Taotronics Bluetooth Headset Comparison

Bluetooth, Electronics

Wires.  Wires are old.  Wireless is new. Wireless is the way forwards.

The issue in the past wasn’t the fact that wireless communication wasn’t available, the radio was invented 1895 and Bluetooth is basically the same thing.  The problem was (and is to a certain extent) wireless Power.  That is, at this point in time, it’s impossible to transmit power wirelessly over a relatively large distance, so batteries have to be used, but batteries weren’t great until a couple of years ago.

Now that batteries are better, as I said earlier, wireless is the way forwards. Taotronics (along with a multitude of other electronics companies) realise this and take advantage of it and hence they release products that operate wirelessly.

In this review I’m going to be comparing two Taotronics products, namely, the TT-BH07 and the TT-BH08.  Both are wireless Bluetooth headsets, one is rated for the outdoors.

First Impressions

Taotronics Bluetooth Headset TT-BH08

The TT-BH08 is a ‘sweat-proof’ sport Bluetooth headset.  It feels rubbery since it has a soft silicon surface so as to increase it’s water resistance, ergo, it’s sweat resistance. The neck band is flexible and it molds around your neck making it easy to forget it’s even there.  Unlike conventional headset, the TT-BH08 comes with an ‘ear-hook’ which makes sure the earpiece stays in place whilst the user performes different types of sports.

TT-BH08 Buttons

The right earphone has three buttons on it, the power / multi-function button, Volume Up / Next Track and the Volume Down / Previous Track.  The latter two are conveniently marked with braille style dimples, one for Volume down and two for Volume up.  This makes it extremely easy to recognise the buttons without having to feel around.

Switching to the other set, the TT-BH07 have a more sleek and serious design. Although they are marketed as being secure for sports, this model is not water resistant.  They do come with a cool extra feature though, that of having a magnetic attraction at each base of the earpiece.  This means if you’ve had enough of listening to music you can just take them off and clip them onto each other around your neck without having to stop your workout to put them away in a carry pouch.

TT-BH07 Bluetooth Earphones

Unlike the TT-BH08 the control buttons are not on the earpiece but are instead on the strap.  The buttons perform the same tasks as for the other headset but they are quite small when compared to the ones on the TT-BH08, though I don’t believe this should be an issue.

TT-BH08 Control buttons

Features

Both headsets have the same features.  They both play music wirelessly off your phone, both have an in-built microphone to allow you to answer calls without looking at your phone and both have buttons to switch track and adjust the volume without looking at your phone.

The audio quality is impressive on both of them.  Considering the size of the ‘speaker’ inside the headset I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of bass it emitted. Fortunately the bass isn’t overcoming the other ranges and thus music sounds crisp, clean and genuine.

Specifications

The TT-BH08 has an in-built ceramic antenna and supports Bluetooth 4.0.  It rocks an impressive battery life of 7 hours.

The TT-BH08 supports Bluetooth 4.1.  This means that it’s quicker and easier to pair with your device than before.  The battery life is rated slightly less at 5 hours, but to be honest I don’t believe I’ve ever had time to listen to music for 5 hours straight!  The stated stand-by time is of 175 hours on a single charge, so don’t worry about forgetting it on!

Conclusion

I tested both devices over a couple of days and I can’t really say I prefer one to the other – they have different uses.  I use the BH08 when I go out jogging, it stays put in my ear and I don’t need to worry about getting sweat on it and ruining it.  When travelling to work I use the BH07 because they are sleeker and more ‘business-like’. They pack smaller than the BH08 so I can just easily slip them into my pocket once I arrive at work.

Which would I suggest? Well, it depends.  Do you like to work out? Do you travel long distances? As I said it depends, but I believe that if you know why you’re buying a Bluetooth headset, you will know which set to buy.

RavPower Luster 5200 mAh PowerBank

Electronics, Power Banks

Last week I posted the review of the RavPower Luster Mini, an extremely portable, light and well designed powerbank.  Today I post about its big brother – the RavPower Luster.  This little monster packs 5200 mAh of juice which gives more than two full phone charges and would charge your tablet around halfway.

 First Impressions

Shaped differently to the Luster Mini, the Luster is shorter and chubbier at 89mm x 43mm x 22.5mm and weighing just 200g, which is quite light compared to the 159g of the Luster Mini.  One end has the product’s certifications and specifications, whilst the other end holds the charging port, output port (2.4A), a flush button, 4 tiny blue LEDs and iSmart written in white.

In the box you’ll find the Luster itself, a usb to micro-usb charging cable, the manual and a fabric carry pouch.

Technology

The company introduced a new technology not too long ago – iSmart.  “iSmart automatically detects and delivers the optimal charging current for any connected device – outputting a maximum of 2.4A”, which in layman’s terms means it takes care of your device’s battery.

The batteries used are claimed to be A+ industry grade Lithium-Ion batteries with over 500 charge cycles.  Since Li-Ion are notoriously dangerous batteries (a quick Google  or YouTube search will explain this) RavPower introduced a couple of precautionary measures including short circuit protection and current surges.

A point which is also worth noting is that this powerbank can take up to 2A charging current, that is, current used to charge the powerbank itself.  This means that it will take half the time to fully charge.

Conclusion

I’ve honestly never been disappointed with RavPower products and I believe that I have tested my fair share.  Priced at £9.99 and available in 4 colours, this product can find its place easily in the pocket of a multitude of people.

RavPower Luster Mini 2nd Gen

Electronics, Power Banks

These things keep getting smaller.  How did RavPower manage to pack 3200 mAh of juice into a package so small?  I am talking about the Second Generation of the RavPower Luster Mini.

What Changed?

RavPower Luster Mini Black

You might remember I reviewed the first generation a while back and some changes were made.  The flashlight – which sometimes was annoying since it would drain the battery if left on by mistake – was removed.  Power indication LEDs were also added along with a power-check button. The product’s design was also changed, whilst keeping the metal body, a plastic strip, which houses the power indication LEDs and button was added.  I believe this addition gives it a more sophisticated look.

The Luster mini comes in four different colours; Black, Gold, Blue, and Pink.

What’s in the Box?

Apart from what’s in the box, I’d like to add a comment about the box itself.  As a person who likes packaging and (and I hate to admit this) tends to hold on to packaging long after a product has lived its life, the packaging that RavPower are shipping in lately is quite impressive.  RavPower Luster Mini packaging

Look at that box.  With one image the company explained all the things you can do with the product, it shows their new technology, iSmart, and it shows you what you can achieve as a result of using their product – play more games, take more pictures, listen to more music.

RavPower Luster Mini iSmart

Inside the box is the Luster Mini, a ribbon type micro USB charging cable and a User Manual.  I get a feeling that RavPower got inspired by apple’s manual with the simplistic approach, what do you think?

Conclusion

A good product made better.  The second generation of the Luster definitely improved on the first.  At a selling price of £15.99 this device is a steal.  Perfect to carry around in your pocket or handbag, sure to help in your desperate moments of trying to get the highest score on your favorite game whilst waiting for the bus.

Ravpower Deluxe Series External Battery Packs

Electronics, Power Banks

RavPower have just released the new Deluxe Series.  Whilst very similar to the older series – in the sense that the product is essentially a portable battery pack – the deluxe series come with some added features.5136Yty5AbL._SL1000_

What’s new

Design

RavPower already had great product design with the older series, take the Luster Mini for example, it was a decent power bank which incorporated an incredibly handy flashlight. With this new series they changed the way their power banks looks.  A sleeker, tougher case finished in a semi-gloss black or white colour.

Functions

iSmart has also been introduced in this series and if you care about your device’s battery health and require a fast charge, is the technology you didn’t know you needed.  iSmart automatically detects and delivers the optimal charging current for any connected device – outputting a maximum of 2.4A, which enough to charge a tablet.

Specifications

I was very kindly sent two models to review, the RP-PB31 (7800mAh) and the RP-BP07 (10400mAh).


Product
Capacity (mAh) No. of Outputs Current Output Dimensions (mm) Weight (g) Charge Time (h) Status Lights
RP-PB31 7800 1 2.4A 95 x 63 x 20 281 8 h Yes
RP-BP07 10400 2 2.4A 140 x 55 x 22 340 12 h Yes

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What’s in the Box?

RP-PB31

  • 1x Power Bank
  • 1x Multilingual  Manual
  • 1x Micro USB charging cable
RP-BP07

  • 1x Power Bank
  • 1x Multilingual Manual
  • 1x Micro USB charging cable
  • 1x Grey Fabric Case

As you noticed for some reason the RP-PB31 is missing the fabric case which I tend to use to protect the power bank from the light scratches and scuffs it could get from everyday use – but don’t let this deter you from getting it.

Conclusions

Both these products are extremely cheap to purchase so I would not think twice before buying either one, or both for that matter.  For the power users I would suggest the RP-BP07 since this carries the most juice and has two output ports – allowing you to charge two devices at once. For the casual ‘leave the power bank in the backpack for emergency’ users the RP-BP31 should suffice, although I would personally still go for the larger power bank unless physical size is an issue.  Carrying either product around shouldn’t be too much of a problem – the heaviest one, the RP-BP07, weighs only 340g.