Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Keep Warm, Keep Your Tunes with Caseco's Blu-Toque {review}

As technology advances, I become more and more spoiled. I want to be mobile with all my tech and not be tethered by cords and wires and cables. Even my cleaning supplies - my favourite cleaning appliances are all cordless. When you can run something on a rechargeable battery pack or connect devices without a wire, why wouldn't you?

This is why I love the various Bluetooth speakers and headphones we have. I can listen to music around the house, on the deck, walking the dog, wherever, without bumping into wires or untangling cables. Walking the dog at this time of year naturally requires winter gear, like a warm hat and gloves. Adding a set of headphones over? under? the hat is a bit of a pain, so why not incorporate the headphones right into the hat? What!? Indeed. And Caseco, a Canadian manufacturer of mobile device accessories, has done just that.

Caseco's Blu-toques combine fashionable, warm, and comfy winter head gear with Bluetooth enabled stereo speakers. Pair with your smart phone or tablet to listen to your music on the go. You can even make and take calls with built-in mic. I received the Dual Layered Bluetooth Beanie in ivory to try out, and have been wearing it on my daily walks with Maxi.

Pretty cute, hey? The toque, not me ;)
Not only does this keep my ears super warm (this hat is so soft inside!!), it lets me listen to music, or a podcast, or whatever I'm in the mood for while I'm out in the cold. Since the speakers are sewn into the hat, they stay put on my ears, and they aren't noise cancelling, so I am still able to hear what's going on around me - like traffic, or an approaching dog.

The left speaker has the control panel, which is very straightforward, with just three buttons. Pairing with my phone was a simple matter of holding down the centre (play) button until my phone found it. Then entering the passcode (provided in the instruction leaflet). You can adjust the volume during playback by holding down the left or right (down, up) button, and skip or repeat tracks by quickly pressing those buttons. I have taken a call on this while listening to music, and it worked out great. Music stops when you pick up the call, and returns automatically when you hang up. I found the sound quality great, but I admit I am not an afficionado. There was no static, the sound was clear and crisp, and steady.

To explain these images - the speakers actually sit inside the ear flaps, but I turned this one out so you could see how it sits in a little pocket to keep it still. And the middle shot shows the micro usb port (charging cable included) and microphone. When your toque needs a wash, simply slip the Bluetooth speakers out through the access point, and toss the toque in with your laundry.

The Blu-toque is compatible with iOS and Android devices, charges in 2 hours, and provides 6 hours of play time or 60 hours stand-by on a full charge. They come in a variety of styles, starting at $49.99, and can be purchased at www.caseco.ca. Another pro - they accept Paypal payments.

And I couldn't end this without noting that the Blu-Toque has received the Parent Tested Parent Approved (PTPA) Seal of Approval.

Disclosure: I received complimentary product to facilitate this review. No financial compensation was received. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own.

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