I’ve been looking at various options for headsets to use with both my iPhone 5s and my 27″ iMac for taking calls (over Skype and X-Lite on the iMac). I work in an office with a lot of background noise so I wanted something with good noise cancellation, but also something reliable, reasonably priced and easy to use. After going through various corded and bluetooth wireless headphones with mics, I decided to try this headset. I’ve traditionally shied away from these kinds of headsets because of the look and having difficulty with headsets that go around the ear. With this earpiece, and the lower-end HM1300, the earpiece is more of a traditional “earbud” than those weird gel earpieces of other models. I have a big head, and find that I can just put the headset in my ear without the clear plastic around-the-ear piece attached and it stays in position pretty well. Depending on the ear and how much I’m moving my head, it may drift downward over time but not too much.
In terms of sound quality, it’s much, much better than the HM1300. I much prefer this over that model because of the A2DP streaming audio playback. I often will find myself leaving this headset in all day, listening to streaming radio or podcasts as I’m out shooting pictures or in the office working at my desk (as opposed to my standard Apple earbuds). The few calls I’ve made with it, the sound quality on both ends of the call seems good but not spectacular. Haven’t had an opportunity to use it in a really heavy noise situation yet, but it seems far and away better than trying to maintain a conversation with the standard Apple earbuds and mic.
That said, it’s kind of finicky in a couple disappointing ways. One of the biggest features for me was the ability to pair and use it with two devices. In the manual it says not all devices support being a “secondary” device with this product, and I’ve found that to be true in my situation. I cannot — for the life of me! — get this to stay paired with both my iPhone 5s and my 27″ iMac. It has to be one or the other. Followed all instructions to a tee, tried doing it in reverse order and still won’t work.
The other annoyance is the VERY short range and the constant interference in the communication between this and my iPhone 5s.I can’t walk more than 10 feet from my phone before it drops out very badly. Not only that, I can’t put my phone in my pocket AT ALL and have this earpiece maintain a clear connection. Constant dropouts if I put my phone in any pocket. It’s almost like having an infrared transmitter – it seems to need VERY clear line of sight to the phone to maintain a good connection. That’s pretty frustrating for someone on the go who wants to use this to have a truly hands-free experience.
This retails for $39 but typically goes for around $25 here on Amazon at the time of this writing, so I can’t complain too much – you get what you pay for, and I could spring for a better earpiece if I really wanted a high-performance model, but for a starter one, this is okay. With caveats.