FSL Xylem In-Ear Monitors

 

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So I’ve had quite a few headphones I’ve reviewed on here. Most are completely adequate, with passable sound and mostly work with all my devices with minimal hiccups. I was ready to lump Future Sound Lab’s wooden in-ear monitors with them; All sizzle and very little steak. I was wrong. FSL earbuds are the goods. Let me share why.

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FSL uses a solid piece of eco-friendly wood for each ear, which is sonically superior to plastic and metal. It’s drivers deliver solid, quality sound with good bass response and sharp, clear highs. I would say they easily have superior sound than earbuds I’ve paid twice as much for. The wire is thin, but not so prone to tangles as some products out there. The microphone pics up voices well and does a decent job of filtering out ambient noise. The gold-plated 3.5mm connector snaps in solidly to all my devices, from laptops to tablets to phones to MP3 players. The controls work with every mobile device I own, which is a first. FSL even includes 3 different sizes of silicone tips to accommodate pretty much every ear size.

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The hits don’t stop there, though. FSL includes a neat self-closing neoprene case to carry my earbuds everywhere, and keep them shmutz free. Because let’s be honest, nothing is nastier than sticking earbuds in your ear with all manner of crud stuck to the silicone tips. But wait, there’s more! FSL believes so much in the quality of their in-ear monitors, the back them with a 3-year warranty and lifetime support for customers. Now that is impressive. Good luck getting anything more than 90 days of warranty from most consumer electronics. For under $13, you are seriously getting more than your money’s worth. I can’t tell you how many earbuds I’ve tried in this price range and been horribly disappointed more times than I can count. These are the best ones in this price range I’ve tried, and better than sets costing twice as much. I’m glad I got to try them, and I recommend them highly.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from FSL.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

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Sentey Flow Kid’s Foldable Over the Ear Headphones w/ Mic

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I listen to plenty of music at night when I’m trying to unwind. In the day, too, when I need to take a break from my online duties. So when Sentey offered to put me in their “Power User” program to test some products, and offered these Flow Foldable Headphones…Oh, I was sooo game.

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To start, they’ve now labeled these for “Kid’s”, and that makes sense, because they aren’t loud, or made with “premium” components. They might work with a handheld gaming device, or most .mp3 players, and even most tablets. But try as I might, my phone would just not recognize them. Both tablets (Asus) and laptops (Asus and Toshiba) did, though. So maybe LG is funky in how they recognize peripherals. My husbands Sansa Clip+ also picked it up with no issues. So we could not test if the mic works, because the phone wouldn’t play nice. So I can’t say it works with EVERY device, but almost all of them. It has an in-line control button for playing/pausing, but that is also dependent on your device being configured for that type of control, so it can be hit and miss as well.

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The sound is passable. And they’re not labeled “L” or “R” like every other pair of headphones we’ve ever had, so that involves a bit of guesswork and possibly even switching them around mid-song or movie. They even fit over my hubby’s big ‘ol head, so they should fit over just about anyone’s. These Sentey Flow headphones come with a fully detachable 3.5mm audio, too. They make the claim that they’re gaming headphones, but our PS3 only connects with bluetooth headphones, and this has no bluetooth (I assume the PS4 is the same). So to make the claim that it’s good for either system is questionable at best. You can jerry-rig a connection with a two-into-one audio cable and the audio connections at the back of the console, but on their own, they can’t connect to the Playstation systems. I can’t speak for Xbox systems, either. It doesn’t have heavy bass, or “top rated sound”, as my husband’s $8 Skullcandy earbuds out-performed it in both categories. So Sentey is making so very dubious claims in their Amazon listing in an effort to get more search hits.

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Look at it like this: These are disposable headphones. They wouldn’t stand up to the rigors of workouts, running or jogging, but they’re light enough and compact enough for travel. They’re not in-the-ear buds so you won’t have the worries of hearing damage, like you would with earbuds, but conversely you can hear them if you’re in the same room or in a vehicle as someone wearing them, so you’ll know if they’re too loud. At under $13.00, you could do worse, but I’d be very surprised if they lasted long. And if they do get lost, or broken, thankfully no one will lose much sleep over them at this price point#senteyflow. Go into this with open eyes and buy them for what they are: Economical, disposable kids headphones that might last the summer.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Sentey.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD6 Review

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I am no stranger to tech. Even though it isn’t featured much on my blog, tech tools have been invaluable to me in almost every facet of what you see on here. So when I was offered a chance to review an Amazon Fire HD6 tablet from Third Voice Marketing, I said “You betcha!”. I’m always on the lookout for things to make my life a little easier, and a multi-tasker like a tablet is a sure fire way to get many things done, even on the go.

I may have been spoiled by hubby’s Nexus devices. While only sporting 7″ screens, they make the most of the real estate and have fabulous visuals and specs to boot. Sadly, the Fire HD6 fails to meet my lofty expectations. From the start, it feels thicker, clunkier and heavier (though it is lighter!) than the larger Nexus 7. The screen almost looks to be set further into the device. It’s resolution is 1280 x 800 (252ppi), which is a far cry from the 1920 x 1200 (323ppi) I’m used to. For a stand alone reader that would be fine. When a major selling point is full access to Amazon Prime features like the HD VOD service, that isn’t so fine. More on that later. Both sport Corning Gorilla Glass, both have front and rear cameras, both have quad-core processors,wi-fi, bluetooth and access to a wide array of apps. So, since one is more expensive than the other, you’d be inclined to forgive the screen issues and focus on what Amazon got right. Right?
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What amazon got right was the price. Sold for as low as $84 recently, you’d be hard-pressed to find a quad-core device of equal build quality for less. and with 1GB of RAM, it should handle light mobile games, email and some light web browsing with aplomb. But when you get to the software, that’s where things go off the rails for me. Amazon skinned over the lovely Android Kit Kat OS with their own proprietary features, much to the detriment of the user experience. Perhaps it’s because I’m used to a pure Android experience, but the devices seems seriously hamstrung by the Fire OS. You lose access to the Google Play store, you lose access to a synced Chrome (and all it’s bookmarks with no way to import them), you lose access to the device synchronicity you’re accustomed to, and you’re forced into an ecosystem that is geared towards Amazon consumption at the cost of being truly user friendly.
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I found myself constantly frustrated by trying to do what I’ve been doing with my Android devices for years now, only have to try to learn Amazon’s way of doing it instead. Yuck. What’s worse is when you get into heavy web browsing, downloading, or typing, you get so much lag you want to fling the thing into the nearest wall. All the ports are at the top of the device, the single rear speaker is absolutely awful, and the camera, at 2MP, is positively anemic. Though it does sport an HDR mode and a wide array of editing tools, the pictures will never be anything to write home about, especially in low ligIMAG2381ht conditions. The screen size is frustrating for me tapping and touching with normal sized fingers, and Hubby couldn’t do squat with his much bigger Hubby paws. Amazon does sport it’s own app store, but more than a few of the versions of the apps available, while seemingly identical to their Google App and Apple App Store cousins, are usually a few versions behind. Because, let’s face it, there are two big dogsIMAG2382 on the app block, and it doesn’t make sense to spend a bundle on development for the two little dogs with very little market penetration, Amazon and Windows. Amazon has also locked the bootloader, which means no third party development is available, which is another huge upside for normal Android devices, and a liability for Kindles.
I like having access to my Amazon Prime benefits. I like being able to stream my free video and audio benefits seamIMAG2380lessly. I like the Kindle features that go above and beyond the Kindle apps available for all my other devices. I like that it is small enough to drop in my purse and not know it’s there. It seems to be very sturdily built with unobtrusive buttons that don’t get hit accidentally. And I like the price. Aside from that, there is also plenty to make me say that I doubt I’d buy a Kindle on my own any time soon. The proprietary, frustrating nature of the OS. The ads on the lock screen. The focus on the “Amazon experience” and not the customer experience. The lack of synchronicity. The screen. And some personal experience. The memory on my first device was corrupted, and the charging port was borked. Amazon sent a replacement next-day air. But after several rounds with their “customer service” chat to figure out how to connect the device to my TV for a true HD video experience (6 different chats got me 6 different failed methods), I eventually gave up and resigned myself to a 6″ sub-HD screen for the foreseeable future. I also don’t know how I only have 3.5 GB of space on a 8GB device when it arrives. Too small to download a movie, and very little space for apps, media, or really, anything.
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I’ve used Samsung Galaxy Devices, LG devices, Asus devices, and Nexus devices. Kindle is dead last in my user experience.I wanted to like my Kindle. I wanted one for some time. Amazon shot for the moon with their Kindle devices and instead, for me, shot themselves in the foot. Perhaps I expected too much. As I stated, for a reader, it’s awesome. If you don’t mind the screen or speaker, the access to Amazon’s Instant Video and Music is phenomenal. And Amazon gives a you a 30-day, 100% satisfaction guarantee, but return shipping is at your cost. If it’s for youngsters, you have a relatively well built, relatively inexpensive device that they can stream the occasional video, play a few games, and read a few books. For a grown up, you’re better off buying a grown up device.
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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Third Voice Marketing.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Liztek: PSS-100 Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker #Review #PortableWirelessBluetoothSpeaker

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Liztek PSS-100 Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker with Built in Speakerphone, 8 Hour Rechargeable Battery (Black)

So lest you think that my blog is all about cooking and beauty, a girl’s gotta stay on top of tech these days too. And bluetooth speakers are all the rage these days. Because, even though they’re convenient, mostly earbuds suck. At least the cheapies I’m use to. There are some very high end ones out there that can reproduce fantastic sound. And while my phone and laptop have passable speakers, they’re not winning any awards for sound quality either. Hubby’s tablet is passable in a pinch, but speakers as thin as a nickel aren’t really cutting it for us.

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Enter Liztek’s awesome little bluetooth speaker, the PSS-100. I got to try this little guy for a bit now and for our devices, there’s no going back to the stock speakers for media. With play, pause, skip and back buttons on the speaker, it’s a cinch to control your music. Even watching a movie in bed on Hubby’s Nexus is a treat. Streamed music? Tinny no more! YouTube videos? Dy-no-mite! We can even stream TV shows, again, snuggled in bed, and the days of sharing ear-buds are no more.

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Retail Price Point: $36.95 via Amazon. Liztek products are carried at Costco, Fry’s and BestBuy too!

But hold on, did I mention this little guy has a mic? Yup, it’s also a hands free speakerphone. No more having the phone on the counter, no more wired earbuds and mic that rubs against your shirt and muffles every word. With the bluetooth 3.0 technology, we’re good up to 33 feet away. I have yet to break out Hubby’s tape measure to see, but we’re good with my purse and phone down the hall in another room. Answer and end buttons right there on the speak too. Snazzy. I think I’m in love. Normally, gadgets are strictly hubby domain. I think he’s been yoinked.

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At less than 13 ounces, and less than seven inches long, and just under 2 inches wide it feels tiny, but the twin 40mm speakers will fill an average size room with full, rich sound. It has a slightly rubberized feel so there’s no fear it’ll slip and fall and die a horrible death on the tile floor either. It’s rechargeable lithium ion battery is charged in 4 hours and is good for about 8-10 hours in optimal conditions. It also comes with a 3.5mm audio jack for those devices lacking bluetooth. There are audible notifications on connection, and while Liztek lists those as benefits, it’s the one single thing I don’t love about this device. It’s quite jarring to hear a loud female voice saying “Connecting!”. I could do without it, but it’s a minor quibble overall.

The Liztek PSS-100 comes in a host of colors and has a 100% satisfaction guarantee. It also has universal connectivity with Apple, Android, and just about any devices with Bluetooth capabilities. I’ve so far successfully paired it with our LG phone, HTC phone, Asus laptop and Nexus tablet. That’s 4 different manufacturers and zero problems. It comes packaged with a charging cable, the audio jack, and instructions. And it just looks cool too. Yup. Definitely yoinking this one. Sorry, hubby.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Liztek.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Influenster: Spring Fling Vox Box featuring Nivea, Rimmel London, Kiss, Soft Lips, Playtex to the Labor Day Movie release #SpringVoxBox

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Another great Vox Box from Influenster and this one had a little bit of everything.  Even though Summer just arrived, this Spring Fling Vox Box has you prepared to take it on and look as beautiful as ever doing it!

 

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  • Rimmel Londom Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara

The new ScandalEyes Retro Glam Mascara by Rimmel London, has a great brush that distributes a non-crumbling and free of clumps formula evenly to your lashes. The delivery of the mascara via the nicely shaped bristles, gives you a look you can build-up or down. The even coats lets you glam your eyes with intensity for a bold look or you can just apply a light coat for a nice and classic finish. I also feel when the formula sets, it tends to hold the curl up through out the day and your lashes do not feel ultra stiff or heavy. Pair it with a “cat eye look” and a bold lipstick, you get a gorgeous look that never fades and is perfect for summer. I have been using a smokey bronze shadow and a thin wing tip at the end to get that copper-ish glow and I pair it with a nice nude colored lipstick. Great and an easy daytime look! You also can’t beat the $5.99 price tag!  A water-proof version is also available in case there is a beach or a pool in your future.

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  • Kiss Everlasting French Nails

Each packet comes with 28 nails in 14 different sizes that lasts a recommended 7 days. You get Kiss’s “no chip nail ” technology, which is easily applied in less than 10 minutes and this includes fitting to make sure you have the nail size that suits your finger nail best. No waiting to dry your nails, you literally glue and go! The glue is gentle to your natural nails but strong enough to hold the nail in place. No one wants a flying nail no matter how gorgeous they may look, but with Kiss Everlasting French, you are free of “nail attacks”. I love the peachy pink colored base that has a nice tone that matches any skin color beautifully. The white tip has a pleasant hue but not so white that it looks unpleasant or to intense. The box supplies you enough nails to get 2 applications and for the cost of under $6.50, you can get a salon look without the price tag. Any girl’s dream and you can find the Kiss Everlasting French nails in Flat or Regular nail arches, which come in a Medium length. Available in stores like Target, CVS, and Walgreens to Rite-Aid and Kmart. Pick-up yours today to get a classic that never fades and that includes the nail polish in this case too!

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  • Soft Lips Cube

The lip balm advertises a 5 in 1 lip care system. Think BB cream but for your lips! You get protection from future damage with the SPF 15. The formula helps Hydrate and Replenish moisture. You get Smoothness for that kissable look and a touch of shine. All that protection in a cute looking cube! I would rate the shine as low ,so you get more of a natural sheen that is not super glossy with zero tint. I liked the new Pomegranate Blueberry and because it’s in cube shape, I could easily find it when needed and it also stacked well with my other items in my purse. I used it both as a primer and protection under my lipsticks/glosses, but it performed well alone too. The product retails for a fair price point of $3.49 and you also have the choice of Fresh Mint or Vanilla Bean if the Pom & Berry is not your thing.

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  • Nivea Skin Firming Hydration Body Lotion

A lotion that has skin toning properties and also improves skin’s firmness and all in as little as 2 weeks. With bathing suit and bikini season in motion, I don’t want my skin to be in motion too. Nivea’s lotion has Co-Enzyme Q10 and Hydra IQ that deliver rejuvenating properties and also helps your skin retain deep and moisture longer. You won’t see my complaining if I can get skin improvements out of a bottle and especially firming and toning. It does not replace a work-out but it definitely softness my skin and with the extra hydration, I did notice a plumper feeling, which gave me a tighter/firmer look. They say to drink water to keep hydrated and this helps with smoothing out wrinkles…..well, Nivea’s new Skin Firming Hydration formula is a nice cool glass of water for your skin and gave me satisfactory results in all fields. No irritations and even after shaving, plus 2 weeks is a cinch when it comes to waiting to see results. The body lotion comes in two size, a 2.5 ounce bottle for $2.49 and a 13.5 ounce bottle for $10.99.

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  • Playtex Sports Fresh Balance

Playtex has added a new variety to their Playtex Sport’s line, which now not only gives you the same protection no matter what the day has ahead but also the option of Odor Shield. Odor Shield technology helps neutralize odors for that extra protection. A box of 18 tampons retails between $3.99 and $4.99 and the new Plus + Odor Shield is available in all absorbency/sizes.

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  • Labor Day the Movie

Paramount’s Pictures movie release, which features Kate Winslet and John Brolin. This drama is directed by Jason Reitman and is about a single mother that picks up a wounded man and offers him a ride. The man ends up being an escaped convict and the novel based movie depicts what the duo must choose, as they get to the know the stranger and Police edge closer. Available on Blu-ray and DVD for just $19.99. I was sent a nice little pie shaped air freshener to commemorate the movie’s release!

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Influenster and the above mentioned companies.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

BzzAgent Campaign: RedBox Instant by Verizon (BETA)

Great streaming quality and I love the ability to go out and get the latest releases. The problem I found was when it came to selection. This was a major issue because what you can stream is so limited and very old releases. The selection is limited with even some titles being dropped off from the “on-line kiosk” soon.

The price point of $8 is fair when you get 4 credits at the stand-alone kiosks, however I would not pay for streaming what they have. Why pay $8 when what you will use is the 4 rental credits and still have to drive out to the kiosk to rent and then again to return? I have to still factor in the gas for returns into the total “entertainment” budget and the only way I would remain a member, if what I could stream would be worth the additional $4. I prefer even being capped on streaming unlimited on old releases, but allowing 4 movies to be streamed from a “New Releases” menu too. The price then would be perfect and the service usable but as-is, nope! As it stands right now in beta mode, this program would be a waste in my household because I only found two movies that we may want to stream and that was even reaching, as one was Paranormal Activity 3. Yikes!

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