Antec PULSE Lite Bluetooth Headphones Hardware Review

Antec PULSE Lite Bluetooth Headphones Hardware Review

Dec 1, 2014

Antec should be known by now for its mostly great, affordable accessories; we’ve had the opportunity to look at several of its offerings. Its line of headphones, as exemplified by the PULSE (which we reviewed a few months ago), are nice value propositions, and we expected similar of the Antec PULSE Lite Bluetooth Headphones that were sent to us to review.

So what comes in the box? Well, there’s the white headphones, matching white micro-USB charging cable, and ( I liked this small touch) a simple black drawstring carrying pouch.

The unit itself has a mostly hard plastic finish, with soft vinyl framing the ear cups. The headband is fairly thin, and is extensible by making use of a sliding mechanism that allows it to be adjusted to head size. The headphones have an interesting joint configuration at the cups, such that the cups can be turned “out” and folded up, making them more compact — and essentially, more portable — when not in use. The left cup is the business cup, housing the volume dial, micro-USB port and LED. The volume dial also serves as the Play/Pause and power button.

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Altogether, it feels well constructed, and is reasonably comfortable on head.

Pairing it involved getting it juiced up, and then using the aforementioned power button to put the device into pairing mode. After pairing, we got to try out the unit in the real world. It works surprisingly well, providing decent output; it works well with different type of audio, with decent bass presentation. True audiophiles might consider some aspects of the output a bit muddy, but for the most part, it reflects sound quite well. The built-in microphone means calls can be handled if paired with a telephony device.

When compared to its big brother, the Pulse, one does notice the design differences; for example, I believe the former is more comfortable,and manages to be a better sound source overall. The range is on the low end, and I did notice infrequent interference when walls blocked line of sight. One thing I would have dearly loved is optional wired output, but hey, to be fair, more features equals less affordability.

All in all, at $48.99 (via Amazon), it won’t break the bank, and is a decent offering for the price range.

Antec LifeBar 10 Portable Charger Hardware Review

Antec LifeBar 10 Portable Charger Hardware Review

Oct 16, 2014

Yes, batteries in mobile devices have gotten better, but in the spirit of being prepared, it just makes sense to have a backup plan. Way back when, getting a couple extra OEM batteries was sufficient. Now, sealed batteries are more commonplace, and having multiple devices at any given time is not unheard of; in any case, all those extra batteries start to add up.

Nah, it makes sense to have a portable battery, and when it comes to mobile power solutions, few are as capable of Antec; hence, checking out the new LifeBar 10 Portable Charger is far from a chore.

It’s a slick-looking unit, with subtly angled corners gently pulling out octagon-ish shapings from “regular” cuboid. At one end, there is a 5V DC micro-USB port that is itself bordered by two USB output ports.There are LED lights and a reset button. The polished exterior is nice to hold, and size-wise, it is quite pocketable at 5.39 x 2.81 x 0.51 inches and 9 ounces. Visually, it feels like it manages to be be stoic and relaxed at the same time.lb2 The review package (retail) also contained a white USB cable and documentation.

It’s advertised as a 10,000 mAh charger, so expectations are high. The LifeBar 10 came with half a charge, so I was able to get it going immediately. I tried it with several devices: S5, M8 and several devices. The charging rate is equitable, even when used to charge other charging units. With two devices being charged simultaneously, I wasn’t able to discern any loss of rate. Little things like the LED flashlight also make it a bit more useful in a crunch.

Also, the standby time is fairly remarkable; It held charge over several days.

Antec, with this piece, shows it is possible to have a decent product that, well, isn’t ashamed of looking good. It is fine accessory, and if we should be so lucky, its manufacturer won’t tire of bringing similar style to the marketplace.

Antec 4-Port USB Charging Station Hardware Review

Antec 4-Port USB Charging Station Hardware Review

Oct 3, 2014

I love my gadgets.

I’m told that as far as addictions go, it could be much worse, so there is that. With a family that likes to be connected, the most important resource in our home can sometimes be an unoccupied power outlet. With that in mind, and keeping with the drive to keep solutions simple, it’s relatively easily to see why a gadget like the Antec 4-Port USB Charging Station would catch one’s eye.

As with most things from Antec, the device looks sleek without being overly flashy, compact and seemingly well constructed. It is in the rough shape of a rectangular cuboid, except that the hard plastic exterior tapers into a curve on the one side of its 5x5x6 inch frame; it isn’t too heavy either at less than 13 ounces, and the sedate finish is only really broken by the USB ports and input slot. There is an LED indicator at the top; the package also comes with AC cable and documentation.

The four-port description in the product title pretty much tells us what to expect: it packs a pair each of 1A and 2A USB output ports so that one can charge multiple devices via this one piece. Officially, the wattage output tops out at 25W and 5A, uses AC input (100-240Vac, 0.8A, 50-60Hz) and offers temperature, voltage and short circuit protection.

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In practice, this unit simply works. The 2A ports do charge noticeably faster than the 1A ports, and I also liked the latent benefit of having a neater charging area, as it helps give a bit of structure to the wayward cables. I was able to use it with phones, tablets and external batteries. It works as advertised with everything I threw at it. Because of it’s size, it is also infinitely portable, and is perfect for the go bag.

It’s probably not something I would have thought about prior, but is something I’d now rather not be without. The power hub is easy to use, and just makes sense to have.