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Anker Premium Stereo Bluetooth Speaker Review: Big Sound for a Small Price

Sound Envy

About a year ago I was on an overseas beach vacation with the other BuysWithFriends guys. One of the guys brought a bluetooth speaker system. It just so happened that it led me to the opportunity to listen to sweet, melodious tunes pumped out of a Bose SoundLink mini bluetooth speaker.  I was instantly impressed but knew that along with Bose’s impressive reputation for quality was also an impressive reputation for priciness. When I came home, I thought about beefing up our in-home sound capability. I was already benefiting from better sound on the road with an Anker portable speaker. This led me to do some more research and I ultimately settled on an Anker Premium Stereo Bluetooth Speaker for our living room. How did it go?


Fire TV Stick Box

Amazon Fire TV Stick: Better than Chromecast and Apple TV?

I went away to the Catskills with some friends this past weekend. While I was eager to explore the outdoors and enjoy a break from city living, I also knew that a new episode of Game of Thrones would air on Sunday night. I didn’t want to stream it on my iPhone or laptop. I wanted to enjoy it on a TV. I knew the AirBnB we were staying at would have a TV, but there was no mention of a streaming device with HBO Now.

While I own an older Apple TV and Google Chromecast, I decided to buy the Amazon Fire TV Stick. For $39.99 (for the standard non-voice remote), it seemed worthwhile not having to deal with unplugging them and untangling them from the mess of wires behind my TV. Also, I wasn’t sure Chromecast would reliably stream HBO Now. I was also interested in getting a device that would let me stream Amazon Video without using my laptop. So how did it go?


Next to a Macbook Air for size

Anker Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker: The Best Sound Bang for the Buck

The Sound Revolution

I never used to care about sound. Despite my musical upbringing and pop music obsession, for the last five years I’ve endured the tinny sound of my Macbook Air (and now Macbook Pro).For anyone that lives in a city and has to have Netflix compete with sirens, you know that good solid sound is prized. About eight months ago I decided that I’d give one of these fancy Bluetooth speakers a try. I didn’t want to lug something around that was too big and didn’t want to spend close to $200 for a system like Beats. So my criteria was set: something portable, with decent durability for travel circumstances, good battery life, and decent sound. After doing a ton of review of the reviews (there seem to be more bluetooth speakers out there than grains of sand on earth) I decided to get an Anker Portable Wireless Speaker for about $35. So what I do think of it after using it for the last half year plus? Read on to find out!



Leatherman Tread Review: 29 tools but will you actually use any of them?


29-tools on your wrist

When I first heard about the Leatherman Tread, I was super excited. TSA-compliant multi-tool that I can wear on my wrist? Say no more. I’m a gear nut and this seemed right up my alley. Even after reading some not-so-flattering Leatherman Tread Reviews I was still convinced that buying one would be the right move.

My reaction to the Leatherman Tread announcement
My reaction to the Leatherman Tread announcement

So it has been three months since I got the Tread. Was it worth it?



An epic review of the BauBax Jacket, one of the most backed (and delayed) Kickstarter projects ever

Well, I finally received my BauBax Jacket. I purchased two BauBax Sweatshirts in July 2015 for $229 total and received them about three weeks ago. I waited an extra six months beyond the advertised estimated delivery date which is likely better than many other backers who have yet to receive their jacket or only just now received it. The delays started generating news stories in late December and backers have grown increasingly frustrated, likely caused by hearing news about two other highly backed projects that ran into problems, the Zano Drone and the Coolest Cooler.

I wore my BauBax jacket for three weeks straight to get a good idea of how it would hold up to the intensity of travel and also to test the usefulness of the fifteen much touted features. During the test period, the temperature ranged from 45-80 degrees F. On the 80 degree day, the sweatshirt was very uncomfortable (great for outdoor wear in 45-65 degree weather). So how did the rest of my experience go? Read on to find out!


Source Fitbit

Fitbit Charge HR: Your All In One Activity Tracker

It seems like everyone is trying to get in on the wearable tech band wagon. Brands like Garmin, Jawbone, and Fitbit occupy a crowded market and of course there is the Apple Watch. Others have also tried to push the fashion aspect, for example Withings Activite, which emphasizes its styling over functionality. After doing extensive research on a slew of these activity trackers I decided to pick up the Fitbit Charge HR. Has it been a game changer? (more…)


How to save time by… brushing your teeth?

I have seen the future and it is… a high tech subscription service for toothbrushes and toothpaste? Quip has been called a variety of names by different tech reviewers including: the Tesla of toothbrushes, sleek and elegant, the best toothbrush ever, best new brush, and even the Uber of toothbrushes. With these reviews and a price point of $25 for a plastic handle and $40 for the brushed metal version, regular and travel toothpaste, I decided to give it a try since the price point is on the lower end of electric toothbrushes which apparently work as well as the higher end $150 versions. I was due for a new toothbrush anyways (I keep breaking the fancy Philips Sonicare versions, two so far). So how did it go?



I tried a Soylent only diet. Here’s how it went.

Last year, one of our good friends, Saad, visited us in Philadelphia. Saad is an engineer at Palantir and told me about Soylent. I had seen ads for it Soylent on the Internet but hadn’t gotten up the courage to try. After all, I’m a huge fan of food, a la my affinity for Blue Apron. He said I had to try it as it would save me time. He further emphasized that if I was throwing away calories in the afternoon I might as well save some time and get a “balanced” meal while I was at it. This last point rang true, I’ll sometimes eat just a Probar or perhaps a sandwich from a local food cart. I was skeptical at first. But I decided to take the plunge. I asked Saad to order me a box and a mixing pitcher (at that time, Soylent was 5-6 weeks backordered for new customers and it was easier to get it through someone who is already a subscriber). So how did it go?