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Review of Samsung HS3000 Bluetooth Stereo Headset
In a few months Samsung is going to renew the phone accessory family including Bluetooth headsets and many other things. In my review of accessories for Samsung Galaxy S II I have mentioned a few universal cases and headphones with remotes for Androids. Later there will be new toys available.
We will see lots of interesting stuff but I want to start with Samsung HS3000 Ц a stereo headset with impressive functionality.
The package is usual for Samsung products Ц a transparent plastic case with cardboard holder inside. The manual is very comprehensive and detailed. The headset itself is small Ц smaller than a cigarette lighter and it weighs in just 13.2 g/ 0.47 oz. it is made of dark gray plastic and it has a tight clip that can reliably fix the headset on your clothes. The plastic in the middle is black Ц the classic sandwich design. At the top you find a 3.5mm audio jack and the mic hole. The bundled headphones are well known to Samsung users Ц a pair of inexpensive in-ear phones which are not bad but I would recommend you to use something better. the headset looks good, the assembly quality is ok and the finish looks quite sturdy.
On the front side there is the answer/end call button also used for switching between calls and activation of the voice dialer. On one side you find the three playback control buttons and on the other there are the power switch, the volume rocker and the Mode button. The latter is used to turn the voice control on or off, switch between working with one or two phones and activate the Sound Alive sound preset. All the buttons are relatively big and handy. With iPhone 4 you can fast forward inside a track though it works rather slowly Ц it is easier to go to a certain place of the track using the phone slider.
I don't really understand why there is an option to turn the voice control off Ц maybe the developers thought that some might not like the woman's voice. But I think most people will like this feature Ц there is no display and the voice is a lot of help sometimes: it can tell you the battery charge, is the multi-point on and whether the second phone is connected and lots of other information. Next to the answer button there is a tiny light indicator which gladly never gets on your nerves.
On the back side covered by a lid there is a microUSB slot and in the package you'll find a regular USB charger which really nice Ц you'll be able to use it with your phone and other devices. The quoted battery life time is 7 hours of calls, six hours of music playback and a hundred and seventy hours of standby. It takes about an hour and a half to charge the headset. Nice specs for such a small stereo headset but in this case the more the better.
Phone Connection and the Sound Quality
I have been testing this headset together with iPhone 4 and Blackberry 9780. I could not connect them both simultaneously Ц this was probably due to the peculiarities of the phones and the headset works fine with two "regular" phones. The sound quality will greatly depend on the headphones you will be using Ц when I connected0 simple Sony headphones HS3000 started to sound much better. the headset uses the Bluetooth 3.0 profile and it will probably perform best with a next gen phone like Samsung Galaxy S II. But even with iPhone 4 it sounded ok to me. Most importantly, there was no rustling on the background so typical to Bluetooth headsets. Besides Bluetooth 3.0 the headset also supports the aptX codec . Let's see what official sources have on it:
ЂMay 24, 2011 (Datamonitor via COMTEX) -- CSR plc has announced that the new Samsung HS3000 Bluetooth Stereo headset features its aptX high-fidelity audio compression technology.
According to CSR, this has enabled Samsung to create a Bluetooth headset offering wireless stereo audio quality that is virtually indistinguishable from that of wired stereo audio devices.
"Samsung Electronics is clearly enthusiastic about aptX technology in the high-volume consumer electronics marketplace, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with them as they adopt our aptX technology across a broad range of mobile handsets, feature phones, smartphones, tablets and headset products. By adopting aptX technology across their product lines, Samsung is setting a new standard for wireless audio quality in the mobile entertainment ecosystem," added Murray.
CSR's aptX technology uses advanced ADPCM principles to squeeze the entire 10Hz 22kHz high-fidelity audio frequency range neatly within the constrained bandwidth of Bluetooth transmission standards. It delivers audio reproduction with 92dB dynamic range, and has low latency that avoids lip-sync issues. When incorporated in Bluetooth A2DP stereo products like the Samsung HS3000, the aptX audio codec enables source material to be delivered transparently over the Bluetooth link, whether it is stored uncompressed on the source device or uses an alternative compression format such as MP3, AAC or FLACї.
You see Ц this is already a reason to buy this thing! Although I think the manufacturer should have bundled a better pair of headphones to let the users actually hear the difference.
The voice quality depends on how close to your mouth is the mic Ц the closer the better. Then your interlocutors will not even understand that you are using a headset.
The headset will be available very soon at about $50. I did not like the bundled headphones and I think it is my only criticism. The headset looks nice, it is very easy to use, it supports multipoint, it provides good sound quality and a decent battery life time. You can expect a much better sound quality with a better pair of headphones. Verdict: I strongly recommend Samsung HS3000 and I want to note that the company is moving in the right direction Ц the competitors basically buried their development of Bluetooth devices and most new devices just offer new looks not contents. But this is 2011 and it is time someone gave us a breakthrough in the quality of wireless sound and I hope Samsung can do it.
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Published Ч 23 June 2011
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