Tag Archives: Kickstarter

Earin wireless headphones

I’ve been ill for a few weeks – a dose of man-flu and a lingering cough so my time on the bike has been nil. It means there’s nothing cycling related to write about really as it’s all feeling a bit depressing. So on that note a review of a recent Kickstarter I received.

Earin are a set of wireless bluetooth headphones. Not unique but well done.

The two earbuds are rechargable and fit snugly into the ear with some expanding, grippy foam ends. What is nice is that when not in use they live in a machined aluminium capsule, that recharges them. Putting them into the capsule turns them off and a small LED indicates when they are charging and when finished.Earin boxed

Taking the buds out turns them on and reconnects the bluetooth to the phone/device it was paired to.

Sound quality is above average in my view and the isolation provided by the foam ends makes for a pleasant listening experience. They work by the left bud connecting to the phone (in my case) and the right bud connecting to the left. This may make it easier and increase battery life (?) but it does result in some occasional drop outs in the right ear. Hard to say why this is as the earbuds are always at the same distance and orientation to each other. Having drop outs from both, or if the left one loses sight of the phone would be understandable but the left seems stable. It’s a minor thing though and during a dozen or so listens in the past few weeks it happens once or twice an hour, sometimes never.

Earin recently published an app which works a treat. It connects to the left bud and allows tweaking of the balance and provides a Bass Boost option. It also shows the battery level of each ear bud which is handy to know how much charge is left. Battery time is quoted as 2hrs 50 stereo and 11hrs mono but I’ve never had them run out.

Earin capsuleUsing the buds in winter in great, hood up in the rain and no wires makes it very comfortable. They are quite discrete and haven’t snagged on the hood/hats. But the best part is the capsule, a lovely machined item that has a magnetic click to the fully open and closed extends of the inner bud container. A micro USB allows it’s internal battery to be charged  and it’s a lovely ‘thing’

Overall I’d give them an 8/10. The dropout issue isn’t big but it does annoy when it happens. I got an early bird  so they were affordable but they will be probably too expensive to make the skipping and drop outs worth it.

Squeo Review

I back a lot of things on Kickstarter, possibly too much, and thought I might was well review those that deliver. I tend to back in cycles – have a browse or read a social media post or website news item, then I get on a bit of a roll and back a few. I tend to have 3 or 4 outstanding at any one time and so far have never been let down in the 55 I’ve backed. Some don’t get funded and a couple have pulled to re-launch later.

I tend to back cycling related projects of course, but also gadgets, clothing  and games so I’ll add reviews of all these to the site as I get time.

So onto Squeo. It’s a waterproof, lightweight, Bluetooth speaker. It interested me as it’s IPX8 waterproof and IP6X dust proof – pretty much as protected as you can get. Supposed to give 8hrs playback and has a microphone so can be a speaker phone as well.

The project was well run and they did a stretch goal of an extra device for every 2 you backed (or something like that) so I ended up with 3 – one for each of us in the family.

It was late delivering, but I tend to expect this. There were regular updates and it was due Sept 2014 and arrived August 2015 so nearly a year late. Not un-typical in my experience of backing electronic devices.

The device itself was well packaged and on unboxing was pretty much as described by the project. They are around the size of an iPhone 5s but with double the thickness. They are very light and very well finished, a quality looking and feeling product. It comes with a soft cover, a magnetic charge cable and a quality metal loop. It has a decent sized metal lined ring in the top left corner to hang it in places and works well with the supplied loop.

Pairing bluetooth devices should be easy but I often seem to have problems. Not so with the Squeo. A long hold on the power button puts it into pairing mode, it’s quickly found on the iPhone and from then on pairs quickly whenever it’s turned on. Distance-wise it’s pretty good depending on where the phone is but I’ve had no issues so far.

Sound quality is good I’d say, not brilliant but you can’t expect that from such a lightweight, small and water/dust proof device in my view. Volume can go to a decent level and the mute button is useful.

I listen to a lot of podcasts and using it in the bathroom is excellent. Phone in the bedroom charging, Squeo on the side of the bath, it just works. You can skip tracks, change the volume and not worry about getting it wet. I’ve yet to try it in the shower, or properly get it wet (it just feels wrong) but so far it’s a 5/5 kickstarter product in my eyes. They are on sale now but are quite expensive and borderline value for money in my view. Having said that it’s a product that I find hard to criticise and you do get a quality speaker for your money

Plus: Quality, ease of use
Neg: Maybe sound quality but that’s being very picky

Ramblings Rating : 5/5