Seth Weintraub

@llsethj

Seth Weintraub

June 4

The Bose Soundlink Mini is the best-sounding Bluetooth speaker of its size to my ears and I’ve tested quite a few. The sound is simply unbelievable and Amazon’s reviewers confirm my experience.

But it had some drawbacks in convenience that others like JBL and Ultimate Ears were able to capitalize on to make more “Well rounded” speakers. Bose had a proprietary AC charger, it couldn’t be used as a speakerphone, its battery life was mediocre and it also could only pair with one device at a time.

Bose_SoundLink_Mini_speaker_II (2)

We knew something was up last month when Bose dropped the price of the Soundlink Mini to $179 across the board  and today we find out that our gripes above have been addressed with the Soundlink Mini II.

Bose_SoundLink_Mini_speaker_II (1)

What’s new? We got just about everything we wanted and frankly expected when Bose released the smaller feature rich $129 Soundlink Color. Bose now lets you charge with the standard MicroUSB plug. That means you can use USB computer ports and plugs, external batteries and a whole ecosystem of products you already have to keep the Soundlink Mini II charged. Paradoxically, you won’t need to charge it as often because it now has an almost double-sized battery and playing time now rated at a more premium 10 hours. It will continue to have a charger stand which I found very convenient in the previous model.

The Mini II also now has a mic, allowing you to make speakerphone calls.  I haven’t tried it (review is on the way) but I imagine Bose has taken great care to eliminate echo and blow out its noise canceling technologies with this product. I really can’t wait.

Bluetooth pairing has also improved with it remembering  8 devices and actually pairing two at the same time. Also voice commands help with the pairing process.

Finally Bose has added some cosmetic touches including an updated beveled accent and a micro-perforated steel grille (though no mention of water resistance/proofing). I didn’t really ask for these but will take them.

Pricing/ordering/loving?

This is guaranteed a winner with pre-orders starting today at Bose.com for the same $199 price point and shipping from authorized retailers on June 21st. Prices on the original Mini stood firm during its whole run so there seems to be little reason to wait on this one, unless you want to get our review which we hope to have up by the time they go on sale.

Remaining gripes are few but there is no USB out to charge your phone like the JBL Charge II and the form factor isn’t quite as convenient as the Charge II or UE Boom (cup holder form factor FTW). Also water resistance again like the Boom or JBL Charge would be a cherry on top. The tradeoff is of course sound which we know the Bose Soundlink Mini IIwill blow the others “out of the water” (Son, that’s a water proofing joke).

Bose Press release and additional images follow: expand full story

June 3

May 24

Amazon offers the Kingtop 5500 DPI Optical Gaming USB Mouse with 7 Button Side Control 5 Respiring LED for $12.99 shipped. Coupon code X5Q42ZJM drops it 30% more to just $9.09 with free Prime shipping. That’s the lowest price gaming mouse we’ve seen and although we’re not extremely familiar in the Kingtop brand, it gets very impressive 4.6/5 star reviews from Amazon reviewers. This Mac/PC gaming mouse features many programmable buttons, braided cord and ergonomic design and comes with a 30 money back guarantee and a 1 year warranty.  expand full story

Amazon offers the popular and well-rated Anker Bluetooth Ultra-Slim Keyboard for $12.99 Prime shipped.  The very portable keyboard works with any Bluetooth enabled device including iPhones, iPads, Apple TV, Chrome/Android devices and Windows PCs. Available in Apple Aluminum style and black, it gets 4.4/5 star ratings and lasts for 3 months on 2 AAA batteries, (pick up a few here)

  • Cross Compatible: Works with iOS, Android, Mac and Windows, with shortcut keys for all four systems.
  • Lightweight & Compact: A third smaller than traditional clunky keyboards and as light as a billiard ball (6.7oz).
  • Comfortable Keys: Type quietly and effortlessly on comfortable, low-profile keys.
  • Low ­Power Consumption: Lasts over three months (based on two hours use per day) with power-saving mode and space for two AAA batteries (not included).
  • What You Get: Anker Bluetooth Ultra Slim Bluetooth Keyboard, welcome guide, our fan-favorite 18-month warranty and friendly customer service.

The reason the price is so low is that Anker just released a new smaller microUSB rechargeable model which is only $19.99, still a great deal, especially when you consider the price of replacing batteries. expand full story

May 14

May 13

Add some extra battery life to your older iPhone 5 or 5s with this highly-rated MFi case from EasyAAC for $14.99 Prime shipped. As smartphones age, their battery loses some capacity. You can add that capacity and more with this 2400mAh battery case. It comes in 5 different iPhone matching colors and includes a handy kickstand on the back. Features:

  • Certified by Apple’s MFi program, so there?s no need to worry about compatibility or safety issues.
  • 2400 mAh capacity doubles the battery life of an iPhone 5/5s.
  • Comes with two differently colored attachable frames so you can choose the style to match your mood. Also features an integrated kick stand made of aluminium alloy and includes an audio jack extender so you can easily enjoy music and videos.
  • Environmentally-friendly grade-A lithium-polymer battery that comes with smart overvoltage and overcurrent protection; is cetified by CE, FCC, and RoHS; and has no possibility of exploding.
  • Features an LED indicator that shows the battery level as well as a power button that allows you to decide when to charge your iPhone. Also comes with a 12-month warranty plus lifetime technical support.

If you are looking for a name Brand, grab a Mophie Helium for $30.

If you are looking for an iPhone 6 case on the cheap here are 2 options with 3/5 star reviews for around $10.

Update: Skiva’s collection of MFi Certified Battery Cases for iPhone 5s/5c/5 are also 25% off on Amazon (as low as $20) with coupon code GOWWM3DK.

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 4.40.47 PM

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May 10

May 7

Today’s best Apple Certified Lightning cable deal at Amazon is the F-color Apple MFi Certified 6 Feet/1.83Meter Extra Long Lightning Charge and Data Sync Cable with Tangle-free Woven Jacket and Premium 8 pin connector for $12.99 coupon code 6HRFFOEN drops it all the way down to $8.99 with free Prime shipping.  That’s the lowest price we’ve seen on a colorful 6′ braided Lightning cable blessed with Apple’s MFi rating. It also has a full 1 year warranty and get an unbelievable 5/5 stars from a limited number of Amazon reviewers. This is a no brainer for a cable twice as long as Apple’s at half the price with some fancy colors and braided strength. (Blue, Green or Orange are all eligible). These go fast so make a move.

If you don’t need any fancy, You can save a few bucks with the Apple Certified SGM 3-foot MFi Lightning cable for $9.99 – code 74FT6PSA drops it to $6.99 shipped. It comes in Black or white.

For an extra buck however, you can grab the Amazon Basics Apple Certified Lightning Cables which start at $7.99 Prime shipped for a little added piece of mind.  expand full story

May 6

May 5

Amazon offers the Lexar High-Performance MicroSDXC 633x 128GB UHS-I/U3 (Up to 95MB/s Read) w/USB 3.0 Reader Flash Memory Card for $85.80 with free shipping. That’s the lowest price we’ve seen on this ultra high speed SD card which can record 4K video from GoPros and other sports/camcorders. It gets impressive 4.7/5 star reviews from Amazon reviewers and can also be used with an SD Card adapter to add storage to any SD-enabled Mac or in many Android phones. It also includes a small but speedy USB 3 adapter for near universal access.

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May 4

April 30

Worldwidestereo’s Ebay site (99.9% rating) has the JBL Control One AW All-Weather Indoor/Outdoor Bookshelf Speakers – Pair in White for $89.99 shipped. That’s $10 lower than we’ve ever seen them and currently $70 less than Amazon where they get 4/5 star ratings. These outdoor speakers are weather-proof and can be mounted outside on a patio, by the pool or in the yard. The rugged, compact speakers feature a 4-inch (100-millimeter) woofer and a 1/2-inch (12-millimeter) titanium-laminate tweeter for a frequency response of 80Hz to 20kHz. They have a peak power-handling capacity of 200 watts.

Don’t forget the speaker wire. expand full story

Ebay offers the popular Apple EarPod-styled Bluetooth 4 wireless headphones for $11.99 with free shipping. That’s $2 off the price we saw before and the lowest price we’ve seen for wireless Bluetooth 4 headphones. SaleSomePlus, the seller, gets over 99% ratings as an Ebay seller on this now popular design of earbuds.  Bluetooth earbuds like this not only work with Smartphones, tablets and computers, but also work with BT-enabled smartwatches like the Apple Watch.

If you are looking for the ultimate Bluetooth wireless headset bargain, Amazon’s best seller is the Bluetooth V4.0+EDR HV-800 Neckband Sport Stereo Universal Headset Headphones for just $7.63 shipped.

Don’t want to take a risk on a No-name brand? Amazon has a bunch of Apple Watch-compatible headsets including MPOW ($27)PowerBeats ($199) or $72 Jabras.

Me? I love my JBLs which cost like $90 and BlueAnt Pumps $53 and can vouch for both headsets.

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April 27

Omaker sent along a few samples of their amazing little M4 ($24.99 after code 99OMAKER  at Amazon)for me to check out. Here’s my quick take:

The M4 is easily one of the best low cost speakers out there. It sounds more like a $50-100 speaker from a big brand but adds water resistance and ruggedness. I dropped mine a few times without even getting a scratch. They are like the superball of Bluetooth speakers. The speakerphone works well (no noise canceling sadly) and has a dedicated phone button. Volume and power buttons also on top with AUX port and Micro USB charging on the side. NFC makes pairing with Android a snap but isn’t difficult with straight Bluetooth 4 on Apple products – even works with Apple Watch! No brainer if you are looking for an inexpensive rugged Bluetooth speaker this summer. Also makes a great gift. (I like Orange!)

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Amazon has the Omaker M4 Portable Bluetooth 4.0 Speaker in Army Green or Orange for $34.99 Prime shipped. However, if you enter the coupon code: 99OMAKER the price drops to only $24.99 Prime shipped. That’s $10 off the regular price and $45 off the original list price.IMG_0448 2

Omaker M4 Portable Bluetooth 4.0 Speaker with 12 Hour Playtime- Rugged Splashproof and Shockproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker for Outdoors:Shower With NFC Tap & Play TechnologyThis Omaker has the latest Bluetooth 4.0 technology and has a 3W audio driver and passive subwoofer.  You can enjoy 12 hours of music at 80% volume. “That’s up to three times longer than similar-sized portable speakers.”  It recharges in 3 hours using the included Micro USB cable. It has a unique square design with splashproof & shockproof & dustproof functions that make it suitable for the outdoors or in the shower.

Over 300 customers gave it 4.6/5 stars and left stellar reviews.

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April 25

Amazon’s ZeroLemon Direct store (4.9/5 star rating) has a big 35% off coupon giving all time lows on some of our favorite iPhone 6/plus rugged battery cases using code LVE4M35G at checkout.

Each of these offer double to quadruple your iPhone 6/Plus battery life and offer rugged protection as well and get 4+ Amazon ratings and great reviews.  expand full story

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