US$500 Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H8 Headphones deliver Bangin’ Noise Cancelling Playback

Are you in the market for a pair of high-quality Bluetooth headphone with Noise Cancelling?

Then if you have US$500 to splash, then the Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H8 (Carnoy, 2015) on-ear headphones has your ears covered.

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So why should you splash US$500 on a pair of headphones when other headphones (Deer, 2015 April 1) at a lower price point offer the same bells and whistles for a lower price?

Because it’s real value bang for buck! 

Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H8 on-ear headphones – Stylish design with Cheap Carry Pouch 

Stylishly designed with an aluminium frame and sheepskin earmuffs, the entire package weighs a mere 255 g (9 oz) on your ears. The earcups are made from anodized aluminium and covered with sheepskin earmuffs filled with memory foam, so it’s comfortable, conforming to the contour and shape of your ears with little or no pressure being exerted.

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The right earcup has a touch interface similar to the US$300 Sennheiser Urbanite XL Wireless (Deer, 2015 May 24) headphones with similar gesture controls that might be a tad too sensitive.

The Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H8 on-ear headphones comes with an included pouch, not a case like the much cheaper US$300 Bose Quiet Comfort 25 (Deer, 2014, October 12), which comes with a nice rubberized case with a soft inner lining.

However, unlike the Bose Quiet Comfort 25, the active Noise Cancelling is a feature can be activated or deactivated in both in wired mode and wireless mode.

Removable Rechargeable Batteries – Hours of Wireless Bluetooth Fun with AptX

The headphones use a pair of rechargeable batteries which you can remove and replace with your own, which is also a good gesture. On a full charge, the Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H8 gives you fourteen (14) hours of music playback using Bluetooth 4.0 in wireless mode with the Noise Cancelling feature enabled and sixteen (16) hours with the Noise Cancelling feature disabled.

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This Bluetooth enable feature uses up a lot of power as in wired mode with Noise Cancelling, you get thirty five (35) hours of music playback, but at least you can enjoy your music in peace on an airplane, should you be told to remove them during flight.

If you have a smartphone, such as the Samsung Galaxy S6 (Deer, 2015 March 8), you might notice a slight improvement in the Bluetooth streaming thanks to the AptX built into those models (sorry Apple iPhone 6 fans!).

 

Little Nuances with Bang & Olufsen – Keep it to the right and Sit in one place

 

Music playback quality is fairly good, reproducing bass very well and with clear midrange frequencies. As can be expected with Wireless Bluetooth headphones, when tested in wired mode, they usually sound a lot better than when in Wireless mode.

In fact, when playing music wirelessly from a smartphone, its best to keep the smartphone on the right side of your body, as the Bluetooth receiver seems to also be in the right earcup of the Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H8 on-ear headphones.

Also, you’ll have to tolerate a bit of a banging Noise in the sound every time the heel of your shoe touch the pavement, due to your body’s walking motion generating RF Frequencies caused by the difference in capacitance between your body and the earth.

These little nuances seem a bit much for a pair of US$500 headphones, albeit they’re common to all Bluetooth Wireless models I’ve reviewed. But the Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H8 on-ear headphones certainly do deliver in the sound quality department; just keep it on the right side and try not to walk while listening to music!

 

References

 

  1. Carnoy, D. (2015, May 21). Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H8 review: A swanky Bluetooth headphone with a price to match. Retrieved from http://www.cnet.com/products/bang­olufsen­beoplay­h8/
  2. Deer, L. (2014, October 12). US$299.99 Bose Quiet Comfort 25 Headphones – Why the QC25 improves on the QC15 despite no Inductive Rechargeable Battery. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2014/10/us29999-bose-quiet-comfort-25.html
  3. Deer, L. (2015 April 1). Five Great Over-the-Ear Headphones – Noise Cancelling, Comfortable, Fashionable Bluetooth Music Streaming. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2015/04/Bose-Blue-MoFi-Oppo-Sennheiser-Audeze-Over-the-ear-headphones.html
  4. Deer, L. (2015 March 8). @Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge coming to Jamaica in April 2015 is 64-Bit Octa-Core Best of MWC 2015. Retrieved from https://lindsworthdeer.wordpress.com/2015/03/08/samsung-galaxy-s6-edge-64-bit-octa-core-mwc-2015/
  5. Deer, L. (2015 May 24). US$300 Sennheiser Urbanite XL Wireless headphones unique Touch Interface in Wireless Mode. Retrieved from https://lindsworthdeer.wordpress.com/2015/05/31/sennheiser-urbanite-xl-wireless-headphones-touch-interface/

 

 

 

 

 

 

US$25 AmazonBasics Ultra-Portable Micro Bluetooth Speaker is a DIY Party Boombox

Need a portable Bluetooth speaker for your smartphone but not fond of the Samsung Level Bluetooth (Deer, 2014, December 9) speaker?

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Then perhaps the super hot seller on Amazon, the US$25 AmazonBasics Ultra-Portable Micro Bluetooth Speaker (Yu, 2015) would be a great fit for you. At US$25, it’s by far the cheapest Bluetooth speaker online, and unlike the US$199 Amazon Echo (Deer, 2015, May 25), it has a built in battery.

It’s also got a really great colour selection:

  • Black
  • Blue
  • Grey
  • Red
  • White

Weighing only 113.4 g (4oz), this AmazonBasics Ultra-Portable Micro Bluetooth Speaker is shaped like a red donut with a black grille where the hole should be. That black grille is a single 3W speaker that faces upwards, with a ring of stick rubber to hold it in place and eliminate vibrations.

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I expect that might not last very long, so I’d recommend that when travelling, keep it inside of its felt carrying Case to protect its plastic shell from getting bruised.

So aside from the cheap Felt Carrying case, what other bells and whistles does this red donut speaker from Amazon have?

AmazonBasics Ultra-Portable Micro Bluetooth Speaker – Portable Boombox in the making

AmazonBasics Ultra-Portable Micro Bluetooth Speaker also has three (3) buttons; a center button for Power and two on either side for Volume Up and Volume Down.

Beside to see buttons you’ll see a small Blue LED to indicate Bluetooth connectivity as well as power level. There are two (2) additional ports on the back, a Micro-USB port to recharge the battery, which gives you a good ten (10) hours sprint on a single charge and an auxiliary port to connect to a 3.5mm Jack for a non-Bluetooth source, which you’ll have to supply yourself.

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With those basic specs, it’s clearly a mono-directional speaker that’s nothing more than a mini amplifier that you really can’t turn up too loud. At higher volumes, its cannot faithfully reproduce higher frequencies albeit it does bass well. Also, at full blast, expect battery life to be cut by as much as 50%.

So why is it so hot?

Because not only can you buy two of these speakers and hook them up to the source using a 3.5mm Jack pigtail (if you can’t find one, splice an existing one and add on an extra head!) but your friend can connect their portable Battery Chargers (Deer, 2014 July 6), thereby extending their play time.

This is basically a mini DJ Party Speaker setup in the making; with a few more modifications to the housing, those pair of AmazonBasics Ultra-Portable Micro Bluetooth Speaker can become a mini boombox!

Truly, a great product from Amazon, Earth’s Most Customer Centric Company!

 

References:

  1. Deer, L. (2014 July 6). How to extend your smartphone’s battery Life with a Portable Battery Charger. Retrieved from http://www.geezam.com/how-to-extend-your-smartphones-battery-life-with-a-portable-battery-charger/
  2. Deer, L. (2014, December 9). How Samsung’s Top 7 Christmas Gift List can make Christmas unforgettable. Retrieved from http://www.geezam.com/how-samsungs-top-7-christmas-gift-list-can-make-christmas-unforgettable/
  3. Deer, L. (2015, May 25). US$199 Amazon Echo with Alexa is Ground Zero for iOT push into Home Automation. Retrieved from https://lindsworthdeer.wordpress.com/2015/05/31/us199-amazon-echo-with-alexa-is-ground-zero-for-iot-push-into-home-automation/
  4. Yu, J. (2015, May 20). AmazonBasics Ultra-Portable Micro Bluetooth Speaker BTV4 review: A low-budget micro-Bluetooth speaker that fits in your pocket. Retrieved from http://www.cnet.com/products/amazonbasics­ultra­portable­micro­bluetooth­speaker­btv4/

US$249 Acer Revo One is Windows 8.1 Mini PC Home Entertainment Center

There are small HDMI Stick computers like the US$150 Intel Compute (Deer, 2015 April 6), whose one problem is a lack of a screen and a keyboard.

Then there are small computers like the US$295 CompuLab’s MintBox Mini (Deer, 2015, January 22) which is great, except that it runs on Linux Mint OS, a flavour you may not know or like.

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The Acer Revo One, however, is a true Windows 8.1 Mini PC (Ackerman, 2015) that’s portable, has its own keyboard and mouse, leaving you to choose a screen.

Costing only US$249, it’s a lot smaller than Apple’s Mac Mini and even the HP Pavilion Mini (Deer, 2015, January 21) or its sister the HP Stream Mini. For that price it you get a model that’s powered by 2.2GHz Intel Core i5 5200U supported by 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz and 1TB SSHD (Solid State Hard Drive).

With Intel HD Graphics 5500 card and support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi thrown in, this is basically a multimedia streaming box.

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You can basically do away with the US$49 Roku Streaming Stick (Deer, 2014, March 5) the US$35 Google Chromecast (Deer, 2014, July 26) or the US$39 Amazon Fire TV Streaming Stick (Deer, 2014, December 24), once you have a subscription to Netflix or other streaming services, with CBSN (Deer, 2014, November 11) for News.

All you really need is a good 4K Screen and a 802.11ac Wi-Fi Router with really fast Broadband Internet. You might also want to upgrade on the Bluetooth 4.0 mouse and the keyboard, as you do not have to use the ones that come with the computer.

US$249 Acer Revo One – Portable Streaming Home Entertainment Center

Despite its minimalistic appearance, the gentle curves and glossy finish of the 15.49 cm (6.1 inches) tall by 10.67 cm (4.2 inches) square box that houses this incredible marvel, it would appear to be a long lost cousin of Apple that eloped with Acer.

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You’ll probably forget you have a desktop when you hook this up to your HDTV, making you feel like you’ve let a Genii out of a box to power your television set, as with these specs, it can also double as a Streaming Gaming Rig.

The US$249 Acer Revo One compares well to alternatives, such as the US$500 Mac Mini with a Core i5 CPU and a 500GB hard drive or even the US$449 HP Mini with an Intel Core i3 CPU and a 1TB hard-drive.

So aside from the keyboard with its quirk of having to press and hold the Fn keys as if on a laptop and the mouse which lacks multimedia functionality, if you had this on your HDTV along with Digicel SportsMax and TVJ Sports Network (Deer, 2015, June 3), would you not be in your own personal Sports Coliseum?

 

References:

  1. Ackerman, D. (2015, May 14). Acer Revo One review: A living room desktop you won’t have to hide. Retrieved from http://www.cnet.com/products/acer­revo­one/
  2. Deer, L. (2015 April 6). US$150 Intel Compute Stick launches on NewEgg and Amazon. Retrieved from https://lindsworthdeer.wordpress.com/2015/04/06/intel-compute-stick-hdmi-newegg-amazon/
  3. Deer, L. (2015, January 21). US$319 Pavilion Mini and the US$179 Stream Mini – Microsoft Windows 8.1 Desktop with OneDrive Cloud that’s a Chromebox killer. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2015/01/us319-pavilion-mini-and-us179-stream.html
  4. Deer, L. (2015, January 22). US$295 CompuLab’s MintBox Mini – Great start to a MintBox Mini Dynasty of Linux PC’s. Retrieved from https://lindsworthdeer.wordpress.com/2015/01/22/us295-compulabs-mintbox-mini-great-start-to-a-mintbox-mini-dynasty-of-linux-pcs/
  5. Deer, L. (2015, June 3). Digicel Sportsmax 5-year NBA deal means FTTH and 4G LTE coming December 2015. Retrieved from http://www.geezam.com/digicel-sportsmax-nba-deal-means-fiber-and-4g-lte-coming-this-year/
  1. Deer, L. (2014, December 24). US$39 Amazon Fire TV Stick – 200,000 Streaming Shows and Portable Gaming is a Direct challenge to Roku and Google Chromecast Streaming Sticks. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2015/01/us39-amazon-fire-tv-stick-200000.html
  2. Deer, L. (2014, July 26). Google Play Music’s All Access Music Subscription Three months Free Streaming – Happy Birthday as Google Chromecast fights Amazon fire TV. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2014/07/google-play-musics-all-access-music.html
  3. Deer, L. (2014, March 5). US$49 Roku Streaming Stick with HDMI Compatability launched before Ash Wednesday – Roku facing a Transformers Age of Extinction as Console Games becomes Content of Choice for Streaming. Retrieved http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2014/03/us49-roku-streaming-stick-with-hdmi.html
  4. Deer, L. (2014, November 11). CBSN Streaming News Portal Internationals – First Digital Streaming News Channel sponsored by Advertisers on your Browser. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2014/11/cbsn-streaming-news-portal.html

 

 

SVL’s Lotto and Super Lotto Winner Breaking Longest Jackpot Drought

There is now finally a winner of the Supreme Ventures Lottery Lotto and Super Lotto prizes. This is especially welcoming for the Lotto Prize, which hasn’t had a winner for quite awhile!

First, the Lotto Winner!

Jamaica Lotto Winner was just consistently lucky – Longest Winning Drought for Biggest Lotto Jackpot

On Wednesday May 27th 2015, 50-y-o E. Powell of a Corporate area address (Jones, 2015), won the Lotto Jackpot of $395 million. The father of two (2) who has throat cancer is now basically set for life, as after taxes he pockets some JA$316 million dollars!

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It is the longest running Lottery Jackpot, having started as far back as August 2014. Amazingly, his winning numbers, 2, 5, 10, 11, 27 and 39, were purchased just one (1) hour and fifteen (15) minutes before the lotto draw as a part of a set of five (5) Quick Pick draws.

And even then, he only learned that he’s won some three (3) days later. Most surprisingly, he didn’t use any particular strategy, such as playing as part of a pool (Deer, 2014 May 24) or even playing as fixed set of numbers.

Based on the newspaper article, he sounds like the typical consistent player; 50 years and older who plays the game regularly, even if not the same list of numbers. His persistence has played off and now he plans to purchase a rather large and luxurious car, to quote his wife, Mrs Powell: “From him win, him talking about him going to buy a fat car, a fat vehicle. I don’t know what that mean”.

I know what he means. And he truly deserves it 

Super Lotto Winner – Proof that stubborn Persistence pays off

Now for the Super Lotto Winner!

His winning occurred a week after another Jamaica won the Super Lotto. On Friday May 22nd, 2015, 72-y-o U. Dixon of St. Elizabeth (Kelly, 2015) purchased and won the Super Lotto Jackpot of JA$117.9 million (US$1.02 million).

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The St. Elizabeth retiree is now the 12th Jamaican Super Lotto Winner and the 4th Jamaican to have won the prize, which he coolly claimed on Thursday May 25th 2015.

His strategy is a little more in keeping with what I expected of most Lotto Winners; he basically kept playing the same numbers consistently (Deer, 2014 May 24) until he eventually won. He had been purchasing the JA$200 split-prize ticked using the numbers 7, 12, 13, 24 and 30 for years.

That’s right folks!

Mr U. Dixon, a retired Truck Driver, is a regular consistent player like Lotto Winner Mr. E. Powell. However, unlike Mr. E. Powell, he plays the same numbers every week for the past two (2) years, quote: “It’s something that I just said, ‘I’m going to play them every week’. I didn’t just have a dream. I just picked those numbers and said I’m going to play them. And it turned out to be the winner”.

His story is equally compelling as to how he won. So much so that I’ve included it here, as it was really at the prodding of a friend that he decided to check his numbers, quote:

“The girl said, ‘You know you can’t collect this money right here’,”

“And I said, ‘What you talking about?” She said,

“You won the Lotto’.” It was when his friend started dancing that Dixon realised something was big.

“I thought I had won a couple thousand dollars or something,”

“He said, ‘No, you won the jackpot!’. But it didn’t touch me then …. I said when I get the cheque, I will believe it. It feels great; I feel like I’m riding on a tall horse right now.”

Winning the Lotto or the Super Lotto really requires stubborn persistence (Deer, 2014, October 27), no matter what age you are. Just keep playing and your ship will come in one day!

References

  1. Deer, L. (2014, May 24). JA$261.5 million Super Lotto is Supreme Ventures Limited’s Largest Prize – How to Win Super Lotto as Internet Gambling and Mobile Money payouts coming. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2014/09/ja2615-million-super-lotto-is-supreme.html
  2. Deer, L. (2014, October 27). JA$272.5 million Super Lotto Prize as SVL introduces Money Time – JA$2380 to win JA$61,880 daily in Russian Roulette Cash Pot makes Christmas brighter. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2014/10/ja2725-million-super-lotto-prize-as-svl.html
  3. Kelly, D. (2015, June 5). ‘I Feel Like I’m Riding On A Tall Horse Right Now’ ­ Supreme Ventures Ltd Unveils Latest Super Lotto Winner. Retrieved from http://jamaica­gleaner.com/article/lead­stories/20150605/i­feel­im­riding­tall­horse­right­now­supreme­ventures­ltd­unveils
  4. Jones, R. (2015, June 7). 316­Million Reasons To Smile. Retrieved from http://jamaica­gleaner.com/article/news/20150607/316­million­reasons­smile

 

US$200 Asus E1Z Projector is a portable Projector for Road Warriors

There are some interesting products coming out at the Computex Trade Show in Taipei, Taiwan. A lot of them won’t go on sale until Christmas 2015 and even then only in China and the rest of South and East Asia.

US$200 Asus E1Z Projector is a portable Projector for Road Warriors

But one particular product from Asus will have Teachers all over Jamaica drooling is the Asus E1Z Projector (Healey, 2015), a palm-sized device that packs a massive punch that was on show.  Compact and simple, it built with ease-of-use in mind with a sizeable ON button.

Asus E1Z Projector – Road warrior’s Portable Projector with Bluetooth Sound 

However, this is not what made the product stand out. It’s the lack of a HDMI Cable that caught my eye, as this Asus E1Z Projector uses a micro-USB port and a regular USB port as inputs, allowing it to connect to any smartphone or Tablet.

Operating this projector is simple plug-and-play, as once on, you can focus using the focus wheel to get fairly crisp images. But it’s the gigantic 6000 mAh battery included that’s the talk of Computex, making this a Projector you can take ANYWHERE with you.

Road warriors especially will love this, as you can do a presentation at the tip of a hat as well as create a Movie Theatre experience in seconds, with a few portable Samsung Level (Deer, 2014, December 9) Bluetooth speaker for Stereo sound. 

Asus E1Z Projector – Portable competition that has its own Battery 

No specs are currently available on the Asus E1Z Projector or when it’ll become available. But with that level of portability in a product, I envision it’ll be capable of playing HD Video from any device with a USB cable with streaming from any source via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

Already, this device is competition with less-portable counterparts such as the US$49 Roku Streaming Stick (Deer, 2014, March 5) the US$35 Google Chromecast (Deer, 2014, July 26) or the US$39 Amazon Fire TV Streaming Stick (Deer, 2014, December 24), as all these products are dependent on external power and streaming via a Wi-Fi Connection.

Expect the Asus E1Z Projector to sell forUS$200 by September 2015.

References

  1. Deer, L. (2014, December 24). US$39 Amazon Fire TV Stick – 200,000 Streaming Shows and Portable Gaming is a Direct challenge to Roku and Google Chromecast Streaming Sticks. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2015/01/us39-amazon-fire-tv-stick-200000.html
  2. Deer, L. (2014, December 9). How Samsung’s Top 7 Christmas Gift List can make Christmas unforgettable. Retrieved from http://www.geezam.com/how-samsungs-top-7-christmas-gift-list-can-make-christmas-unforgettable/
  3. Deer, L. (2014, July 26). Google Play Music’s All Access Music Subscription Three months Free Streaming – Happy Birthday as Google Chromecast fights Amazon fire TV. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2014/07/google-play-musics-all-access-music.html
  4. Deer, L. (2014, March 5). US$49 Roku Streaming Stick with HDMI Compatability launched before Ash Wednesday – Roku facing a Transformers Age of Extinction as Console Games becomes Content of Choice for Streaming. Retrieved http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2014/03/us49-roku-streaming-stick-with-hdmi.html
  5. Healey, N. (2015, June 4). Asus E1Z puts LED projection in the palm of your hand. Retrieved from http://www.cnet.com/products/asus­e1z/