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Motorola S10-HD stereo Bluetooth headphones review

Stereo Bluetooth headphones have long been one of my favorite topics on theONbutton.  I’ve not been shy about my issues with the lack of choice in this sector and frustrations about Apple’s imperfect Bluetooth implementation on iOS.  The winds of change look to be blowing in the right direction though. Apple’s latest version of iOS now supports proper stereo Bluetooth remote control (AVRCP) and hopefully that means manufacturers will feel free to launch a wider range of headsets.  Motorola has had stereo Bluetooth headsets in its lineup for some time and we’ve previously reviewed the S805 and S9-HD, finding both to be solid contenders.  The company has built upon the S9-HD’s design to deliver the new S10-HD and we have one right here, so let’s see if it’s any good shall we?

First impressions of the Motorola S10-HD

With the S10-HD, Motorola has stayed with a similar behind-the-neck design to the S9/S9-HD. As with the S9 family the ear arms of the S10-HD that house the controls and headphones are flexible, while the rear piece housing the battery, USB charging port and power button is solid.

The whole device has a more rubberized feel than the S9 family. They both feel built to a similar high level of quality, but I’m guessing the rubber coating of the S10-HD is designed to make the headset more sweat-resistant than the S9 family. Many people chose the S9 headsets or the Plantronics BackBeat 903/906 as jogging partners and while the S9 seemed to be more sweat resistant than the Plantronics design, the S9 was still vulnerable to moisture. The headset itself feels about the same weight as the S9/S9-HD, although the rear piece is slightly wider presumably to accommodate a higher capacity battery.

The ear controls are near identical to the S9 series, with the track play/pause, forward and back buttons on the right earpiece, while the volume and call controls are on the left earpiece. The only material difference with the controls is that on the S9-HD a long press on the track forward button would toggle the SRS WOW enhancer on and off, whereas this enhancer is not present on the S10-HD.

There are four sizes of ear fittings in the box to allow for a comfortable fit in the ears. They serve a more significant purpose than just comfort however; more about this later. Other items in the box include a power adapter and manual.

Getting comfortable with the Motorola S10-HD

The S9 series was always a polarizing headset. Some people loved the snug fit, which practically guaranteed that they would never fall out of your ears by accident. Others meanwhile found the fit too tight for long term comfort. The S9 series headsets also loosened gently over time, so they became more comfortable after frequent usage, while still retaining a sure-feeling fit.

The S10-HD feel just as snug as my S9-HD did on Day One, although the S9-HD look visibly looser at rest after a year of use than the brand new S10-HD. The various earpieces have a significant impact upon comfort too, because while the smaller ones allow the arms to grip closer to the side of the head, the larger ones push the arms out. So if you find the fit too tight against your head, trying the larger earpieces might be helpful.

Walking around, although the rear piece of the S10-HD is sizable it doesn’t seem to get in the way as much as the rear of the S9-HD. This might just be due to the shape of my head, but I found I could move my head up and down more freely with the S10-HD than with the S9-HD.  Having said that, they do still seem to restrict movement of the head when looking upwards.

Using the Motorola S10-HD

The S10-HD enters pairing mode when switched on for the first time. You can of course also get it into pairing mode after that as well. The headset paired with my iPad and BlackBerry Bold 9700 easily and subsequent reconnections were extremely quick and reliable; I never needed to re-pair the S10-HD, which is in keeping with Motorola’s typically excellent record with Bluetooth devices.

If you’ve ever used an S9 series headset then your fingers will fall naturally onto the controls of the S10-HD. For newcomers, it’s an easy headset to get to know. I found I needed to be a little more precise with key presses compared to with the S9-HD, perhaps that’s because the rubber coating adds a little more distance between the headset’s exterior and the interior button contact.

One of my issues with the S9-HD was that it often lost the Bluetooth signal when walking in open areas or far from other objects, with the phone in my trouser pocket. This resulted in choppy music playback. This has definitely improved with the S10-HD. The new headset’s receiver seems far more able to hold onto a Bluetooth signal when walking around. I went for a brief run with my phone in the front and then back pocket of my shorts, and the S10-HD held the signal without dropouts in both cases.

So how does music sound through the S10-HD? The S9-HD was a solid performer, easily improving upon the original S9, and the S10-HD keeps the reputation going strong. But to tell you more about the characteristics of the sound quality I need to go back to the earpieces.

While it would appear that the different earpiece sizes just impact upon comfort, they actually have a profound impact upon the sound characteristics of the headset. At a basic level, the larger earpieces produce significantly more bass than the smaller ones.

Listening more deeply, it seems that without any earpieces fitted, the S10-HD has a presence peak around approximately 1-3kHz, which is the frequency range of much of the human voice. This characteristic accentuates vocals and is similar to the effect heard when selecting a ‘Pop’ equalizer preset on many stereos. The bass and treble frequencies are still there but the boosting of the midrange pushes the vocals to the foreground.

The acoustic properties of the earpieces has an effect of boosting the low end frequencies, and this is most pronounced with the largest earpieces. I found the most balanced sound was with the second largest earpieces.

With these fitted, basslines were solidly resolved without being over-accentuated. By comparison while the Plantronics BackBeat 903 produced a more open airy sound with more room at the treble end, the Motorola S10-HD is the headset to choose if you want a pumping bassline. Just like the S9-HD, the S10-HD can produce an amazing amount of clear bass, which really is remarkable given the small size of the headphone drivers.

What’s also great about the S10-HD is that while the bass often gets lost to street noise on other headsets, the snug fit of the larger earpieces means that the bass remains intact when walking around wearing the S10-HD.

Of course the S10-HD will let you make calls as well, and it does a reasonable job of this given its design.  Callers’ voices come through very clearly, but for them to hear you it helps to be in a quiet environment since the mic is mounted on one of the earpieces.

There are a couple of issues with the S10-HD. As with the S9 series, the fit will probably continue to polarize opinion regarding how comfortable the S10-HD is to wear over extended periods. I found the S10-HD to be very comfortable when worn for a long time with the second largest earpieces. But your mileage may vary depending upon the shape of your head.

The other issue relates to the volume of the S10-HD. Some devices surrender control of volume to the Bluetooth headset, and both the iPad and Bold 9700 behaved this way with the S10-HD. In both cases I found that the minimum volume did not go low enough for all use-cases I would envisage for the headset. I actually thought that the unit Motorola had sent me was faulty but the second one they sent had identical volume levels. I then paired the S10-HD to a Samsung Epic 4G and this issue was not present, since the Epic 4G allows you to control the master volume from the phone when connected to a Bluetooth headset. Whether this is a problem for you will depend upon your cellphone and how loud you like to listen to music. If your cellphone allows you to control music volume on the phone when connected to a stereo Bluetooth headset then this will probably not be an issue for you at all.

It’s worth mentioning that the Plantronics Backbeat 903/906, Sony DR-BT50 and Motorola’s own S9-HD also exhibit this issue, although those headsets go down to lower minimum volume level than the S10-HD.  These headsets should really all be able to output a negligible volume level if requested.  Perhaps it is an issue with the Bluetooth A2DP stereo audio streaming protocol rather than the headsets, since it seems to affect so many of them – I’d be interested to find this out.

Motorola S10-HD: The final sound-check

At $79.95 the S10-HD comes in at $50 less than the S9-HD did when it was released last year, and if you’re a fan of the Motorola S9/S9-HD then the S10-HD will most likely appeal to you.  Equally if you’re looking for a headset to wear when jogging or working out, the S10-HD should be one of the headsets near the top of your shortlist.  The sound quality of the S10-HD is very enjoyable and uniquely configurable due to the characteristics of the earpieces.  I love that Motorola has vastly improved the S10-HD’s ability to hold on to a Bluetooth signal compared to the S9-HD.  If Motorola, along with other manufacturers, could resolve the minimum volume issue then the S10-HD would be pretty close to perfect.

Neil Berman

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Oct 18, 2010 Posted by | Hardware, Mobile, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , | 63 Comments

Sennheiser MM450 Stereo Bluetooth Headset Hands-on

Sennheiser MM450 profileAt yesterday’s CES 2010 preview in New York, I got some hands-on time with Sennheiser’s premium MM450 headset.  This pair of ultra-light foldable cans support music streaming, remote control over playback and call management, as long as your device supports A2DP and AVRCP (so iPhone users beware).  My initial impressions were positive, with solidly resolved basslines and clear highs.  The MM450 also offers active noise cancelling although there is a lesser model, the MM400, which skips this feature and drops the price.  Speaking of the damage to your wallet, you’re looking at $299 for the MM400 and $499 for the MM450.  That puts the MM450 in a price bracket beyond the noise-cancelling Nokia BH-905 and the MM400 beyond the Sony DR-BT50 (reviewed here recently), but Sennheiser thinks they’re worth it.

Neil Berman

www.theonbutton.com

Nov 11, 2009 Posted by | Audio, Hardware, Mobile, Reviews | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sony DR-BT50 Stereo Bluetooth Headphones Review

Right ear houses controlsThe availability of stereo Bluetooth headsets has been steadily increasing this year, helping to bring prices down. In particular at the top end last month’s arrival of Nokia’s noise-cancelling flagship set, the BH-905, has led to significant drops in other premium closed-back designs. Motorola’s high end S805 has been selling for a steal recently on some sites  but today I’m going to focus on the Sony DR-BT50, which for some represented the pinnacle of stereo Bluetooth headsets until Nokia recently crashed Sony’s party.  I’ll make comparisons to the S805 along the way.

First impressions of the Sony DR-BT50

Sony DR-BT50Sony debuted the DR-BT50 at a whopping $229 but the headset is now available for a around $129 or so at several e-tailers. The cans are based upon Sony’s celebrated Altus MDR-D777LP, so they carry a promise of good sound delivery. They also bring practicality, being foldable.

Physically the DR-BT50 is extremely light, feeling like about half the weight of the Motorola S805. The earpads on the DR-BT50 are also thinner and the buttons are smaller; more on this later. Like the S805, the Sony headphones sport a full set of music playback controls along with a mic and call management.

Pairing was straightforward with my BlackBerry Bold 9000 and subsequent reconnections have gone perfectly, mirroring my experience with the Motorola S805 and S9-HD headsets. The days of fiddly Bluetooth connections are hopefully now well behind us!

Putting on the Sony DR-BT50

The DR-BT50 feels great to wear and the slim earpads enclose the ears comfortably. The pads are so soft that it’s easier to wear sunglasses with the Sonys compared to the Motorola S805, which is important if you live in a sunny part of the world. Having said that, this not so much a failing of the S805 but rather a comment on how soft the DR-BT50’s earpads really are.

Playback and volume controls are smallI mentioned earlier that the controls on the DR-BT50 are small and when I first saw them I wondered how I would find them when the cans were on my head. The power and call pickup buttons are fine but the playback and volume controls are, frankly, tiny. Worse still the playback control is a flick-touch rocker switch controlling play/pause/stop and track navigation. The S805 seems like a Tonka truck in comparison, with its large finger-friendly controls.

Listening to the Sony DR-BT50

In use the buttons on the DR-BT50 were actually easier to locate than I had feared, although the playback rocker is too easy to nudge causing a track skip when you’re trying to depress it to pause. The call pickup button is a decent size, as is the power button, so these present no issues.

In order to use the stereo music and playback functions you will need a device supporting the A2DP and AVRCP Bluetooth profiles. Check your specs on your device manufacturer’s website. A2DP provides music playback support and AVRCP provides remote control of playback functions.

Once the music is playing the BT50s simply shine compared to most other stereo Bluetooth headphones, trumping the Motorola S805 for both bass and mid-range.  However occasionally the top end detail seems to suffer at the expense of the solid bottom end frequencies. It’s not that reproduction is too overtly bass heavy, but rather that current consumer trends favor bass and consequently the DR-BT50 will find plenty of fans in this regard.

When a call comes in pressing the call accept button pauses music playback and answers the call. I could hear callers very clearly and they could hear me well both indoors and outside, although in both environments they did say I sometimes sounded distant.

FoldedThe DR-BT50 felt both light and snug even for lengthy listening sessions and that included time wearing sunglasses. When I was finished listening I found that the folded BT50s fit perfectly into my jacket pocket.

Some room for improvement

On the downside the DR-BT50 is picky about placement and likes to have a decent line of sight to the originating device. They are less tolerant to obstacles than the Motorola S805 and this results in occasional cut-outs unless your phone is in a shirt or jacket pocket fairly high up on your body. This issue is not unique to the DR-BT50, the Motorola S9-HD suffers from a similar weakness.

The DR-BT50 must have a decent size music buffer however because it takes a while for the cut-out to occur. As a result I found I could walk around normally with almost no cut-outs with my BlackBerry Bold in my top pocket. Part of this issue could also be attributed to the Bold, which I’ve found to have a below-average strength Bluetooth transmitter compared to some other phones I’ve used.

The other niggle is that Sony fitted the DR-BT50 with a proprietary charging port rather than a mini-USB connection.  This means having to remember to take the charger when you travel, rather than simply a USB cable to charge from a laptop.  Accessories these days should really be rechargeable via USB.

Is the Sony DR-BT50 a music legend?

Overall I can give the Sony DR-BT50 a solid recommendation at its current street price. Most listeners are likely to be very happy with their sound quality and they felt both practical and comfortable for extended use on my ears, although as ever your mileage may vary depending on your head and ear shape so try before you buy if you can!

Note: I also published an edited version of this review of the Sony DR-BT50 on BerryReporter.

Link to Sony DR-BT50 pproduct page.

Neil Berman

www.theonbutton.com

Nov 7, 2009 Posted by | Audio, Hardware, Mobile, Reviews | , , , , | 3 Comments

iPhone 3GS: stereo bluetooth now mainstream?

Apple’s decision to enable stereo bluetooth on the iPhone 3G will bring the technology into the mainstream, but has it remained on the periphery for a reason?

Like mono bluetooth headsets, stereo ones need to be paired. Nowadays this is straightforward but some phones and headsets have better recollection than others. There so many headsets and phones out there that inevitably some have better bluetooth inplementations than others. Pairings sometimes have to be re-established; this can be due to the phone or headset not being the best at remembering its partners.

Once you’re happily connected, you’re using the A2DP profile which gives audio streaming. If your phone and headset support AVRCP then you’re also getting remote control over music playback as well as calls. This is awesome and has made wired headphones redundant for years for many cellphone owners.  Now that iPhone 3G S has partially caught-up with this technology (allowing play/pause but not track skip), owners have an option to make those white wired earbuds disappear.

So how do you find a good headset? Here are a few options…

Motorola S9 HD

The S9 HD is a one-piece-behind-the-neck design similar to its predecessor, the S9.  The receiver and battery are housed in the connector band with call and playback controls living on the frame outside the earbuds. The power button and mini-USB charging port are on the underside of the connector band. There are three buttons on each side aligned vertically which makes controlling the S9 HD a snap once you’ve mastered the layout. Multi-function buttons are kept to a minimum; it’s the opposite of working a current generation iPod Shuffle.

Pairing was a good expeience with an HTC Touch Pro and Samsung Epix, with both phones picking up the S9-HD’s mono and stereo bluetooth profiles as well as playback controls.

Speech quality was good indoors but outdoors call recipients complained of some wind noise. Music quality was excellent, with solid bass and clear treble with the SRS WOW enhancer left off. With the enhancer on the sound took on an overly bass heavy response with low-mid frequencies being over-emphasized.

When I was standign still outdoors, music playback was consistent but on the move this became a variable experience. In a envionment with lots of objects providing reflections the bluetooth connection was solid. However in open spaces free of people, cars or walls the playback would become choppy unless the phone was close to the headset.

As with many other stereo bluetooth headsets the S9-HD seems to employ timestretching technology to extend playback whilst allowing its music buffer to fill. This results in perceptible pitch changes from time to time; I would rather pay a few dollars more for a larger onboard buffer.

The S9-HD is comfortable for long periods of use and feels light on the head. Some pairs of glasses can sit on top of the earpieces which can be an odd feeling, I found I could wear sunglasses without difficulty after getting accustomed to the feeling. YMMV.

On balance I liked the comfort and sound quality of the S9-HD, but the choppy music playback when walking through wide-open spaces can become annoying.

Panasonic RP-BT10

Sometimes using your own headphones is a must (I’m looking at you, Etymotic lovers) and Panasonic created the RP-BT10 with this in mind. Resembling the previous generation iPod shuffle the RP-BT10 sports transport and volume controls on the main unit and a call control button on the microphone cable. This cable has a standard 3.5mm headphone socket for you favorite cans.  There is a bespoke charging cable, so no USB cable charging option here.

Pairing was a smooth process. The spring-clip mechnism on the main unit allows positioning of the RP-BT10 closer to your phone if necessary for greater connection reliability. Of course if you plan on making calls you will need to ensure the mic is reasonably close to your mouth.

Sound quality is of course dependant on your choice of headphones, the bundled set are OK and need on a snug fit with the supplied ear fittings to get the best out of them.  The benefit of the RP-BT10 though is that you can use any 3.5mm headset you want.

By nature of its design the RP-BT10 also allows you to create a semi-wireless connection between a phone and a stereo system. Simply use a stereo 3.5mm to stereo RCA cable to connect the RP-BT10 to most stereos’ auxiliary input, which will turn your phone into a useful makeshift jukebox.

The RP-BT10 is a good choice if you want to use your own headphones, but the downside is that it re-introduce wires into your setup…and isn’t that what the iPhone community is getting excited about being able to give up?

Motorola S805

Last up in our trio is the Motorola S805. This big DJ-style headset fully covers the ears with call controls on one side and payback on the other. The S805 employs rocker wheels on each earpiece to control volume and track selection.

Control buttons are large and easy to press

One the underside of one earpiece is the charging port, which uses a standard mini-USB connection.

As with the other two devices, pairing was straightforward.  Once in use the buttons on either side pulse in blue, although fortunately this feature can be disabled by pressing the call and play buttons simultaneously for a couple of seconds.

In use callers found my speech to be crystal clear both indoors and outside. Music playback was very good with almost no droputs. Bass frequencies were slightly less pronounced than with the S9-HD, but the overall sound was easy to listen to for prolonged periods.  The headset, although large, was also comfortable and did not feel heavy on the head.

The pitch-shifting effect was evident on the S805 as with the S9-HD, although significantly less so. I’m guessing the S805 has more onboard buffer memory, which would also explain its resistance to dropouts.

Overall the S805 is a great headset as long as you can live with its size.  The S805 is certainly not the most discreet headset available, but its form usefully keeps ears warm and noise out on windy days.

Listen-up, here’s the bottom line…

These are three very different headsets. As a portable one piece solution the S9-HD is a good bet as long as you stay around objects or remain stationary when listening. The RP-BT10 allows use of your own headphones but makes you wire-y. Finally the S805 provides excellent connection strength and a balanced soundstage.

Each one however suffers from sporadic connection issues and even if these are forgiven by savvy owners, they may deter non-techie users from long term usage.  In my opinion this has been a delaying factor to widespread adoption of stereo bluetooth technology so far.

On the other hand I am hopeful that the release of the iPhone 3G S will create renewed energy in the stereo bluetooth market with new product offerings and greater reliability.  I can’t wait to see if Apple releases a headset!

Neil Berman

www.theonbutton.com

Jun 21, 2009 Posted by | Analysis, Apple, Audio, Mobile | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Shiny Stereo Stars: Motorola S805 Review

Ban the wires from your bod with these

Ban the wires from your bod with these

I’ll try to keep this short for reasons which will become apparent.  Bluetooth headphones are all the rage at the moment with big hitters like Jabra, Plantronics and Motorola selling several models in different formats. Recent sets have even included a dog tag design.  There have also been some high end designs from the likes of Sony and Motorola. I’ve got my mitts on the Motorola S805 DJ headset, let’s see what its like.

Control buttons are large and easy to press

Control buttons are large and easy to press

First impressions of the Motorola S805

The S805s are closed back style headphones with nice ‘n soft ear pads and a cushioned adjustable head band. The black finish looks smart rather than showy and the fit on my head is snug rather than heavy or tight.

On the left earpiece is a call button and track skip rocker, the right earpiece has a play/pause button, volume rocker and mic. There’s a charging port under the left ear alongside a wired headphone port for use with the supplied 3.5mm adaptor so you can listen to non bluetooth sources. There’s also a semi-hard travel case in the box.

So that means stereo bluetooth audio (A2DP) with playback control (AVRCP), bluetooth hands free with seamless music integration and non-bluetooth wired audio.

Pairing the Motorola S805

Wired headphone port sits next to charging port

Wired headphone port sits next to charging port

Pairing to my HTC S620 was straightforward with the phone detecting both hands free and stereo audio profiles. As with many bluetooth headsets various things started lighting up blue at this point. Thankfully Motorola understood that S805 owners are buying into a sound rather than sci-fi experience, so the cyborg-looking lights can be easily disabled.

Using the Motorola S805

Hands free conversations come through well, with minimal background noise as with most modern bluetooth headsets and voice dialling is also supported.

Music playback just works beautifully.  On my HTC s620 I called up a playlist in Windows Media Player, put the phone in my bag and controlled the rest from the S805s.   Sweet.  Tunes come banging out of these cans so hard you think you’re in a Detroit club. Basslines are solid, treble comes through clearly and I had no dropouts unlike the otherwise excellent Logitech Freepulse.  The S805s even paired to the Freepulse’s headphone output bluetooth transmitter so I was able to watch TV without using the S805’s wired connection.

The soft earpads are comfortable for extended use

The soft earpads are comfortable for extended use

That’s not to say they’re the last word in headphones.  In a wired listening test against my reference Beyer DT250s the Beyers deliver a significantly better performance in terms of frequency reproduction and sound stage.  In a fairer wired test against the more consumer oriented Beyer DT231 Galactic, the S805s come out with a more open and balanced sound stage with clearer highs whilst the Galactics deliver more in the middle and lower frequencies.  Both are easy to listen to without fatigue for decent amounts of time.

For those conscious to protect their hearing, the closed back design provides useful passive background isolation allowing for comfortable low volume listening…and conveniently protects your ears from the cold which is an added bonus for East Coast winters.

The bad news?  They’re DJ-style big cans which is a question of personal taste and they’re bag rather than pocket friendly.

Is the Motorola S805 a stereo star?

The good news?  Overall the S805s are awesome and worth the money as a high-end accessory for any music-loving owner of a stereo bluetooth cellphone.  Fortunately at the time of writing the S805s were available at several retailers for less than the (deep breath) $249 MSRP. In fact I saw them on sale in short supply for a lot less than that at Amazon and Buy.com.  Nuff said, get that plastic armed and ready.

Neil Berman

www.theonbutton.com

Sep 13, 2008 Posted by | Audio, Hardware, Mobile, Reviews | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Logitech FreePulse Review

Wireless headphones. A great idea often unstuck by uncomfortable cans, poor sound quality and bulky base stations. Now lightweight bluetooth stereo headphones are streaming into stores, but there are still questions about whether they can change this perception. Let’s get Logitech’s FreePulse 2 into the interrogation room.

The FreePulse is a ultra-lightweight bluetooth headphone set with a cool neckband look and graphite coloring. The right ear unit houses the controls with volume, power, muting and track selection, although only some devices will be compatible with all of these functions. Flexible rubber over ear hooks keep them from falling off your ears. These hooks can be repositioned for custom fitting. Also in the box are adaptors for various iPods and a small bluetooth transmitter for standard 3.5mm headphone sockets. This allows the FreePulse to get audio from anything with a headphone output. Nice. Putting them on for the first time is slightly confusing, as the neckband sits at the bottom of the ear units rather than the top. Once figured out though, fitting is easy and the FreePulse feels secure, comfortable and, most importantly, lightweight when sitting correctly. The key is to play with the ear hooks to get the right fit.

The FreePulse paired to my HTC TyTN straight away and the phone recognized them as wireless stereo phones. Within seconds stereo music was streaming to the cans…and the sound quality was surprisingly decent.

Both bass and treble came through well enough, with an emphasis on the lows. There were pronounced peaks around the 1-3 KHz midrange, which is where snare drums and vocals live. This combination makes the FreePulse real rocker’s cans, and when I cranked up the volume I found myself dancing around the room in no time. The slightly overdone bass can smother some clarity at times, which can be remediated if you have an equalizer on your music player. There is a bass boost on the headset, but I didn’t find it particularly sweet sounding. At the other end of the spectrum I plugged the headphone dongle into my Teac Reference system, which receives a SPDIF audio feed from my Media Center. After some quick cutting of the offending bass and midrange frequencies on the computer’s output EQ, the sound quality of the FreePulse was extremely impressive.

Transmission quality was strong throughout my (admittedly small) apartment. The FreePulse had no problem holding a connection at around ten meters through a wall, although as the distance increased from the source, momentary dropouts started to occur every thirty seconds or so. The dropouts also occurred outside with the phone in my pocket and as the battery weakened after around five hours. However the dropouts only became annoying when watching movies as lip sync issues emerged. I can only imagine that this is a buffering issue when some data packets don’t make the full journey and need to be resent, which is a problem in any data streaming situation. I found that momentarily pausing the film sorted this out.

I found the FreePulse worked well both in and outdoors. I could jog without them falling off, and when fitted well they only became tiring after a couple of hours. They always had plenty of volume range as long as they were receiving good level from the source. Best of all, they just have a subtle power light, as opposed to a huge geeky flashing indicator which afflicts so many bluetooth headsets. So I could happily wear them without feeling self conscious. At a MSRP of $99.99, the Logitech FreePulse is good value given the packaged headphone adaptor, solid sound quality and comfortable wearability at home, in the gym or in the street. I recently saw them advertised at one large electronics store for $49.99. I bought them straight away.

Neil Berman

www.neilberman.com

Feb 10, 2008 Posted by | Audio, Hardware, Mobile, Reviews | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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