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Thu, 14 Apr 2011

Review: Bluetooth headphones

Regular readers will know that I have a thing for Bluetooth headphones. I have tried four different pairs, found two to be shite, one adequate, and one excellent.

First, the shite ones, that you should under no circumstances buy:

  • Motorola HT820: I found these just plain uncomfortable, and painful to wear for more than a few minutes.
  • Cheap crappy no-name junk: designed for midgets, can't be used by normal people because you can't have them on both ears at the same time.

Then on to the adequate pair. The Sony DR BT 21 G costs about £65 new, is pretty comfortable and works well, but they have a quality control problem. The first pair that I bought only worked on one side. Back it went to the vendor. The second just stopped working and wouldn't recharge juuuuust after the guarantee expired. It's possible that I just got unlucky, of course, but I'd be very wary about buying these again, at least not unless I bought them from a very reputable dealer and with a five year guarantee. Another potential issue (which I didn't run into because they broke before then) is that the foam pads appear to be the same as on a similar pair of Sony wired headphones that I have. Those have, over the course of about 5 or 6 years, completely disintegrated. You might want to consider these if the Sennheisers below are out of your price range, but note my warnings about quality.

Finally, the star of the show. The Sennheiser MM 400 is pricey at £160, but (provided they're reliable - I've only had them for a few months so far) worth it. They have an expandable band so will fit anyone; they are very comfortable to wear, even over a hearing aid, demonstrating that they put pressure in just the right places on the more solid parts of the ear and don't try to bend the fleshy parts out of shape; they grip the head well, and are perfectly stable even when worn with the band around the back of the neck, so the whole weight is supported by the earpieces' grip on your ears; they don't leak sound to annoy the person sitting next to you on the bus. They can also be used as a headset for making phone calls, although with no mic boom they don't do a great job of picking up your voice, and I wouldn't recommend buying them as a headset. I do, however, recommend them for use primarily as headphones and occasional phone calls.

Posted at 20:33 by David Cantrell
keywords: electronics
Permalink | 1 Comment

Well, Sony has over the years been changing into a lawsuit company more than a tech company, as demonstrated by the whole PS3 homebrew thing currently going on.

I find that even the low-end Sennheiser toys are acceptable, though - I have had my 15 earbuds for probably four or five years now (although not high-intensity usage) and they're still in tip-top shape. Sound quality is adequate, and they're comfortable enough to wear an hour or two, although extended usage does get uncomfy.

Posted by [anonymous] on Fri, 15 Apr 2011 at 07:38:58

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