Milestone Altitude Activity Tracker – Review (@Kitaccessory)

With more and more gadgets coming out to help you track your daily activity progress, having something handy and easy to use is definitely welcomed by some people.  I was provided with one of the latest offerings from Kit: – the Milestone Altitude Activity Tracker – to review.  Now due to bad health, I am not the most active of people, but I was very intrigued to see how well my activity and sleep would be tracked.

First things first – packaging.  I have always been impressed with how well products from Kit: have been packaged.  It is always kept nice and minimal, whilst providing detailed information at the same time.  The box that the Activity Tracker arrived in was no different.  The front of the box gives a clear view of the Tracker itself, especially when you open the cardboard flap on the right side.  On the outside of the flap, you have the Milestone text, while on the inside, you are told that progress can be tracked via the free to download smartphone app.  On the bottom left corner of the packaging, you are shown that the Tracker has a vibrating alarm, is sweat resistant, and tracks your activity.  Lastly, the rear of the box has a brief description of the item, as well as a list of features, specifications, box contents, and smartphone compatibility.

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Removing the Tracker from the box, you have the item itself, a Micro USB to USB 2.0 cable, and a 3.5mm to Micro USB cable.  The Micro to 2.0 cable is used to charge the Tracker, while the 3.5 to USB 2.0 cable can be used to synchronise the data from the Tracker to the smartphone.  The tracker itself sports a nice rubber material wristband that houses the small unit.  In order to charge the unit, you simply pop it out from the wristband so that you can hook it up to a charging source using the provided cable.  It only took a few hours to charge fully, but I was unable to use it until I had done that initial charge as there was no power at all in the unit.  Once charged, inserting the unit back into the strap was as easy as it was to take it out.  It mentions on the box that a single charge should last 5-7 days – I’ve had the Tracker on since I first charged it and have yet to have to recharge it yet (around 2.5 weeks). On the side of the unit is a small button which is used to cycle through the menu – just line this up with the groove on the strap so that you get it back in the correct way round.

Once charged, I will admit that I was a little worried about how simple it was going to be to get things up and running.  There was no need for any worrying as the instruction booklet took me through the process step by step, from getting started to using the smartphone app and understanding the different functions included.  All I needed to do with the app was enter my personal details and what I would like my daily goal to be.  It finishes up with you syncing the Altitude to the smartphone app for the first time.  Now I know that the Tracker comes complete with the 3.5mm to USB 2.0 cable to help with syncing information between the phone and device, but I honestly found connecting and syncing up via Bluetooth not only quicker, but also very straightforward.

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The Altitude tracker has a range of features.  It not only tracks your daily steps taken, but also acts as a watch, tracks your sleep pattern, your distance travelled (km), the amount of calories burned during a 24 hour period, and lastly, what percentage of your daily goal was achieved.  Sleep mode monitors your sleep movement and can record when you are awake, in a light sleep, and in a deep sleep – I found this very handy, myself.  Please note that your sleep activity can only be monitored once you have synced information between the Altitude and your smartphone app.

The app itself (available on iOS 7.0 and above, and Android 4.3 and above) has as many functions as the wristband.  The History menu provides a daily chart of activity (steps, miles, and Kcal burned), as well as the amount of hours slept and how many of those hours were in a light or deep sleep state.  The Activity menu shows an overall percentage of your goals and sleep, as well as simple to understand view of your steps, Kcal, and distance.  Lastly, the Settings menu contains the section where you enter your personal information, workout goal, a reminder setting, and lastly, the alarm clock (with is a nice and steady vibration that comes through the Altitude).

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I found the tracking provided by the Altitude to be pretty precise, although, sometimes just sitting and moving my arm a bit swiftly would register as steps taken.  The sleep monitor is something that I found useful.  I did like being able to see how much of my sleep was light or deep, and from what I could tell, that was all registered as precise as possible.  Syncing was very straightforward both with the provided cable, and via Bluetooth – the latter of which is definitely preferred method of synchronising.

Overall, when you consider the functions provided by the Altitude when compared to other Activity Tracker devices, I don’t really see much difference – except the price!  You can get the Altitude from Amazon UK or Carphone Warehouse for around £39.99 (at time of posting).  It does what you would expect, is easy to operate (even for people who don’t have much experience with tech), and doesn’t cost a fortune.  I haven’t taken mine off since I first put it on a couple of weeks back – apart from when showering – and intend to use it on a very regular basis.  I highly recommend the Milestone Altitude Activity Tracker to both hardcore, and casual, fitness fanatics.

I’d like to thank the kind folk over at Kondor for providing me with the Milestone Altitude Activity Tracker for review.

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NOMAD ChargeKey – Review (@nomadgoods)

Let’s face it – walking around with a charging cable for your devices in your pocket is not ideal, and I doubt many people do it.  Having the option to carry something lightweight, small, and fully portable, however, is great and is now possible thanks to the affordable NOMAD ChargeKey.  NOMAD were kind enough to send me out one of their Micro USB to USB ChargeKey units that should work with all Micro USB devices.  Also available is a Lightning connector for use with the new iDevice models.

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The ChargeKey arrived in a very simple cardboard envelope packaging.  Simply open up the front and you are greeted with the Key itself.  That’s it!  Remove the Key from the sticky adhesive that holds it in place and you are good to go.  Size wise, the Key is no bigger than a standard house key, which makes it the ideal size to attach to your keys and carry it about with you.

The Key itself is made from a hard plastic at the two ends, one end with the Micro USB connector and the other with the main USB connector, and also has a rubber material in the middle that allows it some room to move about.  This could prove handy for a few reasons – less chance of it poking you while in your pocket, less chance of it being damaged and snapping while in your pocket, and lastly, it allows a bit of movement when hooking up your device.

When it came to using my phone with the Key, I had it connected to my laptop.  I didn’t want to risk using it with a wall adapter as it would mean leaving my phone hanging and to be honest, that would kind of defeat the object of the Key as if you are at home, you would use your wall adapter any way.  Having it hooked up to the laptop though, charging started as you would expect and I was also able to sync my phones photos and emails as well.  I also gave it a try using one of the PowerBanks that I have and am happy to say that that worked as it should.

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Overall, the NOMAD ChargeKey does what it says.  It is small, lightweight, portable, and comes in handy when you least expect it.  Always having it to hand is a major plus thanks to being able to have it attached to my keys and knowing that I don’t have to walk about with a charging cable in my pocket or bag is handy.  You never know when you’re going to be caught without power!  Priced at an affordable £20 over on Amazon UK, I think it is a must have addition, especially for those of you who like to be able to stay connected all of the time!

PocketBoom Rechargeable Bluetooth Portable Speaker – Review (@KitSoundUK)

I was recently sent the PocketBoom Rechargeable Bluetooth Portable Speaker for review from the guys over at KitSound.  This is one product I was looking forward to getting to grips with.  Check out the unboxing video below.

Setting the speaker up for use was an easy task.  simply power on the PocketBoom speaker and put your phone/device into visible mode.  Your device should pick up the speaker after a few seconds – once it has, choose the speaker from the list of available devices and it should pair up.  If you run into any issues when it comes to pairing the devices, check out the included user manual and you should be sorted in no time.

The sound that the PocketBoom pushes out is surprisingly awesome!  For such a small device, I was not expecting what I heard.  The speaker pushes out a decent amount of bass as well, but depending on what device you are using it with, you may want to adjust the levels on the device itself beforehand to get the best sound out of things – even if you download an equalizer app or something to help with this, it is definitely worth it.

Because the speaker also doubles up as a hands-free device, I was itching to try out both the incoming, and outgoing sound quality.  When a call comes through, simply press the little button on the top of the speaker (the one with the phone icon) and you will be connected.  Incoming call quality through the speaker was great quality and did not come through distorted at all – again, very surprised at the quality.  Outgoing voice was a little on the quiet side when listening through the phone, but I could still hear what was going on.  This was easily rectified by rotating the speaker a little so that the small microphone port was facing the person talking rather than facing the opposite way.

The small rubber section on the bass of the speaker provided a decent amount of grip when the speaker was placed on a surface.  Pressing the buttons, etc, did not cause the speaker to move about unnecessarily, something else that I really liked.  The overall design of the speaker is very easy on the eye and definitely something that you would not be embarrassed to be seen with.

Having the option to connect up a 3.5 to 3.5mm cable is handy, especially if you have been using the PocketBoom for a prolonged period of time via bluetooth and the battery is starting to get low – you can still use the speaker if you are not ready to power down just yet.  When it comes to recharging the speaker, simply connect up the Micro USB cable and plug in the other end of the cable to a PC or laptop, or even a USB mains adapter.  I have used the speaker and managed to get around 3 hours of continuous play from it before having to charge again.

This tiny speaker really does pack a punch when it comes to playing music.  No matter what style of music you choose to play, it comes through nice and clear, and with a decent amount of bass.  The hands-free feature just adds to this little box of awesome and makes using it an absolute pleasure.  You can pick up the PocketBoom Rechargeable Bluetooth Speaker in a wide range of colours and for the price of around £30.00 GBP.  An excellent product at an affordable price.

Sandberg Speak’n Go Earset – Review

The Speak’n Go Earset from Sandberg is  made to not only provide you with the freedom of using your phone whilst keeping your hands free, but also to provide excellent call quality, with the added extra of using it to fill your ears with musical goodness.

The earset arrives in the standard Sandberg packaging – a see through plastic packaging that gives you a nice view of the product itself, with the ‘need to know’ information also included.  The front of the packaging shows that you can use the earset for handsfree conversation, and that the earset contains an inline microphone and answer button.  The back of the packaging provides a short paragraph about the headset – this information is also available in several different languages.

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Taking the earset out of the packaging, to be honest, if you have ever used a pair of earphones with your phone or an MP3 player, then you would already know what this earset is like.  It has the standard earphone feel to it, complete with the inline controls for use, and the 3.5mm connector at the end.  The earbuds themselves are the standard size earbuds, not the in-ear ones that are available nowadays.  Saying this though, the in-ear canal version of this earset is available from Sandberg, and both styles are available in a range of colours.

Comfort wise, this earset is not too bad.  I don’t have overly large ears and they stay in place as you would expect them to.  I am not sure, however, how they would feel to someone with smaller ears, or whether they would fit in place enough to be comfortable – the same with people who have larger ears.

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I used the earset to listen to some music from my phone and while the music quality was ok, it wasn’t the greatest I have heard.  Saying that, this earset is made for managing phone calls while on the go, and in that respect, they performed really well.  I had no complaints regarding the quality of my voice during phone calls, and I have no complaints in regards to the voice on the other end of the call.

Overall, this headset does what it was made for, very well.  Trying to use it for other tasks such as listening to music, etc, I don’t think would provide the satisfaction that you may be used to with other earphones.  For a handsfree headset for use when on the go, the Sandberg Speak’n Go does exactly what it says on the tin (and packaging).

Mini Buddy Heart Portable Speaker – Review (@KitSoundUK)

Today for review, I have quite a cute item.  It’s a Mini Buddy Portable Speaker from the guys over at KitSound.  There are several different characters and designs available, and I have the Heart speaker to review.  Perfect timing with Valentine’s Day just around the corner.

The packaging for the Mini Buddy Heart Speaker is simple and shows you what you want to know.  It is just big enough to fit the speaker in, as well as the included USB charger cable.  The packaging is a clear plastic style that gives you a decent view of the speaker so that you can see the design fully.

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The speaker itself is actually really cute to look at.  It is a nice pink colour with a love heart pattern on the front which is made up of several small heart shapes.  On the side of the speaker there is a female 3.5mm port so that you can connect more than one together if you would like, while on the back is where the sound comes out, so naturally, there are several small holes for the speaker itself.  On the bottom of the buddy there is the power switch and a Micro USB port for the charger cable.  On the top, there is a short keychain that enables you to connect it up to your keys, which when coupled with the build quality of the speaker, you can feel assured that you can just throw it into your bag and not worry about causing any damage, etc.  Lastly, you have the 6 inch 3.5mm jack cable.

To get the speaker up and running, it couldn’t be easier – really.  Simply plug in the 3.5mm jack to the audio device that you want to use it with and you are good to go.  I plugged it into my phone and started up my music streaming app to test things out.  The sound quality was actually pretty good, especially considering the size of it.  The music I was playing came through nice and clear, and I didn’t notice any distortion.  I was able to enjoy my music listening session without feeling disappointed about my choice of speaker and the fact that you can actually hook up more of these little things together can only add to your listening pleasure.  Saying this, I was listening to music that didn’t contain a ridiculous amount of bass.

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Since first hooking up this buddy to charge when I took it out of the packaging, I haven’t had to charge it again, despite using it for a fair few hours.  This is something that has impressed me as I would hate to have to charge it over and over again after short uses.  One thing that is worth a mention – when charging, the LED indicator on the bottom of te buddy stays blue.  I think it may have been handy to have the LED colour change between charging and charged.

Overall, I think this Mini Buddy Hear Portable Speaker is cute, very well made, and very well priced.  You can pick up this speaker for £9.99 GBP from the KitSound website, as well as on Amazon UK.  With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, this would make an ideal gift for your love interest/significant other.

KitSound Manhattan Wireless Headphones – Review (@KitSoundUK)

I think it’s only fair that I start off this review by saying how much I love these Manhattan headphones from KitSound.  Out of all of the ones that I have reviewed, these are my absolute favourite!

First up, the packaging.  As with all of their products, KitSound know how to make their packaging stand out, but not in a bad way.  The front of the box has an image of the headphones, as well as a few tidbits of information regarding play time and call-handling.  The sides of the box gives some information in regards to where the name of the headphones came from, and the back of the box lists the features and specifications for the products, as well as the contents of the box.

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Speaking of the box contents… The headset is well packaged between two cardboard inserts that offer a high level of protection during storage and transit.  Pulling these pieces apart, the headset is there for you to see in all its glory, and it is a very glorious sight!  Also provided is a USB to Micro USB cable, a Micro USB to 3.5mm jack cable, and a user manual.

The headset itself feels great in the hand.  The fully adjustable headband is padded, but not too much, whereas the rotatable earcups have a nice amount of padding.  The earcups are fitted to the headband using a silver metal fastener, which is also used to adjust the size of the headband.  The cables that feed through the headband are a braided material rather than the rubber material that you find on other headphones – a really nice change as there is no chance of stretching and damaging the cable.  The earcups both sport the KitSound brand logo on the outside and the bottom of the left earcup has the Bluetooth On/Off switch, the Micro USB port, Forward/Back button which also couple as the Volume + & – buttons, the Microphone and the LED indicator.

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Setting up these headphones to use with my phone was rather straightforward.  Because they are wireless and include Bluetooth 2.1, they are compatible with most devices out there right now.  I set them up firstly with my HTC One and I had them working within 30 seconds.  It was just as quick setting them up with the iPhone as well.  If I did run into any issues, the user manual provides steps to get things paired. Getting used to the controls on the earcup took a little longer, but once I had got used to which way I had to press the button to change song/volume level, everything as fine.

Comfort wise, I cannot fault these headphones.  They are light enough to sit on my head and over my ears for hours of use with no discomfort from both the headband or the earcups.  The sound quality is pretty amazing, too.  I have used a few high priced pairs of earphones and the Manhattan’s are way up there with those.  There is a decent amount of bass, the music doesn’t sound tinny, and no matter what genre of music I tried them with, the music sounded as it should have.  Call quality is top notch too, both incoming and outgoing sound.

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The battery life on these headphones is impressive – 18 hours of play time, 30 hours of talk time, and up to 300 hours standby time!  Charging the headphones’ Lithium Polymer battery is as easy as hooking up the Micro USB cable to the port on the left earcup and the USB to a power source and you’re away.  The other thing that I love about the Manhattan’s is that if you are caught out with a low battery, you can simply hook up the Micro USB to 3.5mm jack cable and use them as wired headphones!

If you haven’t been able to tell already, I am in love with these headphones.  They have impressed me no-end since I started using them and I look forward to using them on a regular basis.  If you ask me, these are well worth the £34.99 price-tag, and more.  I HIGHLY recommend these to anybody looking for a decent pair of headphones at a decent price and with them being available in a range of colours, there is sure to be something to suit everyone!

KitSound Manhattan Wireless Headphones – Review (@KitSoundUK)

I think it’s only fair that I start off this review by saying how much I love these Manhattan headphones from KitSound.  Out of all of the ones that I have reviewed, these are my absolute favourite!

First up, the packaging.  As with all of their products, KitSound know how to make their packaging stand out, but not in a bad way.  The front of the box has an image of the headphones, as well as a few tidbits of information regarding play time and call-handling.  The sides of the box gives some information in regards to where the name of the headphones came from, and the back of the box lists the features and specifications for the products, as well as the contents of the box.

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Speaking of the box contents… The headset is well packaged between two cardboard inserts that offer a high level of protection during storage and transit.  Pulling these pieces apart, the headset is there for you to see in all its glory, and it is a very glorious sight!  Also provided is a USB to Micro USB cable, a Micro USB to 3.5mm jack cable, and a user manual.

The headset itself feels great in the hand.  The fully adjustable headband is padded, but not too much, whereas the rotatable earcups have a nice amount of padding.  The earcups are fitted to the headband using a silver metal fastener, which is also used to adjust the size of the headband.  The cables that feed through the headband are a braided material rather than the rubber material that you find on other headphones – a really nice change as there is no chance of stretching and damaging the cable.  The earcups both sport the KitSound brand logo on the outside and the bottom of the left earcup has the Bluetooth On/Off switch, the Micro USB port, Forward/Back button which also couple as the Volume + & – buttons, the Microphone and the LED indicator.

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Setting up these headphones to use with my phone was rather straightforward.  Because they are wireless and include Bluetooth 2.1, they are compatible with most devices out there right now.  I set them up firstly with my HTC One and I had them working within 30 seconds.  It was just as quick setting them up with the iPhone as well.  If I did run into any issues, the user manual provides steps to get things paired. Getting used to the controls on the earcup took a little longer, but once I had got used to which way I had to press the button to change song/volume level, everything as fine.

Comfort wise, I cannot fault these headphones.  They are light enough to sit on my head and over my ears for hours of use with no discomfort from both the headband or the earcups.  The sound quality is pretty amazing, too.  I have used a few high priced pairs of earphones and the Manhattan’s are way up there with those.  There is a decent amount of bass, the music doesn’t sound tinny, and no matter what genre of music I tried them with, the music sounded as it should have.  Call quality is top notch too, both incoming and outgoing sound.

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The battery life on these headphones is impressive – 18 hours of play time, 30 hours of talk time, and up to 300 hours standby time!  Charging the headphones’ Lithium Polymer battery is as easy as hooking up the Micro USB cable to the port on the left earcup and the USB to a power source and you’re away.  The other thing that I love about the Manhattan’s is that if you are caught out with a low battery, you can simply hook up the Micro USB to 3.5mm jack cable and use them as wired headphones!

If you haven’t been able to tell already, I am in love with these headphones.  They have impressed me no-end since I started using them and I look forward to using them on a regular basis.  If you ask me, these are well worth the £34.99 price-tag, and more.  I HIGHLY recommend these to anybody looking for a decent pair of headphones at a decent price and with them being available in a range of colours, there is sure to be something to suit everyone!

 

Phantomus Kids Stylus – Review (@iChicGear)

The Phantomus Kids Stylus for Tablets from the iChicGear Kids range is definitely aimed at kids or at a push, someone who is still a kid at heart.

The Phantomus stylus arrived in a nicely designed cardboard sleeve type packaging that gives you a view of the stylus through the clear window on the front.  A list of tablets that you can use the stylus with is included on the front whilst on the back, there are a couple of images of the stylus being used with different sized devices.

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The stylus itself feels very well made and when holding it, it actually sits in the hand very comfortably.  Size wise, the stylus is about the same weight, length and thickness of a felt tip pen so shouldn’t prove an issue for any kids that will be using it.  It is available in two different colours, pink and blue, and it comes with a one-eyed, one-toothed, rubberised ghost head on the top, and a small black rubberised nib on the opposite end.

The ghost head is something that can be removed and put over the nib to provide protection when not in use.  The nib itself is actually very soft, something that I am not too sure on if I am honest, but it does work very well when being used.  The stylus works extremely well for both general use, as well as gaming use.  I have not had an issue with response times, etc, since using it.

Overall, the Phantomus Kids Stylus is something that would prove handy for both adults and kids alike, and considering the price of around £12.50 GBP (€15.00 EUR), it would make a nice tablet companion.

MOFRED iPad Protective Case – Review (@MofredProducts)

With so many products available at the moment to protect your most treasured gadgets, finding one that suits you AND does what it says can be a time consuming task.

I recently receiving the MOFRED Protective Tablet Case for the iPad to review and see if it does the job.  Packaging wise, things look really nice.  With a simple, yet informative design, it was enough to catch my eye.  There is no tricky packaging to cut open as the top opens with a resealable fastening.  On the bottom of the packaging you can see a list of the key features, including the sleep and awake feature, and that it protects against damages.  On the right hand side of the packaging you will find company information, including their address and email address.

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Upon removing the case, I Was instantly impressed with how nice it felt to hold.  If it feels this nice before putting the iPad inside it, it must be a pleasure to hold with the tablet inserted.  The case itself is one that simply opens and closes.  The top right hand corner sports the MOFRED logo and once opened, you are greeted with an included screen protector.  The material on the inside of the case is very soft and will most certainly protect your iPad from scratches.  The tablet itself slides in on the right hand side and is secured into place with a velcro fastened flap.  Looking at the case with the iPad inserted, all of the spaces for the buttons, speakers and cameras are in the correct places, with sufficient space around each feature for them to work as intended.

When it comes to using the iPad with the case fitted, you can either use it as the standard opened flap type case, or you can fold around the case and fix it into the fastener on the back of the case to use it in an upright position – very handy if on a FaceTime call or watching videos.  The wake and sleep mode worked very well when opening and closing the case.  It might only save a press of a button here and there, but the feature is welcome nonetheless.  The included screen protector, as well as the case itself, helps to protect your iPad from unwanted finger smudges, as well as doing its main job – keeping little scratches and marks away from your little bundle of electrical goodness.

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This is my first experience with a MOFRED product and I feel reassured that any and all of my gadgets would be well protected.  For the low price you pay as well as the large selection available, I would highly recommend the MOFRED product line to any and everybody looking for something like this.

Razer Ferox Mobile Gaming & Music Speakers – Review (@Razer)

The Razer Ferox mobile speakers are designed to allow you to maximise your gaming and music sound experience while on the go.  They are definitely small enough to carry around with you, but do they live up to the hype as far as sound quality goes?

The speakers arrived in a nice green and black packaging that shows off the speakers design through the clear plastic window.  On the back and sides of the box, you are provided with specifications and features of the speakers, including the omnidirectional sound and dual colour LED’s.

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The speakers have built in rechargeable batteries that you can charge by connecting them up via the included mini USB cable, which is fully braided (32.5″ from tip to tip).  Once fully charged (charges in around 3 hours), the 470mAh battery provides up to 12 hours of playback time.  A very nice design feature is the on/off mode.  All you have to do is push down on the top of the speaker to open them up to turn them on, and push them back down again to turn them off, thanks to the spring mechanism that is inside each speaker.  There is also a snazzy looking blue LED that lights up on the base of the speakers that acts as a battery indicator which stays a constant blue when fully charged, flashes whilst charging, and if the battery is running low, the light changes to red. (also available in green).  On the top of each speaker is the Razer logo.

Both speakers include a 30mm driver, that are pointing upwards.  This is what enables the omnidirectional sound so no matter where you are sat, it is as if you are straight in front of the speakers, as you have to be with other portable speakers, etc.  Sound quality wise, the Ferox speakers are better than most portable speakers that you come across, and are also better than most laptop speakers.  Saying this though, they do lack in the bass department due to the 150Hz minimum frequency that these speakers have.  They weren’t overly impressive when listening to music, but when watching TV through the PC or my phone, things definitely improved and it was a pleasure to listen to.

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The portability of these speakers is definitely one of their strong points.  You can pack them up in the provided carry pouch, along with the USB cable for charging and take them pretty much anywhere.  Size wise, each speaker sits quite comfortably in the palm of most hands and are very lightweight.  When the cable is connected to the speakers, you can have a distance of up to 37″ between speakers.

Overall, these speakers are very easy on the eye, lightweight and very portable.  Whilst they may not be overly great for listening to music at higher levels, they definitely provide a better experience than you would expect.  For the price of around £51 on Amazon UK they may be worth a try.  If you are expecting to be able to blast out your music and be able to hear every little bit of bass, then these are not for you.  For listening to TV and gameplay on the go, as well as sharing these experiences with friends and family thanks to the omnidirectional sound, then yes, these could well be for you.