialed down to a usable state.

Personally, when I look for a pair of headphones I am looking for a pair that offers a pleasing sound quality to MY ears out of the box, without needing EQ. My preference is a more neutral, let the music speak for itself, approach. I also find that going with a neutral pair of headphones of a good quality often offer a better capability when I do want to push the EQ on a track or 5. These are, out of the box, overly boomy and far from neutral.

I listen to an...eclectic mix of music. I love death metal. I love folk. I love Japanese Pop. I love regular rock. And regular metal. In listening to even some death metal tracks, where the vocalist goes low and backing vocals jump high (but still growly), the higher pitched vocals are absolutely lost in the mix. Bass is just simply over powering, and in something like death metal, where the deep, evil sounding guitars can go fairly low in the frequency range, it just makes a huge mess of the music.

Japanese Pop came out OK, though again, overly bass-y. Rock sounds fairly good, but cymbals lose some of their impact.

You can dial the bass down with EQ, and it does a better job of not blowing out the rest of the music, but to me it just never dials in enough to make it sound really good. If all you want is bass, then these headphones are great. If you want to hear your music and enjoy all the notes and frequencies, out of the box you will be disappointed.

Pairing is simple. When powering the headphones up, hold the power button down until the light flashes red and blue. Enable BT on your transmitting device and tap the Sunwee when it appears in the list. You are now ready to listen to chat. If you are prompted for a PIN, you need 0000. I paired these to my SP3, Lumia 1020, work iPhone 5s, and an LG G4. None of them prompted for a PIN.

Chat quality is good. Other than some noise from my environment seeping in when I was walking around Kohls, it sounds good on my end, and my chat partners have no problem hearing me.

Comfort is good. They come with Small/Medium/Large gels. They come with the meidums preinstalled, which are right for me. Noise isolation, when using the proper sized gel, is very good. I don't hear anything outside, and no one hears my music on the other side.

In the end, these are an OK pair of headphones, geared to bass junkies. The wireless capability is good, and appreciated. Chat quality is good as well.

Sample provided in exchange for an honest review.


Ewei's HomeWares 8pcs Premium Ceramic Knife Set - 4pcs Kitchen Knives & 4pcs Blade Sheaths in Gift Box
Ewei's HomeWares 8pcs Premium Ceramic Knife Set - 4pcs Kitchen Knives & 4pcs Blade Sheaths in Gift Box
Offered by LENOMEX MART
Price: $21.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Great knives, cut like a champ, easy to clean, super comfortable to hold, August 29, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These knives are nothing short of fantastic. You receive 4 ceramic knives, one in each size. The knives are:

3" Paring Knife
4" Fruit Knife
5" Chef Knife
6" Santoku Knive

Each knife has its own individual sheath as well. This in particular is something I really like about these knives. I live in a townhouse, and kitchen space is a premium. I have plenty of drawer space, but just willy nilly throwing a knife in a drawer? Yeah... not a good idea. I have my utensils sorted, and I have some nice steak knives on display on the counter, but haven't spent time buying another utensil drawer for my weird knives or knives I can't fit anywhere else. With the sheath on, with how well the sheath really grips the blade, I have no worries about just tossing them in a drawer. I wouldn't do this if I had kids at home, regardless of how well the sheath remains on the blade.

The handles are rubberized, and let me just say, the balance on these knives is near perfect. Fatigue from cutting over a longer period of time is a thing of the past. Well, OK, if you are cutting for hours on end, nothing will save you from some pain...

One thing to keep in mind - it is VERY highly recommend to only hand wash these. I have had other ceramic knives that I mistakenly put in the dishwasher. Over time, they lost their luster and one of them chipped. I think they are hard but brittle, and dishwashers are great devices, but these bad boys will be hand washed from now on.

Cutting is easy, feels good, and the knives, while they can't go in the dishwasher, are super easy to clean. Mostly just a rinse in warm/hot water and a little drying should suffice.

Great knives. Highly recommended.

Sample provided in exchange for an honest review.


StarTech.com MDP2HDMM1MB Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Converter Cable, 3-Feet
StarTech.com MDP2HDMM1MB Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Converter Cable, 3-Feet
Price: Click here to see our price
46 used & new from $14.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Great cable, works as expected, August 29, 2015
The StarTech Mini DP to HDMI cable, capable of up to 4K resolution, works like a champ from my Surface Pro 3, and makes connecting to an HDMI source a snap. I don't need any converters or anything - just plug and play.

The cable is well built. The connectors are nicely reinforced, so it should be able to withstand a bit of torture.

I only have 1080p at home, so I can't yet try out 4K with the cable, but if StarTech claims it is capable, I can't see why it wouldn't be.

The MiniDP carries audio as well as video, though I did find I needed to reboot my Surface Pro 3 before audio worked properly from my TV. Not a big deal, but something to be aware of, and something I've dealt with on other MiniDP to HDMI cables from the SP3.

Attached you will see a photo of my SP3 connected to my 42" TV. The display is crisp and clear and looks fantastic, as expected.

If you need a MiniDP to HDMI cable, this cable will suit your needs and should last quite a long time with how well it is built.

Sample provided in exchange for an honest review.
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Bag Wizard Ultra-light Packable Travelling Backpack Hiking Daypack (20L, Black)
Bag Wizard Ultra-light Packable Travelling Backpack Hiking Daypack (20L, Black)
Offered by BAG WIZARD
Price: $29.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice bag, light weight, large, well constructed, August 29, 2015
This review is the the larger 26L model, though the material and such portion of the review should be the same.

If you are looking for a nice day bag that, while it isn't "water proof" but nicely water repellent, the Bag Wizard is certainly one that should be on your list.

The bag has one smaller pocket in the front of the bag, the large main interior, a smaller pocket at the top of the interior of the bag and you have two rather large side water bottle pockets. The main interior pocket is absolutely cavernous.

The bag is made of nylon so it is water repellent. You wouldn't want this in an all day rain, but a sudden thunderstorm where you get out of the water in a timely fashion should keep the inside dry.

The zippers are the typical pull style zipper. My only complaint about the entire bag is that the zippers extend JUST a little too far into the side water bottle pockets. If you open the zipper all the way, it can obscure the zipper making it so it takes an extra second to get closed. Not a big deal, but it is the only "complaint" I can find.

The shoulder straps are not very padded, but made of a fine mesh that allows for a decent amount of breathability. Without padding though, given the large size of the bag and the sheer amount of stuff you can put in the bag, you should be aware of shoulder and neck fatigue with the bag. It would be very easy to over fill the bag and end up causing yourself some pain.

Where the seams meet, they are nicely reinforced. The shoulder strap seams have gotten a little extra loving, so I'm pretty sure this should be able to hold a fair amount of equipment/gear and it simply won't fall apart. From my wife, who is a textile engineer and big on sewing - "it's a nice bag, well designed, put together very well, and the mesh on the side water bottle pockets is very nice."

When I go hiking, this will be my go to bag from now on.

Sample provided in exchange for an honest review.


Wrangler Men's Authentics Classic Regular Fit Jean, Stonewash Dark, 32W x 32L
Wrangler Men's Authentics Classic Regular Fit Jean, Stonewash Dark, 32W x 32L
Price: $19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Look and feel good, nice dark blue, fit as expected, August 28, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Compared to Levi's, these are inexpensive. They feel nice, fit as expected, and should last a while. The color is dark blue, and they look good.

Past experience with Wrangler vs Levi tells me these won't last as long as my normal Levi's, but at less than half the price, I can just buy another pair of the Wranglers not be too worried about it.


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