Nov 26

Beacon Audio Blazar Portable Bluetooth Stereo Speaker ★★★★☆

Beacon Audio Blazar Portable Bluetooth Stereo Speaker (Aluminum)

Wow. The Beacon Audio case that comes with this speaker dwarfs my camcorder case. I readied myself for a beast of a speaker. Instead, I got one half that size. Rest assured, the Beacon Audio Blazar is well-protected. That zipper, though, it sticks.

The share button confused me. I thought “share” meant “pair.” Instead, it meant share with another speaker, as in left speaker and right speaker. I don’t have two speakers to try out that function, so I just have to trust that it’s there.

The Bluetooth button is on top, totally separate from the “share” button. Once I got that right, pairing came easy, and it reconnects automatically. The range isn’t bad. I could go a whole other room away with walls interfering and still get a signal.

The music is okay, but it doesn’t have the clarity I’ve heard in other speakers. No, there’s no static. It’s just not crisp. I don’t think the average Joe would care, but someone who is more atuned would.

Phone calls are clear enough to hear the caller, and the caller has no problem hearing me. There’s no echo. That’s better than most Bluetooth speakers I’ve tested.

This product was provided for review by Beacon Audio.

Nov 26

Avery Pearlized Address Labels ★★★★☆

Avery Pearlized Address Labels, 1 x 2.62 Inches, Pack of 90 Labels (80509)

I’m happy Avery has ditched the software installation in favor of printing from the web. It’s so much easier. We can choose a style, print it, then apply that style to another Avery label or card to coordinate the printables for an event. For instance, I printed Thanksgiving place cards earlier. Then, I placed that pattern onto the Avery Pearlized Address Labels (choose template #5160). It was instant, and the result is beautiful. My printer prints clearly on these thick labels, and their pearlescent quality make them ideal for the most elegant occasions.

Just one problem: Though advertised as permanent, they are not. I placed them on paper and peeled them off the next day. If you need permanent labels, look elsewhere.

This product was provided for review by the Amazon Vine program.

Nov 26

Bazic Jeweltones Color Rulers ★★★☆☆

Bazic Jeweltones Color Ruler, 12 Inches, 4 Per Pack

I didn’t get the colors shown on Amazon. Instead, I got hot pink, lime green, blue, deep purple. The Bazic Rulers measure in inches and centimeters, but it’s hard for me to read the measurements on the purple ruler. The dark printing on dark purple isn’t enough contrast. All the other colors are easier to read, as long as they are not placed on dark surfaces. If necessary, then pink and green read best. I recommend those who work in low light conditions on dark surfaces buy rulers that are more opaque.

Nov 24

DBPOWER® 33W 5.0V 6.5A 6-port USB Intelligent Charger ★★★★☆

DBPOWER® 33W 5.0V 6.5A 6-port USB Intelligent Charger ICH-03, Family-Sized, Super Charger Desktop Charger for iPhone 5S 5C 5 4S 4, iPad Air Mini, Samsung Tablets, Galaxy S5 S4 S3, Galaxy Note 3 2, HTC, Sony, Nokia, Asus Google Nexus and Smartphones, Tablets, iPods, Most Digital 5V USB-Charged Devices (White)

I’ve used the DBPOWER® Charger to charge every phone, tablet, and power bank I own. It’s even charged my son’s quadcopters. There are two iPhone ports, one iPad port, and one Samsung tablet port, one Samsung smartphone port, and one Android port. I have one iPhone, three Android phones, one Kindle tablet. The power banks and quadcopters qualify as “none of the above.” Does it matter? No. Do I plug in one Android phone and wait it out with my other two Android phones? Nope. What do I do with my quadcopters and power banks? The answer? I don’t care. They all go to whatever port is open . . . and they all charge. Sure, for optimum performance, the iPhone goes into the iPhone port, but if that’s not what you have, don’t worry about it.

It’s a good charger. My only wish is for more 2.1 amp ports. Only the iPad port is 2.1 amps. The Samsung tablet port gives 1.3 amps, and the rest are 1 amp or less.

This product was provided for review by DBPOWER.

Nov 24

Silicone Tongs ★★★★☆

Silicone Tongs 12-inch

I like the design of these Silicone Tongs. Pull the latch to lock closed, push to open. I own another set that works just like it. They seemed a tad flimsy when I got them, but they have held up and they perform well.

I’ve used them in the frying pan and in the oven, and I’ve washed them in the dishwasher. They’ve been through all the paces. I don’t think they’re flimsy anymore.

This product was provided for review by Makimy.

Nov 24

Orksun® Outdoor LED Solar Light ★★★☆☆

Orksun® Outdoor LED Solar Light Battery Powered – Weatherproof/waterproof – Wireless Security Lighting (No Extra Batteries Required) / Dusk to Dawn Dark Sensing Auto on / Off – No Tools Required; 3m Double Sided Stick Tape Included

This Orksun® Outdoor LED Solar Light works, but it’s just not bright enough to illuminate an area. There’s a motion sensor that turns the light on. I can see the light. I just can’t see much of the area underneath it. It’s a light best placed closer to the ground along a wall to light a path. Above our heads is too high up.

This product was provided for review by Orksun.

Nov 24

Silicone Baking Cupcake Set ★★★★★

Silicone Baking Cupcake 12 Set

My first impression of this Silicone Baking Cupcake Set was they’re thin, thinner than another set of silicone cupcake cups I own. I wasn’t sure how they’d hold up, but now I like them. They stack up so much lower than my other set and they perform just as well.

I’ve baked both muffins and cupcakes in them, always with liners. I’ve been told by my baker friend the silicone just makes my cupcakes pop out easier, but they still stick. After a disaster with a silicone cupcake tray way back when, I think she’s right. My cupcakes come out perfect, and they slide right out of the silicone cups.

When I’m done, I hand wash the silicone cups. They’re dishwasher safe, but the powerful spray flips them over. You just have to trust me on that.

This product was provided for review by Makimy.

Nov 24

Soundsoul U10 Sport Noise-isolating In-ear Headphones ★★★★★

Soundsoul U10 Sport Noise-isolating In-ear Headphones with Memory Wire (Dark Black)

I’m so used to Bluetooth earphones that the wires on this set disappointed me, but not for long. I’m wearing the earphones not for music but for doing continuing education during my daughter’s gymnastics lessons. What came out blew me away. It was crisp, full, clear. I was swimming in sound despite the loud music blaring in the background. What an experience. I tried them out for music and it is everything I expected: surround sound and bass I could feel.

Soundsoul U10 In-ear Headphones come with a zippered case (not pouch, mind you), some extra earbuds in varying sizes, and a clip. I’m impressed.

This product was provided for review by SoundSoul.

Nov 24

Okra Smartphone & GPS Dashboard Grip Mount Holder ★★★★☆

Okra Smartphone & GPS Dashboard Grip Mount Holder

Here’s a dashboard mount that will stick anywhere and stay put. The ultra-low profile is a bonus. It doesn’t get lower than this.

The Okra Smartphone Mount is sticky all over. It will grab the phone or anything else, so expect it to collect dust, hair and whatnot over time. Every now and then, we need to rinse it out to make it sticky again.

I fell in deep like with this mount until I ran into a fatal flaw: the notch for the phone is one size only. There is no way to adjust it. My iPhone 4S with case won’t fit. My Huawei Ascend Mate2 with case won’t fit. My dash cam and TomTom won’t fit. Fat phones need not apply.

What will fit? My HTC One M8 with case and my Kocaso Android phablet. When they fit, it’s heaven. When they don’t, I squeeze them in. Eventually, they fall over. I recommend this mount for phones that are ½” thick or less, including the case. Keep in mind there is no way to adjust the angle of any phone that is mounted.

This product was provided for review by Okra Products.

Nov 24

Stanley Bostitch QuietSharp Glow Classroom Electric Pencil Sharpener ★★★★☆

Stanley Bostitch QuietSharp Glow Classroom Electric Pencil Sharpener (EPS11HC)

I’ve owned a lot of electric pencil sharpeners. With all certainty, the Stanley Bostitch QuietSharp Pencil Sharpener is a beast, and it lives up to its size.

Compared to my Westcott iPoint Curve Pencil Sharpener, the Bostitch sharpens more quickly and evenly. It stops automatically and indicates it’s done with a blue light. It’s versatile, able to sharpen six different sizes of pencils, even my colored pencils. To keep it from shifting, the makers plastered suction cups underneath. They thought of everything.

IS IT QUIET?

I’m not sure if any motor grinding up wood is ever really quiet. I used a sound meter to check. At 11 ½” away, the Bostitch was 80.2 dB compared to Wescott’s 77.2 dB. I repeated it for a few pencils each with similar results, the Bostitch always a tad louder.

SPEED

When sharpening unsharpened pencils, Bostitch clocks in at 4.3 seconds compared to Westcott’s 8.9 seconds. I didn’t have to clock it to tell that it’s fast.

OVERALL IMPRESSION

This may not be the quietest pencil sharpener, but it’s not the loudest I’ve ever heard, either. Teachers will appreciate the speed when sharpening large quantities of pencils. Students won’t be grinding their pencils to a nub. Everyone will be happy the large receptacle doesn’t have to be constantly emptied. In a classroom setting, it will do nicely.

This product was provided for review by Amax.