With the death of my iPod – RIP iPod Mini – I was stuck listening to nothing at the gym, which made the whole experience depressing to say the least. Rather than lining Apple’s pockets by upgrading to a new iPod I decided to get a bit technological. My beloved Nokia N95 has a fairly decent Music Player as standard, and supports Stereo Bluetooth the answer seemed obvious.
I looked online and searched around and the name that cropped up a few times was i-Tech BlueBAND, I found one of the cheapest places in the UK to be MobileFun – a steal at £19.95. Seeing as I’d also lost my old Motorola headset the decision seemed to be made for me! The headset arrived next day from MobileFun and in the box there was :-
1 x i-Tech BlueBAND Bluetooth Stereo Headphones
1 x Mains Adaptor
1 x Instruction Manual
Charging the headset takes a few hours, for a advertised 7.5 hours of listening to music/making calls or 150 hours of standby. The LED is red whilst it charges and turns a cool blue colour when the charge is complete. Pairing with the phone was painless, much the same as you would any headset. I did have a small bit of difficultly to start with, for some strange reason it would connect to my phone, and then when I tried to play music, or make a call it would automatically disconnect. Slightly worried i may have a faulty unit I restarted my phone, and found the problem corrected itself. Phew!
The headphones themselves hook over the ear, much like sports headphones do, with the band going around the back of the head/neck, rather than over the top like other headphones. So the weight (which to be honest is pretty minimal) is on your ears. It does feel a little strange to start with wearing them, but they are very comfy, the foam pads don’t press hard too hard on the ears. I’ve worn them whilst at the gym and they stay firmly put whilst running or going for it on the cross-trainer, no fear of them slipping off!
On the right ear you have all the controls, volume up and down, and the standard ‘multi function’ button, which can be used to redial, pick up and end calls, and activate voice dialling (if your phone allows). Would have been nice to have controls for the music player, but hey, you can’t have it all (well not for £19!).
Each ear pad folds in, allowing them to be that little bit smaller for storage or carrying around. They aren’t the smallest, even when folded, but not too bad!
Listening to music on these was a LOT better than I ever expected, its so very clear and crisp, beautiful reproduction. No high end, but certainly not shabby at all. Amazing considering there are no wires! I’ve not really tested the distance fully, but I’ve still maintained a connection to my phone from about 5-10 metres away depending on conditions. Mostly the phone is either in my pocket, or sat on the car seat so its not really an issue.
Using it for making calls provides the same sort of clarity, and for the person you’re calling they can enjoy your dulcet tones with little background noise.
Battery life, seems pretty much as what it says on the tin, I’ve used mine for a week with a few gym visits, a lot of calls, and even more standby time, without even needing a recharge! Which is handy as one of the down sides is that i-Tech DON’T do Car Chargers for these, seems a little crazy to me, as these headsets would primarily be used in the car. Still thanks to the long battery life you get enough time to get home to your wall charger! Which, incidentally, treat with care, as i-Tech don’t do replacement ones.
So in conclusion, these headphones are fantastic. Blindly good sound reproduction, good battery life, simple use, lightweight and comfy to wear. I cannot recommend them enough!
Here are the tech-specs :-
Bluetooth Specification v1.2 class 2.
Rechargeable 280 mAh Li-polymer Battery.
Talk Time: Up to 7.5 hours.
Music Playing Time: Up to 7.5 hours.
Standby Time: Up to 150 hours.
Nominal Charging Time: 3 hours.
Dimensions: 90 x 80 x 119 mm.
Weight: 67.6 grams.
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