CNET Asia Community Blog Entry – The Ultimate Bluetooth Stereo Headset that Works with the iPad & iPhone
Ever since I got my iPhone 3Gs, been wanting to get a new pair of Bluetooth headset to listen to my podcasts as my Plantronics Voyager 855 finally gave up on me (the connection on the detachable earpiece cable worn off), though still work on mono. Been shopping around this past weekend and didn’t do much research into what the newest BT headsets have to offer (now this is dumb).
The design of the Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 caught my eyes and I ditched out the dough right away, purely shopping on impulse and this is where the problem starts…..(only apply to iPhone 3G or 3Gs)
For the sound quality, the HBH-IS800 is considered one of the best BT headsets I’ve used (Plantronics Voyager 855, Philips SBH7100, Jabra BT8010 and Plantronics Pulsar 590A). The design is neat and clean with one button controlling practically everything, see pic below.
The headset comes with a clip for you to add onto the headset cable so to allow you to clip it to your shirt collar or jacket.
So the sound quality is good and the design neat, what’s the catch then….
Somehow just forgot to do an update on the Infinxx icombi AP23 when I saw it at Tomato Mobile a week or so ago. Remember that I always mention the icombi AP21 which I used with my iPhone, iPod Touch & iPhone 3G as a Bluetooth dongle for A2DP (see old post, Finally Got My iPhone setup with Bluetooth Stereo Headphones (for both music and call)), well, the updated AP23 is now available in Hong Kong for HK$380 (US$49). The new version, according to other users pairs up with Bluetooth headsets more swiftly and less dropping in connections were noticed. Check it out, should be in most of the stores around town if you want the perfect Bluetooth dongle for your iPhone or iPod.
GN yesterday announced the launch of the Jabra BT4010 which features a ‘smart display’. The Jabra BT4010 is the only headset that empowers you to check battery level , connection status and call status with just one glance. It’s ideal for people on the go, who don’t want towaste time scrolling through endless menus, but who want a cost effective headset that allows them to enjoy uncomplicated, handsfree communication.
The Jabra BT4010 ‘smart display’, which is a highly visible LCD screen, is modeled on that of a mobile phone and ushers in a new level of usability for Bluetooth headsets. You no longer have to guess or interpret flashing lights to understand your battery level, connection and call status. All this information is available by simply checking out the display. This intuitive approach to Bluetooth, makes life less complicated and ensures that you will never lose another call again.
The Jabra BT4010 is small in size but big on design and user friendliness. It boasts up to six hours of talk time and weighs less than 10g. With auto-pairing and crystal clear sound thanks to e-SCO technology, the BT4010 can be up and running within a matter of seconds, enabling you to chat to friends and colleagues and stay in contact all day, every day.
The Jabra BT4010 can be worn with or without an earhook and comes with a selection of two hooks for added comfort. The BT4010 is now available and priced at HK$338.
Key Specifications of the Jabra BT4010 -
- Innovative, iconic Smart Display;
- e-SCO improves voice transfer from headset to phone;
- Up to 6 hours talk time;
- 150 hours standby time;
- 2 earhook sizes provided for added comfort;
- Size: L 49 mm x W 17 mm x D 28 mm;
- 10 grams;
- Qualified for Bluetooth Specification version 2.0 + EDR (enhanced data rate); and
- Micro USB Charger Connection
Was chatting with one of our readers Maverick over Meebo last week and he mentioned the Jawbone 2 was out in the US and being reviewed, thanks Maverick. Checked out around town and still no sign of it yet. Last night I found this great review on the coming Jawbone 2 from Vincent Nugyen over at SlashGear. For the write-up review, head over to SlashGear, link here.
Source – SlashGear
Further to my last post, Plantronics Voyager 855AIQ iPod Limited Edition (works for iPhone too), I finally got hold of the Plantronics Voyager 855AIQ Bluetooth headset. Will be showing some unboxing pics and share with you all some of my insights after using it for 36 hours.
Weight: 15 grams with stereo cable
Pairing: QuickPair™ technology for one-touch initial pairing
Controls: Volume, microphone mute, call answer /end, voice-activated dialing, last number redial1, track forward/back, pause/play
Range: Up to 33 feet (10 meters)
Wireless Compatibility: Bluetooth (v2.0) + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) Compatible with most Bluetooth enabled phones from LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, and others.
Profiles: A2DP, AVRCP Headset (HSP v1.1) and Hands-free (HFP v1.5)
Power: Lithium Polymer rechargeable battery
Battery life: Up to 7 hours talk time /6 hours stereo listening/160 hours standby time from a single charge
[3 December] Two weeks ago, I blogged about the the icombi AP21 Bluetooth dongle from Infinxx that can pair off your stereo headphones with your iPhone for both calls and listening to music and podcast at the same time. This week, I want to introduce to those of you in Hong Kong, a great promotion deal from Plantronics, the Voyager 855AIQ iPod limited edition which comes with the Plantronics Voyager 855 stereo/mono headphones and the icombi AP21 Bluetooth dongle for just HK$1,288. You can get it now at shop.esd.life online shop (subsidiary of Hutchison Whampao), link here. Too bad the site is in Chinese. For overseas customers, they do have an English site catering for them, link here, but the iPod limited edition was not listed on it. You can try calling them at their hotline, TEL: (852)3151 2288 if you want to find out more.
[Updated: 11 December] Just got the Plantronics Voyager 855AIQ Bluetooth headset and will post the unboxing pics later tonight or tomorrow, so check back.
[20 November] Finally found the solution in using my Bluetooth headphones with my iPhone for both music listening and call features. After weeks of browsing through numerous iPhone related forums, found a thread which indicated that an old Bluetooth dongle from Infinxx, the icombi AP21 works wonder with the iPhone. With the help of Frankie over at tomatomobile, I finally got hold of one last night and been testing it out today, and WOOT, it works with my Plantronics Pulsar 590A as well as my Philips SHB7100 Bluetooth headphones. Too bad I lost my Jabra BT8010 couple weeks ago or I’ll get to test that one out too.
My iPhone with the Infinxx icombi AP21
This combination been working flawlessly (it’s a pain pairing them up tho as the connection drops quite often after each use), only thing which boggles me is why this solution is not well covered by others, still seems to be a well kept secret, LOL.
For instructions on pairing the icombi AP21, your iPhone and your Bluetooth headphones, check out the following vid and the related post from everythingiCafe discussion forum as I am not going to repeat the steps here, hehe.
Post from everythingiCafe discussion forum – http://www.everythingicafe.com/forum/bluetooth/iphone-support-a2dp-2957.html.
[Updated: 23 November] Been getting a lot of queries in regarding the pairing problem. After intensive testing the past 2 days, I noticed that the connection between the Bluettoth headphones and iPhone and the icombi AP21 could dropped after successfully paired if -
- for incoming calls, you choose to answer with the iPhone instead of the Bluetooth headphones; and
- you changed to different set of Bluetooth headphones
If that is the case, a reboot of the iPhone is needed to refresh the connection and the steps to it as follow -
- turn the Bluetooth headphones off
- unplug icombi AP21
- turn off iPhone
- restart iPhone
- turn on Bluetooth headphones (the Bluetooth sign on top of the iPhone menu bar should lit up indicating connection been made)
- plug in icombi AP21
- press “No” when the airplane mode menu pops
- wait for the beep sound thru the Bluetooth headphones indicating connection with the icombi AP21 been made
That’s it, you should be set, once again. Hope this helps, email me or drop comments if there’s further queries.
Lost my Jabra BT8010 two weeks ago and it was a major bummer. Been using my backup earpiece, the Jabra BT125 ever since but want to try out something new (the Jabra BT125 is a basic piece, a bit boring but nonetheless a decent earphone). So what I did was I went down to my favorite mobile accessories shop to check out the headset today after work. Prior to that, I had my shopping requirements all set. First, they have to be stereo for I intend to use them for my MP3 player/iPod together with my Bluetooth dongle from my Plantronics Pulsar 590A. Apart from that, what I had in mind was a pair of headset with earplugs instead of hooks (Jabra BT8010 uses hooks and it can make your ears a bit sore after wearing it for a prolonged period). Caller ID used to be a must too but this time I let that one slide.
After checking out close to 20 pairs of different headsets, I finally picked out the Philips SHB7100 (the SHB7102 comes with a Bluetooth dongle and a stretch-pouch to attach the dongle to whatever player you use). The headset sounds pretty good given the price (HK$550/US$70). The unboxing pics below -