I had two reasons for picking up a bluetooth headset. First, I am really, very sick of wires dangling around me and getting caught on things and pulling my headphones out of my ear. Second, because of the HTC Dream’s combo charge / headset USB port, I cannot charge and listen to music at the same time.
Setup was painful. After some combination of pairing and re-pairing, connecting and disconnecting, disabling and enabling bluetooth, and rebooting I finally managed to get a stable setup. I won’t detail the problems, but suffice it to say there are many accounts of this headset working, and also not working. I figure I got lucky with the right sequence of events.
Now when I turn on the headset, it connects … in about a minute. That is annoying in itself, but read on. There’s a nice hiss in the earphones when you are connected. This is acceptable for phone audio but not for music. Worst of all, the headset needs to be very close to the phone. Close, meaning 12″ or less. At ~18″ I get about 20% loss of audio. When the phone is on my belt, I get about 60% loss. By loss I mean the audio cuts in and out.
As I mentioned earlier, I thought this device would allow me to listen to music while charging the battery on the Dream (after all, I need to be constantly charging the thing). I was very surprised to see the battery actually drains when it’s charging, when USB is active. Apparently USB draws so much current the little charger can’t keep up.
The above pretty much makes this combination of headset and device pointless, but there’s a few more things I want to say about the headset alone. I have not short hair, and it’s impossible to get the device on without pulling my hair and having hair matted between the earphones and my ear. The headset it quite uncomfortable. The earphones don’t fit into my ear canal (are they supposed to?) and they push against my ear painfully. and, because they don’t fit into my ear, the volume and sound response is unacceptable.
Stereo USB headsets just aren’t there yet. They can’t match the sound quality, ergonomics, or plain simplicity of wired headphones.