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Review of Blackberry HS-500 Bluetooth headset
In the box:
Another headset from the phone manufacturer is strange and exotic. HS-500 can be a good solution for Blackberry fans, especially if they cannot live without their favorite logo. I would prefer Jawbone or Plantronics, but we live in a world, which is spoilt for choice. If you want you will find the necessary gadgets. Apart from Blackberry Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and Samsung come up with even better Bluetooth accessories.
Design and construction
Classical design here means the pinnacle of simplicity. The front resembles metal, though in fact only plastic is used. Blackberry fans will surely enjoy the large logo of the company and grilled microphone, which is original due to the size of the hole. At the back we have a microUSB slot for charging, while the surface is made of polished black plastic (logo is visible here as well). The size of the headset is modest, but the looks are not exciting – too simple and predictable. Materials are of high quality and even after one year HS-500 will look like new.
The gadget is shipped in a blister, so you cannot try it before buying.
How to use the headset
In the box you get tips of various sizes, but I found them too hard. You can carry the headset with comfort though. The ear loop is just a joke. A slice of plastic is a poor companion to fix the headset as it is way too flexible. You can carry the device without this component anyway, but abrupt movements may lead to the headset falling out of the ear. Unfortunately, there is no place to fix the strap.
The front features a multifunctional key, which is located right under the logo and is easy to press. It is accompanied by a pleasant click and allows answering or ending the call, ignore unwanted contacts and call the latest dialed numbers. The volume is adjusted automatically and this feature is impeccable. I tested it with iPhone 4 and Blackberry Torch. The top has the switch on/off arm with the light indicator below. After the first run the headset moves into the coupling mode (indicator blinks with red and blue intermittently).
During the coupling with phones the device asked for a password, which is traditionally 0000.
Operation with two phones
The headset supports multipoint, which enables the connection with two phones at a time. The approach is traditional – first you connect phone 1, then disconnect it and connect phone 2 and connect phone 1 again. Operation with iPhone 4 and BB Torch was fine, but after 20 minutes of work and several calls iPhone disconnected and I had to reload the headset to get it recognized. Everything is traditional here.
The claimed operation time reaches 6 hours of talktime and 120 hours on standby, which is fine, but several smaller devices can work as long as HS-500.
The best feature of the headset is the voice reproduction quality. Interlocutors did not complain or asked to switch off the headset. The volume is enough (together with the automated adjustment) and I could hear the typical intonations of my contacts. The operation distance in an office is around 5 meters. It could have been better.
The model costs around $160 and the price will not go down soon as the demand among Blackberry fans remains stable. I am not particularly crazy about the headset. It has classy looks, apart from a cheap looking light indicator, and offers good sound quality coupled with multipoint. Car charger comes in the box, which is logical, but something is missing. There is no traditional Blackberry uniqueness and spark. It is just another headset, albeit with a name.
Published — 24 November 2010
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