WebCam and Earbuds 

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First a WebCam that looks like an old style stills camera and second a set of earbuds that is less expensive than a number of those reviewed recently. The latter is also in white so others may just think it is linked to an iPod.

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USB Retro Web Cam from Brando

Not quite back to a box brownie but certainly looking like a camera of a long time ago. It is 5.5x4x4cm mounted on a 4cm tall stand with a 6cm round base. The weight is around 70grams.  It has a plastic handle that is totally functionless. In fact the only thing that has a function is the wheel on the front of the lens that rotates should what you are capturing not be in focus.

It is a simple plug and play device within Windows. Plug in the 1.2metre long USB lead and Windows will install drivers. Should you have My Computer open then it will appear as an item in it. If not go to scanners and cameras in Control Panel to open the device.

A few seconds later a window opens showing whatever the camera is looking at, more the cursor to ‘take a picture’ and that is it.

While the majority of recent notebooks have a quality webcam built into the top of the screen, this will be a talking point and it can still be used for things like Skype.

The camera is mounted on a ball that allows movement not only forward and back but also side to side to give an angled image.

Available from the link below for $29 US plus a flat fee of $3 US per order for shipping anywhere in the world.

Cygnett Groove Platinum

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Another set of ear-buds that come in a clear Perspex case however unlike recent items this one can be opened by simply removing the clear tape on one side to remove the contents.

The earbuds are on a 1.4metre lead, the first half metre from the buds is two separate leads with a slider that allows you to set just how far up the leads they are held together. The last .9metre is a single lead to the 3.5mm plug.

Having recently reviewed a few pairs at the ‘top end’ of the market the squashy rubberised buds (silicone tips) here do not deaden external noise by nearly as much so when out and about you would need to turn your MP3 player up somewhat to drown out traffic/train noise and of course this can lead to annoying fellow pedestrians/passengers as your sounds may be heard further away than your ear, there is also danger of damage to your own ears. However for use in a quiet environment these earbuds should be quite suitable for everyday use.

I have a thing about white leads, they are of course popular with Apple users as iPods all come with them and surely this makes you more likely to be mugged as people will think that the leads will end in an iPod where you could be listening on a budget MP3 player.

They are stated to contain three different ‘tips’ but mine only came with the one set that were already fitted. These are not to be compared to the Etymotic, Shure or other high end units as they cost around 10% or what the Etymotic units did.

Doing my Internet searches found the Cygnett GroovePlatinum Earphones for iPod & MP3 players at a best price of £14.99 from the first link below including free delivery. I notice that the ones they sell are more normal black and therefore unlikely to attract unwanted attention.

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Comment by Duncan Wyatt, Mar 18, 2011 8:15

This is the worst review I have had the misfortune to read. How do they sound you fuckwit? I don't give a fuck about the colour of the leads you faggot...HOW DO THEY SOUND????

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