Category: Product Review


A little while ago I got and reviewed a Headrush Bluetooth Speaker. Recently I got an opportunity to try out a plethora of Bluetooth speakers and I thought what better time to do a few more Bluetooth speaker reviews than right before Christmas .

Well one of the first Speakers I got to try was the Sony SRSBTV5, a bit of a mouth full I know. Anyway, this is quite a small speaker in comparison to the Headrush I reviewed before. The Sony speaker is small enough actually to fit in the palm of your hand and is about the same size as the Bud Light mini speakers that were inside cases of Bud Light in the past year or so, except that it has much more weight to it.
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The way I test the speakers for volume is I not only try them at home, where I have two possibly screaming children, but I also use it in my car while driving and also at work. I think that between those last two tests its gives a good idea of the volume and versatility of the speaker especially since I work in a kitchen which is very loud.

The Sony Bluetooth speaker is actually one of the more unique speakers I’ve tested actually. Not only is it small as I mentioned before, but it actually has NFC for instant pairing with your NFC enabled device. Basically if you have NFC in your phone or tablet all you need to do is tap the top of the speaker and your device will confirm that you want to pair. Click the yes button and that’s it, your paired and ready to use the speaker. In all it takes about 3-5 seconds to tap and pair, pretty cool if you ask me.

The speaker also has the ability to act as a bluetooth speakerphone when you get calls and, although I didn’t get a lot of use of this feature, it works well enough. The battery in the device is pretty good for its size and lasted me a few days of 2-3 hours of use and uses micro USB to charge which is useful since most people have at least one of those already for another device so you don’t have to have multiple chargers.

But alas I must come to the negative part of this review. The volume. While this speaker is great at home, office or at the beach or somewhere not too loud, its not loud enough for places like a car on the highway or, for example, a kitchen with a hood vent on. While I don’t really expect something of this size to be all that powerful, for $60 I would hope for a bit more volume.

In the end I would recommend this if you have an NFC enabled device and want easy pairing and plan on using it in quieter areas. However if you don’t have an NFC enabled device you can definitely get a similar speaker for cheaper or a louder one for about the same price.

Richard R
@riche_613

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As a geek and a father I’m always torn on how much tech to give my two year old son. Is he too young for this? Will this damage his attention span? Will he not want to play with his “regular” toys after? These are all questions that come up every time I think about giving him something electronic.

These days children are growing up with phones and tablets as a regular part of their lives. And while I’m not going to debate a lot of the questions I posed before, I will leave to you and your child, I do know that kids love them. My son has been using my wife’s and my phones and tablet since he was probably about a year old. While we don’t give it to him all the time it is nice when we need to go and do something around the house and need him to be distracted or when in the car for a long drive.

He has in fact gotten so good at using them that he has fully taken over one of our android tablets for his own. The problem is that even with apps that lock them into the app, now that he knows how to work thinterfacen easily get out and back to the home screen. The problem with this is, if its a phone, he could make phone calls (think 911 by accident) or on a tablet download or view something he shouldn’t.

That’s where the XO Tablet by OLPC come in. Now I’m not going to talk specs here because really it doesn’t matter much. Its decently fast enough to handle most kids apps and games, has front and rear cameras, has a micro SD card slot and even HDMI out which was a pleasant surprise.

The tablet, much like the Kurio sold at Toys R Us, is built from the ground up for kids. The interface is built from the ground up to be kid friendly, and it is definitely that. With large on screen buttons leading to apps its easy for kids to find what they want.

From a parents point if view this tablet is perfect for up to three kids to share, that is IF they want to share it. The XO can have up to three accounts for your kids which is definitely handy. On top of that the tablet let’s parents lock down certain things like email, app store, chat and even internet access all together which is a major plus over them using an iPad or regular tablet. Also it has an option to get into the standard Android OS through a password which is great for when the kids go to bed or for when they are old enough to handle the full Android OS.

Another great “feature” of the XO is the fact that it comes housed in a thick rubber case. The case is a very bright green color that is fun for kids and thick enough to be able to protect against most drops. The case itself has two great features, one is that is has a rubber ring on one corner for carrying which is actually quite nice and even come in handy when using the tablet. The second is actually pretty genius really. The rubber case actually has a “lip” that extends a bit above the screen so even if u drop if screen down on a flat surface the screen won’t even touch the ground. For a kids tablet a case like this is one of the best features to protect it, and your large investment.

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Overall I think that for $149.99 this is an amazing deal for parents looking to take their tablets back from the grasp of their children while still letting them have one. Some of the apps are educational and some are just games, but being android you can download any apps you or your kids want and even load movies for them onto it too.

If your looking for a tablet for your kids this holiday season and are looking at the Leap Frog Leap pad or the Vtech Innotab this is a great option that should be strongly considered.

Richard R
@riche_613

Over the next few weeks I will be posting reviews for some tech products that you may be considering for yourselves, children, family or friends. I have gotten my hands on a few fun tech products that I’ve gotten to play around with and thought this would be a good chance to give some quick reviews for our readers and listeners alike.

I hope you enjoy my future reviews starting tomorrow with a review of a kids android tablet worth looking at for your kids.

Please feel free to leave comments on the products I review or even questions about them.

Richard R.
@riche_613