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After my beloved Skullcandy headphones had broken, my girlfriend kindly decided to buy me some beastly headphones - which I was told would arrive within a couple of weeks. I didn't have two weeks to have no earphones, so got straight on Amazon and found some £2 earphones - which just happened to be the Sony ones I'm concentrating on today. £2 was as high as I was going, as I needed immediate dispatch on them to ensure that I wouldn't be bored on my commute to work for the rest of the week. Luckily, they came as quickly as they were meant to.
I'd already gone through three different sets of headphones with a month, so expected that I couldn't undergo any further bad luck. The last set I had were perfect, but broke unexpectedly, so I thought that there wasn't a chance that something could go so wrong once more. I was confident that it wouldn't be the case when I copped some Sony earphones to see me over until the next headphones would arrive at the house. Once I got them, unpacking them and all the different bud heads which come with them, I plugged them straight into my laptop and tested them on a variety of YouTube videos. To be honest, the quality of them wasn't any different to the iPod standard ones, but were all I needed in this short space of time.
I'd be lying if I thought they these were a comfy fit in the ear. Their light rubber coating feel quite sharp at first (on my delicate ears) but you get used to it quickly. I wouldn't really even recommend these for everyday use, as they're the sort that you'd use whenever you're on a quick bus trip (for fear that someone would snatch headphones from your dome while you're on your daily commute. I found that the black earphones were easy to carry around and although they got tangled-up easily, you can do anything with them and they can withstand a lot. Recently, I discovered that I stored them in the worst place possible in my bag, as they were in a prime position to get soaked when it rains. However, they've lived through and have continued to become my backup for whenever I forget to bring my new headphones with me or forget to get new batteries.
Compared to the standard iPod earphones, I'd pick these any day. The difference of the audio quality isn't really noticeable, so the fact that they're black completely overrides any other potential reason not to get them, so they won't get (obviously) grubby. You can literally pick them up for next to nothing and seem to have lasted me much longer (4 months) than any other earphones have in the past. They get the job done, so if you'd like something which you can rely on and is good for the odd short journey, when larger ones aren't really suitable for the task.
Given that I'd had my first taste of headphones and felt that I'd had a poor first meeting, I wasn't going to rush back to the boring and standard iPod earphones. Over ear ones were the way forward, so I was going to keep it that way from now on. My first venture turned out to be a failure, so I decided that it was up to a well-known brand to prove to me that I'd had a bad first experience. Skullcandy it was - and these bluer than blue ones just had to meet my music collection.
They arrived, to my surprise, as if they were a gift from above. Visually, they were un-flawed. Everything seemed to be extremely robust and everything that my first pair simply were not. They had the comfiest fit over my ears, it was easy to adjust the size of them and you simply cannot knock them on looks. The only minor set back for them was that I noticed that the wire which connects to eiyher the iPod or computer was quite narrow. Other than that, these Skullcandies were perfect.
Using the headphone was as enjoyable as the process of unpacking them from their plastic case. They sounded just as good as they looked and were a clear step up from anything that I'd ever used before. The main draw was that the sound was far more clear, was bassier,and you could hardly hear anything from outside it. The latter detail, however, turned out to be the reason why these things will be in the bin at the moment I post this review up.
With such good noise-cancelling tech used hear, it meant that there was a tendancy for me to wear them at dodgy angles. I'd wear them diagonally so that one ear would be out to the world, and the other would be immersed in the sounds of whatever was my iPod shuffled onto. With daily use, I never expected much in the way of wear-and-tear within a month of buying them. But after three weeks, I crack showed on the left side. I put them away in my travel bag, took them out later and they completely fallen apart. I was torn, but there was nothing I could do about it. I'm not sure how they broke or if it was my fault, but I'd say that my experience was probably a fluke as they seemed so perfect. They cost a little over £40, but I'd say you should jump on them.
I'd be lying if I said that I don't have a thing for Angry Birds. I got acquainted to the worldwide gaming phenominon a little later than the general population, which was mainly down to me not owning an iPhone, but I've managed to catch up with the amazing game by playing (and fully completing) the online Chrome version of it. As you do, I had to spread the word about this must-play game and - within no time at all - I'd got the Mrs as hooked as I was on the game. With us both putting in the practice at very selective times (such as in the ad breaks of X-Factor) we'd immersed ourselves in the world of Angry Birds as far as possible. Because of this, I decided to cement our love for it by surprising the Mrs. with a plush Piggy delivered to the house.
When looking through the Angry Birds-related toys on the net, it was clear that the Piggy was the funniest-looking one. The game might all be about the birds, but the satisfaction of hitting those weird-face pigs is what makes the game what it is. Having said this, I didn't even consider the rest and I'm glad that I did so. Once the toy arrived, it really did look identical to the 2D version - but in 3D! It's got a dumb expression on its face - in the sort of cute way that French Bulldogs have - and it really does make you laugh every single time you look at it... Well, it should do I you spent over a tenner on it!
When holding it, you'll discover just how quality the toy feels to most plush products. I can't say I've invested any money into a plush toy (to my knowledge) but it feels much better than anything I've come across before. It's fairly weighty, so is fun to throw around. It's half bean-half plush inside and it has great texture to it, so feel great. But most importantly, my girl loves it. I can't see a reason why anyone who likes Angry Birds wouldn't either. Because of this, I have to ask why you haven't thought about getting one.
If you've got the money to spend on a plush toy (which I can't even say I really had at the time) and you really do have a thing for Angry Birds, I'd say there really isn't a better thing to go and buy. Of all the other related products, I'd say it's the most aesthetically-appealing. I managed to pick it up for a little over £10, and don't regret it a single bit. It's great fun, is good quality and will please the girlfriend.
For someone who prides themself as a music listener, I can't say I've been too adventurous with portable audio technology. I mean, for years iPod earphones and all of their East Asia-made counterfeits are all I could claim to have used. That was all until I received a pair of Golddigga headphones for my birthday. They weren't asked for and, in fact, I'd been looking out for a quality device to steer me away from my past way for quite a while. However, I put up with the purchase and used them extensively - well, for as long as I possible could.
I might not have used headphones since my days at school (where I learned to play something on the keyboard) but I could tell when I first wore the Goldigga headphones that they weren't the most comfortable ones out there. They barely covered my ears and their cushioning felt a bit hollow - if you know what I mean. After a week or so, this cushioning also came loose, but that was amongst the least of my worries. Upon plugging the things into my iPod and playing through a range of the songs which I knew the best (so could get a good grasp of how these headphones compared to what I'd used before) there really wasn't that much of a notable difference. It was a massive disappointment, as I didn't really like the look of the gold-on-white colourway, so to find out that they didn't really serve their purpose was another terrible blow.
Regardless of my initial disapproval of them, I persisted to use them. They have little slidey things along the side to adjust to the size of your head. I didn't, personally, have to use this aspect of them, so it didn't affect me, but I found that others who used them commented that they were a bit tough to pick up and slide along. It meant that they had to be worn at odd angles, whereby one ear was extended and the other remained at its original state - so stretching them to a degree. The plasticy feel of them meant that it was always a risk - as they could have broken at any time - but they seemed to survive this abuse.
The shape of them - in an arc, without much give - meant that they weren't the most portable things. I used to shove them in my bag whenever I was on the move and they might have done well to hold together in the shape, but they seemed very frail and as if the shape they were moulded in wasn't helping matters one bit. It's something you have to consider when getting them, as if you're the type to stuff your bag out with things, they probably won't last too long as something is bound to put too much strain on the plaggy shell.
I blasted tunes through the headphones for a matter of weeks... Yes, weeks - and as I hadn't used many others, I didn't question the fact that I probably wasn't getting the best listening experience out of them - but it seemed that my high volume levels had taken a toll on them. It look two months for one of the ears on my headphones to lose output. Although for a couple of days, it did fade in and out, the outlook clearly wasn't good for them and I had to eventually give in to the fact that they weren't coming back and needed replacing immediately.
I see that these headphones go for something like £15, but in no way is it worth it. The fact that they randomly decided that they didn't work after just a couple of months shows that they simply aren't reliable enough to invest in. By this early stage in my audio nightmare, it had already become apparent that you should only opt to put money into buying headphones either by a brand who specialises in them, or ones which cost a bomb. Sound-wise, these are nothing spectacular, and only sound a slight bit different to putting iPod's standard in-ear device on.
The tangerine Jelly Belly in-car air freshener was, in fact, the second in the range which I decided to buy. After a pretty good experience with the Cherry version, I chose to broaden-out and venture into their other varieties. After sniffing my way through the whole section in Halfords, I settled on the tangerine version.
From there, you know how it went. I put it straight in the car, and I'd experience at least twice per day, but after being overpowered by the first time I walked into the car - and not consciously anticipating the aroma - every other time I was completely oblivious to its smell. I literally didn't notice it was there after a day. The first time it was unmissable, but thereafter you'd have to basically put your nose to the thing to even tell that it had a distinct scent to it. Needless to say, it threw it away within the week.
Judging by how effective the Cherry version was, I'd assume that I'd become immune to the smell, as other people who came in the car did comment on the aroma it gave off. However, it seems as though you'd be better used to trying out different ranges than to explore the entire Jelly Belly air freshener collection. It's got a funny little shape and stands out, but just doesn't do the job it's meant to. You can pick them up for something in the region of £2.40, so if you fancy a change then go for it, but if you've done the Jelly Belly thing in the past, forget it.
As far as perceptions go, you'd often associate big brands with reliability. It's just the norm. But in Apple's case, I can't say the word's ever sprung up in my mind. My iPod regularly decides that it no longer has any songs on it, the thing often misplaces songs on my iTunes and their earphones are something else. Let's stick to the earphones for now, as they began an almost never-ending string of disappoint, ever since I got my first MP3 player.
As a freebie which comes along with all iPods, you'd expect something decent to make that all-important connection between the little device with your music collection on it and your ears. That, by no means, is the case with the standard buds which come with the device's purchase.
They're white; so everyone (especially thieves) know that you've got an iPod on you, for starters. They leak noise; so you annoy everyone when you're in D&B mode on the bus. They're also, by far, the most basic listening experience you can get out the iPod and (when you've had experience with others) it's obvious. Well - they are free, so you can't complain all that much, can you? As I'm not in the best mood today, no. Second rate won't cut it.
For the average music listener, I suppose it wouldn't effect you too much. Really, the quality isn't much of an issue when you're just blasting one of your favourite tunes out, but others - like myself - may just prefer to hear when a song has a good mixdown and nothing scratches at your eardrum. This is exactly the reason why it's frustrating that the things barely last as long as they should do. Within a month, I've had sets lose output in one of the sides. The rubber bit that goes in your ear wears away just as fast. Plus, the fact that you can buy Chinese 1p versions off eBay makes their hefty (£2-something) price tag pointless.
Save your money on copping a pair of replacement iPod earphones, should they die on you. You be much better suited to investing in another brand's. These ones are grubby, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the rip-off versions and that's all that needs to be said. There's no need to keep spending money on something which is second-rate, just because they're the norm.
It's apparently fine for guys to wear Vaseline on their lips now, which is great news for me. No longer do I have to hide my reliance on one of Vaseline's Lip Therapy products. Cutting a long story short, through my teens I suddenly went through a spout of having very dry lips. Ever since, I've had to keep something with me to prevent it from happening. Ever since my introduction to it, I've never been a yard away from the pocket size tin of Vaseline Original Lip Therapy petroleum jelly.
I don't know how they do it and I'm not fussed either. All I know is that you just get a little of this jelly on your finger, smear it across any problem areas and you're lips will be fine. As long as you use it regularly, it should prevent the area from drying as quickly as normal too. If you're new to this world of lip care and you're mouth region is a little worse for wear, it'll probably only take around a week to get it up to scratch. I've found that any time I'm away from a tin of it, I do suffer. This is why it's essential to stay close to it wherever I go. I'd assume that this is the case for the rest of its users, unless they use something else to supplement it.
As for why the 'original' is best, it's just as easy to explain as how to use it. I can't claim to have ever used the 'cocoa' or 'rosy' range products, but I've found that the 'aloe vera' lip therapy one can leave the lips feeling even sorer after use. Because of this, especially for lads, it's best to stick to the normal one. I can imagine the others have a slight scent to them too, which this one certainly doesn't. It's untraceable and that's what makes it as good a product as it is. There's no need to worry about it making the lips too shiny either, if you're concerned about it being evident that you're wearing it. Depending on how much you apply at any one time, which shouldn't be enough to make it blatant, you're unlikely ever to come across any issues on that front.
The tin itself is sturdy. In the past I can recall finding one of them on my drive and it had been run over. It was still perfectly fine to use, thus exemplifying how easily it copes with everyday wear-and-tear. It'll take a few knocks and suits being a product you'd continually keep in your pocket. As far as longevity goes, the jelly lasts a good few months. Really, unless you're using it for anything else, there's no reason why it wouldn't. Its 20 grams go a long way and you'll appreciate having it to hand.
The only negative, where this product is concerned, is that it can (and does) get lost easily. As great as having a handy and lightweight tin available is, they like to roll. As a result, I often get into the habit of buying two at any one time. They're usually found around the £1 mark too, so it's hardly breaking the bank. As they're widely-distributed at chemists, supermarkets and pound shops alike, there's not a reason to pick up a couple. Light, compact and moisturises your lips. It's literally as simple as that. It does the job. Simply scoop with your finger and you're away.
Price: just over £1, depending on where you're looking.
As a guy, reviewing the 'Pussycat Dolls Workout' may not particularly put me in the good books. It's not an ideal deal start and, as I'm aware, is sure to be thrown at me when I go on to review more blokey things. I should have planned this better. However, I'm afraid that I'm just going to have to press on regardless. This DVD's been repeatedly shoved in my face over the past few weeks and it's about time I let off some steam on it.
I peer over the laptop as the Mrs., getting sweatier by the second, gyrates on the instruction of a petite dance instructor. I've got the perfect positioning with the headphones on; she hasn't got a clue I'm watching. Result! She practises a range of dances, going from high-energy aerobics to erotically slow burlesque steps. Four of the best girls they could have found soon join the main girl (Robin) and from there it's pure heaven.
The 'Pussycat Dolls Workout', which came out in 2009, is billed and being "puuurrrfect" for girls aiming to "achieve the slim, sleek, toned physique of a dancer". It last for around an hour, has a fair degree of complexity to it, but is equally as entry-level for the more novice dancer. It lasts over an hour, is set out well and packs a lot into an hour. It didn't take long before my blank stares resulted in the punishment of having to participate in the workout too, and it ended up being quite manageable. The warm-up might start in a high gear, but it means it's there to get you working.
It's made for the girls, but quite obviously has guys in-mind too. Much to my annoyance, only Nicole Scherzinger of the group actually turned up to dance practice, on this occasion. To call it a 'Pussycat Dolls' workout and only provide one of the singers is a bit of a joke, but the makers will probably argue that inclusion of 'Don't Cha' and 'Buttons' suffice to give it such a title. If we had the full Pussycat Dolls line-up, there would be a bit more to get excited about. In no way am I going to criticise the replacements though.
The Mrs. informs me that the DVD was bought off Amazon and she got exactly what she wanted from it. Unintentionally, so did I! Considering the size of the workout DVD collection which I see before me, it's clearly a more preferred option over the others she has. It's used in regular rotation, is gradually toning her up and is increasing her confidence. All of the steps are repeated, so there's no reason not to keep up and even I had fun joining in with it all. From a male entertainment point of view, the 'Pussycat Dolls Workout' is ideal. Fine girls, lots of body grooving and it isn't the type to become monotonous.
Cost: under a fiver.