Category Archives: Tech

OontZ Oomph

While accepting that getting a smart phone is inevitable, I continue to rely upon my LG flip phone, now over five years old. It does everything that I want it to do — phone, speakerphone, text, take an occasional low-res photo, check e-mail, and be an accurate clock. Best of all, it fits perfectly in the little watch pocket on a pair of Levi’s jeans. The LG phone has Bluetooth, but I don’t wear an earpiece so I leave it turned off. It also does not do something that I like. It does not distract me.

I have been in several close encounters with drivers that are texting, including one on the Massachusetts Turnpike where a car started to swerve into my lane. The driver was face down at 65 mph, with an occasional glance up. It’s even a problem when encountering people walking with their eyes down on the screen. I will say “heads up!” before they can walk into me, and sometimes the person appears surprised, but other times there is the look of annoyance.

Being an Amazon customer since July, 1996, one year before Steve Jobs’ triumphant return to Apple, I am hooked into the Amazon “ecosystem.” I have never owned anything from Apple, not even an iTunes account. The one thing I have that makes good use of Bluetooth is an Amazon Kindle 8.9″ Fire HDX. My primary Bluetooth speaker is a Sony SRS-BTX500, now discontinued, that I found at Best Buy for half price ($150). If it’s still listed on ConsumerReports.org, the customer review is mine.

The BTX500 is an excellent product, and although it’s portable it’s relatively large and heavy, with a bulky power supply. I wanted to get a really cheap and very portable Bluetooth speaker, and I’m enthusiastic about the one I chose — the OontZ Angle that I ordered from Amazon for $40.

OontZ Angle

The OontZ is from the latest incarnation of Cambridge Soundworks. The original Cambridge Soundworks company that was founded by audio/video legend Henry Kloss in 1988 was sold to Creative Labs, which sold it in turn, and the current owner carries on the Cambridge Soundworks tradition of offering nifty, inexpensive products. I recommend the OontZ Angle for its good sound quality and excellent battery life. The sound is surprisingly detailed for music, and voices are particularly well-articulated, making the Angle ideal for news stations. Before you find a review that complains about the mini USB port I will note that the Angle now has a micro USB port, like the LG phone, which was the reason I chose it. At the time every other phone had a proprietary connector.

From Amazon to the Ganges

The prime minister of India? Ben Kingsley as the younger Gandhi? No, it’s Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos in Bangalore at, somewhat ironically, a shopping mall.

Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive officer of Amazon, stands atop a supply truck during a photo opportunity at the premises of a shopping mall in the southern Indian city of Bangalore. © Reuters

Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive officer of Amazon, stands atop a supply truck during a photo opportunity at the premises of a shopping mall in the southern Indian city of Bangalore. © Reuters

Audio File

Note to Morris:

When you get the package from Amazon, plug the “one-to-one” RCA cable from the digital audio output on your TV into this side of the adapter box. Ignore the connector labeled “Toslink.”

Digital inputs

Digital inputs

Connect the red-and-white “two-to-two” RCA cable on this side of the box into one of the Bose Wave changer’s two aux inputs. Then plug in the box’s power adapter and turn on the TV.

Analog output

Analog output and power supply