Cardo BK-I Duo Bluetooth®  Cycling Communication System – Review

Cardo BK-I Duo Bluetooth® Cycling Communication System – Review

cardo duo2

Summary

Overall, this is a great communication system for bike riders, it works really well, is simple to use, can be used handsfree, it is a great safety aid for parents riding with children and  to be able to easily chat whilst riding is fun too!

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

Cardo Systems Inc. is well known for its Bluetooth® communication systems for motorcycles and other head protection helmets. It has been producing the scala rider® line for 10 years and was a pioneer in this category. The Cardo  BK-I line was introduced in 2012 as its first Bluetooth® communication system designed especially for cyclists. Originally available only to professional cycling teams the BK-1 line is now available for sale to the general public. The Cardo BK-1 Duo is a pair of Cardo BK-1’s  that come already paired. I tested the system out on bike rides with my family.

I was very impressed with the packaging of the Cardo BK-I Duo, it comes in a nice hard-sided travel case with individual spots for all the parts, making it very easy to keep it organized when not in use. It comes with it’s own charger and it is a good idea to fully charge before the first use. Once it is charged, set up is pretty straight forward though it takes a few minutes, so it’s a good idea to do it ahead of time, rather than when your child is waiting to go for a ride!

I must admit when I first heard of the BK-1 I thought it would be useful with my 10 year-old, but that I wouldn’t be able to use it with my 6 year-old twins who have just mastered riding a bike without training wheels. I was wrong!! It is really simple to use and can be voice activated so even very young children can use it, and they don’t need to take their hands off the handlebars at all!

We live near the coast and have a beautiful coastal bike trail so my daughter and I decided to test out the BK-1 on a mother-daughter ride. My daughter is only 6 and hadn’t ridden the trail before, so I was a little nervous about the many places it crosses the road. The BK-1 performed beautifully – I could easily tell her when obstacles were coming up that she needed to slow down or stop for, and I could gently remind her which side of the path she should be on when we met oncoming pedestrians or cyclists. Activating it was easy – if I spoke loudly it would switch on the headset and then I could speak at a normal volume and she could hear me clearly. Not being used to wearing a microphone she did knock it out of position part-way through the ride, but even with the microphone positioned away from her mouth I could still hear her clearly.

Mother

BK-1 Duo Cycling Communication System from Cardo in action

My daughter thought it was fun to be able to talk to me throughout the ride, and it gave me a lot of peace of mind to be able to give her safety instructions without having to ride alongside and shout. It was very clear and easy to hear, even when there was wind and traffic noise. It was also great for discussing where and when we wanted to take breaks, though we had so much fun on the ride that we cycled almost 9 miles!

The BK-1 connects to your smartphone (or GPS) via Bluetooth, I also tested it out on other occasions listening to music from my iPhone, and receiving calls, and it worked very well for those too.

The system consists several parts. A cradle attaches to your bicycle helmet using velcro straps that go through the ventilation holes, and the main BK-1 snaps into place on the cradle. The audio kit has 2 speakers that sit inside your helmet – these are kept in place with adhesive backed velcro strips (included) that you place inside your helmet, as they are tiny speakers rather than headphones you can still hear traffic noise – which is important for safety when bike riding. The right audio kit also has a flexible mic attached.  The left speaker is optional – so with my daughter I only had her use the right speaker, with mic, I used both speakers for myself.

 

Overall, this is a great communication system for bike riders, it works really well, is simple to use, can be used handsfree. It is a great safety aid for parents riding with children, and it’s fun to be able to easily chat whilst riding. The only downside is the cost, it adds up quickly if you have more than 2 family members using it.

Available from Cardo online store and bike stores RRP BK-1 (single cyclist) $209, Bk-1 Duo (2 paired units) $389

cardo duo

 

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
WoodTones Over-The-Ear Headphones by Griffin Technology – Review and Giveaway

WoodTones Over-The-Ear Headphones by Griffin Technology – Review and Giveaway

 

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Summary

Overall, the WoodTones headphones from Griffin Technology are a great choice for a $100 headphone- they look beautiful with their combination of and black and rich wood grain, they’re comfortable and provide a balanced, warm rich sound

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

The WoodTones Over-The-Ear Headphones by Griffin Technology, as the name suggests, feature real wood, giving them a beautiful organic look.  The wood is used for the ear cups, which Griffin says improves the acoustic quality, and for trim around the connectors on either end of the removable headphone cord. They are available in 3 wood choices- Beech, Walnut and Sapele, I tested the Sapele – an African wood with a rich mid-brown color.

The earcups are rectangular instead of the traditional round shape, and that coupled with the real wood grain gives them  a distinctive look. The rest of the headphone is black, giving a nice contrast to the wood grain. They have a self-adjusting headband- just slip it on and it adjusts to fit different head-sizes without having to change settings. The earcups swivel and can turn sideways to the headphones can lie flat for storage, they don’t come with a carrying case, which would be a nice additional feature.

There are a lot headphones in the $100 price range on the market, one thing that make the WoodTones stand out from the crowd  is how comfortable they are. They are lightweight and nicely padded,  I have worn them for several hours at a time comfortably.  They work best if you are staying in one place – I found that if I used them when walking or exercising they did tend to slip, but this didn’t occur when using them at a desk or in a chair.

The cord is detachable, which is a nice feature as cords are often where headphones fail, and it’s much cheaper to replace a faulty cord than a set of headphones. The cord has an inline Mic, allowing you to answer calls, and also has pause/play and  next/ previous track buttons, but no volume control.

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For listening they do have a warm, rich, mellow sound, with a balanced audio profile. If you want booming bass these probably won’t be your headphones of choice, but if you prefer a balanced sound with the mid-range accentuated these are a great choice for their price.

Overall, the WoodTones headphones from Griffin Technology are a great choice for a $100 headphone- they look beautiful with their combination of and black and rich wood grain, they’re comfortable and provide a balanced, warm rich sound.

Available in a choice of Beech, Walnut or Sapele RRP $99.99 from GriffinTechnology.com and from Amazon and other online retailers.

Giveaway

One lucky winner will get a pair of WoodTones Over The Ear Headphones – enter via Rafflecopter below. Open Worldwide. Winner will be emailed and must respond within 48 hours to claim their prize

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Technical Specifications:

  • Hand-turned wood enclosures
  • 50 mm moving coil neodymium magnet drivers
  • Over 90-degree pivoting earphones
  • Impedance: 32 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 108 dB ± 3 dB
  • Frequency response: 20 to 20,000 Hz
  • Detachable 1/8″ (3.5 mm) cable with built-in mic
  • Built-in mic also has controls for Siri, call answering and hangup and audio (play, pause, next/previous track)

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
10 Great Gift Ideas for Moms / Mums

10 Great Gift Ideas for Moms / Mums

Whether you are shopping for Mother’s day, a birthday or just a gift for the woman in your life it can be hard to find the perfect gift. If she has become a little tired of the same old flowers or chocolates here are some fresh gift ideas she will love, there are gifts to suit a range of budgets. We have included iPhone accessories, iPad accessories, and a range of other gifts for the special woman in your life.

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Mother’s Day Giveaways and Sales

We also have some great deals and giveaways to celebrate Mother’s Day, click on the links:

Mia Tui USA has given us an Olivia Bag in Plum to giveaway!

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ArtsCase giveaway for 2x Strongfit iPhone 5/5S cases
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Win some cookies from a mom owned and operated business

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Toffee Cases is giving away 5 Flip Wallet Leather Cases (valued at $49.95 ea) for either iPhone5/5s or Samsung Galaxy S4
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Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
WoodTones Earbuds with Control Mic by Griffin Technology – Review

WoodTones Earbuds with Control Mic by Griffin Technology – Review

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The WoodTones Earbuds with Control Mic by Griffin Technology are a more organic-looking alternative to the Apple Earpods for for iPhone, Android or tablet. They feature real wood enclosures engraved with the Griffin logo and a choice of soft rubber tips. The earbuds have an inline mic/ controller to allow you to answer calls on your iPhone and change music tracks.

I’ve been testing these earbuds out for a couple of months and they have become my preferred everyday earbuds for listening to music and answering calls when out walking. I take my dog out for walks everyday and use these to keep up on phone calls whilst I walk, and to listen to music when I’m not on the phone.

They work very well for taking phone calls  – I can hear the other person clearly and get no complaints about call quality at the other end, if the music is playing when a call comes in it stops whilst I take the call and restarts afterwards. If you press and hold the mic button it will activate Siri.

The earbuds come with a hemp fiber drawstring carrying pouch, which is useful for storage, and 2 extra pairs of soft rubber tips in different sizes. I used the standard tips that came installed on the earbuds and find them comfortable and stay in place well in my ears.


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For listening to music the sound is crisp and clear with no crackles, obviously they don’t have the same depth of sound as a $200 over the ear headphone, but the sound quality is very good for the price point. With the earbuds properly fitted they do a good job of cutting out ambient noise. The in-line mic can be used to pause the music or change track, but there is no in-line volume control.

The WoodTones Earbuds are a great alternative to Apple Earpods – they are comfortable, look and sound good and make a great pair of everyday earbuds.

Available in Beech or Sapele Wood RRP $29.99 from GriffinTechnology.com, a version without inline mic/ control is also available for $19.99.

Technical Specifications:

  • 8 mm moving coil neodymium magnet drivers for powerful sound
  • In-line control mic works with Siri and many other voice control systems
  • Impedance: 16 ohms ± 15%
  • Sensitivity: 103 dB ± 3 dB
  • Frequency response: 20 to 20,000 Hz
  • 4 foot TPE-jacketed cable with gold-plated 1/8″ (3.5 mm) plug

recommended-by-the-imums

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

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