Dualit EcoPress™ Duo Max Pod Recycler, finally, a Way to Feel Good About Your Coffee Habit

Dualit, famous for their high end kitchen equipment, make Nespresso compatible coffee machines, coffee pods and recyclers.

EcoPress™ Duo Max Pod Recycler,

Recently the EcoPress™ Duo Max Pod Recycler was released. It's slightly more complex than the original EcoPress™ Aluminium Capsule Recycler in that it empties two pods at once and also has a container to hold the emptied pods for washing.

Showing pod recycler left and emptied pod holder right

The pod emptier has a base that can be removed and it sits in a slight depression in the main base that holds the second section.


Pods are placed silver side down on to the recycling section (the thinner end pointing up), the lid is pressed down and the pod will empty into the container. It can hold about 12 pods worth of coffee before it needs emptying. The other section holds maybe 40 to 50 emptied pods.

pods on recycler

When lifting the lid off the emptier, it's easy to move the container, so it's no longer sitting in the depression and as quite a lot of force is required to push down, then container can slip.

Lid on top of pods

Emptying the container is easiest by just inverting and shaking the grounds out of the holes, though sometimes a pod will be pushed in and then the base has to be removed. Removing the base for normal emptying isn't recommended as it's fiddly and the holes have to stay on top (or the grounds will fall out).

Emptied pods in recycler

Though most of the grounds stay in the containers, there will be some spillage on to whatever the recycler is placed. It also must be quite sturdy as a fair bit of steady effort is required pushing down the recycler lid.

If there's a lot of pods to recycle, it's definitely quicker than using the original, but probably not worth an upgrade.

It retails for £19.99


Nank(Naenka) Runner Diver2 Bone Conduction Swimming Headphones that Will Make You Sing Underwater

Nank(Naenka) formally known as Naenka are a Chinese manufacturer specialising in bone conduction headphones.

The Runner Diver 2 are its latest product. As well as Bluetooth (v5.3) support, there's 32GB of memory allowing for music files to be stored on the device itself.

The come in a box (that is remarkably similar dimensions to a competitor) which is mainly cardboard with some plastic inserts to hold various items such as the ear plugs, sound quality enhancers and the headphones themselves. They're also a USB-A charging cable and instruction manual.

Headphone box

If the USB cable is plugged into a PC (macOS or Windows), the headphones appear as a USB disk and music files which are MP3/M4A/WAV/APE/FLAC can be transferred. The headphones support multipoint paring (i.e. multiple devices).

Diver is probably not the best description for the headphones as they are only IP68 certified which is 1 metre depth in water for up to 30 minutes - so maybe Runner Swimmer would be more appropriate. While swimming it's necessary to use the MP3 mode as a Bluetooth connection may cut out when the headphones are submersed and will then try and reconnect as they come out of the water.

Looking under headphones

Bone conduction works by transferring the audio vibrations through the cheekbones so how the headphones fit is quite important. They comes with some silicon inserts called sound enhancers that fit into the ear itself, sitting on the indented bit before the ear canal (so not in the ear canal like in-ear earphones). The sound enhancers come in small, medium and large. The headphones then are placed over the ears.

Sound enhancers

The sound enhancers made a huge difference in sound quality and fit, however head shape has a lot to do with it and they may not make a huge difference for everyone. An obvious issue is that they sit in-front of the ear canal so do block some of the sounds from the environment which is why some people are using bone conduction headphones in the first place. There's good bass, midrange and treble supported by the 16 mm speaker. There's also built-in noise cancelling for the microphones.

looking form back

Battery life is 10 hours (at 60% volume) and 150 hours standby and a full charge takes 1.5 hours and 15 hours talk time. The magnetic connector is polarised so it will only fit one way, but the pins do protrude and can easily short onto any flat metallic material especially if it's ferrous as the magnets will be attracted to it.

Side view

The headphones are reasonably light weight at 32g and are covered in silicone that is skin friendly being soft, hypoallergenic and breathable. The design is meant to resemble a seahorse (well the bone conducting part).

Top view

There are 3 buttons, Power, "+" and "-".

Power button

Long Press 3 secs - Power On / Power Off

Double click - Wake up Voice assistant / exit voice assistant

Click Once - Play/Pause / Answer/Hangup

Double Click - Ignore call

Triple Click - Bluetooth/MP3 mode

Quad (4) clicks - Sequential/Random play in MP3 mode

+ Button

Click once - Volume Up

Long Press 2 seconds - Next song

- Button

Click once - Volume Down

Long Press 2 seconds - Last song

They retail for around £140.00 but a 15% discount is available using the code "Steve" (no quotes required).

As stated without the sound enhancers, the sound quality and fit wasn't brilliant and they vibrated against the skin annoyingly, with the sound enhanced things improved dramatically but that relates to head shape so things might be completely different for other users. With the sound enhancers sound quality was pretty good (as least as good as the competition). Not a bad headphone.


Feel the Beat of a Different Drum: Shokz OpenRun Pro Bone Conduction Headphones

Shokz (previously known as Aftershokz) have been producing bone conducting headphones for a while, their latest headphone is the OpenRun Pro. This has two sides connected by a titanium band that goes behind the head and over the ears, while each side has a "speaker" that sits in front of the ear connected to  a solid bit that connects to the loop (the right hand side has the charging connection and the on/off/volume buttons). This bit has been redesigned so the charging connection is on the angled back, which makes it impossible to even try to force the magnetic connector on the wrong way round. The left speaker has the multifunction button.

OpenRun Pro headphones

Bone conduction works by vibrating the bones which then transmit the sound to the inner ear, this does mean that if the volume is too loud, then you can feel a vibration against the skin (like being tickled) which can be annoying, but assuming the volume is at a sensible level, this doesn't happen. Being "open ear" means you still hear what's going on around you, which may not be what you want if immersing yourself into a movie or travelling on the tube, but for runners, cyclists and even working out in a gym when you want to be aware of your surroundings these definitely work well.

Though similar in design to the older Aeropex, the OpenRun Pro is slimmed down in size for a more lightweight feel and only weighs 29g.

Bottom view

Audio quality has improved markedly in the OpenRun Pro and sounds more balanced with better depth in the lower frequencies (TurboPitch). Higher frequencies have always worked better and are crisp and clear. The volume can be adjusted sufficiently to overcome wind noise without distorting. Unfortunately fidelity is unlikely ever going to match traditional headphones, the OpenRun Pro delivers pretty good sound quality (Shokz claim 20Hz - 20KHz frequency response).

Top view

On the base of the right hand there are only two buttons, volume up and down, the volume up button is also the power button, if the OpenRun Pros are off, long pressing it will turn them on (and the blue LED will turn on too), holding it down when on, will turn them off. If turning on and continuing to hold, then the LED will flash red and blue, indicating it is in pairing mode.

There's also a multifunction button on the left speaker that pressing will pause/play music, answer a call etc.

Power connection

There are dual microphones which pick up speech which means calls and video conferencing work well.

The OpenRun Pros are also IP55 allowing them to be used in sweaty environments. There is a built-in moisture detector.

Bluetooth is now version 5.1 (though 5.3 is the latest version), but that should allow more stable Bluetooth connections and supporting multipoint pairing (i.e. multiple devices). The SBC codec is supported as well as A2DP, AVRCP, HSP and HFP Bluetooth profiles.

Battery life is now 10 hours on a full charge (which takes 1 hour). A 5 minute charge will give 1.5 hours of usage. Standby is up to 10 days.

Shokz now provide an app (IOS and Android) that allows for 2 levels of EQ (equalisation) optimising for music or voice. The app also supports pairing, multipoint pairing, listening customisation, and user tips.

In the box there's also a hard shell carry case that holds the headphones and a USB-A charging cable (that can fit into the carry case under a strap).

Hard shell carry case

As an artefact of bone conduction technology, if you have slight hearing loss that is caused by something say in the ear canal or similar, sound can actually sound better (or louder) as it's directly stimulating the inner ear [NOTE this is NOT any advice re hearing loss].

Not the most expensive headphones on the market they can be directly purchased from the Shokz site or other retailers for £159 (purchasing from Shokz gives a 2 year guarantee in certain territories).


Ear's to Nothing: Why Nothing Ear (2) is Music to Our Ears

Nothing has come out with the second version of the Ear phone (earphone) called unsurprisingly the Ear (2) phone.

Founded by Carl Pei (previously having founded OnePlus), Nothing is his new mobile first company making tech that is affordable and aesthetically pleasing. The first product was the Nothing Ear (1) wireless earphones and now, they've raised the bar even higher with the release of their latest model, the Nothing Ear (2).

Nothing Ear (2) original package

The outer box has a tearable strip which allows the inner box to be removed.

Tearable strip

The inner box is very black.

Inner box

The top bit is the instruction manual in a sleeve.

Sleeve holding instruction manual

Removing the sleeve reveals the earphone case (in a removable plastic protective cover).

Case in protective plastic sleeve

Once the case is removed the side compartments are accessible.

Box side compartments

One side holds the USB-C to USB-C cable and the other the small and large silicon tips.

USB-Cto USB-C charging cable

Silicon tips

The case has a USB-C charging port and a button to initiate pairing.

Charging case

Charging case lid open

At first glance, the Ear (2) may seem like just another pair of earphones, but a closer look reveals its unique design and features that set it apart from the competition. The Ear (2) boasts a sleek, transparent design that showcases the inner workings of the earphones. This design not only looks futuristic but also allows for a better understanding of how the Ear (2) works.

Ear phones (2)

Looking from the other end, it's possible to see the metal filter that allows sound to pass through while now allowing ingress of particles from your ear.

Metal grill

But it's not just about looks – the Ear (2) also delivers top-of-the-line audio quality. With active noise cancellation (ANC), the Ear (2) blocks out all outside noise, allowing for an immersive listening experience. And now with an in-house designed impressive 11.6mm driver, the Ear (2) produces clear, crisp sound that rivals even the most high-end (fruity) earphones on the market. The diaphragm is made from graphene and polyurethane.

One standout feature of the Ear (2) is its press controls. With just a few presses, users can play or pause music, skip tracks, and even activate voice assistants like Siri or Google Assistant. The touch controls are also customisable, allowing users to set their preferred commands for even easier use. The Ear (1) used touch controls which could be triggered erroneously.

But perhaps the most impressive feature of the Ear (2) is its battery life. With up to 6 hours of continuous listening time and an additional 34 hours with the charging case, the Ear (2) can last through even the longest listening sessions. The earphone buds are also very light at 4.5g each (the case is 51.9g). Actual battery life will depend on use: -

  • Playback with ANC off: Up to 36 hours with case and 6.3 hours with buds only
  • Playback with ANC on: Up to 22.5 hours with case and 4 hours with buds only
  • Talk time with ANC off: Up to 20.5 hours with case and 3.5 hours with buds only
  • Talk time with ANC on: Up to 17.5 hours with case and 3 hours with buds only

Bluetooth is now at 5.3 supporting BLE, SPP, HFP, A2DP, AVRCP and AAC, SBC, LHDC audio codecs.

Water and dust protection has also been increased and is now IP54 for the buds and  IP55 for the case.

It's important to download the Nothing X app (iOS and Android) as many earphone features such as ANC/bud fit and balancer/equaliser are adjusted within it. It's also quite likely there will be a firmware update and this is performed through the app too.

Nothing X App

When these arrived they also came with a Nothing baseball cap and the obligatory sticker.

Baseball cap


The are available to buy from the Nothing store and cost £129 (actually cheaper than the Ear (1)).


Grounds for Good: How Dualits's Recycling Device Brews Sustainability

Whether you're a fan of Nespresso or not (the coffee can be quite nice), the pods are a pain to recycle. They either have to be taken to a Nespresso shop or getting Nespresso to pick them up in a Nespresso (or coffee shop) recycling bag.

Now there's another solution get a Dualit Nespresso Unfill recycling device. It's all plastic with a base.

Dualit Until base

Then there's a green bit that sits on the base and fits semi-screws on to it (or positions itself via a slotted bit). It's ribbed/strengthen underneath.
Dualit Unfill rim (from below)

Looking from above, there's an inner ring where the pod sits on (foil side down).

Dualit Unfill rim (from above)

The lid has an inner protrusion which matches the base of the pod.

Dualit Unfill lid

When put together the green rim sits on the base, then the pod is sat on the rim with the narrower part facing up. The lid is then pushed down firmly and keeping it as straight as possible.

The pod will then be inverted and all the coffee (well most of it) will end up in the the base (some does stick to the remains of the pod). The base holds 7 or 8 pods.

Rinse the pods off and then they can go in household recycling (if there's a few, then wrap them in aluminium foil and they'll be detected as aluminium recycling more accurately, they can be pushed into each other for a compact result).

The coffee grounds can then be recycled in food waste, composted or used to add to soil (allegedly slugs don't like caffeine) and there's goodness in the grounds too that plants can use too.

It's available for £9.99 direct from Dualit or many good retailers.


Get into Zen sleep with Amaz(ing)fit Buds

Amazfit (a Xiaomi sub-company) produce various fitness products such as watches and bands and also ear buds.

Now it has designed the Amazfit Zenbuds which are a pair of true wireless earbuds that offer a unique feature – they can help you fall asleep faster. These earbuds are designed with sleep in mind, with a number of features that are meant to help you relax and drift off to sleep.

In terms of sound quality, the Zenbuds offer clear and crisp audio. The earbuds are comfortable to wear and fit securely in the ear, making them a great option for sleeping or working out. The battery life of the Zenbuds is also impressive, with the earbuds lasting up to 8 hours on a single charge.

Zenbuds with small tips

One of the standout features of the Zenbuds is the ability to play white noise or guided meditations to help you relax and clear your mind before bed. These sounds can be customised and set to play for a certain amount of time, allowing you to drift off to sleep peacefully.

The buds are relatively small, with silicon tips (S/M/L) that fit in the ear canal. The outside of the buds have a silicon protrusion that helps hold them in place in the ear. They are also very light at 2g per bud.

One feature is the touch control system, which allows you to easily control your music and adjust the volume without having to pull out your phone. The earbuds also have a built-in microphone, allowing you to take calls or access your phone's voice assistant without having to remove the earbuds.

The buds come in a charging case with a USB-C port.

Zenbuds case (the lettering is silver and reflective)

The Zenbuds are also sweat and water resistant, making them a good option for working out or for use in wet conditions. The charging case provides an additional 4 charges for the earbuds, giving a total of up to 32 hours of use.

The top of the case swivels to open and the case has 3 white LEDs showing its charge. The left and right buds must be placed in their equivalent (correct) receptacles or they won't charge, but they do magnetically snap in.

Charge status LEDs

The buds have two electrical connectors for charging and they fit on top of the equivalent pins on their respective spaces in the case and are held magnetically.

Electrical connectors

The buds act like normal earphones but also have sensors in to measure heart rate when sleeping and in terms of connectivity, the Zenbuds use Bluetooth 5.0 technology, ensuring a stable and reliable connection to both Android and iOS devices. When sleeping The earbuds track your sleep patterns, including how long you sleep, how deep your sleep is, and how many times you wake up during the night.

This data is then synced to the Amazfit app, where you can view your sleep stats and get insights on how to improve your sleep quality. The app also offers sleep recommendations and suggestions for creating a better sleep environment.

Though the buds have the springy loop bit that fits into the ear, they can fall out, especially if your head moves around a lot and your ear rests on the pillow or mattress.

The current design only plays music/sounds for the set duration or until you fall asleep, but if you wake up again, the sounds don't resume which isn't much good for restless sleep. Though quoted for 8 hours, they can run out of power if you have a sleeping problem such as insomnia or don't fall into deep sleep so they don't detect your asleep at all.

An alarm can also be set in the app, so the buds will wake you in the morning.

They are available directly from the UK Amazfit store for £119 though can be found on other sites too.

They can help with sleep and white noise is preferential to other noises which can be annoying and stop you sleeping, it would be great if they detected you'd woken up again, and started the audio again to re-block external sounds.