Review: Buzma Sports Elite True Wireless Earbuds

Bluetooth earbuds are pretty ubiquitous anymore – everybody has them, everybody makes them. And they’re not cheap.

Before the fire, I had a pair of Sony true wireless earbuds that were awesome – they were designed so that you could wear them and actually be able to pay attention to things going on around you. The sound quality was great, but they were expensive (I got them thanks to Amazon Vine, so I didn’t have to pay for them, but as I recall they were over $100). I also got a couple pairs of Billboard true wireless earbuds (one was a pair of AirPod ripoffs and one was smaller and black, which are the ones I’ve been using) – also thanks to the Vine program, which I am no longer in. The problem with this new set is that they don’t fit my ears well at all, no matter what ear cushions I use.

Then I saw the Buzma Elites, thanks to an ad on Facebook. They looked good, and they were priced at $40, so not too expensive (especially when you consider they’re the only pair that I’ve actually bought). And now that I have finally received them (after 3 weeks, so not TOO bad, but Amazon Prime has spoiled me), I’m going to tell you about them. I always rate headphones (whether earbud or over the ear, wired or wireless) on three criteria — comfort, sound quality, and usability.

FIRST – they are NOT comfortable. I’ve owned these type of earbuds before – the Sonys that were lost in the fire were the same design. I like the over the ear style because they stay in my ears better, but these are painful to wear for very long, and they don’t feel like they’re in my ears quite right, even though there’s really no other way for them to be used.

SECOND – the sound quality is NOT good if you’re listening to music. They’re fine if you’re listening to spoken word podcasts or sermons, things like that, but if there’s any dynamic range at all, they’re not satisfactory at all. I am NOT an audiophile, and I’m not a headphone snob, but these just really disappointed me completely.

THIRD – usability. They were not hard to pair, but right out of the box I only had sound out of one earbud – the right one. It’s a known issue, because the first FAQ in the (VERY tiny) owner’s manual is how to fix this exact problem. But it shouldn’t BE a problem. The range is not great – I walked from my desk to the bathroom and the audio started cutting out. I also had some signal drop while I was sitting in a chair WITH MY PHONE ON MY LAP. Battery life was also a little disappointing, but they charge quickly.

All in all, I am having trouble recommending these. I’ll use them when I’m working on my computer at home, but I really wanted them for when I’m walking or bike riding or things like that. For the money, they’re not bad, but if you want a decent pair of true wireless Bluetooth earbuds, you’re going to have to pay a bit more.

Back to School Laptops – My Take

(Cross-posted from my education blog)

More and more, laptops are becoming a required part of our back to school shopping. And there are a TON to choose from. HOW do you decide?

Well, you listen to me! Ha – kidding. You do your research, weight the options. And THEN you listen to me. I’m actually stealing the idea from TechRadar, but I’m adding my own comments to their bullet points (because they DO make some good points).
Continue reading

Product Review: Epson Expression ET-2750 EcoTank Wireless Color All-in-One Printer/Scanner/Copier

First of all, the Epson ET-2750 eliminates one thing that EVERYONE hates about inkjet printers: having to go buy cartridges. HP solved this problem for me by monitoring my ink levels and letting me sign up for ink delivery from them – for a lot less than the ink cartridges themselves were costing me. Epson has taken care of this by eliminating the cartridges altogether, and shipping this printer with about two years worth of ink, all still in the bottles.

Setup for this printer was a breeze. Adding ink was pretty easy, and mess free. Within minutes of unboxing it, I was printing my test page and had everything set up and running. Could not have been easier — unless Epson had sent someone to my house to do the work for me!

Print quality is great, rivaling any other printer I have. Print speed is also quite good. My only real problem with this little printer is that it’s kinda loud. I don’t have a separate office anymore, so everything is out in the living space of my house, and I really prefer quieter printers. But I can deal with that, for the performance of this printer.

I will say that the ink level indicators on the front of the printer do NOT look like they do in the picture, but it’s still easy to tell when you need to add in to the tank. No more guessing whether the cartridge is almost empty, no more running out of ink in the middle of a big print job. You can see exactly how much ink is left.

This is one of the few Epson printers I’ve been this happy with. Easy set up, good print quality, and it ships with a TON of ink. I can deal with a little noise for everything else this brings to the table. Highly recommended.

Product Review: Toshiba TY-ASW91 Bluetooth Stereo

This is one of the many scores I’ve gotten thanks to Amazon Vine. And before you ask, no I don’t know how to get into the Vine program. I don’t really know how I got in. All I can tell you is write GOOD reviews on Amazon for stuff you buy, write LOTS of them, and maybe you’ll get in too.

I got this unit really for my daughter. She likes listening to her Spotify playlist while she sleeps, but if she has her phone, she gets ….. distracted. I needed something to separate her from her phone, but still let her listen to the music. I figured this would work. Continue reading

Product Review: Sky Viper S1700 Stunt Drone

So, since I got into flying drones, I’ve been watching ebay for deals. These things can be expensive, after all, and I don’t want to waste money on something that I may or may not be able to fly. I got the S1700 from eBay for $8, so I consider this one a victory. Continue reading

Product Review: FQ777 951C Mini Drone

So this is the last of my recent drone purchases.  I actually got this one from Bang, and it shipped from Thailand in about three weeks (a week earlier than they said on the site, so that’s something!). I got it for right around $20, so I saved about $5 over Amazon (click that link and it will take you right to the drone, selling now for $22).  You have to decide if the wait is worth it. It’s TINY, but it has a camera, so I decided to give it  a try. Continue reading

Product Review: SkyCo M71 Quadcopter

This is the first quadcopter I bought for myself – my X5UC was via Amazon Vine, so I didn’t have to pay for it. The M71 runs about $40 on Amazon, but I found it on eBay for less than half that, so BONUS. PLUS – it’s a quadcopter that LOOKS like a tricopter – it kinda reminds me of a Star Trek starship, with the warp nacelles in the back and the saucer section up front. If I’m honest, that’s really why I got this one. Continue reading

Product Review: SYMA X20 Mini Quadcopter

So I mentioned in my X5 review that I’d spent some money on drones for my kids. This is the one they got (I found them at Rural King for $20, though the Amazon price is a bit higher). They are small enough that I can hold the whole thing in the palm of my hand, and they are a lot of fun. Continue reading

Product Review: SYMA X5-UC Quadcopter

So, I’ve recently gotten the opportunity to test out this drone, and had a pretty good time doing it. I’d never flown one before, but after this one I’m DEFINITELY planning on flying more! This is one example of an Amazon Vine item actually costing me money – I’ve spent another $70 or so on quadcopters since I received this one (to be fair, $40 of it was on drones for my kids). Continue reading

Back from the Dead?

I’m dusting things off here and I’m getting ready to open back up for business, so to speak. It’s been two years, almost, and a bunch has happened. Suffice to say I’m ready to start posting reviews here! I’ll probably start with posting a few of my better Amazon Vine reviews (I’ve gotten some REALLY cool stuff from them), and them some more recent things I’ve gotten to review.

I’m also going to talk a bit about some electronics projects I”m working on (or thinking of working on). Hoping to be a bit more regular and productive around here in the near future, so stay tuned!