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Bluetooth Stereo Headset Roundup

Editorial by Michael Oryl on Wednesday October 04, 2006.

editorials · motorola news · bluetooth / wireless news · michael oryl

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My first experience with a set of A2DP Bluetooth stereo headphones was Motorola's HT820, which was included with the Motorola Q that we received back in May of this year. I was quite pleased with the experience overall, and was very happy about finally being able to lose those wires. But back then there were few devices available with A2DP support, so I had kinda just assumed that all A2DP headphones would work with all A2DP devices, just as pretty much all Bluetooth headsets work with all Bluetooth phones.

With that naive thought in mind, I decided last month that we should do a roundup of A2DP headphone here at MobileBurn. We matched up four pair of stereo headphones with four A2DP devices. The headphones in question were the BlueAnt X5, the Motorola HT820, Nokia's BH-601, and the Sony Ericsson HBH-DS970. Our test phones were the newly released LG Chocolate for Verizon (VX8500), a pre-production MOTOKRZR K1 from Motorola, Motorola's Q Windows Mobile 5.0 smartphone, and the Sony Ericsson W710i Walkman phone.

The results of our testing were quite depressing. No headset worked properly with all of the phones, and no phone worked properly with all of the headsets. Because of the nature of the testing, it is hard for us to determine whether the phone or headset is the cause of any particular problem, though a few issues seem consistent enough across the board that we can level blame.

So without further ado, we begin with BlueAnt's X5.

BlueAnt X5 Motorola HT820 Nokia BH-601 Sony Ericsson HBH-DS970
Style Over Ear Over Ear Over Ear Ear Buds
Weight 77g (2.7oz) 98g (3.4oz) 100g (3.5oz) 29g (1oz), 50g (1.8oz) with case
Buttons 4 6 3 5
Talk Time Up to 12 hours Up to 17 hours Up to 8 hours Up to 6 hours
Music Time Up to 12 hours Up to 12 hours Up to 8 hours Up to 6 hours
Standby Time Up to 200 hours Up to 500 hours Up to 180 hours Up to 300 hours
Headset Sound Very good Average Poor Good
Stereo Sound Average Very good Excellent Good
Mic Sound Good Poor Very good Very good
Special features A2DP adapter Intuitive controls (calls on left, music on right) None LCD display for caller ID/music information, multipoint function
Included Accessories Detachable microphone, USB/AC charger, stereo cables, 2 batteries, spare covers Carrying pouch, power supply Nokia audio adapter AD-47W, compact charger, spare pads Carrying case, power supply, extra ear buds
List Price US$139.99 US$119.99 US$189.00 US$149.95
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About the author

Michael Oryl
Michael is the Philadelphia based owner and former editor-in-chief of MobileBurn.com. You can follow him on Twitter as @MichaelOryl

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