Audio Visual Gear

The Stereo Mini Portable Sound Box from USB Fever REVIEW

A couple of months back, I asked my LEGO friends Beetle and Maynard with their girlfriends Sunshine and Faith to check out the new Fingertip Mini Cube Speaker that Thomas at USB Fever sent from overseas. (see the review: Make Some Music) Sunshine: “We were looking for an upgrade to a dual speaker setup. It was then that Judie from GearDiary told us about the Stereo Mini Portable Sound Box from USB Fever. That Judie girl ROCKS, because it as exactly what we were looking for!” (L to R) Beetle, Maynard, Faith and Sunshine with the Stereo Mini Portable Sound…


Hava Gold Review

With the Hava Gold, you can watch your TV, anywhere you can get an Internet connection.  Does the Hava Gold give you what you want, or does it provide a gilded experience?  Let’s take a quick look and see how it goes… Software Installation Installing the software went about as you thought it would. However, there were a couple of interesting steps that I’d like to take you through.  Before anything else happened, after inserting the software CD into the drive and clicking on the software installation link, the following graphic appeared: Hava Driver installation The start of the device…


My Car PC

When I bought my new car in September 2007 I knew I would be keeping it for a few years, so I decided that I was going to take the plunge, and build a Car PC like those that I had read about on the MP3Car.com forums. The computer would replace the standard audio system, and add MP3 playback, video, GPS, GPS tracking and internet access to my car After months of dreaming about such a setup my Car PC is finally installed. I’ve had the computer on my desk for over 3 mths now but time and money kinda…


The SanDisk Sansa Clip Review: The Smallest Big Music Player Around

Not long ago, I brought you a review of Sansa’s latest and greatest portable media player, the Sansa View.  Today, I will be looking at the View’s younger brother, the Clip.  This is a small, 1, 2, or 4 GB media player, which clips onto your clothing for easy transportation.  Perfect for the user who does not require all of the sound and fury of the feature rich View, but still wants quick and easy access to their tunes. What’s In The Box:  Before we talk about what is inside the box, let’s talk about the box itself.  The Sansa…


The Belkin TuneBase FM with ClearScan for iPod Review

One of the complaints that I’ve heard when doing FM transmitter reviews in the past, was that it can be hard to find a clear station to transmit through in larger cities. My biggest complaint has been that even when I’ve found a good station to hijack, the quality of the streaming music is all too often degraded to a point where it’s no longer a pleasure to listen, or the signal is so faint that I have to crank the volume on my receiver to get any sound – assuming the signal is clear enough to not be loaded…


The AirDrive Hybrid Stereo Earphones Review: Shattering the Cone of Silence

I have reviewed a number of different higher end headphones, both here and at Just Another Mobile Monday. For the most part, these headphones have involved cramming a small speaker as deeply into your ear as possible, in order to a) block outside noise, and isolate you within the music; and b) get the music as close to your ear drum as possible. Given this background, you can imagine why I was a bit skeptical of the AirDrives. After so much time cramming things into my ear canals, it was strange to find earphones which instructed, “if the earphone blocks…


Make some music: The Fingertip Mini Cube Speaker REVIEW

Good things do come in small packages. I asked my LEGO friends Beetle and Maynard with their girlfriends Sunshine and Faith to check out the new Fingertip Mini Cube Speaker that Thomas at USB Fever sent from overseas. Beetle: “As sound technicians for the Best Little LEGO Band from Nashville, we got frustrated with the round speakers that came with our Apple Shuffle.” Sunshine: “Then Kerry and Judie from GearDiary told us about these speakers from USB Fever.” Maynard: “It was awesome! They carry all of these cool USB items that work for our lifestyle. And for only $2.99, they…


Sandisk Sansa View Review: Could This Be Perfection in a Box?

I do not think I have anticipate writing any review as much as I have anticipated the Sandisk Sansa View. I first encountered the View last year when I discovered it on Sansa’s website. At that time, it looked significantly different than the entire line of Sansa players, bearing a large, wide screen and what appeared to be no visible control. I immediately began seeking a review unit, with no response. Shortly thereafter, the Sansa View was pulled by Sandisk and significantly reconfigured. The final release of the Sansa View bore a much closer resemblance to its predecessor, the Sansa…


The Proporta Laptop Battery Review

One of most laptop’s main limitations is their battery life, which can usually only be relied upon for a few hours. This hindrance is never more evident that when traveling, because finding a place to recharge in airports and train stations can be a major challenge. On January 1, 2008, carrying extended batteries will become a little bit trickier when traveling by plane, but it can still be done as long as the extra battery is packed in your carry-on luggage (versus in your checked luggage) and it is under a certain size. Copied verbatim from the US Government’s Safe…


Flip Video Ultra Review: A Pocket Video Camera for the Rest of Us

Before my first son was born, I bought a camcorder so we could capture all of the precious moments of his life. Now, almost six years later, I have a box filled with unwatched video, mostly of a baby not doing anything in particular. That set me wondering what would it take to have done something useful with this video. The answer, at least for me, was that it was just too complicated to transfer the video from the tapes to my computer in order to edit it. With my family growing, I simply did not have time for all…


The Alltel Motorola MOTOROKR Z6m Mobile Phone Review

With all the smart-phones that we cover here on Gear Diary, it can be easy to overlook a huge segment of the mobile market…the dumb-phone. No, these phones don’t have low IQs and they certainly aren’t stupid, they just don’t offer the PC-like capabilities and advanced features which are generally associated with phones running the Palm, Symbian, or Windows Mobile operating systems. Although the Alltel Motorola MOTOROKR Z6m fits into what I consider to be this “dumb-phone” category, it certainly does not fall short on features. It offers a 2 megapixel camera with video, has a built-in graphic equalized MP3…


Bose In-Ear Headphones Review

Bose bills their Tri-Port Acoustic Headphones as the “only in-ear headphones with the rich audio and comfortable fit not available from conventional designs“. I’ve been testing a pair in various locations – mainly while sitting still at home, on the elliptical machine at the gym and out walking around the neighborhood. The headphones are not terribly expensive at $ 99. At least not by today’s standards. Are they worth the money?


myvu Personal Media Viewer Review

With all the hub-bub around the new iPods and Zunes, I had been searching for something to make my older 60GB 5G iPod Video new and exciting again. I wanted something that would be fun, and bring some zip back to the device, and be way cool, especially since I wasn’t going to be buying a new iPod any time soon.  My 5G player is in decent shape and since I’ve been watching a lot of vide on it lately (more on that in a minute), I was looking for something that would make that experience a little better. Enter…


The Toshiba Gigabeat T400 Digital Music Player Review

Judie Says: If you agreed with me that the Toshiba gigabeat U202 was a product comparable to the Apple Shuffle, then I think you’ll also agree that it would be hard for the Toshiba gigabeat T400 to avoid comparisons with the the 4GB Apple Nano. Both of them have a relatively intuitive interface, both have vivid color screens for picture and video, and both cost under $150. The gigabeat has drag and drop features and plays perfectly with Windows Media Player, while the Nano has the full support of the well established iTunes audio and video download store. Which is…


The DLO HomeDock for Zune Review

So you’ve got a Zune and it’s loaded with your favorite music and videos, and you want a way to play your digital music player’s content over your home theater system. Can it be done? Of course. Digital Lifestyle Outfitters, or DLO as they are more commonly known, has a product for that very purpose: the HomeDock for Zune. With the HomeDock, you can “Play your Zune’s music, photos, videos and more on your home stereo and TV.” You can also “navigate and select your Zune’s music, videos, photos, radio and community on your TV screen with the included, full-function…


Sync your mobile digital lifestyle: The Ford Focus | Sync Review

[THIS is a monster post with lots of photos – so give your browser some spinning wheel time!] GearDiary was invited to join traditional media and automobile journalists to experience the launch of the redesigned Ford Focus and Ford Sync™. Hosted in Seattle, Washington by Ford Motor Company and Microsoft, the program included significant drive time with the Focus vehicle, demonstration of the Sync technology and a visit to the Microsoft campus to view the House of the Future. Geekness and coolness personified ❗ . Sync is the newest mobile technology to emerge from the Ford-Microsoft relationship. Debuting in the…


Rocketfish Universal Wireless Rear Speaker Kit Review

Rear speakers have been pretty much the bane of my existence for most of my married life. OK, let me back up for a minute. I love stereo equipment. To me, it ranks right up there with my mobile devices. I have been an aficionado of multi-channel sound since it was first introduced back in the early 1990’s. While 5.1 surround sound (and now 7.1) is a phenomenal way to add an extra dimension to your television and movie watching experience, it does come with one major drawback. The rear speakers, which must be on the opposite side of the…


DLO TransDock Deluxe Rox!

Lately, it seems like I can’t walk into a Costco or a Sam’s Club without seeing a new wireless adapter to play an iPod though the stereo system of my truck. Unfortunately, it also seems like I can’t see one of these without buying it. This is because most of them haven’t really worked worth a squat between their awkward controls and their inability to hold a station to deliver a static-free transmission of the treasure trove of southern rock, funk and Richard Pryor albums I have stored on my video iPod. Of all the gadgets I’ve tried to retrofit…


The DVD Stripper Review

You know how there are certain gadgets that you just don’t think you’ll ever need until someone shows you theirs? And then you catch yourself going, “hmm…that’s pretty cool!” Well, you’ll find that tonight’s review falls into that category. Think about all the times you’ve bought a DVD, and while unwrapping the clear outer plastic you wondered to yourself why, in addition to the outer wrapper, there had to be a heavy plastic sticker across the top and front of the DVD. I’ve gotten in a hurry before and accidentally broken fingernails while trying to peel back these heavy stickers;…


Soothing the savage beast: the DLO iBoom Travel Review

English playwright William Congreve wrote in 1697, “Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast / To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.” There may have been a Freudian slip when Congreve meant beast. Fast forward to the 21st century. We can certainly be savage grumps when it comes to waking up to an alarm clock with an obnoxious buzzer or worse, annoying morning chatterboxes with Wooly Bully by Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs as the musical selection to reside in your head all day. Get you someone really to pull the wool with you What?I say it’s…


PDAir Zune Metal Case and Screen Protector Review

Since getting my Zune a few months ago, it has been in the very precarious position of having no screen protector, and only the supplied fabric slipcase to protect it from keys, pens and other devices. But when I use it to watch video, it has to go caseless. I was very happy to receive the Zune metal case and screen protector from PDAir, so that I could quit my worrying. I received Black aluminium case and ultra-clear screen protector to try out on my Zune. I asked for the black to go with my black Zune and I am…