12 Great Gifts for Dads and Grads  – and win $150 gift card and more!

12 Great Gifts for Dads and Grads – and win $150 gift card and more!

With Father’s Day rapidly approaching and graduation right around the corner you may be on the look out for the perfect gift for the man in your life. The iMums have brought together 12 gift ideas to suit a range of tastes and budgets. Is your man a music fan ? Does he love to take pictures with his iPhone ? Is grilling his passion? Maybe he needs a stylish new timepiece or needs help getting up in the morning or finding his car keys. We have ideas for all of these and more. We even have a chance to win some of these fabulous gifts – enter via the rafflecopters and be sure to check our list of open giveaways too !

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Giveaways and Special Offers

Toffee Cases have kindly given us a $150 Voucher for their website, this can be redeemed in Australia, NZ, USA, UK and Canada.

They are also having  a Father’s Day sale- for 20% off site wide use the code EOFY20 – Enter to win the $150 Voucher here

Jord Wood watches have given us a FieldCrest Maple Wood Watch Valued at $120 to giveaway  Enter to win the wood watch here

Grip & Shoot– have given us a complete Grip & Shoot package in white valued at $100 to giveaway – Enter here to win the Grip & Shoot

Griffin Technology are having a 20% off sale use the coupon code DADNGRAD for 20% off sitewide

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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ArtsCase giveaway for 2x Strongfit iPhone 5/5S cases
Discount code MOM30 – 30% off sitewide
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win some cookies from a mom owned and operated business

Win one of SIX Flash Magic Stick back up Battery and Flashlights from Powerocks USA -closed

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Toffee Cases is giving away 5 Flip Wallet Leather Cases (valued at $49.95 ea) for either iPhone5/5s or Samsung Galaxy S4
a Rafflecopter giveaway closed

 

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).
Incline Desktop Audio Loudspeaker by Definitive Technology – Review

Incline Desktop Audio Loudspeaker by Definitive Technology – Review


incline desktop

In the past I haven’t been a great fan of computer speakers, my image of them is tired looking plastic boxes with poor quality sound. However, the first time I read about the Incline desktop speakers from Definitive Technology I was intrigued. Definitive Technology have completely re-designed the desktop speaker with the Incline, introducing a number of features that are not usually seen in desktop audio. I was pleased to get the opportunity to review the Incline to see if they look and sound as good in real-life as they do on paper.

Right out of the box they look very different from standard desktop speakers, they are relatively tall, and instead of standing upright they incline at 9.5 degrees. The Incline speakers are quite heavily weighted, so they feel solid and stable, and they look elegant on a desktop with their aluminum base and black grille cloth top.

As you sit so close to desktop speakers, most aim directly at your torso, whereas the Incline is instead aimed at your ears. It makes perfect sense that this would make a noticeable difference to the audio quality you hear, and begs the question “why didn’t anyone think of this before?”

Another factor that affects the audio experience with desktop speakers is they need to be placed close together, giving a very narrow sound field, which tends to sound flat and 2 dimensional. Definitive Technology’s response to this is to make the Incline Speakers bipolar – each Incline has speakers on both front and back to give a much richer more 3-D sound. Its front facing panel features a ¾-inch silk dome tweeter, one 4-inch polymer cone mid/woofer that is pressure-coupled to a 4-inch bass radiator and a 1-1/2-inch full-range driver on the rear panel completes the Incline’s lineup. Each speaker is bi-amplified – so there are four 20-Watt amplifiers altogether. They have a built-in Digital Signal Processor which digitally adjusts and enhances the audio signal.

 

incline 2The Incline Speakers are self-powered, and have definite Left and Right speakers – these are clearly marked on the bottom of the speakers. The left speaker connects to the right, all other connections are made to the right speaker. At first glance the right speaker has 3 ports: a speaker output to connect to the left speaker, a power supply and a USB input. However, if you remove the plate cover you can access 3 additional ports: an digital optical input, a line input (3.5mm) and a sub-woofer output. The product handbook doesn’t mention that you need to remove this plate to access the ports, it would be useful to have this added. By using the line input you can also connect the speakers to any audio with a 3.5mm output such as an iPhone, tablet or MP3 player, though this doesn’t utilize the Incline’s DSP so the sound quality is good, but not as good as via the USB. The sub-woofer output allows you to connect an external sub-woofer if you prefer more bass. When connecting to a computer via USB there are 2 modes – pressing and holding the power button for 5 seconds and pressing either the + or – volume control allows you to changes between them. With the default method you can change the speaker volume via the computer, but if you are willing to use the volume control buttons on the right speaker instead, the second option has a purer signal path for the best quality sound. Once you have set this the speaker remembers your preference until you reset it.

Now for the most important question- how do they sound?

I tried out the Inclines with a variety of different musical genres and with movies. I was very impressed with the Incline’s performance when listening to music from my digital music collection on my MacBook Pro connected via USB. I have a large collection of music on my computer recorded via Apple lossless, and amongst the artists I tested it with were Bob Marley, Enya, Crash Test Dummies, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Billy Bragg and Wilco, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Mark Knopfler and a variety of traditional Irish music. Universally I found the sound to be very clear, crisp and balanced. The mid-range frequency is emphasized, they have a nice but not over-whelming bass and the is treble is clear creating a well-balanced sound. My preference is for a balanced rather than bass-heavy sound, and these speakers suited my preferences very well. If you prefer a  heavy booming bass you can add an optional sub-woofer, but if you want to clearly hear details of the music, the Incline is great as it is.  You can clearly hear the subtleties of different vocal ranges and pick out individual instruments. A song that demonstrated this well is the Superman Song by Crash Test Dummies –the main singer has a low, gravelly, bass voice that come across very clearly, but you can also hear the quiet backing soprano clearly.

With a flat screen external monitor and movie streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, I also enjoying watching movies via my computer. I tested the Incline speakers to see how they would perform for movie watching and they were great- they provided an immersive movie-watching experience which was a huge difference compared to listening via the MacBook Pro’s built-in speakers.

Overall, I was very impressed with the Incline Desktop Speakers performance. They look good, are very stable on the desktop, deliver impressive sound quality across a variety of different music genres and provide an immersive sound when movie watching. They provide a a well-balanced, crisp, clear sound, and the bipolar speaker design give a rich more three dimensional sound quality. As well as being used with a computer you can also use them to listen to music from an iPad, iPhone, mp3 player, or any audio source that has a USB, digital optical or headphone output jack. My one gripe is that it can be hard to find the hidden outputs, and that it would be nice to have a way to choose to have all the features in the left instead of right speaker, as my outlets and USB connectors are all on the left side of my computer so I do have to run all the wires across my desktop.

If you are ready to take your desktop audio to a new level I highly recommend the Incline Desktop Speakers from Definitive Technology. They have definitely changed my opinion on desktop audio- they look good, are a pleasure to listen to and are now a permanent feature in my office. Available from Definitive Technology.com and many retailers RRP $399 per pair. As of 11/2014 the price is now only $249/ pair.

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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.

Technical Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 11.3″ H x 5″ W x 4.4″ D
  • Front Driver complement: (1) 4″ bass/midrange driver, (1) 3/4″ silk dome tweeter; rear driver: (1) 4″ pressure coupled bass radiator
  • Amplifier power: 80 Watts (4×20)
  • Connections: Optical TOSLINK, USB, 3.5mm stereo “mini” analog line-level in, USB in, Port for firmware updates only; not an audio input, sub out, 20V DC power supply input, left speaker output port.

Materials:

  • Base: solid slab of machined aluminum
  • Enclosure: Polystone mineral-filled polymer, wrapped in acoustically transparent grille cloth

 

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).
UE MINI BOOM Bluetooth Speaker From Ultimate Ears- Review and Giveaway

UE MINI BOOM Bluetooth Speaker From Ultimate Ears- Review and Giveaway

Ultimate Ears have just launched their newest product – the UE MINI BOOM speaker. The UE MINI BOOM is a wireless Bluetooth Speaker for IOS and Android devices that is designed to be portable and social- you can take your music wherever you go and even pair up with a friend’s UE MINI BOOM for twice the sound or true stereo. Over the last few days The iMums have had the opportunity to test the UE MINI BOOM pre-release, we have done this with both the iPhone 5 and iPad.

red mini boom jpgThese are really cool speakers – small enough to carry with you. but with really, really big sound. Pairing them to your device via Bluetooth is really simple and the first time you do so it will ask if you wish to download the app. The UE MINI BOOM app is a free download. I love having the app- it allows you do do several things on your smartphone or tablet, right where you are using the speaker. The app includes a product manual – which means it is always to hand and you never have to search for a lost paper manual. If you have any questions that are left unanswered there are also links to call or email customer support.

mini boom and iphone

The app detects any connected UE MINI BOOM within range and and lets you adjust its settings from within the app. The UE MINI BOOM speakers come in a variety of color combinations and the app knows which color the speakers are, and shows the relevant picture. From the app you can re-name your speaker, check the battery charge, look up its serial number, switch alert sounds on or off and choose from 3 EQ settings. The EQ settings are Vocals- for talk radio, podcasts, narrated books and movies; Intimate- for small rooms, hard floors/ walls; and Out Loud – the default setting for most environments.

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The thing that most surprised me about these speakers was how loud they are – they really do put out a lot of volume for such a compact speaker, each speaker can put out up to 86 dB. The sound quality is good too, especially in the mid-range. As well as for listening to music, the UE MINI BOOM is a great choice when watching movies on the iPad. I love watching Netflix on the iPad, pairing it with the UE MINI BOOM really brings the movies to life; and I did not find a noticeable delay on the soundtrack as I have seen with some other Bluetooth speakers.

If you have more than one speaker available you can quickly and easily “double up”, the app gives you the option of having both speakers play both L and R channels, or you can assign L to one speaker and R to the other.

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The battery life is good- the manufacturer says up to 10 hours between charges and in my testing this was about right. They can be recharged via any USB using the included micro-USB cable. If the speaker is not in use for 15 minutes it automatically switches off – which is very useful for helping conserve battery when you forget to switch off the speaker (as I often do!).

It works well as a speakerphone too, at my end the quality of the call was great- really clear and easy to hear, callers on the other end said I sounded a little echoey but that the call was still very clear and easy to understand.

The Bluetooth range is up to 50ft- which is further than many similar speakers. However, in common with many Bluetooth devices, I did sometimes find signal drop-off if there were objects or people in the path between the music source and the speaker.

Overall, if you are looking for a small, portable, lightweight speaker that delivers big sound the UE MINI BOOM is a great choice.  The UE MINI BOOM deliver big, clear sound in a very compact package, it has a 10hr battery life, 50 ft Bluetooth range, 3 sound EQ profiles and you can even join two together for a true stereo experience.  The speaker is approximately 4.4’x 2.4″ x 2.6″ and weighs under 11 oz. Suitable for listening to music or watching movies on your smartphone or tablet, it retails for $99 and can be purchased from the Ultimate Ears website, or many retailers.

mini boom collection

Technical Specifications:

 

  • Size: (L x W x H): 111 mm x 67 mm x 61 mm
  • Weight: 301g
  • Maximum sound level: 86 dB
  • Frequency range: 20kHz to 130Hz
  • Drivers: Two 1.5-inch full range drivers; one 3-inch x 1.5-inch passive radiator
  • Micro USB rechargeable battery, with up to 10 hours of battery life between charges
  • Compatibility : Smartphones, tablets and other devices that support Bluetooth wireless audio profile [Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP)] or 3.5 mm audio output

recommended-by-the-imums

GIVEAWAY 

The iMums and Ultimate Ears want to give you a chance to join in the party too. If you would like to win your own MINI BOOM please enter via the widget below. OPEN TO USA ONLY.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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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