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Sony Ericsson HBH-602 Bluetooth headset

Mon Aug 15, 2005 - 2:57 PM EDT - By Douglas Morse

Overview

Sony’s Akono Headset HBH-602 sat on my desk for a long time after I initially tried to test it. It took a while to figure out how to pair it with the Treo and after testing it for a few days, I must have deleted the profile. I tried to re-pair using the information in the manual (pressing the multifunction button for several seconds) and failed each time. Sometimes the Treo would detect the device and ask for the passcode, but would never work properly. It was most likely loading the wrong profile.

Finally, I looked at the TreoCentral Store FAQ and found what must be the fool-proof way to pair the devices. Squeeze the volume buttons simultaneously until the multi-function light blinks alternatively red and green. Start the Bluetooth Wizard on the Treo and follow the prompts. Squeezing the volume buttons resets the headset. Thank you, TreoCentral.


Design


The HBH-602 is a nice unit with all the trimmings. It feels good on the ear, pleasing to the eye, and easy to use. The ear loop is a combination of soft and molded plastic. It is not of the type that can be bent and adjusted, just swiveled into place. The earloop swivels easily for left or right ear use. The speaker rests just inside the ear, somewhere between an ear bud and a speaker that rests outside the ear. The HBH-602 is a good compromise that balances sound quality and comfort.

The multi function button on the face of the unit is easy to locate and press, though as I mentioned should not be used for pairing the device despite what the manual says. The volume controls are convenient to use at the end of the boom microphone. The boom itself is of modest size.

The unit itself is, to overuse a word, stylish. The lines are sleek, the metallic silver color off set nicely by an interchangeable matt blue, white, or black faceplate. The headset, though not a featherweight, comes in comfortably at about an ounce. The AC adapter is one of the lightest I have used and should make for a good traveling companion. The HBH-602 also comes with a lanyard that clips into the same spot as the AC charging cord at the top of the unit—a smart, simple choice.

Functionality

As with the pairing of the HBH-602, removing the AC adapter cable is also a bit quirky. You would think that it could simply be pulled out of the earpiece, but if you look at the instruction manual, it needs to pulled towards the face of the unit and it just pops out (Ed: this is how many other Sony Ericsson products work as well). The lanyard is removed in the same manner. It’s a good safety feature, though more difficult to discover than it ought to be.

Setting of the volume works well as when you press the volume up or down button, a tone is played letting you know what the volume level will be. The volume buttons have raised carvings of the ‘ ’ and ‘-‘ that remind you which button is which. Surprisingly, this is a very useful feature as with many of the headsets I’ve used it is hard to remember which button does what.

The multi-function button does what multi-function buttons are supposed to do: pick up, reject, and hang up calls. I was impressed with the speed in which the headset grabbed a call when dialing out. Sometimes with these headsets there is too much of a delay.


Sound Quality


The sound quality of the HBH-602 is alas, spotty. I’d say it was better on my end than with the listener. Although call quality was occasionally scratchy, it was clear. Like all of the Bluetooth headsets I’ve tested, the ten meter range is a fiction. I was hoping the firmware update to the Sprint phone would help with these Bluetooth issues, but alas, it did not. You need to get the headset as close as possible to the Treo. Callers reported a variety of problems and one dialogue went like this:
Me: How do I sound?
Friend: Like you’re in a barrel.
Me: That’s good because I am in a barrel.
Laughter.
We’re easily amused.


Next Page: Conclusion >>



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Product Info
Details
> Name Sony HBH-602 Headset
> Company Sony Ericsson
> Weight 0.78 oz.
> Fact Sheet & User Opinions
Availability
> Available
Pricing
> $44.95

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