funkyfresh electronics

Logitech Harmony 650 Remote Review

The Logitech Harmony 650 Universal remote is super easy to program and works great but is a bit underwhelming ergonomically. Ironically, the remote resembles a unit that Comcast issues with its set top box but doesn't feel as good in the hand to operate. There's too many small buttons which makes it difficult to memorize favorites based on feel. That's disappointing for a $79 retail product.

The Logitech 650 Remote could not be any easier to setup. Download the software, enter the model numbers of the devices you want to control, customize the buttons to your liking and hit the synch button. Done.  Our only complaint here is Logitech's user survey kept popping up. Once would be okay. Every time we run the app is obnoxious.

In use the Harmony 650 works really well. It has multiple one touch buttons near the top of the remote that trigger typical TV activities and of course all of these can be customized to have all your devices do any sort of electronic dance you want. Very easy, very cool.

One of the most important features is the ability to control smart TVs such as Samsung and others. Essentially, these type of smart viewing devices offer deeper menus and the access to online services such as Pandora, Netflix, Hulu and also any personal NAS services you may have in the house. Again, the Harmony 650 worked without any hiccups.

The Harmony 650 retails for $79. We think the software and ease of programming help to justify the cost but would like to see better physical buttons and overall feel in the hand.

Visit Logitech for more information and to check out all the features. 

Bose SoundLink II Mobile Bluetooth Speaker Review

The Bose SoundLink II mobile Bluetooth speaker sounds very good, is extremely easy to use and feels substantial with quality buttons. We tested the unit with the black finish and dark nylon gray cover. It's an elegant design that is rugged enough to pack in a suitcase for trips.

We listened to a variety of music using Bluetooth and plugging directly into the AUX jack on the SoundLink II. The wireless performance is acceptable but impacts the fidelity of the signal. However, for convenience and background music it's a very good option. The best results of course are with the direction connection using the AUX jack.

The overall sound quality is good but a little muddy or what some might call a little boomy. We'd like a little more high end. However, for a speaker of this size the overall output and dynamic range is impressive. The Bose SoundLink II performs best when allowed some head room and not pushed too hard.

Bose claims the SoundLink II will run for about 8 hours with the built in rechargeable battery. We did most of our tests indoors so we tended to leave it plugged in. However, eight hours is plenty to make us feel comfortable about using it without an outlet nearby.

The nylon gray cover also serves as the kick stand for the SoundLink II. Simply pull it away from the front speaker and fold it under the unit and it supports itself perfectly. Very cool way to protect the front transducers and a allow a seamless transition to make the unit upright.

Bose tends to make great products. The company has an incredible innovation team and generally releases products that will be successful or kills them very late in the development process. The SoundLink II is an excellent choice for a portable powered Bluetooth speaker and we expect the build quality and Audi like buttons will provide many years of service.

Visit Bose for more informationa and to get all the specs on the SoundLink II.

Sanyo eneloop Rechargeable AA Batteries Review

Sanyo eneloop AA rechargeable batteries are good a place to start when investing in rechargeable batteries. We were very impressed with the performance of these batteries over an extended period of time using them in wireless mice, Wii remotes, RC toys, radios and misc portable devices.

Sanyo's latest eneloop technology allows the batteries to be recharged up to 1500 times and has improved the self discharge characteristics so the batteries have increased storage life, up to 3 years at 75%. We tend to use all of our rechargeable batteries simultaneously but this improved shelf offers more peace of mind in scenarios where real time swapping of batteries might be necessary such as working remotely or traveling.

The 2000mAh Ni-MH pre-charged batteries are also designed to work in extreme temperatures down to -4 F and Sanyo has worked to eliminate the memory effect so batteries can be recharged when fully or partially drained. We didn't notice any memory effect on our use and generally always filled up our charger with 4 batteries whether they needed charging or not.

The white casing and logo of the eneloop batteries help to make them stand out so they don't get thrown away accidentally.

Battery technology still has a long way to go but the Sanyo eneloop series offer good enough performance to warrant upgrading from disposable batteries.

Visit Panasonic / Sanyo to find out more about the eneloop brand and battery technology.