Kyocera's Bluetooth A2DP Stereo Headphones Rock!
I've had my Kyocera GSH300 for quite a while now and have never done a review on them. Why? I'm not sure. But I've been seeing a lot of posts around the internet lately about different types of Bluetooth A2DP headphones and none of them seem to compare to these.
What is this crazy A2DP thing you keep talking about?
A2DP is a Bluetooth profile that allows compatible devices to stream Stereo high quality sound wirelessly. Both the headset and the transmitting device must support this profile. Most new cell phones that are touted as ‘music phones' support it – the iPhone unfortunately does not. Also, most computers with Bluetooth devices support it.
What does this mean?
Using your computer as an example, you can stream all of the audio from your computer straight to your wireless headset. No wires getting tangled in your computer chair, no pets trying to eat them, no tripping down and spilling your Appletini when you try to get up and didn't realize you've turned in a circle 10 times in the last hour and your headset cord is now wrapped tightly around your leg and the chair.
Also, many VOIP applications now support bluetooth headset profiles, so your new super cool wireless headset can allow you to chat wirelessly. Some of them even support use of the buttons on these headsets and you can pickup and make calls without even touching your computer. Ventrilo and TeamSpeak also work with these headsets – watch out though, your weekend gaming binge might leave you speechless with a dead battery – they only last 6-10 hours generally between charges, but charge in only a couple hours.
When used with a compatible cell phone you can do much the same, the phone will stream the audio right to your headset. Many A2DP compatible headsets also have microphones built in so if you get a call on your cell phone you can pick it right up and use it like the bluetooth headsets we are accustomed to.
Now that that is out of the way… on with the review!
The style on this headset is a little different from the others I've seen and used. The Motorola S9 headset (overhyped and advertised with the likeness of David Beckham) is a rigid behind the head type headset with rubbery earbud style speakers. The Logictech Freepulse are similar to the S9, although the connector between each ear is smaller and the speakers are more like a standard set of headphones. The Kyocera GSH-300 (Part Num TXCKT10161) goes for a different approach: each earpiece is like a normal headphone, but connecting them is only a simple wire. The earpieces sit on your ear much like a standard bluetooth headset you'd use with any cell phone, and between them the wire runs behind your head. The wire has a small bead on it that allows you to adjust the slack so the wire doesn't get all tangled. The fit is comfortable, but not too loose. They can easily be worn while you do work around the house or the office. Did I mention they come with a cute little case?
The sound quality on these is great. I'd say nearly amazing, particularly for a wireless connection. The highs are reasonably clear, the mids are good (as is the case with most any headset) and the bass is surprisingly full. There is no static at all with these. Effective range will depend a lot on your environment. In my home, with 2 computers, 3 monitors and ~6 wireless networks within range, I can go about 15 feet away before they start to break up – which amounts to being able to go anywhere in the next room, but not 2 rooms away. This will vary greatly based on a number of factors, including the wireless interference in your area and bluetooth transmitter. A phone in your pocket will always provide great signal, but a laptop on your desk in the middle of a ton of electronics (like mine) will get it cut down from the advertised 30 foot bluetooth range.
Battery duration is amazing too. They're rated at up to 15 hours of talk/listen time or 300 hours of standby, and in my testing I've definitely gotten close to that, although its hard to measure exactly because I don't exactly sit and listen to music for 15 hours at a time generally speaking. Suffice to say with heavy use they can easily go all day and then some. Need to recharge 'em? That's easy too, they charge via a USB cable from any computer.
They have all of the features possibly available from a bluetooth headset. Right now they're hooked up to my computer and I'm using them to listen to music. Without changing applications, I can press a button on them and turn the volume up or down or fast forward songs. They're amazing. When paired with an appropriate cell phone, not only can you stream the music to it, but if a call comes in all you have to do is hit the right button and they will pick up your call and you can converse with the built in mic.
It has an up/down/push toggle on the back, a button on the side for answering and hanging up, and volume up/down buttons on top all easily accessible and attached to the right side earpiece.
If you've got a little extra cash, I definitely advise checking these out – but get them soon! Kyocera has discontinued them and looks to no longer be selling any A2DP headsets, only standard bluetooth. You'll have a hard time finding any used, I think, because honestly I haven't seen a single bluetooth headset on that market that can replace them. I managed to track some down however, and you can find them right here on eBay starting at ~$58 from what seems to be a reputable US based seller and is a good price for an A2DP stereo headset.
Feel free to leave a comment with any questions you might have about 'em. I love mine and I'm sure you'd love them too. I'll be posting my thoughts on the other headsets I've tried (Moto S9 and Logitech Freepulse), but I can tell ya – they don't even come close to this Kyocera. Get it now before they're totally off the market.
For those of you, like me, who end up ordering thise headset and then end up losing the manual.. you can find a PDF version right here.