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Sony Ericsson MH-907

2009 hasn't been the best year for accessory makers, especially those of the second tier, as the financial meltdown has been quite harsh on them. Their sales are plummeting simply because many consumers have lost their interest in their headsets and prefer to spend less on these things. Even Nokia have gotten into lineup optimization, cutting down their range of accessories without mercy. Nevertheless, even in the current environment there is one company that keeps on going and experimenting with new trends in this field - of course, it's Sony Ericsson.

I don't want to start this review on negative note, such as a rant on the flood of fakes on the Russian market, or the absence of many recently announced gadgets over here. Let's talk about good things. Personally, I start getting a feeling that over at Sony Ericsson they entrust the development of accessories into the hands of special people who are not allowed to deal with handsets. Because if they were, Sony Ericsson would have regained most of its post-K750 fame. The fact of the matter is that Sony Ericsson's accessories division is full of creativity and enthusiasm even these days - the headsets they churn out on a regular basis can easily leave one speechless. Perhaps, I would have lost all my sympathy for the company, if it wasn't for these ingenious creations. For example, the HBH IS-800, also known as the tiniest wireless stereo headset out there. It works, it's a breeze to manage and its only drawback is battery time. Another example - Sony Ericsson PV-740, mono headset, which you should definitely give a go if you ever get a chance; it's got a decent sales package, great microphone and many other advantages. In fact, in some ways it's even better than some of the market's heavyweights from Nokia, Motorola and Jawbone. I'm not going to list all achievements of Sony Ericsson on this front, though - suffice it to say that three years ago it was no different than today, as one can still find a marvelous mono- or stereo- headset in Sony Ericsson's lineup.

Wrapping up this short prologue, I'd like to repeat myself: much like in the old times, Sony Ericsson's accessories department are worth their salt, and it's not their fault that their creations aren't all the rage here. While other manufacturers prefer to run with their time-proven solutions, these people pull the rabbit out of the hat every now and then.

That teaser

So, this teaser where a man with an oversized head drinking some tasty beverage has been around for several weeks now. Personally, I find this image more attractive than a new color scheme of Sony Ericsson's logo, and thankfully it'll be used in press-releases showcasing the way it works. So, what the MH-907 is all about? To put it simply, Sony Ericsson have tried to add a bit of logic to how we use our wired headsets. For example, what do we usually do with this accessory? Scenario A:

  • Plug the headphones into our ears
  • Fire up the player application and click Play

Scenario B:

  • Fire up the player application and click Play
  • Plug the headphones into our ears

But the Sony Ericsson MH-907 offers us a completely different scenario:

  • Plug the headphones into our ears, playback will start automatically

But that's not all. For example, when I'm in a store, listening to the music and suddenly feel the urge to talk to a sales assistant, I usually pull a headphone out of my ear and push Pause on the phone. With the MH-907 these familiar things happen in a slightly different fashion - now I need to pull either of the headphones out, and that's it, the phone will stop playing automatically. Then, to resume the playback, I just put it back in and voila. Another feature that all drivers will appreciate is the ability to answer calls by plugging an earphone in, while pulling it out will end a conversation in an instant.

Those who still don't know what to think about the MH-907 - I assure you, it works and it's highly addictive. Just like you start trying to zoom in/out on web pages in all other phones after using the iPhone for a week, after some quality time with the Sony Ericsson MH-907 you expect all other headsets to do exactly the same.

We tested it with the SE W995, SE C905 and SE Aino - it worked with all three, and out experience was the same. So, what's the secret? It seems that there are some sensors built into the earphones, and a couple of times I managed to locate them with my fingers. Anyway, to figure out how this thing works, I'd need to tear it apart, which is the last thing I'd want to do with the Sony Ericsson MH-907.

Some words about the design and earphones themselves. The headset utilizes a pretty thick cord which is easy to untangle, plus it's covered in rubber and feels good to the touch. The microphone compartment is silver doesn't have any buttons. The earphones are also decked out in silver plastic and as you can see, they are pretty large. As a result not every man will find them comfortable, let alone women. Note that each earphone sports a small SE logo on it. There is another color scheme available for the Sony Ericsson MH-907 - white with gold, although I find the more spartan black variant much more appealing. As far as its sound quality goes, the MH-907 is in line with other contemporary wired headsets, such as the HPM-77; coupled with the W995 it didn't disappoint. Although as we all know it's not the headset, it's the phone that matters. And, by the way, of all three handsets, I liked the MH-907 plus Aino duo best - it seems the latter is better suited for electronic music (and it was pretty loud at that, louder than with the W995, but the Aino's volume level didn't affect audio quality in any way).

The MH-907's cord is pretty good in terms of length - I never felt it was excessive or too short. All in all, this headset is much more comfortable than the HPM-77 and the likes - its microphone part doesn't pull the cord down. Using the headset's settings you can disable the sensors, and make it play your MP3s or tune in the radio by default.

Curiously, that over several weeks of quality time with the MH-907, I got so into this headset, that I started using the W995 more frequently and even bought a bigger memory card for it. Perhaps, this is exactly what they are banking on with it - sometimes there is a feature in a phone or some accessory that you simply can't let go of. I, for one, spend hours listening to the music and therefore find the MH-907's functionality utterly interesting. The only bad thing about it is that it can't skip forward, but this isn't that big of a deal, is it?

Another thing of note about its sensors is that they can't be fooled. For example you can pull out the earphones and plug them back in instantly, but the playback will start only when both earphones sit in your ears. When you get an incoming call, to answer it all you need to do is pull out either of the earphones and put it back in. Unfortunately, though, it's impossible to end calls in a similar fashion. If you accidentally pull the headset's plug out of the phone, inserting it back in won't re-start the playback - you'll have to do the same trick with the earphones. However, the software in the MH-907 is still not final, so by the time it hits the shelves, maybe they will add a feature a two, we'll see.

As for the microphone, I can't complain about its quality - during our tests it was quite sensitive and didn't distort my voice in any fashion.


Given Sony Ericsson's latest initiatives, involving plans to open an online store with original accessories, I think it's pretty safe to say that there is a good chance the MH-907 will get to Russia eventually. But the real question is, what its price tag will look like? Regrettably the amount of information even on its recommended price is between slim and nill, although I do think that such a marvel will be priced well above 40 USD, which will be a justified price nonetheless, since no other company has similar offerings on its plate at the moment. The MH-907 was designed for tech geeks and Sony Ericsson aficionados. While it may well make it to the sales packages of some phones, at first it'll definitely be available only as a separate offering.

Wrapping it all up, I must say that I'm anxious to buy it already, and it's been a while since the last time I said something along these lines about a Sony Ericsson branded product. However, I strongly recommend trying it out before purchase to see if these headphones will fit into your ears. Other than that, it's an interesting, novel and likable headset. All I can do is hope that in the near future Sony Ericsson will launch a phone or two of similar quality - phones that will exceed all expectations, without references to any of their rivals and a great deal of innovations inside.

Sergey Kuzmin ([email protected])
Translated by Oleg Kononosov ([email protected])

Published - 21 September 2009

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