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Review of Blackberry HS-655 Âluetooth Headset
In the box:
The only reason for me to write this review was the emergence of even more BB devices and appropriate accessories. Accordingly, you can choose from original accessories and the ones manufactured by third parties. In this case we have a discontinued product, which can still be purchased in retail. If you are a fan of Bluetooth devices you will immediately recognize Plantronics Discovery 655 (already reviewed 3 years ago) in HS-655. It was a long time ago, but it did not influence the quality of the gadget. Moreover, the price is right and you have a BB logo on. It is a perfect match! Can you ask for more?
Design and construction
I liked the design with the black matte plastic on top and black glossy plastic in the lower part. It is nice and sort of military. The cap has the same look and if the original 655 model had something silver like and strange here you have black matte plastic all over. The dimensions are compact and the headset is sold in a blister. I somehow did not find a cable in the box and the user guide is a complete incomprehensible mess.
Despite several years after the device introduction it still looks beautiful in a way. After all can Bluetooth devices offer real vintage? They are not handsets, but just à piece of consumable material (exceptions are rare). Instead of Plantronics logo the word Blackberry is situated on the top and the button accompanied by a company's logo. The same is on the cap. Pay attention that it features a clip to connect to the shirt pocket or anywhere else. It is quite handy for carrying the headset around.
How to use the headset
It is simply inserted into the auditory channel and on the body there is a label with indication how to turn the silicone tip for your right or left ear. The tip is very pleasant, mild and fits well without causing any discomfort during the continuous use. Do not worry about it when you move around actively. It does not fall out when you shake your head. In general the device is very convenient and can be complemented with the ear loop, though I could not find one in my box.
The front features three buttons: one multifunctional and two for volume control. I have no complaints here. All pressings are accurate and accompanied with a click. When the headset is in your ear you will instinctively hold it with fingers. To pair the device you need to press and hold the multifunctional button. The light indicator is inside and looks nice, but when the headset is connected to a phone blue flashes every 10 seconds are slightly irritating. On the other hand, it could have been much worse.
The charging process is very interesting: you insert the headset into the cap, which is connected with miniUSB cable and you are done. Alternatively, use an ordinary mains charger. If necessary you take it out of the charger, 665 is connected to your mobile phone and the communication can start. The manufacturer claimed up to 3.5 hours of talktime and 80 hours on standby. Full charging needs around one hour. Interestingly, the cap hosts a vibro and once the charger is connected you see the red light indicator and the headset body gets a kind of a vibration wave.
Phone connection and sound quality
During the first run the headset goes straight into the detection mode. It is detected and paired (code 0000) quickly and easily. I tested the headset with iPhone 3Gs and Blackberry Torch. I did not experience any problems, everything worked well – the latest number dialing, lines switching, etc. As to the voice communication I can say that the device features a new technology AudioIQ. The manufacturer's website mentions the following: "Created around the in-built DSP processor AudioIQ automatically adapts the incoming sound taking into account the background noise, improves the sound quality, makes it clearer and adjusts the volume. In the outgoing sound AudioIQ decreases the level of the background noise by 50%. Furthermore, it reduces the distortions in the interlocutor's speech and makes it clearer. In general, AudioIQ substantially boosts the sound quality for both parties". The sound quality is really good and I could hear the voice fairly accurately, but I heard ambient noise at times. Gradually you stop paying attention to this. After all it could have been the interference from other devices. I give the top grade for this parameter as the voice of your interlocutor is clean and loud, while you are also heard without any problems.
At the moment this BB headset is increasingly more difficult to find and costs around $80, which is definitely too much for an old fashioned device. You should buy it only if you like its brutal design and you can put up with short operation time. The voice transmission is good and the back matte plastic is everywhere coupled with a BB logo. This product is surely for the fans.
P.S. I will not mention the vibration cradle. Such experiments were poplar back in 2007, but now we have a totally different period.
Published — 21 September 2010
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