YOLEO 5-Tier Free Standing Bookshelf

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I could not believe the weight of the box when the bookcase arrived, it was all I could do to carry it across to assemble it.
That was a good sign as most of the self-assembly bookcases I have built over the years, and there have been plenty of them, have ultimately proved to be weak, and too flimsy to bear much of a load.

I was pleased to see the supporting frame is made from heavy duty steel and clearly built to last and unlike with many of the rivals I have tried unlikely to bow or sag over time. The clever design with the frame situated along the middle of the shelves rather than the end gives added strength. The 1.5cm veneered chipboard shelves are themselves more robust than most of the rivals. Again adding to the strength is the X-Frame support along the rear of the shelves and this attaches to a wall mount to prevent any danger of the shelving toppling forward. Finally, yet another aid to the stability and strength of the assembled shelves are the height adjustable feet so any flooring anomalies can be compensated for.

When fully assembled the shelving unit is 120 x 30 x 178cm in size with a gap of 35.5 cm between the shelves with the shelves themselves being 30 x 1.5 x 120 cm. The assembled bookcase comes to a shade under 30kg in weight. The frame is assembled in two parts, one for the three lower shelves and the other for the upper shelves with the two frame halves locked together and secured with the X-Frame support. The 2 and 3 part shelf units could even be used separately if so desired.

Assembly has been made as simple as possible. All the large parts have identifying stickers on them and the various nuts and bolts are bagged, labelled and identified separately. Unlike with some units I have built the number of different components has been kept to a minimum with everything easy enough to identify by eye. The assembly guide is reasonably well printed and easy to follow although it is a bit unclear regarding the X-Frame and wall mount but a bit of common sense soon sorts that out.

I plan to use the unit in my office but it is probably rather too good for that as it is designed for use in the living area of the home for books or display objects. It is certainly a very attractive item and would look good pretty much anywhere.

Once put together the bookcase looks great, is heavy-duty, tough, robust and built to last.

At £90 there are cheaper alternatives but I doubt will they look as good as this one and will certainly not last as long.

The Good
Heavy Duty Build Quality
Attractive Design
Easy Assembly
Letter Coded Components
X-Frame Bracing
Wall Mount

The Bad
User Guide Could be Better
Cheaper Rivals Available

Music: YouTube Audio Library: Dulce Reggaeton - An Jone.m

Cozion Infrared Light Therapy Belt

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This belt is designed for general pain relief but especially for muscle and deep tissue soreness and can be used on any part of the body apart from the head. It is best suited perhaps for the back and chest but can be used more or less anywhere you can get it to fit.

In the box is the pad and retaining belt itself together with a UK power supply and a well written and easy to read multi-language user guide. Build quality seems fine. The 20 cm by 40 cm pad is made from a heavy-duty reinforced soft felt like cloth with the array of Led’s, 60 visible light and 60 invisible, on the underside. The 120 cm belt again is heavy-duty and wraps around the pad with velcro to hold it in place. On the outside of the pad are the power-in port and the large backlit button to turn it on.

Using it could not be simpler, just wrap the pad around the affected area and secure it with the belt. Turn on using the large and easy to locate button, the button's internal status LED confirms operation and the unit will run for twenty minutes before turning off automatically. The device can be safely used several times each day if required. The deep red visible LEDs transmit in the 660nm frequency band and the invisible ones in the 880nm band. The red LED’s have a skin surface warming effect whilst the invisible ones a more deep and penetrating one. It is comfortable and supportive to wear for long periods if necessary and can be worn under clothing when watching the TV or reading, the only limitation being the power supply connection.

How well does it work? I certainly found some relief for a bad back but of course, the benefit will vary from person to person.

It is well made, easy and comfortable to use and can be stored rolled around the supplied tube although no case is included, which is a pity.

The price of 95.99 is not cheap but good things are worth paying for.

The Good
Good Build Quality
Good User Guide
Works Well

The Bad
No Storage Case
Mains Power Only

Music: YouTube Audio Library: Islabonita - An Jone.mp3

Sigmaprobe Vehicle Wiring Continuity Tester

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This is a simple and easy to use vehicle wiring and continuity tester that can test all the basic electrical functions of the car with three different display methods.

In the box can be found the testing unit itself, stainless steel capped primary probe, and a small but well written user guide. Build quality is lightweight but good quality with all you need included except perhaps for a carry case, which is a pity.

The unit consists of a testing pen with a separate detachable stainless steel probe. A smaller probe is hard wired to the unit for use when the main probe would be too large or other inconvenient. Also hardwired to the pen on a 45 inch silicone protected cable is a medium sized alligator clip in red. On the handset end of the probe is a 5w replaceable bulb
and on the handset body a small turret switch to select the display mode and on the end a red/green polarity status LED. The LED screen a small LED digital display for voltage and within it a 3-bar display for frequency prediction.

There are three display modes:
Mode 1 LED display and bulb
Mode 2 LED display - precise voltage display
Mode 3 Bulb only, bulb brightness indicating signal strength

Polarity Testing - Red/ Green LEDs illuminate accordingly

The unit can test all the standard features needed: voltage, power supply failure, load voltage, pulse signals, polarity. Ground clamp, probe to current - tube shows voltage, bulb brightness display.
Frequency Prediction - bar display in tube >55hz no display, 50 >55hx 1 bar, 50> 38Hz 2 bars, < 38Hz 3 bars

This is a well made and easy to use little device which is worth keeping in the glove compartment of your car or in your workshop and at the 18.99 price, a very decent buy.

The Good
Great Price
Good Build Quality
Easy To Use
LED Display
Polarity Display
2 Probes

The Bad
No Carry Case

Music: YouTube Audio Library: Night Run Away - An Jone

AUINSKY Rechargeable LED Headlight

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This headlamp twin pack from AUINSKY has a premium feel and a robust build quality that the rivals lack and which belies the bargain price but is it really any good?

In the small but attractive box were just the headband, charging cable and a well written but rather small user guide..It is a pity that no storage case was included, but for the £15.99 price that is understandable.

The headlight has a robust elasticated headband with an adjustable buckle and in the centre the light unit itself, which is quite chunky and feels well made and built to last. Facing forward is the main wrap around 30 LED COB light with in the centre the twin LED spotlight with three Red LEDs on either side. On top next to the grommet protected micro-USB charging port is the single easy to feel control button. The whole unit can be angled smoothly downwards up to 90°.

Operating the light is simple enough. Short press the button to turn it on and long press to switch it off. Short pressing scrolls through the six lighting modes: high power COB, low power Cob, high power Spot, low power Spot, Red On, Red Flashing.

The headlight is good and bright, and distinctly more powerful than any other I have tried although it is larger and more bulky than some. The light is rechargeable with a built-in 2000 mAh lithium-ion battery charged through a micro-USB port on the top, although it is a pity the more modern USB-C interface was not used. One charge should give between 4 and 30 hours of white light depending on the operating mode selected with an amazing 50 hours of red emergency light possible.

Brighter and more robust than most head lights and a little heavier and more bulky too, I feel this it would be best suited for garage or workshop use or for shorter sporting activities rather than for long night runs although the extended battery life would support them well.

Easy To Use
Good Build Quality
Comfortable Headband
6 Operating Modes
Powerful Output
Long Battery Life
Great Price

The Bad
No Storage Case
Large Size

Music: YouTube Audio Library: South London HiFi - Let It Happen

Tesery TPMS Tire Pressure Monitoring System

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This handy and well made gadget is a tyre pressure gauge and also a Tire Pressure Monitoring Reset device for use with GM vehicles. I don't have a GM car and so can only test it as a tyre pressure monitor and as such, it is quick and easy to use with an easy to read display and a choice of four system modes

In The Box are just the device itself and a well written and easy to read user guide. The unit sits perfectly in the hand and is not too small or fiddly to use and despite the light weight feels robust enough for sustained garage or roadside use.

On the front of the device is the small LCD display which despite not being backlit is easy enough to read in daylight. Below this are confirmation LEDs for the pressure reading and TPMS reset operation status with between them a battery/power-on LED. On the front are the two large and easy to find buttons for tire pressure reading and TPMS reset operation. On the rear of the device is the large recessed power button. On top and on the left is the tire pressure reading probe and next to it is the stub antenna used to transmit the TPMS reset signal.

To take a tire pressure reading simply turn on the device with the rear button, confirm the power status LED is on and press the probe onto the tyre valve for 3 seconds, having removed the valve cover first. The green status LED will light and the reading will be shown on the screen. Press the left hand button to scroll through PSI, BAR, KPA and Kg/cm2 readings. The device auto resets after holding the display for 30 seconds with no need to manually reset or recalibrate.

To reset your GM tyre pressure system, which you may have to do after rotating the tyres or other tyre maintenance, just set the car to TPMS learning mode and the car horn will beep twice, hold the unit to the left front tire and press the power button on the unit, the car horn beeps once, then do the same for the front right, left rear and right rear tires with the horn beeping once each time and twice at the end of the procedure. It displays readings in the ranges: 0-150PSI / 0-7Bar / 0-7Kgf/cm² or 0-700KPA.

It should work with GM series vehicles (Chevy / Buick / GMC / Opel /Cadillac etc) equipped with 315/433MHz tire sensors, but not for large commercial vehicle systems.

That's it, that's all there is to it.

This is a simple, well made and easy to use device that gets the job done without making a fuss about it.

For me, it is a pretty good buy.

Music: YouTube Audio Library: Fast and Run: Nico Saf

Jugeman Bluetooth 5.1 In-Ear Headset

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This new mono headset from Jugeman is designed primarily for business use, in the office or on the road. Priced at £24.99 it is not the most expensive in what is now something of a specialised market, but has been built to premium quality and aimed at higher end users.

In the attractively designed box can be found the headset, magnetic charging case, charging cable, three earbuds of varying sizes (one fitted) and a well written, nicely printed and easy to read User Guide. Build quality throughout has a distinctly upmarket and high end feel to it with nothing looking likely to fail anytime soon.

The 180° rotating ear hook is a comfortable fit, looping over the ear with a 270° adjustable microphone stalk pointing to the mouth. The headset has three buttons, Multi-Function and Volume Rocker on the outer face with a Switch button on the rear with below it the status LED. The case has an LCD battery status display on the inside with a USB-C charging port on the outside.

Using the headset could not be easier. Use the MF button to turn on and off, Bluetooth pairing, call switching and to turn the microphone on/off. The Switch button for play/pause, take/end calls and engage with Siri or other personal assistants. The Volume Rocker controls audio volume and music track navigation.

As with all Bluetooth 5 devices, pairing was quick and easy and with seamless reconnection later on. Call quality was perfect with a clear distortion-free call with no dropouts or outages during my testing.

Headset charging is done by simply placing the headset onto the charging block with charging status confirmed by the LED. A full charge from flat takes about 90 minutes and gives about eight hours of talk time depending on the volume setting. The case is charged through a USB port on the outside of the case.

One feature of this device is the ability to connect to two Bluetooth devices at once. To do this connect to the first device in the normal way and then disconnect it. With the headset turned on and the first device turned off then simply pair the second device as before. Now turn on the first phone again and both phones will be connected. This is easier to do than it sounds and works well for me.

The headset is water-resistant although not fully waterproof, so do not swim with it on. There is no grommet protection for the charging port which means the case is not water-resistant.

Playing music through a single earpiece is never a good experience but the sound was clear sharp and about as good as you could expect from this form factor.

This is a quality piece of kit and would look great not just in your truck but also in your home office or workplace.

Music: YouTube Audio Library: Dan Lebowitz: Last Train To Mars

TEMULSIN 61W USB C Mac Book Pro Charger

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MacBook chargers are not cheap, the Apple Store 67w type C charger is £59 with the 140w model coming at whopping £99 without a cable, so this 61w type C charger complete with cable from TEMULSIN, seems quite a bargain at just £16,99.

But you get what you pay for.

In the box is the charger itself, a 2M USB-C to USB-C charging cable and a single sheet user guide. The charger comes in two parts featuring a detachable UK three pin plug with no doubt other plug types available. Build quality seems excellent and I cannot say this seems any less well made than the costly Apple rivals.

Yes, it does work. I was able to charge my 2021 M1 MacBook Pro using the device with no apparent issues. The charger will identify the power requirements of your device and output at the appropriate level, we are told. However, my monitoring software told me the Temulsin would take a whopping 142 minutes to fully charge the computer whereas the Apple charger supplied with the MacBook claimed 45 minutes.
That really is all you need to know.

You have to be realistic here and accept the fact that the performance of a £17 device cannot be expected to equal that of one costing £60. If you can learn to live with that then yes, this is not a bad buy. It works, it gets the job done and the cable alone would probably cost around £10 from Apple. I use it for overnight charging and keep my Apple charger for use if I need it during the day or when travelling.

Yes, this will charge your Mac but cheaply not quickly.

Compatible Devices
MacBook Pro 13-inch 2020 (M1) (A2251/ A2289/ A2338...)
MacBook Pro 13-inch 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 (A1706/ A1708/ A1989/ A2159...)
MacBook 12-inch 2017, 2016, 2015 (A1534/ A1540/ A1646...)
MacBook Pro 16-inch 2021, 2019(A2166...)
MacBook Pro 15-inch 2021, 2018, 2017, 2016 (A1706/ A1707/ A1708/ A1719...)
MacBook Air 13-inch 2020(New), 2019, 2018A and any other type c port laptops.

The Good
Good Build Quality
Good Price
Good Charging Cable

The Bad
Slow Charging

Music: YouTube Audio Library: Freedom Trail Studio_ Happy Sixth

Linkevp Smart Posture Corrector

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If you are a stooper as I sometimes am, this may be just what you need to keep you standing upright in a soldierly fashion.

It consists of an adjustable shoulder harness that you wear under your top layer of clothing and which has a rechargeable battery powered sensor that vibrates to alert you when you are stooping or not sitting or standing upright.

Using it is not too hard, although could be better. I found I had to fully extend the straps to get a good fit and although it was lightweight and comfortable to wear, I found it tricky to remove. Although it will fit adults, I suspect it was originally designed for children or for smaller asian adults. The buzzer and vibration alerts work well, too well perhaps, and there is no way to adjust this other than manipulating the straps. What it needs is some sort of sensitivity dial.

Build quality is fine, the sensor/battery pack is slimline and does not feel intrusive, the shoulder harness is comfortable enough although rather on the small side and I had to fully extend mine to get it on. You have to reach between your shoulder blades to turn it on and off, which can be a bit tricky sometimes and difficult to do discreetly but it works and gets the job done.

That is really all there is to it. It does what it claims to do and for the £12.99 price it is probably not a bad buy.

The Good
Good Build Quality
Good Price

The Bad
Small Size
No Sensitivity Control
Tricky to Switch On/Off

Music: YouTube Audio Library: Chris Haugen: Island Dream:

Xbro 1080p Security Camera and Baby Monitor

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This new indoor security camera from XBRO is a camera designed to watch over pets, babies or for general home security with 1080p video, motion detection and two-way audio using the widely adopted OSAIO smartphone app. I should say that this little camera offers far more features than I was expecting for the £34.98 price.

In the box can be found the camera, UK power supply, USB cable, dual-use stand, sticky mount, and a nicely printed and well-written User Guide. Although lightweight, the build quality seems fine and the camera has an attractive and modern square format design.

On the camera front is the lens with Night Vision LEDs, a status LED and the microphone opening and on the rear, the speaker grill, power in port and reset button. On the side is the easy to access micro-SD card port. It features an adjustable stand which can be attached to the base or rear of the camera. There is no Ethernet port or external antenna and the camera emphasises compact size and stylish looks.

The excellent OSAIO app for Android and iOS app offers a simple walkthrough connection and is the same app used by several other security camera suppliers. Two connection methods are available, with the camera either scanning a QR code generated by the app or using a wifi hotspot from the camera. The QR code method worked first time for me.,

Setting up the cameras is simple enough. The first thing to do is to download and install the OSAIO app, You have to register the app before use but doing so is free and you can use a disposable email address to do so. Take note to ensure the phone used to configure the camera is connected to a 2.4Ghz network, not 5Ghz. After installing and registering the app and plugging in the camera follow the in-app instructions to add a new camera aided by audio alerts. After inputting your home wifi details the app automatically and very quickly sends this to the camera which then connects automatically to the wifi network. Unlike with older cameras, there is no web-based interface so you cannot connect directly to the camera using your web browser.

This model has a clean 1080P image quality which is not the upscaled 720p of some lesser rivals. Video quality from the wide-angle lens is one of the best I found for this price bracket. Unlike older budget security cameras, this one boasts an i/r cut filter which when not needed removes the nighttime infrared filter to ensure good colour fidelity daytime images. Night Vision works well with coverage suitable for a small to medium sized room. . It supports two-way audio which means it serves well as a general-purpose app to camera communications monitor and in fact audio quality recorded by the camera is excellent. It also integrates with Amazon Alexa and Google Home for voice and automated control and live video streaming.

Lumary 24W Smart WiFi LED Floodlight

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You have probably all used smart bulbs, multicoloured lights that can be controlled through an app or by voice. Well, this is a floodlight that works in a similar way but is built like a tank and can be used indoors or out. It works well as an indoor feature light or for all weather use in the garden or patio. You can use multiple lights and control them together through the app.

In the attractive and rather upmarket box is just the 22.8 x 15.9 x 6.4 cm IP66 waterproof Floodlight and a well written and detailed user guide. Build quality is first rate and this unit, which weighs in at 810g, is built to last and should be fine for long term use indoors or out.

The light unit resembles a small tablet display unit contained in a robust metal chassis with two adjustable wifi antennas on the top. The heavy duty but rather short mains cable is hard-wired into the unit and has a three pin UK plug on the end. It is a pity there is no power switch as this would come in handy should the wifi connection drop out.

It is simple enough to set up and control using the Lumary app and I think it will also work with the widely used Smart Life app, although this I have not tested. Either app will offer a walk through guide through the bsetup process. Once connected and when the apps have been linked together the device can also be controlled through Amazon Alexa or Google Home.

The light can be used as a conventional high powered light for indoor or outdoor security purposes with a range of dimmable white light between 2700K-6500K available. The lamp really comes into its own when used as a feature light with no less than 16 million colours, colour combinations and patterns available in addition to the 32 preset scenes controllable from the app. The app also offers music control, timer, schedules, and group control of multiple floodlights or other compatible lights. When paired with Alexa or Google the floodlight can be linked to other smart devices to respond to a range of triggered events.

The light looks spectacular and is very versatile and can be used as a party light, outdoor security light or general purpose home lamp as well as integrating fully into the smart home ecosystem.

Priced at £52.99 it is not cheap, but this is a robust and high quality device designed to last for years.

For me, this is an excellent buy.

The Good
Great Build Quality
Very Bright
Excellent App
Works With Alexa and Google
Music Mode

The Bad
Short Power Cable
No Power Switch

Music: YouTube Audio Library: Chris Haugen - Casablanca Caravan

GooSpy Bluetooth Speaker Wifi Spy Camera

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This £69.99 Bluetooth and SD card music player is also a spy camera that can record 1080p video with audio onto a second hidden SD card, The camera can be monitored and controlled remotely over wifi or can work unattended with wifi turned off recording detected or continuous motion to the SD card. It can be powered either by USB cable or using the rechargeable battery for up to five hours.

As a music player, it is fine for the size, sounds OK and is easy to use with simple track controls on top of the case.

As a spy camera, it's pretty good too. Video quality is fine but needs to be adjusted using the app before recording for best results. The microphone works well and is better too than I expected. The only drawbacks are the lack of zones, audio triggering, and cloud storage.

That aside this is an excellent entry-level spy camera which works well and will not break the bank.

NYXI Wireless Transparent Pro Controller for Switch

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Available now from Amazon for a shade over £36 this new wireless game controller from NYXI has to be the most visually exciting gaming controller I have ever used. It is made from high quality completely transparent ABS with seven multi-coloured LED lights.

The device arrived in a simple but attractive branded product box containing the controller, USB charging cable, and a rather hard to read User Guide. I append a scan of the User Guide to my unboxing video, switch to full screen and pause to read it.

It is made for use with the Switch but it will work with a PC when connected with a USB cable. It claims to also work with Android and iOs, but this I have not yet tested. It is powered by a 600mAh rechargeable battery with a USB-C port for charging and data connection.

The controller has a tough ABS construction with an amazingly clear, almost glass-like transparent body revealing all the internal components within. The controller is probably the best equipped I have yet tried and features adjustable twin vibration engines, 15 control buttons, D-Pad, two joysticks, a reset button, motion sensor, 6 Axis Gyro and 7 eight coloured LEDs.

To connect the controller first power on the Switch with the controller plugged in via USB and touch any button on the controller to wake it up. Unplug the cable and the controller will pair automatically to the Switch. Next, when using the controller for the first time, on the Switch go to the 'Handle Settings - Change Grip/Order' page and press the Controller Y key and then press and hold the Home key. The LED lights will flash to confirm the connection. Subsequently, the connection should be automatic when the controller is switched on.

After a two hour charge of the non-replaceable battery, it is claimed to work for up to 8hours and with up to 25 days on standby. I have no reason to doubt this. It will operate normally when charging and is designed for both wired and wireless use.

The construction feels reassuringly robust and ergonomically friendly in the hand. The buttons and controls are all easy to use and resistance-free. I must say I noticed hardly any latency when using it, which is a distinct step up from some controllers I have tried.

This is a fine product for the money. High-level gamers may be prepared to pay much more for the slightly smoother gaming experience and reduced latency of a native controller but for most Switch gamers, this new device should offer all they need.

The Good
Good price
Great Build Quality
Built-in Rechargeable Battery
Wired or Wireless Use
Spectacular Display

The Bad
No Carry case
Limited Compatibility

Music: YouTube Audio Library: Manchester Dream_ Bruno E

Vemico NP-F550 2 Pack Battery Charger Set

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If you regularly make videos then you will know that batteries are always a problem. It is always best to keep multiple spares on hand both for the cameras and for any portable lights used. The high price of batteries and the time needed to keep them charged is always an issue but this new kit from Vermico may help.

In the box is the twin bay charger itself along with two Vermico NP-F550 batteries, a short USB power cable, a well made semi-rigid carry case and an easy to read user guide. Build quality all seems first rate and at least as good as the high end and expensive rivals.

This handy charging set comes with two Vemico Li-ion 3000 milliamp hour batteries which are compatible with the widely used NP-F550 range. The bright orange batteries are certainly easy to identify and so far as I can tell are just as good as the premium priced rivals and certainly do seem to have a running time as good if not better.

The battery charger will charge two batteries at once, although be sure to connect to a 2 amp USB socket to allow for the extra power needed. The charger has a backlit LCD to show the charging status of each battery. It has a USB-C power input which shows that it is hopefully a recently designed unit. The charger should work with a wide range of batteries compatible with the NP550 format, there are far too many to list here but the Amazon listing for the charging kit gives an extensive list. If it fits the charger, then it will probably charge it. Charging times I found to be excellent too, but the precise time will depend on the battery type used.

The price is £31.99 which I think is pretty good for the quality of the items

Music: YouTube Audio Library: Caballero - Ofshane

Aogled LED Desk lamp with USB Charging Port

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I have already reviewed a desk lamp very similar to this one and this model seems to be on the market under a range of different brand names, which does not detract in any way from the quality of the lamp but does give you a choice as regards price.

I have tested many lamps with similar specifications, this one has a rather more upmarket and high end feel to it than most. This may be due to the use of Aluminium for body construction and the attractive and minimalist design.

The high-end feel is not reflected in the packaging which is perfectly adequate but less than premium. In the box is the lamp itself, together with a USB power cable and a well written and easy to read User Guide.

The lamp folds almost flat for storage and in use can be fully positioned with a 90°adjustable arm and 180° foldable head. The 450 lumens full spectrum lamp has can be set to five levels of white light, from cool to warm, with five-step dimming from the 42 bead LED array.

Build quality is distinctly high end with Aluminium used for the upright section, heavy duty off white
plastic and a textured base. It has a non-slip finish to the underside with a well-spaced array of soft-touch buttons on the top of the stand to control Power, Dimming, 45 minute Timer, and Reading Light mode. On the rear of the base is the USB-C power in port and a standard USB 2 output to charge or power external devices at 5w/1A and an On/Off turret switch.

The lamp is simple and intuitive to use with a warm white evenly spread output. The main selling points are the one-touch access to the timer and Reading Light modes together with the attractive design and low price.

This is a well made and attractive lamp with a classy feel missing from many lesser rivals that makes the £26.99 price a very decent buy.

The Good
Premium Looks
Bright and even light spread
5 Brightness Levels
Reading Mode
45 Minute Sleep Timer
2.1A USB output
Eye Friendly Output

The Bad
No USB-C Output
No Battery Option

Funme Mini Handheld Fan

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This useful little portable fan from Funme is the first I have seen supplied with an accessory stand up base, it works much better than I expected.

In the box are the fan itself, charging cable, fan stand, wrist lanyard and a well written if rather small, User Guide. Build quality is lightweight, this is a handheld fan, but everything seems well made and robust enough for daily use.

On the front of the fan at the bottom of the handle is the lanyard strap hole with a corresponding one on the base, the single button control and status LED are on the hub of the fan on the back. The fan grill like the rest of the fan is plastic and is non removeable.

The handle of the three-blade fan fits into the supplied stand for when the device is on a flat surface, and this works pretty well although a heavier stand would keep the lightweight fan more securely upright. It has a single button that selects which of the three fan speeds you need and the output is surprisingly high for such a small device. Noise levels from the fan are low at all speeds and almost silent at the minimum output.

The fan is powered from a preinstalled 3500mAh Lithium-Ion battery, far more powerful than those of similar rivals I have tested. A short USB charging cable is provided. One charge will last between five and seventeen hours of operation depending on the fan settings. Yes, up to seventeen hours from a single charge and that is probably the main selling point of this little fan.

For the pre-discount £19.99 price, this is an excellent buy and great for use at the beach or when out and about in the summer as well as at home.

The Good
Great price
Clever Design
Powerful Fan
Quiet Operation

The Bad
Dated Looks
Lightweight Construction

Music: YouTube Audio Library: Beach Walk - Unicorn Heads

Aourow Desk Lamp

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I have tested many lamps with similar specifications, this one has a rather more upmarket and high end feel to it than most. This may be due to the use of Aluminium for body construction and the attractive and minimalist design.

The high-end feel is not reflected in the packaging which is perfectly adequate but less than premium. In the box is the lamp itself, together with a USB power cable and a well written and easy to read User Guide.

The lamp folds almost flat for storage and in use can be fully positioned with a 90°adjustable arm and 180° foldable head. The 450 lumens full spectrum lamp has can be set to five levels of white light, from cool to warm, with ten-step dimming from the 42 bead LED array.

plastic and a textured base. It has a non-slip finish to the underside with a well-spaced array of soft-touch buttons on the top of the stand to control Power, Dimming, 45 minute Timer, and Reading Light mode. On the rear of the base is the USB-C power in port and a standard USB 2 output to charge or power external devices at 5w/1A and an On/Off turret switch. There is a small lug above the controls to support a phone when charging, a nice touch.

The lamp is simple and intuitive to use with a warm white evenly spread output. The main selling points are the one-touch access to the timer and Reading Light modes together with the attractive design and low price.

This is a well made and attractive lamp with a classy feel missing from many lesser rivals that makes the £22.49 price a very decent buy.

The Good
Premium Looks
Bright and even light spread
10 Brightness Levels
Reading Mode
45 Minute Sleep Timer
2.1A USB output
Eye Friendly Output

The Bad 5 colour modes from cool white to warm white with ten stages of brightness
No USB-C Output
No Battery Option

Music: YouTube Audio Library: Au.Ra_ Battle Royale

ZFITEI Solar Security Light Set

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This simple but elegant set of four Solar wall lights from ZFITEI is currently available for just £27.99 a good buy as they are part of a new generation of garden solar lights with an extended battery life. Advances in battery and solar panel efficiency allow the relatively small solar panel to power the 200 unit LED light array.

Inside the plain cardboard box, were the four lights, fours sets of screws, four double sided sticky mounts, and a well written User Guide. The four lights were individually packed in bubble wrap and arrived in good order.

The design of these 110 x 70 x 80 mm inch 122g lights is pretty standard but gets the job done. The large solar panel and 200 LED light are contained within an ABS IP65 waterproof casing. The single control button is situated on the base of the unit which means the unit does not need to be taken off the mounting surface to access it. The large protruding button is easy to locate but does not have a particularly positive action.

Setting them up is slightly tricky. The switch is a simple on/off button but there is no indication which mode the light is currently set to and this can only be determined by trial and error. A turret switch would have been better. To check, cover the solar panel and press the button on the base of the unit if the light then comes on then the switch is set to ON, keep clicking the button to scroll through the three operating modes and then back to the OFF position. If nothing happens then the battery is flat and needs to be charged up.

There are three operating modes.
1. Medium light level, always on in darkness, controlled by dawn to dusk light sensor.
2 As above but with Low Level light output which switches to Full Power when motion is detected.
3 Always Off but Full Power when motion is detected.

Fitting to the wall is simple enough although a template would have been useful to ensure the screw mounts are correctly sited.

A major selling point for these lights is the extra large 2200 mAh battery each unit contains which should be easily enough to power the lights in any mode for overnight operation with normal use. They need about eight hours of sunlight to run all night, which will be fine in the summer but perhaps less so in the UK winter.

When lit the lights do look very impressive, the User Guide does not tell us their rating in Lumens but the cool white lights seem fine for their purpose and at full power they are very bright indeed. The lights come on at dusk and go off at dawn for normal lighting use with the motion detection a bonus for security use.

This set of well priced garden lights features an attractive design and an above average light output and battery life which should work well in any garden or patio area.

The Good
Great price
Good Build Quality
Extra Bright
Large Battery
Easy Access Control Button

The Bad
No Mode S

Evil eye 10-30x50 Zoom Binoculars

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My last binoculars fell overboard and now reside at the bottom of the North Sea so a replacement was needed. These zooming binoculars from Evil eye (boxed as Apexel) seemed interesting and so I decided to give them a try, and I am rather pleased that I did.

The binoculars arrived packaged in a mid-range display box, but everything was well packaged and arrived in good order. Inside aside from the binoculars themselves was a soft carry case with strap, neck strap, lens covers, eyepiece lens covers, and a well printed and easy to read user guide.

The build quality seems fine to me. There was no sign of any production problems, no chaff or swarf leftover adhering to the binoculars and from top to bottom the construction seems first rate. The binoculars, at 790g are medium weight, heavy enough to feel robust substantial in the hand but light enough for sustained use in the field. The carry case is only moderately padded but will protect the contents from liquid and scuffing. The binoculars are finished in a matt, easy grip non-reflective and slightly rubberised skin and this is both looks and feels good. The eyepiece lens covers are soft and flexible but are not fixed to the binoculars as some are and so take care not to lose them. The eyepieces themselves are well made with a large but poorly marked dioptre focusing ring on the right lens and protective rubber rings around both lenses to aid glasses wearers. The covers for the big 50mm objective lenses are also soft, flexible and easy to fit but again are unsecured. The objective lenses are FMC multi-coated and fog proof and the binoculars themselves are described as waterproof, with all the lenses O ring protected, although no specific water resistance rating is given. The User Guide basic is relatively large, well written and unlike those with many imported products, actually easy to read. I doubt you will need to use it.

Using them is as obvious as you might think. When looking through them rotate the focusing ring in the centre until the left side image is sharp and focus the right side eyepiece until that is also sharp, then gradually adjust the separation of the two lens barrels until one round central sharp image is obtained.

The binoculars use BAK-7 Porro Prisms, an improvement evidently on the lesser BAK-9 variety although how evident this is I cannot say but it does mean that obvious corners have not been cut when constructing these binoculars. There is a right adjusting diopter eyepiece which I found on my review unit it worked perfectly well.

For Full Review See YouTube or my Blog (links above)

Lumary 16A Wifi Smart Plug

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As I continue to switch my connected home from a hub-based to a hub free setup I am pleased to add this plug to my network. At just £14.99 this is at the low end of the price range but does not seem to compromise on quality or features. It is worth noting that unlike many rivals this plug can handle a maximum load of up to 13-16A at 3120w and should work with heaters, kettles or other high power devices. It can be used with the native Lumary app or the widely used Smart Life app.

I still have some smart wifi devices at home that work with my Amazon Echo and Google Home systems but some need a hub to connect to the router. The latest generation of IOT products, like this socket from Lumary, require no hub and connect directly to the router. The plug is recognised by Amazon Alexa and Google and blends seamlessly into their home automation systems.

In the simple but basic product box was the plug itself and a well written and easy to read User Guide. The Guide assists in using the Lumary app and in linking the device to Amazon Alexa and Google Home. However, it is not really needed as both the Lumary and Smart Life app walks you through the whole setup procedure.

The plug itself is well made, nicely designed and feels robust enough for long-term everyday use. It is smaller in size than many rivals and less obtrusive in use. I was pleased to see that it is not too wide and should fit fine into a multi-socket wall fixture. It has a large power/wifi status LED on the side which doubles as a proper clicky Off/On button.

Setting it up using the Smart Life app was easy enough and can all be done by following the in-app instructions. There is no need to reset the plug when installing straight from the box, just open the app and begin the procedure to add a new wifi plug device. Plug the socket in and the LED starts flashing quickly, select the Socket (Wifi) device type from the list in the app, input your wifi password, let the app detect the device on the network and guide you through the rest of the simple configuration steps. The switch can then be controlled by the app and you can add the plug to Alexa and Google Home ecosystems just as easily with the app to walk you through it. The only possible issue you may encounter, and this is true for almost all smart devices, will be if your phone is on a 5Ghz network stream and cannot talk to the 2.4Ghz smart plug. If that is the case then just switch off the 5 GHz stream on your router or disable it on your phone.

Both apps are excellent and do much more than just allowing you to add the plug to Alexa and Google. The app will also allow the plug to be triggered by events such as you entering and leaving the house, sunrise/sunset, etc and will work in conjunction with a wide range of wifi devices from the same or many other manufacturers. However, I doubt most users will use the app but will control the plug jus

UTEBIT Camera 323 Quick Release Plate £10.99

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As you would expect, this quick-release plate fixes to the bottom of your camera and allows you to quickly and easily fit or remove your camera from the tripod or other compatible mount. It is designed for the Manfrotto 200PL-14 and 323 RC2 496RC, 498RC2, 804RC2 but in fact, should work with pretty much any standard fitting tripod out there.

In the box was the baseplate and camera mount with a prefitted 1/4'' to 3/8'' Screw Adapter. That's it with no instructions or anything else included or required.

This quick release plate is tough and well made, constructed from aluminium alloy with rubber pads to protect the camera. Unlike with some rivals, there are no built-in spirit levels so you will need to gauge fitting by eye. The base plate screws to the bottom of the camera, and the mount attaches to the tripod screw. There is a single side-mounted thumb handle to release the clamp to fit and remove the camera. There is also a tiny locking handle, which works well enough but can be fiddly and awkward to use, to prevent the camera from coming off accidentally.

I use the quick release plate to fix my camera to the flatbed of my Teleprompter. The flatbed to which it mounts is about four inches wide and some QR plates will not work with it as they will not sit flush on top of it. No problems here and the mount works perfectly.

Once fitted the device works well and has a smooth action and quality feel to it when in use with the feel of a serious piece of photographic equipment. This is an excellent device, that is simple to install and works well and gets the job done. Priced at just £10.99 before discounts this is cheaper than most of the rivals I have tried and works just as well.

This is a simple device, well made and well priced and is worthy to be in the gadget bag of every photographer or videographer.

The Good
Robust Construction
Fits Any Size Mount
Great Price

The Bad
Lock Can Be Fiddly To Use

Music: YouTube Audio Library: John Deley and the 41 Players: Hear the Noise

Swan Retro Digital Microwave Black

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We needed a new microwave, the old one having bitten the dust, and this model from Swan Retro seemed to fit the bill: attractive design, reasonably powerful, manual and automatic operating modes, and a good clear LED display. We paid around £80 for it but there is now an updated version available for £100 but which seems pretty the same as the older one.

The microwave arrived nicely packaged with an easy to read user guide with the 270mm glass turntable separately packaged inside. Build quality all seems fine with nothing looking likely to fail any time soon.

On the front of the microwave from the top are the LED status display, Menu Selector dial, Time/Weight dial, with below them buttons for Power/Stop and Start. The dials and buttons are large and easy to use with a reassuring click to confirm status. The display also doubles as an LED clock, which is very bright and cannot be dimmed or turned off.

The microwave offers full control over the power level and operating time and with a range of presets available. The top dial is used to select from the 3 operating power levels, defrost, auto, speed mode, and clock setting. The lower dial is used to enter the weight of the food or the cooking time desired. In auto mode, set the top[ dial to Auto, and rotate the lower dial to select your food choice from the table in the user guide. It seems rather complicated to operate at first but we tend to use it set to full power on the top dial and select the time desired on the lower one, which makes it quick and easy to use. Upon completion the LED display show END and the microwave beeps. There is also a child lock mode to prevent unwanted use.

The microwave works well, is not too noisy and is simple enough to use. The display is clear and bright, perhaps too bright, and the only problem we have had is the interior light failing after a couple of months.

If you need an attractive and well-designed microwave oven that is both easy to use and versatile then this would not be a bad buy.

The Good
Easy to Read Display
Very Flexible Operation
Easy Manual Operation

The Bad
Very Bright Display
Complicated To Operate
Hard To Change Bulb

Music: YouTube Audio Library: Guitar House - josh pan

YINN Deluxe Dog Cave Bed

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It was time to get a new bed for Poppy, her current one is getting a bit old and smelly and she needs something to keep her warm better in winter. I have seen these scallop style beds before and they certainly look comfy enough. If she does not like it then perhaps our other dog, Blenheim, may take a shine to it. There are three sizes available and we bought the medium-sized version for £46.99, which should be large enough for either dog. I should add that seems to be a large number of rivals that look identical and are similarly priced.

The bed arrived well packed in a thick outer shipping bag with the bed compressed tightly into a reusable heavy duty vacuum bag. The bed certainly seems well made, with very a well padded but supportive channelled spring wound poly-filled pillow with a fold over cover supported by an internal rigid frame. The bed itself has a sheepskin style look and feel to it with an external suede finish to the outside. The outside cover has a double zip to allow the internal padding to be removed before washing. The cover can be machine washed and tumble dried. The underside of the bed is made from what seems to be a water resistant oxford cloth like material.

The bed looks and feels immensely comfortable and if they brought out a larger version I would sleep in it myself. The upper part of the bed is like a mini canopy and extends about two thirds of the way over the bed to allow the dog to bury themselves inside should they wish but not enough to get in the way when they don't and can be folded back out of the way.

Both Poppy and Blenheim are taken with the novelty of it but do not yet see it as a bed so much as an oversized toy. Time will tell but I am confident that one or either of them will adopt for bedtime use soon. If they don't maybe I will, if I can squeeze inside.

The Good
Well made
Heavily Padded
Folding Top
Machine Washable

The Bad
Large Size

Music: YouTube Audio Library: Caballero - Ofshane

THRONMAX MDrill One PRO Microphone

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Music: YouTube Audio Library:
More Info and Purchase:

I wanted a microphone to use for voiceovers on my PC and due to technical issues too tedious to go into it had to be a USB condenser. I looked around and this one seemed to have consistently good reviews together with a range of options that might prove useful in the future. The £88 price tag seemed pretty good too given the features on offer and evident build quality.

There are two models of this mic, my one which has a 96 kHz Sampling rate and a substantially cheaper but otherwise identical model that samples at 48Khz, which is fact is all most users including me actually need.

It feels well made and substantial in the hand, comes supplied with a 3-meter braided cable and a well printed but not very informative user guide. It is a pity no pop filter or storage case is included in the box, however. It does come with a built-in adjustable desk stand but this can be easily removed for use on a mic stand or boom arm. Build quality is first rate and this looks and feels like a quality piece of kit with upmarket packaging and presentation reinforcing it.

The microphone has 4 polar patterns- Cardioid, Omnidirectional, Bidirectional, and Stereo which are selectable using a button on the front of the mic with coloured LEDs to show the active pattern, on the front also is the mic mute button with status LED. On the rear are rotary controls to vary the microphone output gain and change the volume of the headphone port with a large LED bar display on the front to show the current level of each. It is annoying that this LED bar does not act as a peak reaction meter to show the current live input volume. On the underside is a LED mood light with colour selection button , USB-C port, 3.5mm Headphone port, and as standard tripod mount.

It connects to your Mac or PC via USB-C which is smaller, neater and more up to date than standard USB. The braided cable is heavy duty, sensibly long, and is detachable rather than hard wired, so any good quality USB-C cable can be used. The headphone port offers zero latency monitoring of the microphone output.

Most importantly is the sound, and this mic has a hiss and crackle free audio that is full and rich, especially when used in close. There is plenty of gain and I found that at a distance of up to three feet with a 75% gain setting on the mic outputted a signal strong enough to require no further enhancement in my editing software during post production. Sound quality, for me at any rate, is excellent or better.

This is a good quality mic, robust and well made and with an audio quality more than adequate for professional use. I am very happy with it and am happy to recommend it to anyone needing a decent quality USB studio mic that will not break the bank.

The Good
Great Audio Quality
Good Build Qualit

Xiaomi Mi Band 6 Health and Fitness Tracker

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This is a great tracker, perhaps the best I have ever used, but I had a few issues with it. Not with the tracker itself but with getting the thing up and running. The tracker can be worn wrist or belt mounted, although the belt mount is not supplied as standard and the use of it will reduce the number of metrics that can be tracked.

Firstly, I ordered the NFC version - there is not much difference in price between that and the standard one - but in fact it was the standard one that I received. No big deal as it only supports the CURVE banking system which few people use here in the UK use but which I had planned to test.

The QR code in the User Guide did not work and so finding the correct Android app for the tracker took a while. The Mi Fit app had changed its name to Mi Fitness and although it claims to support the tracker and even shows a picture of it, it refused to recognise it during setup. I then discovered that the new Xiaomi sports app is in fact called Zapp Life and Zapp Life quickly recognised and installed the tracker.
The app is excellent and offers a vast amount of fine-tuning both for the way the app displays the data and to configure and set up the band. I prefer the look of the older Xiaomi apps, but this new one offers more features and better control of the smart band.

The band itself is amazing. The AMOLED display is big, bright and clear with vibrant in your face colours. It takes time to set the band up and fine-tune it for your needs but it is worth it in the end when you consider the sheer number of features and options available.

The band is charged via a magnetic pogo connection which works well enough but wireless charging would have been better. A two hour charge will yield up to 14 days of normal use but this can be reduced when multiple always on features are enabled, but the app settings section gives you a useful visual guide to this.

The smart band does all the basics you would expect from a health band - 24/7 heart rate, steps, distance, Sp02, calories burned, sleep monitoring, as well as breathing exercises, music control, notifications, phone finder - there are too many features to list here. One problem with the band is that there are so many options and features it can all be very confusing.

Here are the main metrics tracked by the band:
24/7 Heart Rate
Calories Used
Sleep Breathing
Female Health Tracking
Sedentary Behaviour
Female Health Monitoring

Amongst the other features on offer are:

Breathing Exercises
30 Exercise Modes
6 Auto Recognised Exercise Modes
Magnetic Charger
Phone Finder
Do Not Disturb
Music Control
App Camera Control
Weather Forecast

See Blog for full Review:

Fitbit Inspire 2 Health & Fitness Tracker

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My partner wanted a tracker but not one that was too complicated or fiddly to use. The Fitbit Inspire 2 seemed a good choice as it monitors all the key metrics and displays them clearly and attracively in the Fitbit app.

Currently priced at just £59 it includes a year of the Fitbit premium service which offers advanced training routines with enhanced sleep and other data which some users may appreciate. I cannot say there is much about the premium service that appeals to me but since it is thrown in for free then why not. I signed up for it but then immediately cancelled it through Google Play to prevent it being automatically renewed in a years time.

The tracker itself is well made and has a quality feel to it and works very well with all the basic features covered - 24/7 heartrate, steps, distance, sleep, sports activity tracking - with an excellent battery life of up to 10 days. There is no built in GPS, which I doubt will trouble most users, but it will automatically connect to your phone's GPS when you start a run and show the route in the Fitbit app. The app, I must say, is simple, easy to read with the most user friendly display of any health tracking app I have tried. In fact access to the Fitbit app is probably the most compelling reason to buy this tracker as there are many cheaper and better specified rivals available. Use of the app is crucial as the screen on the tracker is small, hard to read and times out after just a few seconds.

If you need a basic no nonsense tracker which works well and gives you access the perhaps the best health tracking ecosystem available, then this might be the one to go for.


Created 4 years, 8 months ago.

1368 videos

Category Science & Technology

CoolGeek CS-01 Turntable Music System

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See Blog for full review:

I have tried quite a few Bluetooth record players before but never one like this. The others all worked OK but were all pretty cheaply made with poor quality internal speakers and components clearly adapted from other devices. Most annoyingly of all they were all Bluetooth in only - you could play external sources over the internal speakers but not play from the turntable directly to a Bluetooth speaker or other external devices. Finally, none of them had the sort of looks you would want on show in your living room.

That is not the case with this record player. It looks fantastic with a distinctly upmarket look and feel to it. The build quality is heavy duty and built to last, made from wood with pineapple pattern anodized alloy metal control knobs. The sound quality from the internal speaker is great for the size and a cut above that from the cheapo rivals. Unlike the others, this one does indeed have Bluetooth Out and it was a quick and easy matter to send audio to my phone and to Bluetooth speakers It has one of the best damping systems I have yet encountered in any turntable.

In the box can be found the turntable, turntable platter, spindle, turntable pad, power cable with plug, and drive belt. My pre-production unit was not supplied with a User Guide but no doubt this will be included in the final version and a UK plug cable will replace the EU one I received. The system comes with an excellent Audio-Technica magnetic cartridge preinstalled but perfectionists may wish to change this for their preferred model. Build quality all seems first-rate although as with all precision instruments, delicate handling will be needed to protect it.

The turntable needs to be assembled by the user, but this is quick and easy to do. Firstly, unscrew and remove the travel lock under the platter location to free the turntable suspended spring damping mechanism, then insert the spindle in the hole (it can only go in one way), fit the belt to the underside of the platter and hook it around the drive shaft located just above the travel lock before placing the platter onto the spindle and then the pad onto the platter. On the rear panel you can plug in the power supply, connect external speakers and select the 33⅓ or 45 turntable speed.

Operating the turntable is simple and will come naturally to anyone familiar with standard hi-fi turntables. There are just two large pineapple pattern anodized alloy knobs, one for operating mode and the other for volume. Use the top knob to select Bluetooth mode, standard speaker mode or power off, with audio prompts to confirm the selection. The lower knob sets the audio volume. After placing the disc on the turntable platter and releasing the tonearm lock simply use the arm lifter and the turntable will rotate at the selected speed, lower the stylus gently onto the disc using the damped mechanism. After playing lift and replace the arm and the turntable will stop.

Most so-called Bluetooth record players just allow the device to play external Bluetooth audio through the internal speakers of the record player. This is the first I have tried that allows music from the turntable to be played directly on external speakers or other devices using Bluetooth, and I was pleased to see an up to date Bluetooth 5 connection is used for this. Pairing to an external device could not be simpler and after the first connection will be completely automatic with audio prompts to confirm the connection.

Sound quality through the internal speakers, two 10w tweeters, and two 15w mid-woofers, was fine for the size and considering the limitations of the format but for serious listening, external speakers should be used. I tried it with a pair of decent quality Nylavee SK600 speakers which can support both a Bluetooth and cable connection and the sound quality was excellent either way.

This is a very impressive looking turntable that works well, sounds good and is simple to operate with a minimum of unneeded and unwanted features. The inclusion of Bluetooth might seem to be just such a novelty but in fact, it is transparent in use, works well and sounds just as good as a wired connection.

Drawbacks? Well, the turntable is very finely engineered and needs to be handled carefully and looked after, this is not the sort of unit to be left in your teenager's bedroom, and I am sorry no turntable cover is not included. Finally, with a final suggested price of $549 it is by no means cheap, although it is currently available on Kickstarter for $349 which is rather more reasonable.

This is a fantastic turntable, unlike any other, I have used, that sounds as just good as it looks!

Music: YouTube Audio Library: Sunny Morning: Bruno E