Bluetooth headsets have been in the Market for a relatively long time, one of the most famous Bluetooth headset today is still the Nokia BH503, which after almost a decade, many people still use it as it offered the ability to Wirelessly answer your call or control your music and it has the ability to connect to virtually any Bluetooth-Enabled Device.
I’m not really a fan of Bluetooth Headsets as they are far inferior to the wired counterparts but their use maybe more prominent today than about a decade ago.
A few weeks ago, Sony released a new Stereo Bluetooth Headset, SBH50; it is a Bluetooth Headset with a couple of nice additions to improve your wireless experience. So without further ado, here’s an insight and review of Sony SBH50.
- Frequency Range – 20Hz-20kHz
- Total Harmonic Distortion @1kHz – <0.3%
- Max SPL @ 1kHz – 110db
- Headphone Driver Units – 9.2mm dynamic
Package and Build
Inside the box, you get your Bluetooth Device, 2 Extra Pair of Earbuds, Charger, Earbuds and Manuals. The packaged Earbuds have the same quality as those found in most Xperia Headsets.
The Bluetooth Device looks like a mini-mp3 player, it boast an OLED Screen, and buttons on the sides such as Play, Next, Previous, Volume, Power and Back. The back part has a clip so you can wear it over your clothes. It looks solid and high-end, something you will be proud to wear in public.
Features and Performance
This is where everything gets interesting, Sony SBH50 is a big step forward to how you will interact with Bluetooth Device as it is jam-packed with features. First is the simple connectivity. If you have an Xperia device, connecting is literally just a touch of a button, for Xperia Z users, simply enable NFC and place the SBH50 near the device and voila! It’s already connected! On the first connection, you would have to do some settings but you can skip it for later. With other NFC-Enabled device, connectivity is also a breeze as you need only activate NFC, though Sony Xperia phones are much simpler. I have tried this with Xperia Z, Xperia Acro S and Samsung Galaxy Note 2. For non-NFC enabled device, you can connect it just like how you would connect a Bluetooth device. So far I have tested it on HTC Google Nexus One and Cherry Mobile Titan, both works magnificently.
On the first connection, it will ask you to install the SBH50 app on the Market, this is a definitive must download to maximize your headset.
After installation, you can now install some add-ons you want like SMS Notification, Call Log, Email, Twitter and Facebook. Yes, this device’s OLED shows you notifications and even lets you execute calls from the Log.
Another niche feature is its FM Radio capabilities, it may not be for everyone but it’s a nice change of pace if you get tired of your music. It has nice reception and I rarely had troubles. Last would be its ability to connect to two devices simultaneously, though you have to pick which will be the main device that the SBH50 will be able to navigate from.
One of the main drawback as to why most people tend to stay away from Bluetooth Device maybe the bad audio quality and call quality. I may not have as much experience with headset but I have tried a number of headsets and I can say that the audio quality when using music is top-notch, comparable to that of the stock headsets from Samsung and Sony’s Flagships. It has a nice bass, and it is surprisingly loud! If you do not like the Earbuds that came with the package, you can always plug in a different kind and still be able to call as the mic is on the Bluetooth device, not the Earbuds. With respect to call quality, it was far better than that of Nokia BH503, the voice it transmit and receive are clear, crisp and loud. Battery life is great as it has lasted me about 3 Days on average usage.
Finally, this Bluetooth Device gets software updates from Sony, if you plug it into a Wi-Fi connected Xperia phone it will automatically update it. Wohoo! Performance Boost!
For those looking for a Bluetooth Headset, I would definitely recommend the Sony SBH50, amazing audio quality, with the ability to view notifications and an FM Radio is a definitive plus. The only downside would be the relatively steep price of Php2,900 from Kimstore and Php3,290 from Widget City. If you are on a budget, you can try their predecessors SBH20 (Php1890 from Sony Trinoma) and Sony Ericsson MW600 though I haven’t tested them yet.
About a decade ago, Bluetooth Headsets may just be a luxury for people, but as technology continues to evolve, Feature-packed smartphones become cheaper and cheaper. Living in our country, it is undeniable that there are a lot of snatchers and pick-pockets and whipping out your phone in public is a big mistake. Bluetooth Headsets like the Sony SBH50 gives you the freedom to check your phone for text messages and call back persons. Though you can only view messages today, you can be sure that it will only take a few years before Bluetooth Devices can serve as a full remote for your device, let’s keep our fingers crossed for that!