Foreo Espada Review – Blue Light Acne Treatment

 Anyone dealing with acne knows what a curse it is to manage. But a new product from skin care company FOREO aims to “light the way to perfectly clear skin”. The FOREO Espada is a Blue light acne treatment which the company says works fast and effectively to clear blemishes with the double power of blue light and T sonic poll stations to destroy acne causing bacteria and reduce inflammation. Promising “exceptional results”, FOREO Espada also advertises a reduction in swelling and inflammation and “to leave the skin looking clear purified healthy and smooth”. Does it work that well? Continue reading “Foreo Espada Review – Blue Light Acne Treatment”

Reader Q and A: Glow Headphones

Since I posted an unboxing video and review of the Glow headphones, I’ve had many questions and my YouTube Channel has been pumped with inquiries seeking more info about the product.

It’s my understanding this gadget started on Kickstarter, and I’ve heard from several backers who say they’ve been left in the dark about the product they helped get to market, and they’re looking for some answers.

I’ll answer some of the questions I’ve been asked about the headphones as best I can, but it should be noted I’m a blogger and reviewer and not affiliated with Glow in any way.  My answers are based on my experience with the set I was sent for a review, so I’m afraid I can’t answer any questions about whether this is the final or exact product Glow will ship to backers. (Though it’s worth noting the headphones are currently for sale on the Bell.ca website for $199 CAD.)

These questions below reference back to a mini-review and unboxing video I posted at the end of November.  Please read and watch those for further details on the headphones. Since then I’ve been able to spend more time testing the headphones and can answer some of the questions I’ve been sent.

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Question: Is the package you received the final product shipping?

A: I don’t know. I received a set from a public relations contact, and they went on sale on at least one website several days later, so I assume so.

IMG_8526Question: Is that little bag the carrying case? We all were expecting a nice little case given the renders they made for us on KS and the fact we reached the milestone to get one. That bag is causing quite the uproar.

A: The little bag that comes with the phones is a faux velvet with string pull-ties. I’d say it feels synthetic, not luxurious. That said, I think it’s fine for what it’ll be used for.

The charging cable in the box was unusual; it’s not a full USB charger, it’s a flat piece of plastic with copper connectors. I’ve never used one like it before. (Photos below)

IMG_8525Question: Did it come with any more ear tips? It was supposed to include different sizes, we didn’t see any in your unboxing.

Yes, it comes with a total of 6 different pairs of tips (4 extras, 2 on the phones); both the in-ear size and the hooks for holding it in place. I didn’t find any of them fit particularly well, or felt comfortable, and I found the phones slipping easily from my ears. I have a similar shaped set of Adidas/Monster in-ear headphones with the little hooks and they are comfortable and lock in place very well. These are not at all like that.  I’d be afraid to run in these.  But this could just be my own ear shape/size.

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Microphone

I also felt the headphones themselves were quite light. While that’s good for portability, they didn’t feel substantial, and didn’t have the heft of other quality headphones I’ve tested this year.

The laser cables are also rather stiff, which I think contributes to them popping out easily.

Question: About the controller; How does it feel in hand? Lightweight cheap Chinese plastic, or something that looks like they put some thought into (especially considering the many delays they claimed in making it feel premium).IMG_8531

A: The controller feels very lightweight, and to use your word, “cheap”. In fact, the controller case broke open on me after a couple days, and I can’t get it to snap back together. The top with the button markings lifted off the rest of the puck, exposing the guts. I’d be concerned about its durability if I owned one. I would definitely not describe these headphones as feeling “premium”.

Question: How would you characterize the sound quality? I currently and using a pair of Beats in-ears and expect for something costing almost double to at least sound the same given the Glow. I’ve also had Bose in-ears that were even better than those.IMG_8535

I compared these to another in-ear style I have (Monster Adidas), and while it’s similar in sound quality, the Monsters feel better to me. (I also think the lack of being able to get a good in-ear fit plays into this too.) I also felt like there was noticeably less bass in the Glows. It sounded noticably tinnier (treblier??) and the Glow just didn’t give me that richness of sound that I’ve had with higher-end headphones, even when I pushed them further into my ears to get a good seal.

I then tried the Glows against an over ear style by Jabra.  There was no competition.  The sound quality of the Jabras was far and away better than the Glow.

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Glow inner case/round box with foam pad

Question: Would I buy the Glow headphones?

A: I wouldn’t for myself.  I didn’t like the fit, the weight, and I was disappointed at how quickly the controller broke. I also think there’s much better sounding headphones out there on the market. I would, however,  get these for a kid or a teenager, since the glowing mechanism is really cool, and it works well, and since teens and kids are probably less concerned with top quality fidelity than many adults, though these are rather expensive for something for a child to use. Overall it’s a really neat and unique new product, and I’d like to see a second generation of the Glow, if and when that happens.

More questions on the new Glow Headphones? Ask away in comments below.

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Extras are hidden under flaps in the box.
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Back side of the controller

 

 

Cool Glow headphones are a technological attention grabber

IMG_8243When these arrived this week, I was in no rush to test them; after all, I test quite a few headphones each year, and for the most part they’re all vastly the same. Indeed, direct out of the box these Glow headphones look pretty much like any other. While they have a nice long cord, there’s a huge controller disc in the middle of the set up, which is big, bulky, and kind of gets in the way. Not to mention the fact it feels rather cheap.

IMG_8289But once I unwrapped these headphones and got them plugged into my music and started playing, I was blown away! The color laser light that emits from these headphones is strong and bright and very noticeable. It casts quite a glow around you. These are definitely what you might call “look at me” headphones.

The set I tested are red but Glow are also available in green or blue. Using an app that’s available for these headphones you can also control the glow pattern, from having them always on, or always off, to “pulsating” with either the beat of your music, or just off and on .IMG_8265 Turns out a feature that would have pulsated the Glow to your heartbeat is not an included feature in the model I tested.

The controller I mentioned, though definitely big and bulky, serves several purposes. It’s a five way remote control that does what you’d expect, including allowing you to change volume and skip tracks as well as snapping photos from your smart phone. But it also acts as a remote control for photo taking too, giving it a nice extra function.

I like that Glow headphones’ earpieces have a hook design that holds them securely in your ears, and as you would expect there are different size attachments so you can fit them to you.

While the sound seems rather tinny and a bit hollow and not what I’d call high-quality, that’s probably OK, since I’m pretty sure these headphones are meant for a younger crowd that isn’t as demanding when it comes to sound quality.

I suspect these will be a popular item this holiday season, as they’re like nothing else on the market right now, particularly when it comes to headphones. I see Glow being a huge must-have for teens and kids in particular.

The Glow headphones originated on Kickstarter, but will be available in Canada exclusively from Bell.    You can also find them here.

To have a look inside the package, watch my short unboxing and test video.

Health and Wellness Gadgets on CTV Tech Talk

tech talk novemberFrom a brain sensing headband, to a Wi-Fi scale and even a laser razor, we looked a an interesting variety of gadgets on CTV’s Tech Talk this week.

Muse Brain Sensing Headband

museThis is a gadget I found unexpectedly cool.  The Muse headband helps you relax or meditate by playing a guided relaxation session, while you wear the Muse headband, which senses your brain activity. From a 3 minute meditation to 45, Muse will talk you through relaxed breathing exercises, then display the results of your brain activity during this time. I tested it out over a couple weeks and with different friends and coworkers and was surprised to find it worked really well. A full review and explainer will be on the blog soon. Meantime, you can get your hands (or brain) on one at Best Buy for $249.

iHealth Scale

IHEALTH

A digital scale that’s sleek and pretty, this is a nicer addition to your bathroom than what’s standardly available.  iHealth connects to you phone via Wi-Fi and tracks and stores your weight or BMI data, and it can even be shared with your doctor or a fitness buddy. The backlit display even auto-adjusts brightness based on how dim or bright the room is. The iHealth scale is available at Best Buy for $49.

Philips Beardtrimmer 9000 Laser Razor

IMG_7413The Beardtrimmer 9000 is a standard trimmer by many accounts, but it has a few cool features that are making it popular with men, including lasers. The lasers act as a guide to give you nice even edges to your facial fur. Read the full review on the blog here. You can also pick one up from Best Buy for $79.

Sony Xperia Z5 Smartphone from Bell

Sony Xperia Z5We also shared info about the Sony Xperia Z5 smartphone giveaway — the same phone James Bond uses in the new movie Spectre–  on the CTV contest site.  Click here to be redirected to the site to enter.

Don’t forget to follow Erin on Instagram and Twitter @ErinLYYC and Like the Facebook page for tech news and gadget updates.

Philips Beardtrimmer 9000 uses the power of frikkin’ LASERS on your face + WIN one!

beardtrimmer 4It was hard to resist the lure.  Philips contacted me to ask if I’d be interested in learning more about their new beard trimmer.  Before I could say no, the representative added, “it has lasers”.

The Beardtrimmer 9000 is a standard trimmer by many accounts, but it has a few cool features that are making it popular with men, including the aforementioned lasers.

The Beardtrimmer 9000 has a dual-sided reversible trimmer head, for starters.  Philips describes it this way, “on one side, the 1 17/64″ (32mm) high-performance trimmer cuts very close while protecting your skin. On the other side, the 5/8″ (15mm) precision trimmer creates a detailed look, even in those hard-to-reach areas like under the nose and around the mouth. The trimmer’s small size and angled design make it easy to see what you are doing for accurate fine lines and details.”

How Philips Beardtrimmer 9000 works

To select your preferred trim length, just turn the zoom wheel on the handle until the length you want is displayed. Your chosen length is now ‘locked in’ for a precise and even trim.  When you turn on the razor, and enable the lasers (you can also shut them off), it shoots out a red line so you can see exactly where the razor is cutting.frikkin lasers

The laser (does anyone else hear Dr Evil in their head when someone says “lasers”?) guidance system projects a long, sharp line of light to guide your trim, pointing out where the hairs will be cut so you get it right every time.

The beard trimmer is cleaned by just rinsing the water-resistant trimmer under the tap.

Men test the Beardtrimmer 9000

Since I’m not a man and have no beard, I shared the Beardtrimmer 9000 with two men I know; my husband Roger (who will occasionally rock a bit of stubble) and neighbour, Mr. Gary (who sports a medium length beard).075E4FC4-17DD-41C4-A315-1E131764EEE5

While both men liked the trimmer itself, they found the laser was kind of “overkill”.  Roger (short stubble) said it didn’t help him much with his shave, as there wasn’t a whole lot of “guiding” needed, while Mr. Gary thought it was a bit much, and hard to get used to the laser lines jetting across his face.

“I’m not this exacting when I’m styling my beard,” he told me.

Roger adds, “Laser beams need to be stationary to work.  If the beam on the razor is moving while you are, it’s hard to keep things in line.”

So I was able to glean that this might be a better product for someone who is a little more exacting with their “manscaping” and rocks a much more precise beard.

While I was observing these shaves, I thought it looked neat to see the lasers lining up exactly where the trimming would happen, but I guess not being a man, I didn’t understand that shaving is apparently more of a “do it by feel” kind of manly grooming task that, unlike missile launching, leveling things, and eye surgery, doesn’t need laser guidance.

Gadget Spy Needed: we’ll give you a Beardtrimmer 9000

This is where I need your help.

Philips has given us one of these Beardtrimmer 9000s to give away.  Check out the Geeks and Beats website during the month of November to see how to win one. Details will be posted shortly. I’d love some feedback from the winner of this super cool gadget after he’s tested it out.beardtrimmer3

For more information on the Beardtrimmer 9000, click here.