ROXI Electric Jukebox Review

Hey readers,

I was lucky enough to be asked to review a ROXI Electric Jukebox. If you haven’t heard of this product then think of a music streaming entertainment service enhanced with karaoke, a choice of live worldwide radio stations, a game of name that tune with many genres to choose from and more.  There are many streaming services out there but ROXI Electric jukebox is a music streaming service that is an alternative to those such as Spotify, Tidal, Napster, Amazon, Apple, etc. focusing on sharing the experience in a family/party friendly way and moving from the private, sheltered individualistic routes that the aforementioned streaming services take you.

WHATS IN THE BOX / HOW IT LOOKS

The packaging is a smart, well designed affair with an outer card sleeve protecting an inner box that contains the well protected kit. Sliding a new box from a thick outer sleeve always makes me tingle with anticipation as there is normally something of good quality waiting to be revealed and the ROXI Electric Jukebox hub with its accompanying remote/microphone certainly looks the part as you pop the lid of the inner box open.

The ROXI Electric Jukebox hub and remote/mic are nestled into their own snug compartments in a strong card tray. Under that is another tray that holds three cables:

  • Power Adapter – 240v, 3 pin transformer plug to 5v 5.5mm power jack.
  • HDMI cable – 1m long, male both ends for video/audio connection to your TV.
  • USB cable – short usb cable to charge the remote/microphone.

ROXI Electric Jukebox comes with a full year premium subscription membership to get you started (then £52 a year which I believe is about half the amount that some others charge). A nicely laid out paper guide is included to help get you into the fun as quickly and easily as possible.

The ROXI hub is 27mm high and about 130mm square but rounded more like a lozenge with a matt plastic concave top incorporating a shiny ‘eJ’ logo and a smart flush fitted, soft lit power button. The front face includes ‘E L E C T R I C   J U K E B O X’ in shiny block letters. The base of the Roxi hub is convexed down to a soft silicone ring that means wherever you place it, the ROXI hub shouldn’t leave any marks. A really neat feature is a ‘keyhole’ inset into the base to allow you to hang the ROXI hub off a screw on the wall behind your TV. All the sockets are located in the back of the Hub and include: Power; HDMI; Ethernet; USB; Audio.

All in all the ROXI hub is very smart and whether you choose Charcoal, Blue or Coral, it will look good anywhere but is well enough designed to hide behind the TV should you wish.

The Remote/Microphone is wireless and created in the same smart style as the ROXI hub with the matt finish and an ‘eJ’ logo near the base. It is made from a soft feel plastic, is about 175mm long, 30mm square with rounded edges and feels really pleasant to hold and use. The top section of the remote/mic is cloth as it is a microphone but is still as smart and good quality as the rest it Down the front of the remote/mic is: ‘OK’ button, fast forward, pause and ‘voice search’ button.

SETTING UP

Setting up ROXI takes less than two minutes using the supplied power lead to a 240v socket and then the supplied HDMI lead between the jukebox and your tv – easy as pie.

Internet connection is easy enough, you can either:

  • plug in an ethernet cable (not supplied) direct from your router into the jukebox and you have instant internet connection.
  • switch the jukebox on with just power and TV connected- the jukebox immediately asks for your WIFI password so type it in and off you go.

If like us you use a ‘Wireless Station Access List’ for extra WIFI security then you will no doubt be looking for the MAC address of the jukebox – I gave up looking and it doesn’t show in the list of available addresses on my router.  I turned the access list off, connected the jukebox using the WIFI password then refreshed the router page, hey presto, there was the MAC address for me to copy and paste into the Wireless Station Access List; switch the security feature back on the router and then sign the jukebox out and back into the WIFI network again. I can’t help but think it would be much easier if the jukebox’s MAC address was supplied printed on the machine.

NAVIGATION THROUGH MENUS / REMOTE CONTROL

The on screen menus of the ROXI Electric Jukebox are easy to navigate around and the icons used are easy to understand so you don’t get confused like I would normally. Whenever a text is needed, an onscreen keyboard pops up just like on a smart phone. To move your on screen cursor all you have to do is point the remote at the screen and wave it about, pressing ‘OK’ when your cursor is in the right place. It feels a bit strange at first but then you realise it is just like moving a computer mouse about but in the air. To make life quicker and much easier you can use the ‘mic’ button on your remote and voice recognition does the rest for you with no problems recognising different accents.

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I can not seem to get voice search to work in the ‘Party:Karaoke’ mode though which is a big shame – I shall email the ROXI team and update this when I find out more.

FEATURES

There are tens of million of tracks at your fingertips for you to listen to and these can be searched individually or you can jump into different genres to inspire your choice. There are global radio stations and even a section specifically for children’s stories (a perfect way for them to wind down before bed).

A good feature that we like is that once you start a song or playlist, you can still navigate through most of the menus with the music still playing in the background and the information of the current song a the bottom of the screen.

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In addition to this you can select the current song at the bottom of the screen and look at the track list or album/single detailed information which then provides a link to find more music from the same artist. As you are doing this there is always the option of a simple click to add a track, album or radio station to your favourite.

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The home screen gives you a small settings ‘cog’ icon for WIFI connection, Family Protection, Visualiser on/off, auto TV wake when ROXI is switched on, and general product information. The main options on the home screen are:

Party:

  • Sing With The Stars – karaoke to millions of songs with an individual song, artist or album search, classic karaoke suggestions, modern, top artists or browse by genre.
  • Name That Tune – One of the worlds top music quizzes with a choice of 16 genres to guess as many songs in 30 seconds or less with the ability to record high scores for the family. Really fun game against the timer and a bit of friendly competition for the family and friends.
  • Party Playlists – 10 genres of party mixes to keep you bouncing.

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Discover:

  • My Playlists – make your own.
  • Tastemakers – playlists by celebrity curators such as Sheryl Crow, Robbie Williams, Alexander Armstrong (Danger Mouse! my children shout when they hear Alexander’s voice on the radio). In total, 6 celebrities with 33 playlists between them
  • Moods – many playlists categorised under 13 genres such as Romance, Workout, Zumba, Road Trippin’ – plenty of choice to just press play and let the music work its magic.
  • Genres – loads of playlists under classic genres such as Rock, Pop, Electronic.
  • Featured – unusual Genres that are great to explore: Children’s Stories, The Brits, Jacaranda, etc.

My Music: a place to find all your saved:

  • Playlists.
  • Albums.
  • Songs.
  • Radio Stations.

Search: find individual song title, album or artist:

  • Voice Search
  • Test Search
  • Recent Searches

Extras:

  • Radio – find your stored My Favourite radio station or search through Popular Radio, Radio by Genre or individual station search.
  • Sound Machine – Relax, Meditate or Sleep – set the timer for auto-off and chill out to relaxing sounds.
  • Photo Frame – turn your tv into a living photo album by linking to your Facebook photo albums.

OVERVIEW / ENJOYMENT

My kids love the karaoke with ROXI Electric Jukebox and find it ace, my eldest is learning to read so the karaoke helps encourage him to learn new words in a fun way. You do not have to fear about young children hearing foul language as there is a ‘Family Protect’ feature that you can enable prevent the little ones hearing the things you may not want them to.

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I find it easy to use and finding music is quick and fun. We can take it in turns with the microphone or share it. Independant research found that 66% of parents wish they could spend more family time together**. That is why this device is good as it offers opportunity to share some time together as a family and create happy memories. The amount of ready to run playlists are great as it introduces us to new music. I enjoy beating my hubby’s high score in ‘Name That Tune’.

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When it comes time to relax for bed the Sound Machine section under Extras is fantastic and also includes White Noise and the sound of Heart Beats which are great for soothing babies and getting them and the parents off to sleep. The company’s ethos of, “Music at home should be for sharing not headphone wearing” is true – we love sharing our old tunes, our parents old tunes and also exploring new tunes with our children.

ROXI is great but I have a few criticisms:

In the karaoke the ‘next lines to sing’ are very dark and so hard to see, it would be great if they could be a little brighter or use a light blue and yellow mix so we can be better prepared for when the new line comes comes up. What happened to the little bouncing ball that helps us with the timing?

The microphone can be very echoey  but that might be us getting used to how to hold it correctly.

The volume really needs more control, we have to have the TV turned up loud because the music is so quiet and even with the microphone turned to low our voices through the TV are still deafening. I think having 3 volume sliders would improve the sound: one for the music in general; one for the mic and one to control the volume of the music while the mic is being sang into.

As the jukebox is only running on 5 volts and draws no more than 2 amps maximum (according to rating on the transformer plug) I don’t understand why it doesn’t use a usb power socket. As most modern tv’s come with usb outlets for such things it would keep things tidier and would give us the opportunity to swap the lead to whatever length we need (the supplied power lead is only 1 metre long)

Overall, ROXI Electric Jukebox is a fantastic piece of kit, simple to set up, lots of choice and a slick design making it appealing to the modern person. It is a fantastic tool to add to family or group entertainment and will be great for christmases or birthdays.

I have also done a  video of going through the menus etc so you can get a better idea as exactly how the electric jukebox works

Cheers for reading X

**Research carried out July 2017 by censuswide for electric jukebox sample 2000 UK families with children under 14 years old. 

I was given a electric jukebox in exchange for a review. However, all opinions expressed are my own entirely. .

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Homely

Hey readers,

My word of the week is:

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I always have this problem with feeling guilty attached to staying at home with my boys. There is so much pressure to do something and be on the go that we can almost forget to take things slowly.

It is hard when you really struggle but taking it the slow lane has really helped me to enjoy my time with the boys. Don’t get me wrong there are moments when I want tear my hair out with all the bickering over such insignificant things.

I have enjoyed the most cuddles and just chatting whilst playing hairdressers. The boys have been more relaxed and I think we all have appreciated it.

Of course we didn’t stop everything we fitting in trying out our new dinosaur tray and making some yummy, scrummy getting in my tummy chocolate cake. It was divine.

Cheers for reading X

The Reading Residence

Home decor wish list!

Hey readers,

Today I bring you a home decor wish list of all the loveliness of all things home decor related from the Uncommon Goods website.

A little bit about the company itself – Uncommon Goods was founded in 1999 and headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, Uncommon Goods is a privately-owned retailer that endeavors to feature unique jewelry, designer décor, tabletop items, and handcrafted gifts created in harmony with the environment without harm to animals or people. So that is why you should definitely check out on this page wide range of home decor to chose from.

Uncommon Goods has been rewarded for outstanding customer service from BizRate every year since 2007. In 2015, Uncommon Goods achieved the BizRate Platinum Circle of Excellence award.

the website appeals to me greatly as it has amazing unique and quirky ideas that you don’t really find on your high street. If your looking for something a little bit different then Uncommon Goods is the place to go.

I have hand picked six items that I love in the home decor range and if I had the money/older children then these are the types of products that I would definitely go for.

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Firstly, how amazing is this first item, it is cool display of the toilet paper and fantastic storage, which in a small space is such fab idea.

I have never seen anything like this next item which is a sea swirl candle dome (2). It is absolutely stunning and really great a stunning ambience when your in need of time to relax.

I know my husband and children would love this kinetic gear holder (3). It is so fun to bring a playful element into your home.

The deep sea sand art (4) is such a calming feel to it and would bright an element of nature in your home decor. I could image me just sitting there watching the sand transform into different patterns.

How quirky and humours is this doormat (5), it is going to make any visitor that calls at your door to smile . Check out more home decor items on this page – http://www.uncommongoods.com/home-garden/home-decor/mats-rugs.

One of the factors what influences me in choosing an item for the home is it being environmentally friendly. Well look no further then this wonderful idea and that this recycled glass rainbow wind-chime (6). It such a clever way to recycle items that may end up wasted. There are other similar stuff that you can find if you visit at Uncommon Goods.

Cheers for reading X

This is a collaborative post with Uncommon Goods.

Bringing up Georgia
ethannevelyn.com

Expecting House Guests? Follow These Steps

Hey Readers,

Have you got family and friends coming to stay for a special occasion? renting out your spare room to holiday makers? Either way, it’s time to start creating the ultimate space for them to sleep and relax in. For most homeowners, the guest room is a dumping ground that goes unnoticed and unused for the majority of the year. It’s a place to store those items you want to keep but don’t use often. It’s also a room that doesn’t get decorated as often as the other rooms in your home. When you invite guests to stay, particularly those who are paying, you want them to have a fantastic experience in this room. It doesn’t have to be spacious or overly fancy. It just needs to be clean, tidy and comfortable. So to help you create an incredible guest room that your visitors never want to leave, follow these steps.

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Replace old with new

If your guest room has not been used for a while, it will undoubtedly need updating. So before you do anything else you need to access what needs replacing. This depends greatly on how much time you have before your guests arrive. Starting large renovations the day before is of course not a good idea. So try to plan ahead as best you can.

One element of a guest room that many homeowners forget to replace is the mattress. A worn or damaged mattress won’t give your guests a peaceful night’s sleep. So check the condition and assess whether it needs replacing. If it does, look online at latex or pocket spring mattresses from John Ryan by Design. Another part of your spare room that you need to check is your bedding. Does the bed look and smell clean? If not, give all of your bedding a thorough clean and make sure it’s dry and ironed before putting it back on. If you find that some stains cannot be removed, or there are rips, start looking for new and beautiful bedding online. You can’t go wrong with white, but don’t be afraid of colour either. Also, make sure you replace your pillows and ensure you have a variety of sizes on offer.

Another aspect of your guest room that might need updating is the decor. It’s likely this room needs sprucing up to make it look brand new. You can replace tired looking wallpaper with sophisticated styles by Harlequin wallpaper designers . Or just use a fresh lick of paint to bring vibrancy and interest back into the space. In addition to this, you could replace your window treatments, light fittings and carpets. This will provide you with an enhanced overall look and could allow you to charge more when you rent the room out.

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Think like your guests

To give your guests the best experience possible, you need to start thinking like them. This will make it far easier to know what to include in your guest room. While the look of the room is important, it should also be practical and functional to use. So think about what you would want to be included if you were coming to stay in someone else’s house. Clean, fluffy towels in varying sizes is a top must-have for house guests. Buy the best quality you can afford as they are more likely to last longer. These should be neatly folded and placed on the bed or stored in the en-suite or bathroom. You should also provide other bathroom essentials such as toothbrushes, toilet paper and shower gel. These are things that many people forget to pack, and your guests will love that you’ve make the effort to provide them.

Storage is another thing that most of your visitors require. Especially if they are staying for a long time or have children with them. You don’t want them to be living out of a suitcase for the stay, do you? So start clearing the wardrobes and drawers within your spare room. You could buy some extra hangers and make more space on the surfaces too. This should give your visitors sufficient space to unpack their belongings which will make the room feel more welcoming. Pens, paper and water glasses will also be welcomed additions to your room.

While it’s good to provide space, try not to make the room feel too clinical and sparse. It’s doubtful that your guests will feel comfortable in a room that lacks personality of any kind. You could display books on the bedside table or on shelves within the room. Or use wall art, candles and flowers for decoration. This will make the space feel more homely and more enjoyable to spend time in.

 

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Create an information sheet

While you are making the final touches to your guest room, take the time to create a fun information sheet. This is particularly important if you are having paying visitors, but family and friends might also find it useful too. This sheet should have useful information such as the wifi password, your address and contact information. If the room has an en suite, you could also include instructions on how to turn on the shower. For out of town guests, remember to include nearby attractions too. Restaurants, cinemas and shopping centres could all be places they want to visit during their stay.

Just make sure your information sheet doesn’t sound too much like you are setting rules and restrictions. This will be off-putting and may make your house guests feel uncomfortable. Keep it fun and stick to bullet points. The last thing your guests will want is a long essay to read just to find out your wifi password. Position it somewhere in the room where they will see it such as on a desk or on the bed.

You should now have a guest room that looks more loved and far more appealing for your guests. Whether it’s for renting visitors or family, they will no doubt want to return again and again. Just remember to keep it maintained with regular cleaning and tidying to keep it looking incredible at all times. You never know when an unexpected visitor might need a bed for the night.

Cheers for reading X

Pink Pear Bear

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Easy Ways To Make Your Family Room Look More Homely

Hey readers,

The living room is the perfect place for all the family to spend some quality time together, so you should aim to create a room that’s cosy and comfortable for everyone. Even really nicely decorated rooms can look stark and bare without the right finishing touches, so to bring it all together the perfect accessories are key. If you feel like your family room is currently bland and a bit lacking, check out these easy ways to make it feel more homely.

Add Cushions and Throws

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Cushions and throws will make a room immediately look more cosy and homely. They’re a good way to bring in some colour and texture into the room, but also have the benefit of being lovely and comfortable too. Perfect for snuggling up together with in the evenings and on lazy weekends. A cosy bed on the sofa is the perfect way for a sick child to recover when they’ve not been feeling well (and they’re pretty handy for cheeky naps for the adults too!)

Display Family Photographs

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You can find some.great products at Personal Creations. 

When we all take so many photos this day in age, it would be silly not to display some of our favourites. Family photos are a great way for visitors to learn more about your family, and are fantastic little reminders of the fun you’ve had together. Gallery walls are popular and give you the opportunity to display lots of individual pictures.
 Before hanging your frames, lay them all out on the floor first so you have an idea of where each piece looks best. Add Glue dots from Glue Guns Direct to each corner of your photo. This will tack it to the inside of the frame, and prevent it from slipping down or moving once it’s been hung. Then use a spirit level to check each picture after hanging to make sure everything looks perfectly straight.

Don’t Disregard Lighting

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Lighting is so often overlooked, but it’s a a really important thing to get right if you want to create a nice ambience in your home. You should ideally go for a couple of different lamps with varying levels of brightness, then you can tailor the lighting to whatever you’re doing in the room. Lamps with multi touch brightness are especially good as you have even more control. If you buy lamps with neutral coloured bases, you can change up the shades whenever you get bored or want to update the colour scheme in your room. This saves money on shelling out for an entirely new lamp!

Put Down Some Rugs

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Rugs are great for bringing in some additional comfort underfoot, and can tie everything else in the room together. When you have young kids that like to play on the floor it makes it a lot nicer for them too. Another benefit of adding rugs to your space is that you can use them to section out different areas in a room. So for example if you have your dining table in your living room, a rug under that as well as one in the general seating area gives you defined spaces.

Display Some Decorative Items

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These are all of the other miscellaneous bits and bobs. Things like vases of flowers, candles, plants and ornaments. The key to getting your decorative accessories right is finding a good balance. You want to display pieces that show your personality but without cluttering or overcrowding the room. One good tip to remember is don’t display things that are smaller that a grapefruit. This will prevent your room from looking too busy. Arrange small groups of items, and play around with the layout of them to work out what looks best.

Cheers for reading X

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