Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

April 15, 2009 • Reviews

Review – Sound ID 300

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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…


The Hype-

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.”

The Reality-

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The Specs-
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-

Headset

Universal AC charger (100-240 VAC)
Three sizes of RealComfort EarLoops
An Ear Hook

Comfort-

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.

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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.

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Sound ID includes a traditional earhook but I see no reason to even consider using it.

Appearance-

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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.

Sound Quality-

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.

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It is controlled by a single, easy to reach, button on the unit’s side.

Value-

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

14 Responses to " Review – Sound ID 300 "

  1. Ray says:

    Urgh. I wanted to get this but it was taking forever to be released so I bought the Bang & Olufsen Earset2 instead…

    Quick question: How easy is it to put this on and get it to fit perfectly? Can you do it with one hand?

  2. dancohen says:

    Ray- just tried it- 1 second, 1 hand, no prob.

    (Sorry, in light of your comment I suspect the better answer for you would have been- “Impossibly inconvenient…”)

  3. Richard says:

    This is a great review – because I mostly care that a headset sounds good (on both ends of the call) stays put and is comfortable.

    I had the SoundID 100 and loved it.

    I wonder, Dan, what other headsets you have used.

    • dancohen says:

      Richard-
      I have used a number of different Jabra headsets, the original Jawbone (had three in a row break and gave up after the third), Plantronics Voyager 855, iVoice baby Ai (good sounding but not nearly as comfortable), Etymotic etyBlU (good sounding but not nearly as comfortable), a number of Sony Ericson headsets and the Apple bluetooth headset.
      For the most part I have been using the Jabra SP700 speakerphone in the car since none of the headsets worked as well for me… until now. The fact that this headset sits in my ear so securely, is so very comfortable and sounds as good as it does has really surprised me. At least thusfar, it appears to be a no-compromise headset.

      • Richard says:

        Dan,

        Thanks for that information. We have a fairly common headset background – if you will. I am now using the Jawbone2 with their new earbuds (a copy of the SoundId concept).

        The new JB2 earbuds are close – but I am off to the ATT store to grab an HD300 because – well, SoundId nailed the fit thing a while ago.

  4. I have a Plantronics I don't use as much as I should because … it isn't comfortable! I will definitely look at this one, but the price is a bit high for me.

  5. Ray says:

    Heh. I think my last comment came off as a bit of a whinge, but I'm kicking myself for getting the Earset last month and not waiting for this. I've wanted this since it was announced (a year ago!) and I could've waited a bit more. I like the form factor – similar to my previous favorite, a Nokia headset that was way too soft. Got the Earset because it was supposed to be the loudest headset around. Too bad it's also probably the most fiddly to put on. The Sound ID sounds like a really good piece of kit. Guess the Earset is going on ebay…

  6. Ray says:

    Heh. I think my last comment came off as a bit of a whinge, but I'm kicking myself for getting the Earset last month and not waiting for this. I've wanted this since it was announced (a year ago!) and I could've waited a bit more. I like the form factor – similar to my previous favorite, a Nokia headset that was way too soft. Got the Earset because it was supposed to be the loudest headset around. Too bad it's also probably the most fiddly to put on. The Sound ID sounds like a really good piece of kit. Guess the Earset is going on ebay…

  7. Jason says:

    Dan: Thanks for the review, been on the fence up until now. I've got a 20% off accessories discount on the device, but I gotta wait until the $100 price shows up on the website. Odd corporate policy, but hey, money is money.

  8. Richard says:

    Third day with my SoundiD 300…awesome.

    Simple, easy to use, very, VERY clear sound (and I need that because my hearing is deteriorating). I have even had a few friends comment on the clarity of my calls with this headset. That hasn't happened since Jabra introduced the 800 (first BT set w/DSP).

    The only issue at this point is that it died last night, mid-conversation, without so much as a warning tone or any audible alert to low battery. Perhaps I'll scan the instructions: I may have missed something re. low battery.

    So, the JB2 is definitely “off-ear” and the HD30 is on!

  9. Bilal Naseer says:

    I really love Sound ID 300 bluetooth handsfree headset with iPhone. Looks great, is comfortable & works perfectly: http://bit.ly/18kA1u

  10. Aliya haider says:

    RT @BilalNaseer: I really love Sound ID 300 bluetooth handsfree headset with iPhone. Looks great, is comfortable &… http://bit.ly/18kA1u

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