Christmas Tech Guide 2015
Plantronics BackBeat SENSE Bluetooth Headphones – £129.99
Let’s start by saying this: wireless headphones are the future of portable audio. The new Plantronic BackBeat SENSE headphones offer up style and comfort whilst still maintaining a very high level of quality. As well as looking the part, they are also incredibly light at only 141g. The soft padding on the headband adjusts itself perfectly to your head height to offer up a luxury level of comfort. Because the ear pads rest on your ears without encompassing them, they also don’t burn your ears to a crisp after five minutes. If you have used any Bluetooth headphones in the past then the music and volume controls on the BackBeat SENSE headphones will be familiar to you.
The SENSE know when you take them off and will pause the music automatically, only to resume it when you put them back on. One of my favourite features is a simple red button which pauses the music and lets you hear the outside world via a built-in microphone. In terms of sound quality, they offer some great bass power with impressive low-end sturdiness, but manage to match that with a balanced and clear sound which brings out the depth in almost any song we tested them with. Despite the ear pads being moderately sized and simply resting upon your ears, the sound they create is entirely immersive and makes live performances seem so expansive, as if you were actually there.
Although still a newcomer to the consumer headphone industry, Plantronics have created a very capable and stylish pair of Bluetooth headphones with the Backbeat SENSE. They are intuitive, easy to setup and provide an outstanding sound quality for the price. If you were thinking of purchasing some wireless headphones at some point, I would stop thinking and invest in this pair. The Plantronics BackBeat SENSE retail at £129.99, and you can find out more information about them and where to buy them on the Plantronics website.
Nespresso Pixie Clips – £139.00
As well as being a visually stunning coffee machine, the Nespresso Pixie Clips also makes a mean Espresso in record time. It’s a joy to look at, with a sleek minimalist design and an emphasis on bright colours; it’s also very customisable. The two panels on each side can be taken off and replaced with a wide choice of harmonious colours and striking patterns
Using the machine was a simple process and required very little technical knowhow. The machine is a little loud whilst in use, which may wake you up before you’ve even started on your coffer, but we had no issues using it and found it to be one of the fastest coffee machines we’ve tried.
During our testing of the Pixie Clips we were lucky enough to try out the limited edition Christmas capsules, which include Ciocco Ginger, Vanilla Amaretti and Vanilla Cardamom. Our favourite flavour was Vanilla Cardamom, but all of the Christmas capsules bring a warm aroma to the kitchen and would be a joy for the whole family during the festive season.
When you combine the Pixie Clips with the Aeroccino milk frother, you have a winning combination for creating all types of coffee. All you need to do is pour your milk in and press a button on the front. You can enjoy creamy frothed milk for lattes, and airy milk foam for cappuccinos in seconds. If iced drinks are more up your alley, you can even froth cold milk. There are also plenty of affordable bundles which include the Nespresso Aeroccino 3 milk frother.
Overall the Nespresso Pixie Clips is a flamboyant and efficient coffee machine which would easily cater to all coffee lovers around the world. You can pick one up today for £139 (or £179 with an Aeroccino milk frother), and to find out more information about it visit the Nespresso website.
Raumfeld One S – £139.99
The Raumfeld One S is the Pandora’s Box of wireless speakers. Despite being only 18cm wide and 13cm high, the One S manages to deliver some truly astonishing sound. The design of the enclosure could easily be described as sleek and minimalistic, and the materials used show that this is a high end product.
In terms of performance, the One S features a 2-way coax system plus two 95mm passive bass radiators; together these deliver a powerful bass-driven sound. From rock and pop to classical and acoustic, the One S performs exceptionally well with whatever’s thrown at it. The most impressive aspect for me, however, is the bass. Such a small device couldn’t possibly be compared with a huge and expensive subwoofer, but thanks to the 50-watt bi-amping technology, the One S delivers dynamic bass that can still bring the house down – or at least my bedside table.
As well as streaming from your own private music collection, the One S can also stream from Spotify, Napster, TuneIn, MTV Music, WiMP, and simfy. The Raumfeld app allows for easy integration with all of these services, and multiple users can quickly take control of the device to show off their taste in music. By installing more than one device around your house, the One S quickly becomes a family-oriented hub of music.
The Raumfeld One S is a brilliant taster and serves as a great introduction to the Raumfeld wireless systems, and whether or not it’s working by itself or in conjunction with more devices, it provides breath-taking sound at a very reasonable price. By combining discreet, sleek design with high quality audio components, Raumfeld have succeeded in creating a miniature masterpiece. You can pick one up now from the Raumfeld website for a reduced price of £139.99!
Disclosure: For this blog post we were able to gain access to a sample product or service.
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