Jawbone Era review

Bluetooth headsets may not be the most fashionable of gadgets but if you drive a lot for work then they can be a important part of your working life. Jawbone, one of the pioneers of Bluetooth headsets, has just released its new Era which offers a full days use from 1 charge, a portable charging … Read more

iPad Keyboard Brydge+ with Speakers Review

The accessory market for iPhone and iPads is a huge market and a growing trend has been Bluetooth keyboards which hope to provide increased productivity from your tablet allowing you to leave your laptop at home. The latest keyboard we have received is the  Brydge+ with Speakers, this is a full-sized anodised aluminium keyboard with … Read more

Google Chromecast Review

Googe released the Chromecast in the States several months ago acclaim. This diminutive device plugs directly into your TV HDMI socket which then allows you to stream media from a connected device such as a Android Phone or Laptop directly to the TV.

Unfortunately at the moment this device does not natively cast any content you want to the TV, but instead is restricted to certain applications including: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YourTube and Google Play movies. However software is gradually being released that is compatible with Chromecast and functionality should improve exponentially over the next few months.

Unlike other solutions such as Apple TV or Roku this device costs just £30 which makes it extremely affordable. We picked one up even though we had no real intention of using it frequently!

Set up is extremely easy, you just plug it into the HDMI socket and connect the power lead, if you TV has a powered USB socket this will do, alternatively you can use the plug adapter provided. You then search for the device with the Chromecast app and follow the set up instructions. It took a couple of minutes at the most for us.

Once set up using the stick is also a breeze. You just load up your Chromecast compatible app select what you want to play and then select it to play on your device, a few seconds later it should start playing on your TV.

51471-chromecast

We mainly experimented with Netflix and found the experience extremely pleasant, it is a little slower than playing directly on your device and for the first 30 seconds or so it played at a low quality stream, but eventually everything cleared up and the image quality was excellent.

Functionality can be extended with applications such as AllCast which will allow you to stream media from other sources including a Plex Server, Dropbox and local files on your phone.

Media Browser is an app for iOS and Android that streams media content stored on any computer in the house, giving the Chromecast home theater PC  granting capabilities.

Unfortunately streaming from services other than iPlayer are nonexistent at the moment there is no Sky, 40D, ITV Player, BT Sport, Demand 5, Blinkbox, or Amazon Instant.  We some if not most of these will be available eventually however Amazon could be unlikely as they are rumoured to be releasing their own streaming device anytime soon.

Music is also lacking and we really hope that Spotify will be supported soon as it will be really useful.

Overall for the price there is a lot to like about Chromecast. If you have an old dumb TV then this can be an absolutely fantastic addition. If you have a new TV, then a lot of the Chromecast features will be made redundant, but at £30 we still feel it is a worthwhile investment as a backup device. As more compatible Apps are released this will become an absolute must have.

If you would like more information our friends over at Currys have an unboxing and in-depth review of the Google Chromecast

And you can buy the Google Chromecast here

Elmo Box-i T350 LED HD Gaming Projector Review

We don’t often feature projectors on this blog, but we recently got to review the the Elmo Box-i T350 portable LED projector.  This is a somewhat unknown company to consumers because Elmo established itself in the education market, but is now looking at targeting consumers with this portable gaming projector. Unlike your normal home theatre … Read more

Kensington KeyFolio Exact with Keyboard for iPad Air Review

We have reviewed a few tablet cases recently and today we have the Kensington KeyFolio Exact for you. This case ups the ante quite a bit and is a folio style case with a bluetooth keyboard which currently retails at £119.99 on the Kensignton website. At nearly £120 this is not aimed at your casual … Read more

WP Engine Review

Recently we decided to experiment with moving our hosting from a reasonably expensive unmanaged dedicated server with Pound Host, to WP Engine, a WordPress hosting specialist. While the Pound Host server has been excellent we use it for other sites and it has started to slow down over time, especially as Mighty Gadget is constantly … Read more

JBL Synchros S700 Headphones with LiveStage Review

Following our trip to Liverpool last week for the press even and launch of the new JBL Synchros S700 headphones, we have had chance to check them out for a few days and see how they sound with music other than live acoustic sets.

In case you missed our previous posts the S700 headphones are the result of over a years worth of scientific research by JBL into what makes a headphone sound good, previously no other company has approached the subject in a  scientific manor and there has been no consensus on what is the best sound for headphones. The result of this research was that people actually preferred a neutral sound rather than with excessive bass.

As part of the research, JBL also wanted to come up with a way to make headphones sound more like you are listening to music as it was designed to be listened to, and that is via stereo in a reference level room taking into account the natural resonance of the surroundings. With headphones the sound is play directly into your ears so it is not being bounced across multiple surfaces giving an immersive effect or a sense of direction.  Therefore with the Synchros S700 music can (optionally) be played through a DSP which alters the sound to mimic being listened to in a natural stereo environment. This technology means that the headphones have to be powered and they are use a lithium ion battery which is charged via the headphone cables.

JBL Synchros S700_ Glacier White

Our initial impression of the headphones was that they are exceptionally well built, they are very sturdy, quite heavy and made up of a cast aluminium with leather ear cushions, we found them really comfortable though extended use they did make our ears a little hot. They come with 2 sets of cables, one for Android and one for iPhone, as well as a nice carry case. Overall these have a very premium feel to them.

During the press even we got to listen to them during a live performance from Jonas and the Massive Attraction. When switching between passive and SoundStage we found the SoundStage to be quite impressive with it actually making the performance sound more like a live performance. During the following days we have had chance to listen to them with a wide range of music from Rock, Electronica, Hip Hop etc, and unfortunately we found the LiveStage to be slightly less impressive, we found that bass seemed to be reduced and it felt slightly unbalanced. In passive mode the headphones do seem to be surprisingly bass heavy considering JBL says they are supposed to be more natural sounding, and it is possible this is why we were less impressed with soundstage the second time round as we are just used to everything being so bass heavy nowadays.

With the headphones in active or passive we found them very capable, they handled everything we through at them without any distortion, even with the heaviest bass tracks we could find the headphones played them comfortably and everything sounded quite powerful, in passive mode bass was really deep in places which we think will appeal to a lot of younger people (contrary to JBLs findings).

Overall, even though we were not 100% sure if we preferred LiveStage or passive these are excellent headphones with a ultra premium feel that you are not going to be disappointed with. You can currently get the Synchros S700 headphones from the JBL store for £299 which is expensive, but if you are looking for some premium headphones that are going to last you several years we don't think you will be disappointed with these. JBL also offer a 30 day return policy so you are free to try them out yourself and decide how much you like them.

They are available now from here

Glider Touchscreen Gloves review

Winter is coming, and using a smartphone while wearing gloves is generally impossible. However dozens of companies are now offering touchscreen compatible gloves which is accomplished by incorporating conductive materials into the gloves.  In the case of Glider Gloves they use conductive copper threads and fibers built into the glove’s yarn composition. These special yarns … Read more

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