REVIEW: PaMu TWS wireless earphones

The PaMu TWS is a really good addition to the range of excellent wireless earphones.

PaMu

The PaMu TWS wireless earphones are a product of crowdfunding and while that platform can sometimes be overhyped and insubstantial, it regularly turns out useful products. In this case, an excellent one.

When reviewing such products, I usually road test them myself, then ask my teenage son to do the same and he usually comes up with the better ideas and suggestions.

I’m not generally a fan of devices that keep music quiet and personal in people’s ears. I hated Sony Walkmans when they first came out and I have never really changed since that time. I like music to be shared, I like to hear it loud and I like it flawed and analogue.

My teenage son, however, is literally wired differently, his head is continually in his ears listening to music and he loved the PaMu TWS, not least because of the sound quality, but the cuteness of charging them.

There’s no need to think outside the box, the earphones are charged within the box and he won’t allow me to take repossession of them, which is its own positive story.

The company’s claim that these earphones never fall out are also credible, I tried everything I could to get rid of them, but they stayed in place. They’re also water-resistant and it’s good to use a product that seems to be made for the long-term, not just a short-term throwaway piece of gimcrack.

Available in black or white and currently retailing at $79 (£59) at a discount from the future price of $100, these earphones are an excellent option for a birthday or Christmas present.

It’s only June, but maybe it’s time to put in a Christmas order to the teenagers in your life, they’ll thank you for it, take my (and my son’s) word for it.

PRODUCT REVIEW: Roadie 2 – Automatic guitar tuner

The Roadie 2 is a beautiful product for musicians of all abilities and worth the investment.


roadie

I am a terrible musician and guitarist, but I love playing music. It’s one of the only times, like post-coital sex, when time stays still and the brain is alive with pure happiness.

However, as an unnatural musician who is diametrically opposed to pitch perfect, I am tone deaf and while I know when a guitar is untuned, I have always found tuning a guitar a huge problem.

I have previously bought tuning devices, but have found them to be cumbersome and unreliable.

So step forward, the Roadie 2, an automatic guitar tuner that is as beautiful as it is functional. Moreover, as can be gleaned from the product name, this is an update on the initial Roadie device.

It is devilishly simple. The device comes without batteries (hurrah!) and is charged using the omniscient USB charger. Once fired up, the Roadie 2 turns on with a blue light, then the user adds ‘new instrument’ to the easy-to-read menu and is then connected to the pegs of the guitar.

Then the magic begins. When the relevant string is plucked, the Roadie 2 automatically tightens and untightens the strings until the blue light turns green, indicating that string is perfectly attuned.

The musician (or in my case, guitar-owner) can then automatically tune the remaining five pegs in turn. The best way is to do it like this, not as I initially did by holding it at the side and nearly breaking my wrist.

Moreover, the Roadie 2 works by vibration, so tuning can be done in a noisy environment, not necessarily a quiet room and it is awesome for somebody like me. Instead of wasting time trying to tune my instrument with a cocked ear, it means I can play almost instantly.

While that is good for me, my family don’t agree and I am inured to them closing the door of any room I’m in when I’m playing and walking away, but I don’t care.

The Roadie 2 isn’t particularly cheap at around just over £100, but it is extraordinary value for constant use. It works for guitars, electric guitars, ukuleles, banjos and is for life.

Recommended for the amateur as well as the professional.

Winter essentials #1 – Zippo Deluxe Hand Warmer

zippoAt one time or another, most people who have ever smoked have owned a Zippo lighter. A small object of beautiful desire, the Zippo defined the cool of America, a short-cut to being a beatnik or a hipster… by simple ignition.

I travelled across the States in the winter of 1994 clutching one such lighter, not the square shape of lore, but a customised round one. I was devastated when I lost it; it defined 12 great months of being on the road. Nowadays, I have little need for one as smoking is long gone and it’s not the same using a Zippo to light a bonfire or an in-house candle.

The joy of a Zippo was knowing how to light it and that was by pulling it down as you lit it. That way there were no embarrassing attempts at losing the flame. Owning a Zippo meant you used it properly as well; it was part of its cool appeal.

So, the Zippo Deluxe Hand Warmer brings back great memories and makes diversified sense for the company now the age of smoking is coming to an end. While bigger and palm-friendly yhe shape is the same as before and it feels warm just touching it, and that’s before it is initiated.

Somewhat deliciously, it only works by filling it with lighter fuel, the same familiar process that was part of owing a Zippo lighter. This product is an obvious fisherman’s friend, keeping hands warm on a cold night at sea or by a river, but it is great to hold on to when between pistes on the ski slopes… apres-ski if you will.

The price is reasonable as well, at a little over £20 this is a new and hot design classic classic that warms the heart.

PRODUCT REVIEW: Lumie Zest – wake-up and light therapy

lumie_zestAt a price tag of £125, the Lumie Zest seems expensive for what could be described as a glorified alarm clock, but experience proves otherwise.

March seems an old time to review a product that sells itself on helping with the winter blues, but even so it is a helpful aid to waking up in a refreshed and calm manner. Furthermore, it is very easy to set up compared with other products that offer more in style than intuitive interface.

The alarm sound itself could do with more variation, but the light therapy aspect of the device works very well on a home or office desk. Users may look weird staring into a light, but after a recent visit to Iceland, it is very normal to see people blinded by the light when natural light is so elusive.

I’m looking forward to falling in love with the Lumie Zest after the next Solstice when the nights draw in and SAD kicks in, so at £125 this could be a bargain, not an indulgence. Happier days…