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Phillisj

Phillisj
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Member since: 16.08.2013

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    • Sennheiser PX 200 II / Headphones / 12 Readings / 8 Ratings
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      16.08.2013 18:14

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      good quality portable headphones

      I have had a pair of these for quite a few years, and they are one of the first things I pack when I go away anywhere. I have never got on with the in-ear phones supplied with mp3 players these days. I would rather have a better quality sound, albeit from something bigger and more obtrusive. But I still want it to be portable.
      The Sennheiser PX200 fits the bill. Small, light, but with a sound which could come from something a lot bigger and bulkier.
      The folding mechanism, and getting it back into the plastic case, takes a little practice, but once you have got the hang of it, it's fine. The case is about 14cm x 7cm, and easily slips into a bag or a coat pocket.
      Unfolded, the headphones are light to wear, adjustable, and most important of all, sound good. For something so small they do a pretty good job of blocking out surrounding sound too, and people with me rarely complain about the noise I am making, so I assume the leakage is minimal too. The bass is good for something so small, in fact the whole sound is so much better than the in-ear phones I used to use.
      They have also proved to be pretty sturdy - several years on and they are still working.
      Definitely recommended.

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    • Hargreaves Lansdown / Investment Fund / 4 Readings / 3 Ratings
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      16.08.2013 13:43

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      an excellent online broker - recommended

      I would have no hesitation in recommending Hargreaves Lansdown, and often do. I started using them quite a few years ago for a very small portfolio of shares, even before the days of online buying & selling. Since then I have used them for a stocks & shares ISA, and now for a self-select pension (SIPP) fund too. Buying and selling on their website is simple - just a couple of passwords to remember - and it is easy to see a summary of your accounts, the details and current values of your holdings, and how much (if any) cash is sitting in there waiting to be reinvested or withdrawn. Moving money in and out is simple, either directly to/from your bank account, or by cheque.
      Their charges are very reasonable - in fact for many funds there are no ongoing charges at all.
      But as well as that, there is a whole load of investment advice on their website too. Commentaries on a huge number of investment funds, and all of the usual facts, figures, graphs, etc for shares.
      I can honestly say that in 10 years or more I have had no problems at all, and on the few occasions when I have had to call them with a query, the service has always been first class.

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    • More +
      16.08.2013 13:22
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      a good buy

      This is the third digital radio we have had in our kitchen. One blew up, one sounded a bit tinny, but this one is by far the best.
      Sound quality is excellent - it sounds far better than the size of speaker suggests that it ought to. The case is neat, reassuringly chunky. Setting it up was a breeze, and after a few minutes of storing our favourite stations, it was all done. The aerial does its job - we very occaionally get the signal breaking up or "fluttering", but moving it a fraction away from the wall or turning the radio round slightly seems to fix it straight way. Usefully, it does have FM reception too, so on the rare occasions where we need to listen to a non-digital station (local radio in snowy winters for travel news), we can still do that.
      Ours is always connected to the mains. I know battery life in these radios is pretty poor, so have avoided using them.
      All in all, pretty good value - not the cheapest (I think we paid about £90 at Currys), but the quality of this is so much better than the cheaper ones we have had.

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      • More +
        16.08.2013 12:15
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        a useful tablet, great for holidays - no need to take books or music

        Having spent too many hours barking at the children to put their iPads/phones/laptops down and join the real world, I decided that I was better off joining them. I had considered buying a Kindle, or a Google Nexus, but the fact that both seemed to tie you to their products in one way or another pushed me towards Samsung, and I am delighted with what I ended up with. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 has not exactly revolutionised my life, but i does mean that I can quickly look things up, check emails, catch up with the news, without having to move to the nearest PC.
        It was easy to set up, and picked up our home wi-fi easily enough. It is easy to fill it with every app under the sun, and I actually spent some time last week removing some, thinking "why on earth did I download that?". As well as web browsing (the Chrome app works well enough for me), I have also added the Amazon Kindle app, which in effect turns the tablet into a Kindle - no more piles of books to pack when I go on holiday.
        The screen is clear enough - I had considered going for something bigger, but to be honest this screen is fine, and any hard-to-read web pages can always be zoomed into. Typing can be a bit fiddly, but that's my fingers more than anything else.
        Battery life is OK - I seem to get about ten hours or so out of a full charge - so it gets plugged in to recharge every few days, more when I am on holiday Kindle-ing.
        One thing I hadn't expected is that I am using it for music. I have copied my large (15,000+ tracks) mp3 collection up to Google Play, and now I can plug the headphones in and listen to anything from there as long as I have a wi-fi connection. And if I am going somewhere where there won't be one, I can pick a few albums before I go to copy locally. So now I can leave the mp3 player behind as well! Plus there is an app which gives me the whole world of internet radio.
        All in all, I am happy with the tablet. I am probably not the heaviest user (no games, no skypeing or anything similar), but it works for me.

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        • Sonos S5 / Hifi System / 8 Readings / 5 Ratings
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          16.08.2013 11:02

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          a great way to get a multi-room music system

          I had heard and read a lot about Sonos systems, but was always a bit of a stick-in-the-mud, preferring to keep well over a thousand CDs, which were never in the room where I wanted to play them. So I bit the bullet and prepared for Sonos. And that's the hard part - it took me the best part of four months, and hour or so every other day, more at weekends, to rip every CD to high quality (320K) mp3 files. These files were all copied to a Western Digital MyBookLive network drive, which has loads of room.
          Once that was done, I went out and bought the first Sonos components - the Bridge and a Sonos 3 for the kitchen. And it went amazingly well. The Bridge connects via a network cable to the back of my router, and the set up just worked first time. It was easy to find the drive with all of the music on, and a few minutes later it had indexed the lot. Then I plugged the Sonos 3 in - just a mains lead and that's it. Press a button on the top, wander back to the PC and type in the name of the room, and it finds it. Simple. I was stunned by the sound quality from a box so small.
          So good that the next day I bought a Sonos5 for the conservatory, and a Connect unit to link up to our existing hi-fi in the living room. And both of those were equally quick to install. The controller software or apps have been added to two PCs, two android phones, an android tablet, and an iPad, so everybody in the house can choose the music. My original CD collection has been added to by the children, who were already ahead of me in the mp3 game, so their downloads collections are now in the Sonos library as well. On top of that we can get digital radio in any room, a massive selection of internet radio stations, and one day I might splash out on a paid Spotify account to get every tune under the sun.
          All in all, a massive thumbs up.

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