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  1.    #1  
    Having spent some time using the HBH-660 and the Jabra BT250 and being a student of human factors, I wanted to just defend the unconventional speaker placement of the HBH-660. Sony has a long history of outstanding design and I found it hard to believe that they would have designed this headset with such an obvious flaw as a poorly placed speaker. However, having used the HBH-660 for several weeks now, I feel certain that the design is actually completely intentional, and actually, very thoughtful.

    The issue comes down to auditory awareness. By placing the speaker behind the ear canal and by leaving a small gap between the headset and the side of the wearer's head, all sound in the environment still reaches the ear uninhibited. Many laws around the country and the world prohibit the wearing of earphones during certain tasks. These laws are usually defended by saying that wearing earphones inhibits awareness of the wearer's surroundings. In the case of most phone headsets, the ear canal is blocked reducing, though not eliminating, auditory awareness on the side on which the headset is worn. The HBH-660 does not suffer that problem.

    That said, when used with the Treo 650, the HBH-660 may, in fact, be a hazard to the wearer if used while driving. A well-known technique of public speakers is to speak softly because the audience will pay greater attention to a speech as they concentrate to hear it. If the volume of a headset is too low, the wearer may concentrate to hear the other party, taking away vital attention from the task of driving.

    It is for this reason I believe PalmOne should make their number one priority fixing the audio problems associated with using a bluetooth headsets on the Treo 650. I also would like to warn owners of the HBH-660 to please reconsider using the headset while driving until the issue is resolved.
  2. #2  
    Conrad, great post. That is exactly the case.
    David
  3.    #3  
    Thank you Davidoff, and thank you to all the many members who bought this and other headsets and shared your opinions with the community.

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