Amazon Echo Dot Clipping Solved?

In the home audio ABUS and Amazon Echo Dot review and test we discovered that the first generation Echo Dot would “clip”. It initially sounded like digital skipping, a result of low bandwidth or bad wifi, but it was something else. The fix is easy.


Easy To Install Whole House Audio? Look At ABus

ABUS is an industry standard (sort of) whole home audio solution. As our world gets more and more wireless, the range and dependability of the wireless systems becomes an issue. At COOLTOYS we have found that wired is always the best but the cost can be prohibitive.

If you want an easy to install and grow whole house audio system, or maybe even a small office system, see how ABUS does in the COOLTOYS test.

Amazon Echo Dot Test and Review

We’ve seen the Amazon Echo, aka Alexa here on COOLTOYS, and now we decided to test the little cousin the dot. The Echo dot doesn’t have a speaker in the first model so you can’t use it to play music directly, but it does have an output jack. That means you can run it into your stereo?

Editors note: Amazon 3rd generation and newer Echo’s have better output amplifiers so we saw reduced clipping at higher outputs and multi room music syncing when the wifi signal was very strong. We have had one unit that needs a reset every time we power it down or the network resets.

Behind the Scenes Season One

COOLTOYS host Scott Bourquin gives you a quick look behind the scenes at COOLTOYS.

Need Quiet? Acoustiblok It.

At COOLTOYS we are always looking for great ways to be better neighbors and still have COOLTOYS. If you have a musician in the family and they are making the neighbors nuts, don’t miss this episode. Acoustiblok is the king of quiet.

Editors Note: Acoustiblok was also featured in another publication for making an autistic childs room quiet enough for them to have normal activities. We gave it four stars when we reviewed it, but this adds the fifth star we took away because our wives approved it.

CoolToys Approved Star

Chevy Volt Gen 1 v Chevy Volt Gen 2

At COOLTOYS, we surf. We don’t like the tar on our feet from the oil rigs and we like seeing the mountains now that the smog is gone. Yes you can have a little tree hugger in you and still have COOLTOYS. As Chevrolet introduces the second Generation Chevy Volt we take a look at both models after driving Generation one for two years and Generation two for a month.

Being outdoors and not polluting is always COOL. Now that we have solar on the office, we just use the sun to run around town. That’s COOLTOYS.

Editors Note: After a year of driving the second generation Volt, we are still achieving 50-60 miles of range on battery and 40 plus mpg. Chevy gets another COOLTOYS Star for this car.

Dick Tracy Cellular Watch!

COOLTOYS TV finds real cellular watches over seas and brings them to the US for the ultimate test. Our goal is simple. The watch much be independent of the cellular phone and work in all kinds of conditions. The best part is that some of these are under $50!

Editors Note: Due to the popularity and success of the Samsung Gear and Apple Watch, many of the overseas manufacturers have stopped offering their watches in the US.

Amazon Echo aka Alexa

So we have the Amazon Echo, or as you might call her, Alexa. In this first test of Alexa, Amazon convinced us to pony up the money for the prime service account so we could test all of the features.

Editors Note: After a year of living with Alexa, the critical flaw of central located services, i.e. the old mainframe is that if you lose internet, Alexa goes stupid. Week wifi – equals annoying reconnects too.

Best Fitness Bands Tested

At COOLTOYS TV we are always outside. Surfing, skiing, biking, hiking and crawling offload in the Jeeps. We wanted to know if there was a fitness band that told us something we wanted to know.

After our test there was a standout. Not for the information it gave us but for how it helped our testers and our host sleep better. A fitness band for better sleep? Yup!

Editors note: Since this video was published, Jawbone went out of business and the product is no longer available. The sleep technology they used was patented and as of now (Feb 2019) we don’t know of anyone using it.

Power Tools!

As Tim Taylor used to say on Tool Time, “more power is good”. As our host tackles the removal of a wood floor, he finds that the Tool Man’s advice couldn’t be more right.