One of the benefits of writing for both Gear Diary and whatsoniphone.com is that when I find a truly outstanding product, one about which which I am totally enthusiastic, I’m able to share that enthusiasm with a larger audience of both iPhone AND general tech enthusiasts. That’s certainly the case with the Sound ID 300 Bluetooth headset I have been using since last week and the reason I am posting this review on both sites.
Bluetooth headsets are commonplace these days. They come in all shapes, sizes and price ranges. When evaluating them there are, to my mind, four criteria by which we can assess them- comfort, sound appearance and value. As noted above, I’ve been using the new Sound ID 300 headset for a little less than a week. Let’s take a look at it from each of these four perspectives…
Sound ID, the leader in personalized sound, today announced a breakthrough Bluetooth headset, the HD300. With NoiseNavigation™, providing pristine sound through the automatic reduction of wind and background noise, the HD300′s acoustic innovations are evenly matched by its narrow form and chic, high-gloss piano black finish. “Comprised of hearing specialists and top acoustic scientists, Sound ID brings an in-depth knowledge of the human ear to the Bluetooth arena,” said Michael Jones, President and CEO of Sound ID. “Engineered to complement the natural hearing process, the HD300 delivers great audio and a slim design for comfort and style – ensuring its place among the slickest gadgets on the market today.”
Weight: 8 grams (0.28 ounces)
Dimensions: 53.5 x 15.5 x 7.5 millimeters (2.1 x 0.6 x 0.3 inches)
Battery Life: Up to 6 hours talk time, 200 hours (8 days) standby
Latest Bluetooth Technology: Bluetooth version 2.1+EDR
In The Box-
Universal AC charger (100-240 VAC)
Three sizes of RealComfort EarLoops
An Ear Hook
This is the most comfortable headset I have ever worn.
Let me be more precise-
This is THE most comfortable headset I have ever worn.
The unusual RealComfort EarLoops come in three sizes and actually sit inside your ear wedging the headset in place. It sounds uncomfortable but, with the correct size loop it actually makes this one of the most stable headsets I have worn (there is zero sense that it might fall out even during rigourous movement) and one of the most comfortable.
Sound ID includes a traditional earhook but I see no reason to even consider using it.
From an aesthetic standpoint my favorite Bluetooth headset was the now unavailable Apple Headset. It was a small, sleek black bar that sat inside the ear and has no noticeable buttons. There were two man problems with it. First, it always felt as if it was going to fall out of my ear. Second, the sound quality was awful! Unless you were in a totally silent environment you could almost have had the same sound quality with two cans and a piece of string. While slightly larger, the Sound ID looks like it came from the same design team. It is sleek, it is black, and it has no noticeable buttons. While function is what matters most in a device like this it is nice to also have one that looks good. The Sound ID all but matches the Apple headset in this department. Unlike the Apple unit, however, it feels secure in the ear and the sound is… well that brings us to the next point.
The sound quality of the headset is superb! Callers didn’t seem to know that I was on a headset and I was able to hear everything perfectly. I was on the phone for 3 and a half hours of highway driving in a car going 69 miles an hour and I was able to hear every word perfectly.
The unit features special “NoiseNavigation” technology. The dual microphones that are at the heart of the system do their job at reducing outside noise as well or better than any headset I have used. The “PersonalSound technology” of the headset offers three different audio profiles that adjust different frequencies to best fit your individual heading preferences/needs without raising the volume.
It is controlled by a single, easy to reach, button on the unit’s side.
There are cheaper headsets available but none that come close in comfort or sound quality. The combination of sound quality, comfort and looks make this an excellent value.
So in the final analysis what do I think of this new headset? Let me answer the question in this way- I have enough Bluetooth headsets to satisfy a cellphone-using eight-headed dragon. The LAST thing I need is another Bluetooth headset… but I just bought the review unit from Sound ID.
The Sound ID 300 is available starting today at AT&T Retail Stores.
MSRP: $120 but should be priced at around $100.
What I Like: Comfortable; Great sound on both ends; Looks good
What Needs Improvement: At the top end of what Bluetooth’s cost today