Before You Buy 115 (Transcript)

Show Tease: Coming up! We’ve got a security camera with its eyes on you. A brand new podcasting rig, if you want to get in the business. Don’t! (Laughs) And a couple of pair of headphones. It’s time to watch Before You Buy.

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Leo Laporte: Welcome to Before You Buy, the TWiT product review show where we get the latest and greatest stuff, and give you a chance to see it, give our staff a chance to review it. So you get an idea of what it’s like in real world use. We really like to focus on that. I have an apology for you, we hoped we’d have the HDC1, the M8 that was announced today, in hand, we were not able to get it. However we will have it for next weeks, Before You Buy. I actually ordered one, so we should have it by then. But for now, let’s get Shannon Morse, Snubs, you know her from Revision 3’s Tekzilla, and, of course, a producer of this show, with the Swann 8ds460 HD security camera. Wonder what she needs that for?

Shannon Morse: Hey everyone! I am Shannon Morse, the current producer of Before You Buy. And today I am reviewing the SwannEye HD camera for indoor and outdoor use. In particular this model is called the 8dS460. You can buy this online at SwannEye’s website for $179.99. Obviously, it’s industrial. It’s hardcore, heavy duty, metal, so it’s really nice quality. It’s also night vision, so you can get really good pictures and resolution at night, as well as during the day time. I would say this is specifically, the use case scenario for this would be maybe a store front. Or in somebody’s office space, something like that. It’s a little bit more heavy duty than I would recommend for home use necessarily, but if you have your own office you might want to consider this one. A few things I found that were interesting about this one in particular, it can not only do wireless, but it can do wired connection. So you’ll be able to connect via WIN or LAN. It does have a small antenna on the back, but you can, of course, upgrade this if you like. It’s just a little 5DV antenna on the back. It also has the Ethernet port here. Now one thing I noticed, if you want to connect VIA wireless you have to use the WPS button to do so. So if you’re not a big fan of WPS, like me, then I would say connect via the Ethernet, and run a really long cat 5 cable over there. So when I connected to this on my computer, the connection was fine. It ran very well. I was able to choose my resolution, so if I felt like 720P would be too high. 720P is the max for this camera. Then I could also cut it down to 640, or even lower. 320 if I wanted too. I can record all of the video on this, and I can also take photos when I’m watching as well. Now if you don’t have it currently running and if you want to get data or get video stream of something that’s happening back at your office while you’re away, you also have the ability to plug in a micro SD card. Luckily it does require you to screw it on and screw it off to be able to access the micro SD card, which is kind of nice because it’ll keep anybody away from stealing your memory, or from stealing anything you’ve already recorded on that SD card. You can do up to 32 gigs on there. While I was watching it on my computer, my MacBook, I noticed that color was pretty good. It was a little green during the day time. At night it automatically switched over to night vision, and it was very, very clear and crisp. So I had no problems with night vision on this camera. One thing I did notice though, was when I downloaded the App from the Apple app store, there were a lot of really bad reviews. Everyone said that it crashed constantly and they couldn’t even use it. I didn’t have as many problems with it crashing on my MacBook air. The first time I booted up the program I had to put in my user name and login credentials. Once I registered, I also had to put in the actual model number and the ID number of this specific camera. It only crashed once for me, and it was just that first time that I booted it up. So you might be wondering what’s in the box. You get your Ethernet cord, your power cord. And you also get an extension cable for your power. So is this a product that I would recommend? Hmm, well, my pros and cons of this go: Pros, It is mountable, which is great. And it comes with all the mounting screws that you need. Also has the great night vision, and you can record audio. And the audio is pretty darn clear. On the con side though, when you’re recording live, or when you’re watching live, you can only watch for 3 minutes. This is the same problem that Justin Robert Young had with his SwannEye HD camera. Also I noticed that there is no movement with this one. They do give you that option in the app, but you’ll notice your camera is not moving anywhere. And you can also not use the microphone. That would be pretty cool if I could talk to my cats while I was at work, and just like yell at them and totally freak them out, I would love to do that. And my last con, WPS, Why? Why are we still doing this people? Come on! Move on from the WPS, drives me crazy! Buy, try, or don’t buy? It’s definitely a good price, especially if you’re on a budget and you need a really good, high tech security camera, this is probably the best on that I’ve checked out so far. I’ve checked out some from Belkin, SwannEye, and a few others. And I have to say Buy, try or don’t buy? I would give it a try! It might be too expensive for your tastes, so definitely keep an eye for some of their bargain security cameras as well that use the same application. Again, I’m Shannon Morse and this was the SwannEye HD indoor, outdoor camera. 8ds460. Hope you enjoyed it, back to the Studio.

Leo: Shannon Morse, Snubs. Catch her every week on Tekzilla, and here on coding 101, and Before You Buy. Speaking of Coding 101, Father Robert Ballecer, he’s the host of Enterprise Tech, Coding 101, and sneaks in here on Friday afternoons to take over the network for something I’ve never seen, and never will. It’s taking the place… Isn’t that funny, we’ve got a priest taking the place of NSFW, on a show I don’t want to watch, so I don’t have to cancel it. You figure it all out yourself, I don’t understand it myself. Padre has the MXLMNVE001 podcasting rig. What do you think, Father?

Fr. Robert Ballecer: I’m Father Robert Ballecer from TWiT TV and I’m taking a look at a mobile recording kit from MXL. The MMVE001 is a mobile media videographer’s essentials kit from MXL. A company mostly known for its audio products. The kit itself doesn’t look like much. It includes a mounting bracket, a Y cable, and the MXLFR310 shotgun microphone. The bracket starts with a clamp that can be adjusted to hold any make or model of phone. The clamp is attached by a bracket adjustable ball head that lets you easily adjust the position of the secured phone. The molded grip makes it easy to hold the bracket while two cold shoes give you a mounting point for the shotgun mic. And any other shoe mount accessory. On the underside of the bracket is a quarter inch threaded receiver for using the kit with a tripod, or other screw in device. You could also remove the phone bracket and ball mount all together to use the kit with a DSLR, or small camcorder. The heart of the kit is the MXLFR 310 shotgun mic. This small unit uses a 10 mm electric condenser element, covered by a windscreen, and outputs mono sound input to an 3.5 mm plug. The mic has a super cardioid pick up pattern and selector switches for -50 or +5 gain. And a -70 hertz decibel for roll off. A single AAA battery will run the microphone for about 450 hours under typical conditions. And the entire unit sits atop a standard shoe mount. Sitting up the kit takes about a minute. Clamp the phone onto the bracket, making sure not to obscure the camera. Mount the microphone in one of the shoes, plug the Y cable into your phone. Then connect both mic and a pair of headphones into the Y cable plugs. Calibrating the unit takes a little practice. You need to make sure that the phone is aimed on a parallel with the shotgun microphone. And unfortunately most phones don’t have a level meter. So you’ll need to record a test video, and play it back just to make sure everything sounds right. It takes a little while to go ahead and get it calibrated, but once it is calibrated, it’s as easy to use as your cameras phone. Now one thing I really like is the super cardioid pick up pattern of the mic. Means that it’s excellent at sound rejection. Right now, I’m actually moving through the hallways of a high school in San Francisco, and even though you can pick up some of the ambient sound, most of what you hear, is just my voice. The MXL NMVE001 is available now. You can find it online for about $190. On the pro side, this kit is light and it’s small. It’s something that’s easy enough to carry with you, and then bring it out when you need to get that special shot. I also like the fact that it leverages the gear that you’re already carrying with you. Your phones, and your headphones. The other thing I really like about it is this, the MR310 shotgun microphone. It’s actually really good at rejecting sound from the back and the sides of the mic. Which means that unlike, when you take video with your camera phone, you’re not going to get all that crap sound that tends to make your video less than professional. It isn’t a professional kit per say, but it lets you get more professional shots, and I like that. On the con side, I’d say the first thing has to be this. This jumble of cables, the Y cable that allows you to break out the audio so you have your microphone and your headphone. It always kind of looks like that. It’s not really nice, I always end up Velcroing this to the side of the bracket. I wish that MXL had put the thought into maybe integrating that into the back of the MR310, so that I could just have less cables flopping around in the wind. The last thing has to be price. Its $190, which isn’t a lot, but when you consider that you can buy the MR310 for about $130, $60 for a bracket, just really, that’s not a good deal. If MXL were to drop the price about $30, and include that Y cable, then that is a no-brainer, this is something that you should definitely go get, but because of the price, and the fact that it would be cheaper for you to assemble the products from MXL, buying them separately, I have to give the MXL MM-VE001 a solid Try. I’m Father Robert Ballecer with Before You Buy.

Leo: Solid try from Father Robert Ballecer.  Catch Robert on This Week in Enterprise Tech, every week on this week in Tech. On the TWiT network, and of course, on Coding 101, with Shannon. We’re going to take a look at a couple of headphones in just a second. In fact I’m going to walk over to Sarah Lane and find out what she things of the lobeDOPE. What kind of name is that? But first, would you like a snack? Here you go, how about some Harvest Rice sticks? Oh man, and Anybody Lemon Pucker Pistachios? Dr. Morbius, you want some? Alright, here you go! We’re handing out bits of our lovely, awesome Nature Box. Nature Box is the best snack you can have! I know round about this time of day you want to go to the snack machine, eat something that’s probably not good for you. High in high fructose corn syrup or Trans fats. Visit Nature Box. Always good for you, nutrition approved. See, it says so right there on the label. And there are no HFCs, no artificial flavors or colors, zero Trans fats, and it’s always delicious. You can go to Nature Box site, and pick the items in your nature box. You can have savory, sweet, you can have heat. It’s all up to you. I like the heat and sweet. That’s why I’m going to have these peppery chickpeas for lunch. If you decide you want to try a variety, they’ll pack a box, kind of a random box for you. But you can also specify, vegan, lactose free, no, what do they call that? The sticky stuff? None of that. What do they call that? Glucose? Mmmm! Peppery chickpeas delicious! Here’s the deal, I’ve got 50% off waiting for you. If you go to Twit. The special twit pages at You get 50%... Ohh! These are my favorite! I’m sorry this is terrible. I shouldn’t eat during the commercial. These are my favorite. Praline Pumpkin seeds. 50% off. It’s not glucose, its gluten free! That’s it! Thank you chat room. This is vegan. So go ahead, eat as much as you want. Ladies and gentlemen, we are now going to take a look at a couple of delicious headsets, ear buds for you. Many of us have portable devices, a lot of them come with ear buds but they’re not the best. That’s why we gave Tony Wang a couple to try, and see if they best the ones that come in the box! Tony…

Tony Wang: I’m Tony Wang for TWiT and Before You Buy, and today I’m reviewing a couple in ear headsets that’s both tangle free, and affordable. First I have the TYLT Tunz, comes in 5 different colors. It has one inline control that lets you answer, and hang up on calls. And also if you want to have any voice control on your phone, you can press and hold the one button that the headphone has, and talk to your receiver, or your Google now, and in the future you can talk to quartana if you like. These headphones do come with a carrying case, and also an extra set of ear buds, that lets you sort of keep… well its suppose to keep the ear buds in place, so if you’re out jogging or running it won’t fall out. But in my experience with these headphones, they actually sort of pry the ear buds off axis a little bit. So I’m actually getting some noise leaking in. So noise isolations actually being heard by having this extra piece of rubber on the side. The MSRP price is $39.99. The street price is a little bit lower, at $36. Pros, it comes with a carrying case, it comes with the special ear pieces. Cons, the price is a little high, and you only have one control on the line. And the next headphone I have is the iLuv Neon Sound, it comes in 8 different colors. Has volume control as well as answer and hang-up, and your home button built into the line itself. Also a mic, so you can talk on the phone. And MSRP price is $34.99. And the street price is $13. The street price is 13 dollars! Did I mention the street price is 13 dollars? These headphones also have a flat construction for the cord, and because of the material they chose, the rubber they chose, the plastic they chose, it’s actually much less likely to tangle versus the TYLT Tunz which has sort of like a grippy, non-slippery rubber that actually makes the headphones more likely to tangle. So it’s kind of, sort of the wrong material to choose, for tangle free headphones. So pros and cons for the iLuv Neon Sound. It comes in 8 different colors, there’s a color for everybody. It’s comfortable in your ear. They don’t try to do anything crazy or fancy with the design. The only con I have for the iLuv Neon sound is they are a little bit large, compared to other in ear headphones. So buy, try, or don’t buy for these guys? I’m going to give a don’t buy for the TYLT, just because of the price. And I’m going to give the Neon Sound a buy, because of the price. I’m Tony for TWiT and Before You Buy, and this is the TYLT Tunz, and the iLuv Neon Sound.

Leo: The TYLT Tunes don’t buy. But the iLuv Neon Sound, a solid thumbs up, from our editor and chief Tony Wang. Now I am going to take a walk. TYLT, what did I say? Tons? They might as well be! Sorry, the TYLT Tunz. (Laughs) Tunz, yeah that spells tons! Okay! The TYLT Tunz. I’m doing going to try to pronounce the Scosche LobeDOPE headphones. Let’s walk over to say hello to Sarah Lane, and see what she thinks of the LobeDOPE. Eh, Hello Sarah Lane! How are you?

Sarah Lane: What? What?

Leo: I have come over here to the tech news tonight set, to see what the hell you’re wearing. Those are the Scosche LobeDOPEs.

Sarah: They are. I can actually hear you, they’re not actually noise cancelling headphones.

Leo: Okay.

Sarah: But they’re also…

Leo: They’re Dope.

Sarah:they’re kind of Dope…lobeDOPE. Isn’t that a weird name? I actually wanted to review them just because of the name. Because I wanted to know if they made my lobes feel dope or not. They kind of just feel like headphones. You definitely have to make sure that the left ear, the left side is on the left ear or they feel really weird.

Leo: And also there’s a little L.

Sarah: Sure! It’s not a mystery.

Leo: They look so good on me, don’t they?

Sarah: Well here’s the thing, they are a little silly looking…

Leo: Wait a minute, let me see them on you.

Sarah: … But I have to say, I kind of like the fact that where’s the L…here we go… I kind of like the fact that…

Leo: See they look good on you!

Sarah: …. They’re so bright that they’re kind of stylish in a weird way. I kind of like them, although I do like red. They’re 40 bucks though, so the fact that they’re not noise cancelling is okay with me because I’m not paying $250, $300 dollars for them.

Leo: Right. And you don’t have to worry about batteries, and all of that.

Sarah: No.

Leo: Now the kids do like very colorful headphones.

Sarah: It’s true. You see them more and more.

Leo: Mike Henry wears bright green ones. Cal Candy, all of these, they like the headphones that scream I’m wearing headphones.

Sarah: And even though, if you go to the gym, and you’re sweating, these are going to get a little gunky, but they’re definitely going to stay on your ears.

Leo: They’re rubbery!

Sarah: They’re not going to fall out, you don’t have waxy problems. Which, you know, sometimes I do.

Leo: Don’t like that.

Sarah: I’m a human.

Leo: I notice there’s a microphone.

Sarah: Microphone, for if you’ve got this plugged into your computer, or something like that. Also, there’s no volume control if you’re listening to music. But you can start and stop music, and you can also advance, depending on how much you click. So it’s not unlike the Apple in ear bud headphones in that way. Just without the volume control, so that’s slightly annoying. But in general I actually, I’ve tried some deep base songs, and I thought that they did really well. They get a little hissy when turned up to high, but you probably shouldn’t turn your earphones up to high anyway. Or the music anyway.

Leo: So the sound is pretty good?

Sarah: The sound is, yeah? What? I can’t hear you, I have red headphones on!

Leo: How is the sound?

Sarah: I do think that, considering the price point. It says $40 on lobeDOPEs website, but you can see them as low as $28 on Amazon. That’s really cheap. For sound that I think it pretty good, I tend to like bass heavy music, but again, that’s something that sometimes headphones can’t handle very well. So I was pretty impressed.

Leo: So we always do pros and cons. Your pros?

Sarah: My pros are, for the price, I think they’re pretty comfortable, I think that they look kind of cool.

Leo: On everybody but me.

Sarah: They look cool. You look really cool! You do, you do! You’ve never looked cooler!

Leo: I look like an angry old man.

Sarah: I don’t know what it is about your head, something is just off.

Leo: You know what? These don’t fit me well! If you have a very big head, this is not ideal.

Sarah: Well I guess that’s a con, they not fit your head as well as they fit my perfect dome. The color is not for everybody, they do come in other colors, but all the colors are pretty bright. And you don’t have things like noise cancelling or amazing sound. I think you’re getting what you pay for, but I think the mic and the volume control is a plus because sometimes you have to pay extra for that stuff.

Leo: Yeah it has a mic, not a volume control just an on off button.

Sarah: On off, and you can skip songs. Or go back.

Leo: So on the Scosche lobeDOPE, a try, buy, don’t buy?

Sarah: I say, if you want headphones under 50 bucks that are pretty okay, buy them!

Leo: There you go! It’s a thumbs up for the lobeDOPE from Scosche! (laughs) It sounds like I had a stroke. Thank you Sarah Lane!

Sarah: Yeah!

Leo: And thank you for watching, again we promised you the M8, we were not able to get it in time, they just released it today, but it’s on it’s way. We will have a review of the HDC1, the HDC1 one, next week on the show. I thank you for joining us, we thank our reviewers as well. Tony Wang, Sarah Lane, Shannon Morse, Father Robert Ballecer. We do Before You Buy every Tuesday. Come on by after Security Now, and watch us do the show. But you can also get each individual review on our YouTube site, Or download the whole show at In fact, best idea, subscribe, that way you’ll get it each and every week. Get your favorite pod catcher to a point to Before You Buy. Email us at if there’s something you’d like to see. I’m Leo Laporte, thanks for joining us. Remember you’ve got to watch Before You Buy. Bye, bye!

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