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...More Than Meets The Eye.

Bluetooth Hi-Fi: The Headphones Of The Future?
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Because of the hideaway boom mic that Bluetake added, this unit should be useful to more than just rollerblading iPod owners. I discovered that after pairing the headphones with my Pocket PC, I could use them to make phone calls and chat with Skype when I was in range of a wireless hotspot. (See my good friend Harald's article, Skype for PPC: Free Phone Calls from a Windows Pocket PC? , for more details.) It was easy to do - well, in terms of the headphones at least, you may have to struggle with Skype or your Internet connection - and gave me what might perhaps be a hint at the future.

If you pick up Bluetake's BT007Si USB Adapter as well, it will allow your computer to talk to anything Bluetooth, including the headphones without using the dongle.

I also tested out the phones with Skype on my desktop computer at home. They were very comfortable to wear, and meant I wasn't tethered to my desk while talking to someone or just listening to music. I was even able to keep using them during a flight while I visited the back of the plane. The range varied depending on how much interference was in the area, but generally I could get around 20 to 25 feet from the transmitter.

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And in spite of all the compressing and decompressing that was supposed to be going on in the background, I experienced great sound quality. In fact, I never really felt like I was experiencing any compromise in sound quality over reasonably priced wired sets (especially earbuds) unless I strayed too far from the transmitter or got within two feet of a wireless phone. In those cases I would hear either static (when out of range) or an annoying clicking sound from interference with the phone. Also, the stereo separation was great, and the mic did a reasonably good job of picking up my voice during cell phone calls.

The use of the device with cell phones deserves special mention, because of one of the i-Phono's best features. While listening to an MP3 player, if a call comes in you will hear the ringing in your headphones, and can switch over to answer it by pushing the answer button over your right ear. Very handy. You must have previously paired both devices with the headset, and this may not work with all phones (and certainly not phones without Bluetooth.)

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