I have a thing about headphones, so when Orange offered me the Sony Stereo Bluetooth SBH80 for a few weeks, I jumped at the opportunity.
Nothing beats the feeling of just you and the music that quality headphones offer, and as far as Bluetooth headsets go, this pair was so light-weight and comfortable, I sometimes forgot that I was wearing them.
You know tech is old when it has no Bluetooth functionality, like my iPod Classic, circa 2005. Instead, I synced the headset to my iPad and pulled up a few of my favourite tunes.
The headset looks a little unusual. After all, unlike headphones with its unmistakable and somewhat retro style, an in-ear headset needs some other kind of approach to be wireless. The discreet main unit rests lightly on the back of your neck, with two ultra-thin metal strips that rest lightly on your shoulders. You hardly know it’s there.
Music controls (play/pause, skip forward/back) can be found on the left strip, while volume controls and a button to connect/disconnect from phone calls are located on the right strip.
The exterior of the set is splash-proof, so you should be able to wear it on your run/gym session (I don’t know about these things, so I’m just guessing about this) and unless you find yourself in a torrential downpour rain won’t be a problem either.
Back to the sound
This bit I lifted from the Sony site: The SBH80 has aptX™ audio enhancement – a high-quality audio codec designed to deliver a flawless wireless experience.
It’s a bit technical for me, but as far as I can tell it means you can hear every note and nuance of a song; you can feel the bass and the beats as part of yourself.
As far as call quality is concerned, I called my best friend while walking around my flat, doing dishes, and just chilling on the couch. Thanks to HD Voice, background noises are cut and voices are easily recognisable. The SBH80 has double microphones, so even when you turn your head, you’re always close to the microphone, so your caller gets a clear and even calling experience. It sounded like my friend and I were in the same room. When I told him I’m calling via a wireless Bluetooth headset he mentioned that he noticed the sound quality was better than on other occasions.
When a call comes in, the main unit on your neck discreetly vibrates.
Touch and play
When you want to connect your SBH80 to your smartphone, simply touch the phone against the main unit of this Bluetooth® wireless headset and it starts up and connects. It works with both iOS and Android, and with its Bluetooth® Multipoint technology, you can connect to two devices at the same time.
When the battery runs low on this headset, simply plug the main unit into a USB port with the cable provided.
The Sony Stereo Bluetooth Headset is available from the Orange online store for R and free delivery.
It definitely ranks in my top headsets to own.