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  1.    #1  
    Hello all:

    You have all been so helpful to me by posting your reviews and information regarding the various headsets, that I thought that I should post my information and findings as well. Like many of you, I went through a few different headsets for my Treo 650: Scala 500, NXZEN 5000, Motorola H700, Plantronics Discovery 640 and the Sony Ericsson HBH-610. Let me first of all state that they ALL had static at one time or another. I had to keep reminding myself that they were NOT corded, so as a result the sound and characteristics would not be perfect. In addition, I found the range on all of them to be only fair---after about 15 feet the static really kicked in and I couldn’t hear anything. However, because I really only need to use the headset while the Treo is beside me in the car or on my belt while I am walking, the range is not very important to me (if I really need to walk away, I just pick up the Treo and take it with me). However, the most important thing to me is “how do I sound to my callers”, because I talk to a lot of clients on my phone. That is the area that was most scrutinized in my reviews. Here is my feedback and info for each:

    Scala 500: The sound was fair, but it was not loud enough. Granted, I never tried it with the gel “ear cup” that you can order from the website for free, and that may have made a difference. However, the people that I called said that I didn’t sound very good.

    NXZEN 5000: Not only was it the most expensive of the bunch, but it was the worst! While the volume was loud enough and it was a comfortable fit, the sound quality was dreadful. Callers didn’t sound good to me, and everyone said that I sounded like I was underwater.

    Motorola H700: Second worse of the bunch! The sound was not very loud or clear, and there was a lot of static. Plus, whenever I touched one of the volume buttons it hung up the call! Sorry Moto, you too went back to the store!

    Plantronics Discovery 640: For a few reasons, this headset was my favorite of the bunch, but it didn’t end up winning the “Magic Jedi BT Headset Contest”. The features and included accessories just blew my mind. Now there is a company that is thinking about its customers! Bravo! The comfort was also the best of all of them; I didn’t even feel it on my ear! The incoming sound volume was great, and I could hear everything the caller was saying. The problem was with my outgoing sound quality. Again, this is one of the most important areas for me. The “noise canceling” or whatever you want to call it is not that great on this unit. As an example, I was walking around at Costco while on the headset, and pushing my cart. Costco’s floors are concrete and therefore have the seams/cracks in them. Every time that I rolled over one of those cracks while on the 640, my friend asked what that crashing noise was! He could actually hear them (loudly!) every time that I went over them. Plus he had trouble hearing me over all of the background noise in the store. Not very impressive “noise canceling”! The final test that eliminated the Plantronics Discovery 640 is to be found below in the next headset review. Read on:

    Sony Ericsson HBH-610: The comfort on this is not amazing but it is acceptable. I think that I must have strange ears because right from the beginning, I had trouble fitting this on properly. I just couldn’t make it sit correctly so that the speaker would sit in my ear “hole”—it just sort of sat about ½ an inch back. So this almost eliminated this headset from the running, because the volume wasn’t loud enough for me—until I added an ear gel, and then I was off to the races! The ear gel worked like a charm. It sort of “funneled” the sound into my ear canal and now the sound on this was just as loud and clear as the Plantronics Discovery 640 (once you use the ear gel). Let me now mention a downside of the HBH-610, and that is that there is no call-waiting function! Not only that, but when I checked the on-line manuals for all of the Sony Ericsson BT headsets, NONE of them had this function! How crazy is that—especially when so many of us these days have call-waiting on our phones! BTW, if anyone knows how to make the call-waiting function work with this headset, I would love it if you could post it here! So of course, what this means is that I have to answer the other line using the Treo’s buttons. But I can live with this shortcoming because of the following: Simply put, the Sony Ericsson HBH-610 sounded the best and made ME sound the best out of all of the headsets that I tried. Because I had narrowed it down to the Plantronics Discovery 640 and this HBH-610, I needed to have a good test in a noisy environment. So one night last week I was driving in the rain on the highway; a VERY loud environment. With 2 different callers who were my friends, I kept switching back between the Plantronics Discovery 640 and the HBH-610. I had both headsets paired with the Treo, and it was just a matter of turning one on and the other off after putting the caller temporarily on speakerphone (don’t worry, there was not a lot of traffic around and I was being very careful while I was doing this! Lol). Both callers said that I definitely sounded much, much better on the HBH-610, and that there was waaaayyyy less annoying background noise then on the 640. One caller said to me that if he was a client, he would have found the background sound from the 640 to be very annoying and tiresome after a while, whereas the HBH-610 sounded just fine. Well, that clinched it for me.

    So to recap: While convenience and comfort are important, again the most important thing to me is how I sound to my callers. If my caller is constantly having to say “What? Pardon? Can you please say that again?”, that is not good, and not very professional. Of course, the second most important thing is that I can hear the caller in a variety of “loud” situations (car, walking in a mall, etc.). And as I say, the Sony Ericsson HBH-610 wins on both of these parts, hands down. While the Plantronics Discovery 640 was definitely the most comfortable to wear and to use, the incoming volume was fantastic, and the features/accessories were great, the outgoing sound was not perfect. So that was the one decisive factor that won it for me!

    Once again, I do not believe that there is a perfect Bluetooth solution out there presently, and I had to keep reminding myself that these were NOT wired earpieces. Maybe in a few years the technology with BT will be better. But just like with a corded versus cordless phone in your home, as good as the sound is with the cordless, it will NEVER be as perfect as a corded phone.

    Anyhow, I hope that this helped someone. Have a great day and thank you for your time.

    Magic Jedi
  2. #2  
    Thanks for the write-up.

    I had the Treo bluetooth headset and liked it well enough. Yes, some issues with snap/crackle/pop. Yes, some (ahem) unpredictability in whether the headset or the Treo would pick up an incoming call. But OK.

    The *$F&$ thing was too small and I lost it. Not that I'm going to buy a helmet-mounted unit, of course. Nor am I going to buy a BT headset on a leash the same way you put a baby's pacifier on a leash.

    I want to buy another BT headset. I'm undecided about whether to go back to the TWH (major reason to do so -- same AC charger as the Treo). I'm inclined to try something else. Based on this and other comments I've found, the HBH 610 sounds like it's worth a try.
  3. #3  
    Hey, thanks for the write up... Magic Jedi... can I add more

    Let me tell you, I had a scala 500, a jabra 250v, and a jabra 500... they all were a crap shoot... (my opinion, don't ever geta jabra 500... ugh... no kidding, had to get 3 new ones replaced over 2 month period, and worse of all it was terrible compared to the scala 500...)

    Now back to why I am adding this. I am very impressed with the HBH-610. I find it comfortable compared to the other BT head sets I had, and the quality in sound, and transmission is great.

    I tested this in the DFW airport, where it is always busy, and always loud. While on my travels, before my 610, everyone knew I was in the airport... or knew I was on the road. Now with the HBH-610, when I am driving or in the DFW terminal, everyone hears a little something in the background, but they mainly hear my voice, which is very important for customer calls, and business meetings between flights.

    The next test I had was sound quality and volume from the HBH-610.. even in the airport or driving.. let me go with the airport. With the Jabra head sets, I had to have one finger pushing the device into my ear to get more volume... so much for hands free... and the scala, well when I turned up the head set, it was a piercing sound, not quality volume... SO, with the HBH 610, I hardly ever needed to adjust the volume... maybe once or twice, but that is all... and quality sound... not some static noise jumping into my ear.

    Hey, i had to hold the phone on the same side of my body to make sure the jabra / scala BT headsets got a good signal... not with the 610... i can lay the phone down, walk around, put the phone in my right jacket pocket, and wear my headset on my left ear, and no problem... crazy to believe.. but yes... it works... so now I am not worried where my phone is compared to my headset is... another plus...

    The parring was nice... the jabras and scala would need to be repaired after each charge... nuts... but with the HBH-610, no repairing needed... cool.. another feature I liked is that when the head set is charging, it will not accept calls, so I can use my treo as a normal phone... instead of trying to unplug my headsets, and then hoping it would connect.. yada yada yada...

    To me it is just easy... parred once, charged several times and all that jazz.

    in summary, if anyone wants to know what to get... i will scream HBH 610. Now I have not tried the other HBH BT headsets, but I feel they have the same type of grand following just like my loyalty for my 610.

    Cheers,
    Got to love it... Balinor
  4. #4  
    Thanks Magic Jedi, and Balinor. I really appreciate you taking the time to post your reviews, and for commenting in Best Bluetoth Earpiece, discussion.treocentral.com/showthread.php?t=107529. The best I had was a Scala 500, but its outgoing sound quality to the other person (I agree that is the most important factor) seemed to get worse over time. I'll second that my experience with bluetooth headsets shows that if the signal has to go around or through my body, there is a noticeable reduction in quality. -Karl
    -Karl Cingular Treo 650 synced with Mac
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Jedi
    Sony Ericsson HBH-610: The comfort on this is not amazing but it is acceptable. I think that I must have strange ears because right from the beginning, I had trouble fitting this on properly. I just couldn’t make it sit correctly so that the speaker would sit in my ear “hole”—it just sort of sat about ½ an inch back. So this almost eliminated this headset from the running, because the volume wasn’t loud enough for me—until I added an ear gel, and then I was off to the races! The ear gel worked like a charm. It sort of “funneled” the sound into my ear canal and now the sound on this was just as loud and clear as the Plantronics Discovery 640 (once you use the ear gel).
    Hi Magic Jedi, I've recently bought a HBH-610 too and I'm wondering what brand of eargels do you use with your HBH-610?

    Thanks.
  6.    #6  
    Yktan:

    I've actually stopped using the HBH-610 because it was so uncomfortable to wear. I finally settled in on the Plantronics Voyager 510 (after trying the Discovery 645 as well, by the way). They are all Bluetooth, and nothing is perfect in the BT realm---especially with the Treo's weak BT software.

    I have found the best range and clarity (and volume) with the Voyager. That being said, I was just using some generic eargels that I picked up at a local electronics store. Hope that helps! Thank you for your time.

    Jason (Magic Jedi)

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