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ACTION CAMS

Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K 

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Xiaomi Yi

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My favourite USB battery power Pack

This is the excellent USB power pack I use when I travel.

2 x 2.1amp outputs. 8400mAh capacity.

Two digit Led display shows battery level

 

What SD CARD should I buy?

If you want an SD Card for your camera - these are the ones I use and recommend. 

I'd strongly recommend not to buy any SD cards off ebay - I've heard about too many issues with counterfeit cards - often sold on by unwitting resellers. My inbox regularly gets messages from people who bought a £150 camera then cheaped out and bought a £3 memory card on ebay - Then when it doesn't worth they blame the camera! It doesn't make any sense. Good memory is cheaper than it's ever been - see the links above.

A lot of HD cameras will not work properly with cards larger than 32GB (cards over 32GB are usually SDXC rather than the SDHC standard used by 32GB cards. SDXC cards use the ex-FAT system rather than FAT32 - in short they are a different standard). - so don't just buy the biggest card you can afford - read the specs in the manual to see what it accepts.

UK & US LINKS & PRICES BELOW

RECOMMENDED CARDS (for action cams - see dashcams below)

CLASS 10 UHS-1 CARDS (For HD Cameras)

 

U3 CARD (For 4K cameras)

 

 

SPECIAL DASHCAM CARDS

The SD card in a dashcam is re-written over, more frequently than in other types of cameras. Some manufacturers void their guarantee if an SD card was used in a dashcam. So, no surprise, there are special High Endurance SD cards made just for dashcams...here's some.

 

VERY IMPORTANT. These links take you to the product, however Amazon have three different ways of selling. There's Amazon Direct - This means that you are only dealing with Amazon themselves, then there's other sellers that use Amazon's facilities - these show as Fulfilled By Amazon and finally there's Market Place sellers that advertise on Amazon, but operate independently.  I strongly recommend that you only use the first...the Amazon Direct - Sold By Amazon option. Even if it appears that you are paying a couple of £/$ more it is more than likely you are comparing the price of a real item against the price of a fake.

To give you an idea of the extent of the fake goods problem. In a 2016 survey by Apple - 90% of the 'Apple' chargers sold through Amazon - using the other the two methods..which includes the "Fulfilled by Amazon" option -  were found to be counterfeit....90%! 

 
« LG PF1000U Minibeam Ultra Short Throw Projector - Home Demonstration | Main | The Vinyl Turntable Birthday Card »
Sunday
Sep272015

Three Budget Headphone Tube Amplifiers reviewed.

Until I bought three headphone amplifiers to test I'd never contemplated using one myself. The headphone-out socket on my music playing devices always seemed perfectly good enough. Even now, I believe the benefits of a headphone amp will only be fully realised by someone who has excellent hearing and is using a high-end pair of headphones that need more power to drive properly. However I'd imagine that a person like this would buy a high-end amp like the Oppo HA-1 rather than a budget model.
  
So where does that leave a £30 headphone tube amplifier? Well as far as any sound improvement goes, that's probably more snake oil than anything else, however if you were to discount the idea of the amp somehow magically improving the sound quality, then they do make a lot more sense.
A headphone amp can provide increased volume output without distortion and also add a headphone output to devices that don't have one.
    
So now that I understand where a budget headphone amp can come in handy...let's find out if any of the three I bought are up to the task. Watch the video below to find out.
   
  
Purchasing:
Here's a link to the gold amp on eBay http://goo.gl/rgR5KF
Below you'll find links to the eBay store that supplied my amps, they sell a lot of different models and I found them quick and easy to deal with. 
US  UK  AU  DE  ES  NL  IE  BE  CA  CH  FR  IT  (Click your country.)
Follow up video:
PLEASE DO NOT SEND ME ANY MORE LINKS TO THE TEAR-DOWN VIDEO BY EEVBLOG

Important note. I am fully aware of the tear down video by Dave at EEVBlog of one of these headphone amps, which he kindly performed to lay this matter to rest. 

My first video about these headphone amps was uploaded in September 2015, a kind viewer went on to send Dave one of the amps so he could perform a professional tear-down, which he subsequently did in January 2016

If you haven't seen Dave's video...here's a link. 


 

 

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Reader Comments (13)

Your collection is budgeted and I suggest you to use Viking's Amplifiers, I really like this and got from Goheadsets in reasonable price.

September 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHenryKam

I'm quite curios about the Pono player. Are you going to do a review about it and maybe some others portable hi-fi audio players?

October 16, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNMT

I don't have any plans, no. I did consider it when I first got hold of one, but it's an idea that seemed less relevant over time.

October 16, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

My car got keyed scratches on sides badly when parked. I'd like to install a car camera which helps me to catch the vandals. I've searched and watched some of your reviews on front and rear dash cameras, but could not find the one of sides or around car cameras when parking only.
Would you please recommend me some car cameras for solution to catch who scratches the car when parking. Cameras do the good job but at a reasonable price and easy to install.

Much appreciated.
Best regards,
Alex

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Unfortunately I didn't think any internal camera that I've seen would catch someone keying the side of a car.
http://www.techmoan.com/blog/2013/6/23/q-which-car-camera-is-best-for-catching-a-vandal-in-the-act.html

November 11, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

I like amplifier and I also bought this instrument.How much its prize?

December 1, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterkawser

Hi Matt,

Cracking response to those Terry F'wits who either:
a) don't pay attention to what is said
b) don't understand what is said
and feel the need to issue a vitriolic post, or are just looking for any opportunity to 'vent their spleen'.

But for your recent response, I'd say - just ignore them :)

Thanks for taking the time and having the humour to put together that follow-up; i, along with most of your audience - I'm sure, very much appreciate it.

December 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGrahamK998

I'm glad you picked up 'impedance' - it's really important when driving quality headphones. Mine are 30 Ohms, which is very hard to drive for most PC sound cards. Getting this right is very helpful.

December 19, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHenrik R. Clausen

32 OHMS are easy to drive 50 ohms are hard to drive.What is wrong with you

January 17, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGamig

Stumbled across your headphone tube-amp review by accident, but reminded me of a much better, more in depth look at these amplifiers (and exactly the same one of the three you show), check out Reverse Engineering A Valve Headphone Amplifier by Dave Jones of the eevblog. He does a proper teardown and analysis.

Once you get past the (quite right) comments on distortion and why anyone would want tubes at all, the conclusion is that they do nothing in these cheap amplifiers. They are all for show.

Not to be critical of your intentions, which you state clearly, I would suggest you reference more technical reviews of gear whenever possible. It will stop many of the silly comments you receive. Well, except for the age-old argument of tubes-vs-valves, which Dave, being Aussie, will only give support to your UK viewers/commenters point about saying "valve". I say "tube" :-)

February 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommentereeKnud

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