Category Archives: Speakers

Edifier MP200 – Portable Bluetooth Speakers that are as colourful as life

Like many of us, I have become used to playing music through my smartphone in hands-free mode, especially when I’m getting ready for work in the morning. Our phones now have sufficient audio production and volume to produce music at a respectable quality, but their physical size limitations mean that they aren’t able to produce similar results to traditional speakers.

Rubber Sealed SD Card and USB Socket
Rubber Sealed SD Card and USB Socket

Portable speakers have become a popular addition for the music enthusiasts and casual listeners and we now expect excellent audio quality from extremely low-cost devices and fill the gap where our smartphones fail. So, this month I have been testing the Edifier MP200 Bluetooth 4.1 Portable Speaker.

Edifier MP200
Edifier MP200

The MP200 is a relatively small cubic speaker measuring 2-inches in each direction. Featuring both IP54 rated splash and dust protection, the speaker is coated in brightly coloured rubberised material with the addition of a hand-string to carry around your wrist or hang in your bathroom. The Micro SD card slot and Micro USB charging port are both sealed with a rubber cap which means it will function appropriately in a bathroom or even outdoors on a camping trip or barbeque courtesy of its IP54 rating. You may have seen IP ratings on your smartphone packaging, it’s a 2 digit rating scale the ‘5’ of IP54 means it is ‘dust protected’, whereas the ‘4’ means it is ‘splash proof’.

Answer, Power and Music Controls
Answer, Power and Music Controls

The speaker comes with three buttons on the top which control which allows you to power on the device (with a pleasant start-up sound), pause or stop the music and a ‘call answer’ function when it is paired to your phone (although I’m not sure I would be up for conducting a hands-free call in the shower!). On the side of the speaker up two further volume up and down buttons. All these buttons situated underneath the rubberised material and easy to operate.

Edifier is quoting 12 hours playing time between charges which fits in well with my experience of using the speaker for a few minutes every morning and not needing to charge it for weeks. So it should happily provide entertainment for many hours at a time.

Audio quality, the speaker really shines and provides an incredibly impressive full range of sound and when cranked up, it doesn’t lose quality. I’ve used several of these kinds of this type speaker and I was really impressed with the MP200.

The audiophiles, the specs are as follows:-

RMS 5.5W
Noise Level: ≥30dB(A)
Freq. Response: 150Hz~14kHz
Input Sens: Bluetooth / USB audio streaming: 300 ± 50mFFS
Input Type: microSD card / Bluetooth 4.1 / USB audio streaming
Speaker Unit: 2 inches (48 mm)
Range: 10 metres (Bluetooth 4.1)

The MP200 is a fabulous speaker, available in seven colours and at £29.99, it’s a bargain (and a great gift idea for the up and coming festivities).

Matt Porter
www.thegadgetman.org.uk

Gadget Man – Episode 141 – Amazon Alexa is now providing NHS Medical Advice

The UK Government’s ‘Department for Health and Social Care’ have today announced a collaboration between themselves and Multi-Billion Dollar tech firm Amazon to provide NHS website information via the popular Alexa platform.

Amazon Dot running Alexa next to a pill
Amazon Dot running Alexa can now assist with NHS based medical information

With immediate effect, UK owners of the Alexa based devices such as the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot will now be able to request medical information by asking their devices.

This morning, I spoke to Mark Murphy from BBC Radio Suffolk about the devices and their potential uses in health. You can listen in via the link about. Don’t forget to Like, Share, Subscribe and Comment!!

The press release is as follows:-

Press Release – 10 July 2019

The NHS is collaborating with Amazon to provide reliable health information from the NHS website through voice-assisted technology. 

The technology will help patients, especially the elderly, blind and those who cannot access the internet through traditional means, to get professional, NHS-verified health information in seconds, through simple voice commands.

Amazon’s algorithm uses information from the NHS website to provide answers to voice questions such as:

  • “Alexa, how do I treat a migraine?”
  • “Alexa, what are the symptoms of flu?”
  • “Alexa, what are the symptoms of chickenpox”

The technology has the potential to reduce the pressure on the NHS and GPs by providing information for common illnesses.

Voice search has been increasing rapidly. By 2020, half of all searches are expected to be made through voice-assisted technology.

NHSX will look at ways of making more NHS services available to all patients through digital technology. The announcement supports the commitment in the NHS Long Term Plan to make more NHS services available digitally.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said:

We want to empower every patient to take better control of their healthcare and technology like this is a great example of how people can access reliable, world-leading NHS advice from the comfort of their home, reducing the pressure on our hardworking GPs and pharmacists.

Through the NHS Long Term Plan, we want to embrace the advances in technology to build a health and care system that is fit for the future and NHSX will drive this revolution to bring the benefits to every patient, clinician and carer.

Matthew Gould, Chief Executive of NHSX, said:

The public need to be able to get reliable information about their health easily and in ways they actually use. By working closely with Amazon and other tech companies, big and small, we can ensure that the millions of users looking for health information every day can get simple, validated advice at the touch of a button or voice command.

Part of our mission at NHSX is to give citizens the tools to access services and information directly, and partnerships such as this are an important part of achieving this.

Gadget Man – Episode 133 – Alexa is now reading Bedtime Stories

In this podcast episode, I speak to Mark Murphy at BBC Radio Suffolk about reports that Smart Speakers are now taking parents places by reading stories to children.

Intelligent Assistant Smart Speaker
Intelligent Smart Speakers are now taking over parental responsibilities in some cases.

BookTrust surveyed 1000 parents and discovered that 25% have used Alexa or Siri to read stories to their children.

Here I discuss the survey with Mark and how the changing face of parenting has lead to the use of smart speakers to step-in when parenting becomes too busy.

You can listen in to the episode by clicking on the play button above, or subscribe using your favourite podcast app by clicking the subscribe button.

Thanks for reading and listening in and see you next time.

Matt

Gadget Man – Episode 129 – Gadgets in the Home

It was great to be on BBC Radio Suffolk this morning, talking with Wayne Bavin about Gadgets used in the home.

Following the first episode of Hard to Please OAP’s on ITV1, I spoke to Wayne about Gadgets which are used regularly and less regularly in our homes.

It was fun to chat about Soda-Stream, Amazon Alexa, Sandwich Toasters, Waffle Irons and all the good and bad tech now found in our homes.

You can listen in to the latest podcast to hear what I had to say and also how I managed to link this to watching an old episode of Terry and June.

Enjoy listening and don’t forget to Like, Share, Subscribe and I will see you next time!

Matt

Gadgets Featured in this Podcast on Amazon
Gadgets Featured in this Podcast on Amazon

 

Gadget Man Episode 128 – The World Wide Web turns 30!!

It only seems like yesterday when I was talking about the World Wide Web turning 25 years old and now before we know it, it’s now 30 years since the first HTML web page was authored and published by Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

The Web is, without doubt, the greatest invention of all time. It has made our planet smaller, brought together people from all walks of life and from every corner of the globe. It has made the world a much more accessible place, we can reach out to our idols and they can communicate back to us. We can transverse the globe and watch sunrises on opposite sides of the planet as they happen.

It truly is a modern wonder of the world. Cheers, Sir Tim!!

Sir Tim arriving at the Guildhall to receive the Honorary Freedom of the City of London - Image Credit - Paul Clarke
Sir Tim arriving at the Guildhall to receive the Honorary Freedom of the City of London – Image Credit – Paul Clarke

To find out how Sir Tim Berners-Lee is working towards a better Internet, visit his website.

To find out how CERN is celebrating, visit the World Wide Web at 30.

With the wonders of the web brings ‘Smart Assistants’, they are on our phones, computers and now independently as ‘Smart Speakers’, another true wonder borne from the internet, serving our every need and answering the answerable. These ubiquitous electronic pucks offer a gateway to enormous artificial intelligence-driven knowledgebases that are themselves learning as well learn from us, Machine Learning is driven by millions of users.

Of course, every now and then our assistants flicker or make strange noises, we might wonder if these are simply glitches or the first sparks of self-awareness?

I spoke to Mark Murphy at BBC Radio Suffolk about both Smart Speakers and the 30th Anniversary of the Web. Listen in above and don’t forget to LIKE, SHARE and SUBSCRIBE. See you next time!!