House of Marley, Positive Vibrations Rasta Headphones, Who needs Beats?

30 06 2012

As little as a couple of years ago, most people used the headphones that came with their MP3 player or Ipod and replaced these as cheap as possible on a near enough monthly basis due to wear and tear.
Today we find ourselves engulfed in a market where headphones bring in astronomical levels of revenue and having the latest and greatest headphones is far more important!

When I first stretched to £50 for a set i couldnt believe the amount of money i was spending, but now with Beats and other such brands, we find that most options are above the £100 mark and can range up to £500 or more.

Dr Dre’s Beats, Ludacris Soul range and 50 Cents SMS Audio are to name but a few of the most recent high end headphone designs that are functional as well as a fashion accessory to many. But if your not willing to spend hundreds of pounds to enjoy your music ? What should you do ?

The House of Marley, another headphone brand based on the principles of questionably the biggest musician of the above 3 can act as a reasonably priced replacement. Whilst the House of Marley does also have headphones in the same price range, some of their cheaper ranges are remarkable in terms of quality and style.

I picked up these headphones for £50, and for that price the sound quality is excellent and is far more impressive similarly priced products. The aluminium and cord used in the manufacture dont only add to the design and durability but also increase the performance of these headphones in their own wayThe House of Marley, as you may have guessed from their name bearer, are also very keen on the environment. This means that all of the packaging for the products are recylced and the manufacture of their products have as little an impact to the environment as possible. A very admirable stance, especially in todays economy as this isn’t always the best way to maximise profits.

If you would rather save a few bucks and stray away from the crowd, Definately check out the House of Marley, these headphones dont let down in style or performance!

Jelly Bean ! Android 4.1, first thoughts !

30 06 2012

Owning a rooted Galaxy Nexus has its benefits.

After Google dished out some devices at I/O preloaded with Android 4.1, the developing community has went crazy and successfully extracted this OS for download.

A quick look at RootzWiki or XDA Developers and you will find endless posts filled with download links for Jelly Bean.  This is the link i used.

Jelly Bean still has the potential to be altered slightly prior to release but this leaked version will probably encompass most of what the new software has to offer.

Below are a couple of the subtle differences in the software. As you can see the Notification Bar is different with a lot more neat approach, also including a settings toggle. The icon on the right also acts as a “dismiss all” sort of function, removing any notifications.

You can also see the lock screen is slightly different with an added shortcut for “Google Now” at the top position, and a new animation.

As well as a new search bar along the top the homescreens look very much the same, the image on the left shows what happens when you swipe up from the shortcut keys, this again gives a shortcut to “Google Now”.

A lot of the Google based apps have also had UI (user interface) overhauls. The most noticable for me was that of Youtube, this app looks completely different and has taken a step in the right direction as far as im concerned.

Google Now is one of the main differences for this new update. This would take a post in itself to give it the attention it deserves, its effectively the competitor for Siri. The video below gives a good starting idea to its capabilities

Putting aside the visual changes of the OS, the performance changes are what sets it apart. The “buttery smooth” like feel that google promised feels like it has been achieved with multi tasking, typing and even the stock launcher feeling far smoother and faster. Other articles have benchmarked the update to see what the numbers look like but dont look to have got much benefit from it, this is something that is incredibly easy to see on the every day use of the device.

To summarise, the quicker the full Jelly Bean OTA update is released the better.
The improvements that have been made have built on the solid foundations that were achieved on the release of Ice Cream Sandwich

Nexus Q, A revolution ?

29 06 2012

Nexus Q, what is this little strange black ball you ask ?

Its a device made by google, touted as being “The world’s first social streaming media player” this device streams music,movies,video and TV to your TV or other devices.

Its design, I think is incredibly cool and modern and would attract attention in any room!

What happens is your Android Phone acts as a remote effectively, telling the Nexus Q what song to play or what movie to stream to your TV. This is all conveniently done via Google Movies and TV, Google Music or Youtube, all owned by Google.

This is a great concept although not entirely unique as similar things are already being done with Google TV and Apple TV. This also plays into the hands of Google, snaring you further into their grasps ensuring any music, TV or movies are all purchased through them to make use of a lot of the features on the Nexus Q.

The price of the Q hasn’t officially been announced but its likely to be $299 and with the Apple TV coming in at $99, many will think of it as a bit too much to spend on a party piece.

Best mobile operating system ?

29 06 2012

For the last few years Apple IOS has more or less dominated the market with a recent uprising from Android overtaking this in sales in the UK, with Blackberry also having been incredibly popular in recent times.

What do you feel is best currently ?

Cruzerlite Androidified Case Review

29 06 2012

This is a great website for cases. The case i ordered specifically was the Androidified Clear case for the Galaxy Nexus, although their are numerous case designs for a wide variety of devices.

This case is $9.90 in the US but remarkably still £9.90 in the UK, a tad pricey for a case. But a very high quality case.

The material is scratch resistant and shock absorbant so will bear the brunt of any bumps or drops. There is also overlap of the material over the front and sides of the screen, this means that presumably even if it drops directly onto its screen it will be well protected.

The material is also of a very high quality and feels like it will last the test of time without breaking away. It feels flexible yet firm and fits snugly around the device. The case also has cutouts for all of the buttons meaning the case doesn’t have to be removed to charge the phone or get access to any of its ports, microphones or buttons.

The “andy the android” print is also very cool, there are a number of variations using this character as well as AOKP and RootzWiki cases which have recently become available. Via the Cruzerlite website they also do a “bag of cases” deal in which you receive 3 random cases specific to your device. This is a fantastic deal, you receive 3 random cases for $9.90, a great deal even at £9.90 assuming the price conversion is similar to that of the other cases.

Cruzerlite are a fairly small business and operate via their website. For UK users i recommend ordering via Amazon, I did this and received my order fairly quickly and would definately use them again. If your going to pay the big bucks for a device protect it properly and get yourself a good case.

Turtle Beach X13 Review

29 06 2012

Turtle Beach are renowned in the gaming community for producing top notch gaming headsets.

The X31’s are the mid line headset coming in at approximately £65 – £70 depending on the retail outlet with the lower model the X11 coming in at about £30-£40 and the more expensive model the X41 coming in at more than £100.

This model is particularly common due to it being Wireless. The headset still plugs into the controller if you are looking to use the microphone function for Xbox live which is unbelievably clear, but connects to the Xbox console via a wireless receiver that plugs into a USB slot on the console for everything else. So even if your not gaming you can set these up to watch films etc via Netflix or any other service without waking up the entire house !

These give great sound quality and are comfortable on the ear unlike some of the other headsets on the market. Over ear headsets are preferred by some where as others prefer bluetooth style in ear headsets similar to that used for mobile hands free kits, I feel these over ear options are far more comfortable especially if gaming for any length of time.

They run on normal batterys so can be a bit hungry on the juice at times, I picked a set of these up on the Tesco Outlet Store on Ebay for £45 and at that price they are a steal, I dont feel any other headset in that price bracket would even compare to the quality that these provide.

Best Console Gaming ?

29 06 2012

Curious to see where we stand in the console war ?

Everybody knows the Xbox and PS3 each have their plusses and negatives but who still prefers the PC or the less conventional Wii?

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