Connect with us

Reviews

BumpOut: The Expandable Portable Speaker

Published

on

 Take your music everywhere with BumpOut, the
portable speaker designed for versatility. That was Zac Pierce’s initial idea when creating the technology. They hit an early milestone by reaching their crowdfunding goal on Indiegogo in 4 days, pre-selling the speaker at a discounted price to backers. What’s neat about the speaker is it’s Motorized Expansion Technology™, where it expands to generate high quality audio and rich bass. It connects through Bluetooth with a range of 30 feet and runs for 7 hours before the next charge. You can attach the speaker to any smooth surface with the BumpOut coins, including your phone. We connected with Zac Pierce and the BumpOut team to learn more about the innovative technology behind their portable speaker.

How would you describe BumpOut?

BumpOut is a portable Bluetooth speaker that can fit in the palm of your hand and attach to any flat surface, including smartphones, mirrors, refrigerators, etc. The most unique feature is the speaker's Motorized Expansion System. With one click of a button, the center of the speaker raises, generating high quality sound & bass that drowns out most competing product.

What is BumpOut’s mission?

Inspire and innovate for those that boldly do what they love, not just what they are told. BumpOut as a verb. Be inspired and work hard as it inspire others.

How does BumpOut differentiate from competitor portable speakers?

The main differences are portability and innovation. We have engineered a speaker with a  sleek design that fits comfortably in your pocket and can attach directly to your phone or case. Truly portable. Our patented Motorized Expansion Technology™ is an audio industry breakthrough. With the push of a button, the casing of the speaker expands, creating an acoustic chamber that results in powerful, high quality sound, and rich bass response. We then paired this technology with BumpOut Coins that feature a patented repositionable adhesive that allow you to attach the speaker to any smooth surface, even your smartphone.When you look at the crowded space of Bluetooth speakers there is a lot of “stuff” under $50 that leaves you wanting more: not loud enough, does not connect to your device easily, poor sound quality, etc… OR if you are willing to spend north of $150 you can get something that might meet your needs but is a big investment. We believe, after extensive research, that you don’t need to spend a ton of money to get the results you are looking for. There is an opportunity in the market for a quality portable speaker under $100.

portable speaker

Who is the ideal BumpOut customer?

Anyone who listens to music on their smartphone and wants the latest innovation in audio at an affordable price. We are proud that we have been able to incorporate game changing technology into BumpOut, but the #1 focus is “quality of music”. That is why we partnered with the top audio engineers in the country and hired a high end audio manufacturers to make BumpOut. It needs to sound great and your listening experience needs to be enjoyable.

Describe the use of the coin mounts.

BumpOut comes with coins that can be placed on any smooth flat surface so you can have your soundtrack at home or on the go. Coins have a repositionable adhesive that can be removed and repositioned. BumpOut speaker connects directly to the coins. Our test markets showed us that most youths will place the coin on the mirror in the bathroom so they can connect the speaker (to the mirror) while showering or getting ready for school or going out. Most parents said they will place a coin in the kitchen on the refrigerator so they can attach the speaker and listen to music while making dinner. Almost everyone we surveyed will place a coin on their smart phone for true portability and improve the “sub par” audio quality and volume smart phones currently provide. Speaker does not need to be attached to the coin to listen to the music. The coins provide an extra feature to mount your speaker in various locations or, if attached to your smartphone, allows for easy portability.

What are some perks of crowdfunding?

Customer engagement. We have been working on this project for 2 years and have spent our own nest eggs on getting to this point. Crowdfunding has allowed us to engage with our customers and backers and bring validity to all of our efforts. You never really know what you have until you “flip the switch” on sales. To hit our Indiegogo goal in 4 days confirms everything we have been working towards.

What are some challenges you’ve come across along the way?

The biggest challenge with hardware is capital. It is very expensive to manufacture product, which is why Crowdfunding is such an important process. Also, finding helpful resources for hardware development in Philadelphia is a challenge. We have kept our resources very organized and hope to be able to aid others in the city.

What is your team like?

The core of the team is Founder Zac Pierce and partners Brian Zamrowski and Mat Chacko.  We have surrounded ourselves with high level specialists to ensure that we are delivering the best possible product for an affordable price.

What is BumpOutU?

We believe in today’s youth. By providing guidance and exposure to career paths that foster individual talents, we aim to make a meaningful impact on the Creators of tomorrow. Our first live event held on October 8th brought community leaders, entrepreneurs and students together for a day of bumping music and breakout sessions developed to inspire creativity and ideas backed by positive action. With our backers’ support, our commitment to BumpOutU, and proactive approach to making a difference will scale along with our company.

How did you advertise?

On a budget! In these earliest stages, we rely heavily on PR and focus on technology and audio outlets.

What are some tips you can give to entrepreneurs looking to crowdfund?

It is a LOT of work but, if you go into it with a plan of what you want to learn from the process, it is extremely helpful. You learn about what features really resonate with your consumers.

Jie writes about influencers and startups in various industries. She is a designer turned techie, and when she is not writing, you can find her in her workshop working on her next big project.

Featured

Moose Knuckles Stirling Parka Review

Published

on

The popular Canadian outerwear brand Moose Knuckles is continuing to expand its name across the nation and into America. Moose Knuckles is a relatively new brand founded in 2009 by Will Poho and Mark Peros. Most of its manufacturing is done in Winnipeg. The brand is dominating the winter fashion scene through bomber jackets and parkas. Moose Knuckles are created from quality materials and are sweatshop free. The company also uses Canadian-origin gray duck down and farmed fox fur from Finland in order to ensure the materials are able to combat Canada’s harsh winters. Here is the Moose Knuckles Stirling Parka review:

How It Looks

Model posing with Moose Knuckles Stirling Red Parka

"Wearing a Moose Knuckles Stirling is like driving a red Ferrari. You will be noticed."

The Stirling comes in at least 9 different shades of color. We reviewed the red model with black fur trim. Photos on the website convinced me the garment will provide a cinched waist, however I didn't feel restricted. The fur trim and goose down insulation allows you to be all bundled up and warm. Noticeably, the jacket has a Moose Knuckles signature metal detail on the upper arm of the garment. The signature catches the eyes in an instant, due to its unique look and new brand.

The pom-poms add a nice touch to the parka, adding a more feminine touch to the style. The double stitched durable canvas, luxurious fur, YKK zippers, and soft interior lining came together wonderfully upon putting it on for the first time. It was heavier than I thought, but the fitting was perfect. It was comfortable to wear and provided a more urban and versatile look. I took the Stirling out on a 9 degree day to see how it holds up. Wearing just a t-shirt inside, I never once felt the cold. Walking the streets of Philadelphia where every other person is wearing a Canada Goose or Montcler, I stood out like a sore thumb as people are trying to figure out what brand I'm wearing. A couple of girls even stopped and asked me what brand it is and where I purchased it. Wearing a Moose Knuckles Stirling is like driving a red Ferrari. You will be noticed.

Specialty

Moose Knuckles Logo on Red Stirling Parka

Moose Knuckles is ranked as the top parka brand for having the highest thermal insulation value. The Moose Knuckles parka came out with the result of a thermal insulation value of 2.11 clo. Thermal Insulation is the measure of resistance to dry heat transfer from a heated thermal manikin to a more cool environment. Thermal insulation is used to prevent excessive heat loss, which is the entire framework of an effective jacket. Moose Knuckles provide an amazing dependability on warmth and comfort due to their thermal insulation value. And wearing the Stirling for an entire day in single-digit weather, I can confidently say their research paid off.

Features

Stirling hood comparison

In addition to looking fabulous and keeping you warm the Stirling also comes equipped with features to appreciate. Most of which you'll have to see in person or experience first hand to appreciate.

Form fitting

This matters a lot to women and young girls. The Stirling looks great and even though it's fitting, it doesn't feel restricting.

Spacious hood

The fur lined hood is cavernous but fits comfortable thanks to adjustable straps on the back.

Quality fox trim fur

Moose Knuckles didn't cheap out on the fur. You will get plenty of high quality fur with the Stirling. Some parka offers low-grade synthetic fur purely for aesthetics. The fur on the Stirling is genuine, feels incredibly soft to the touch, and doesn't shed like many other brands.

Durable & Water resistant

The canvas material combined with double stitching are durable and made to last. It's also water resistant!

Quality zipper

The front zipper is heavy gauge YKK zippers and won't break on you anytime soon.

Plenty of pockets

Girls will understand the excitement of having pockets in just about anything. Four pockets on the outside and two on the inside of the jacket.

 

The Verdict

Many brands fail to understand what quality means in a jacket. Winters in Canada are harsh, it’s windy, cold, and downright undesirable. Comfort and style is a rare combination when you're trying to make a parka that can withstand Canada winters. The Moose Knuckles Stirling parka is able to give you the swag look and still keep you toasty warm. Despite having plenty to love, we managed to find a few flaws.

Pros

  • You look unquestionably rich
  • Fashionable
  • Attention to detail styling
  • Plenty of pockets
  • Warm. Sourced from Canadian-origin gray duck
  • Quality fox fur from Finland
  • Durable construction that will last
  • Value doesn't depreciate as much

Cons

  • Heavy when compared to similar parkas
  • Canvas material despite being durable, can feel rigid
  • Outside breast pockets are too small

If you're looking for something discreet and low-key, look elsewhere. Moose Knuckles never intended the Stirling to be subtle. Make no mistake, you will stand out. For those living in harsh, cold conditions, investing in a reliable winter outer garment is a must. We highly recommend the Moose Knuckles Stirling because it's incredibly well made, warm without the bulk, fashionable, and will likely be the last winter coat you'll ever buy.

At $950, it's certainly not cheap but you get more than what you pay for. Despite being the new kid on the block, Moose Knuckles' unique line of products rival Canada Goose and Montcler in terms of quality, value, and appeal. The next time you're out shopping for a winter coat, put Moose Knuckles near the top of your list.

Continue Reading

Featured

The Best Competitive Gaming Chairs of 2019

Published

on

Best gaming chair of 2019

Competitive gaming is still a relatively new phenomenon. And with it comes the development of all sorts of peripherals and gadgets to give players in the competitive space an edge. Gaming used to be much simpler back when I was in grade school. I used to bike over my friend's house after school. My friends and I would finish an episode of Dragon Ball Z, and then head into his basement where he'd  turn on his Nintendo 64 and we'd go four-player split screen death match in Golden Eye. And back then, we didn't need much other than a decent controller. We'd all sit on the floor backs hunched over waiting for scoliosis to kick in as we waste one another.

Those days are long gone, and nowadays competitive gaming has evolved greatly. And along with it, the need for better support equipment, mainly back support. In recently years, there's been a lot of new companies entering the e-sport market, especially the gaming-chair category. Gaming chairs have become an essential gaming equipment that professional players can't go without. If you watch either Fortnite or Apex streamers on Twitch, you'll notice just about everyone sits in a professional gaming chair. And there's a good reason for that. A player with better support equipment will outlast and outperform a player. And that's why nowadays, everyone is investing in a good gaming chair. But not all gaming chairs are created equal. Which chair should you invest in?

1) Secret Lab - Titan Series

Having only been founded in 2014 and launching their line of products in 2015, Secret Lab is a fairly new company. But being the new kid on the black doesn't mean their products aren't among the best in class. We review and test the Secret Lab Titan Series, and so far, it's one of the most comfortable, versatile, adjustable, and well balanced chair we've ever tested.

At $429, it's certainly not among the cheapest or affordable equipment. But there's a reason why we chose the Secret Lab as first on the list. The build quality, features, and premium materials they used for this chair is unrivaled, even by others on the list. Additionally, we like the clean look of Secretlab chairs. They opted for a more elegant and premium look. And looking at it, it really does look like an expensive chair. When we put it to the test, it performed as expected. Even after six hours of non-stop Apex domination, our reviewer felt the Secret Lab Titan Series provided exceptional support and comfort, especially in long sessions.

BUY IT HERE

2) Arozzi Verona Junior

More petite gamers often have a difficult time finding a chair that fits them just right. Often times they're stuck with a chair that's too large for them, and they have to sit leaning forward because the backrest is too far away. Prolong exposure to sitting in a chair made too large for you can result in discomfort and lack of focus. And that's where the Arozzi Verona Junior shines. As the name implies, the Arozzi Verona Junior is a chair that's made for gamers under 5'2. It's well structured and molds to a smaller frame, giving unequivocal comfort.

BUY IT HERE

3) DXRacer Tank

DXRacer is an old and respected company that pre-dates a lot of companies on this list. And with that, at least one of their chairs are expected to make the list. The DXRacer Tank's is unique in that it can support a gamer up to 450lbs and it's back support is large enough to accommodate a 6'7 giant. It's a sturdy chair that's made for a specific audience and also comes at a fairly steeper price tag of $600.

BUY IT HERE

4) AutoFull 

Autofull is a great value chair. It's not cheaply made, and it's price certainly doesn't reflect that. But it's also not overly expensive with quirks and features you'll never need. Autofull made a chair that's just perfect for the middle market. Someone who has a little bit of budget, wants to invest, and only invest in a chair that can deliver the essential comfort and features they need. And with that, Autofull absolutely delivers. Being at $200, it's price point is just right. And even at that price point, they still managed to squeeze in features you'll be surprise to find.

BUY IT HERE

5) Vertagear Racing Series SL4000

Vertagear is popular among Twitch streamers and many Youtubers. It's a highly adjustable and ergonomic gaming chair with all your essential features in addition to the memory foam being on the firm side. The back can actually be adjusted. You can lift it up or down to adjust accordingly to your height, a feature not found on many chairs. Veragear also lets you choose from a wide variety of colors to ensure the chair fits your setup/colorscheme.



Continue Reading

Featured

Secret Lab Titan Series Review: A Gamer’s Dream Chair

Published

on

Secret lab titan gaming chair

Secret Lab is a company that began in 2014 with a mission to build the best gaming chair in the industry. Despite the already saturated market and fierce competition, Secret Lab decided to launch their first line of gaming chairs in 2015. They're now distributing in over 40 countries giving gamers everywhere the competitive advantage of being able to stay in the game longer more comfortably. Their current product line consist of the THRONE, OMEGA, TITAN and Neue series.

We received the Secretlab Titan in Charcoal Blue Softwave Fabric for this review. The Titan is currently considered the largest chair available from Secret lab. It comes with a load of features you'd expect from a $400+ gaming chair in addition to being able to support up to 290lbs, which should be plenty for anyone between 6'0 - 6'4. The Titan comes with three different upholstery options, each at different prices. You can get the Pu leather at $399, Softwave fabric for $429, and premium Napa leather for $949. With the Pu leather option, you also get to choose between six different color options. With the Softweave fabric, you only get two color options. And the Napa leather only comes with one color scheme.

Assembly

Opening titan box

 

Branded packaging

The Titan comes in a large black box with their logos and branding on all sides. This was a surprise for me since a lot of other gaming chairs we have at the office typically comes in a cheap looking cardboard box deprived of any kind of branding or color. They could've easily gotten away with just a regular cheap cardboard box, but they chose not to go the frugal route, given you just paid $500 for it. Opening it for the first time, you definitely felt like you were opening something premium.

Titan instructions

Clear instructions

Forget those generic thick manuals that contain 90 pages of instructions in every language known to man, and only one page of English instructions that you have to dig to find. Secret lab knew we hated that and decided to do things a little differently. As soon as you open the box, you're greeted with a large sheet with the assembly instructions and warranty information. The instructions are visually pleasing, easy to understand, and laid out in a way that you only need visual cues to put the whole thing together.

Titan packaging

Intelligently packaged and systematically ordered

Everything was intelligently laid out layer by layer. You can tell a lot of thought went into organizing everything this way. The layers coincide with the instructions, so you don't need to lay everything out on the floor and then struggle to find any part. Secret lab definitely nails down the user experience right from the get-go. No one in our office has much experience putting chairs together, yet it only took one of our writer about 10 minutes to put the entire thing himself. The online video was a nice touch, however it wasn't needed in our build thanks to the clear instructions and intuitive layering system they have going on.

Pre-assembled nuts

Pre-assembled nuts. Why isn't everyone doing this?!

All the tools are included in the box, so you don't need anything extra. They even went ahead and put all the rings and washers onto the nuts so you only need to screw them on. We wish more manufacturers would take the time to do these little things. Sometimes manufacturers forget no one wants to spent an hour struggling to put together a product they paid $500 for. They just want to assemble it as quickly as possible, and get back to gaming. Secret lab understands that.

warning label

Complaints with assembly

As easy as everything was, there are a few small complaints that we had. The one thing you need to be careful of is the mechanical lever for releasing the backrest. There is an obvious warning tag that lets you know NOT to touch it until it's fully assembled. We pressed it by accident because the label was stuck between the cushion and it fired like a gun.

The second complaint is the side pieces. They're really just for aesthetic purposes, but they're ridiculously difficult to screw on because you have to "align" the holes while applying pressure.

Titan fully assembled

Fully assembled!

After 10 - 15 minutes, everything was fully assembled.

Looks And Feel

Aesthetically, it's one of the most well designed gaming chair money can buy right now. We appreciated the simple and elegant styling instead of the over-the-top RGB that some chairs come with. It definitely carries a more mature look, making it suitable for home or office use. This is a chair was built for hard-core gamers and it can also be put in an office without looking out of place.

The Cold Cure Foam is firm and supportive. It's not as cushiony or soft as you'd expect when you first sit on it. And that's because it's meant to provide the needed support and comfort without compromising your focus while gaming. The chair is big and hugs you as you sit in it. There's plenty of adjustments to play around here. The arm-rest can be adjusted up/down and forward/backward. There's a nice lumbar adjustment knob on the side. On the side, there's also a lever that enables you to recline the backrest as much as 165 degrees.

Build Quality & Adjustments

Sitting down in the Titan for the first time, you could easily tell it's a premium chair made of the highest quality parts. There's no squeaking or strange noises as you're adjusting and moving around. Everything just felt solid - the way it should be. The multi-functional tilt system works flawlessly as it should. The 4D arm-rest adjustments are easy to control. And the larger than normal XL wheels are silky smooth when attempting to roll around.

Real Life Performance Test

We put the Titan to the test by having our in-house writer, whom also happens to be a Fortnite/Apex gamer, test it out for a week. The typical gaming session is around 2-3 hours on a weekday. And on weekends, his gaming sessions on Apex hovers anywhere from 5 - 6 hours. After an entire week of shooting and looting on the Titan, our tester absolutely loved the chair. The firmness took a while to get used to, but it's only during the extended weekend sessions that you really notice the difference. The chair isn't noticeable. It provides support and keeps you in place. You don't slide around, it doesn't make a sound, it doesn't bother you, and there's nothing about it that would make you even think about it. And that's the hallmark of a great gaming chair. One that simply does it's job and keeps the gamer hyper focused and comfortable.

Verdict

It can be challenging to justify $500 on a gaming chair. It might just be one of the most, if not the most, expensive equipment besides your PC rig. But if you're a serious gamer who spends 20 - 30 hours a week gaming, having a chair that doesn't compromise your posture, health, and gaming experience can be invaluable. Overall, the Titan (any version) is one of the best gaming chair available today and at $500 ($429 if on sale) it's worth every penny.



Continue Reading

Trending