Sony Ericsson HCB-100
- Up to five Bluetooth, colour coded profiles, Well laid out controls, Good sound quality and noise cancellation, Good battery life
- Not quite as good as a dedicated car kit
Voice quality doesn't compare with a dedicated car kit, but the HCB-100 is competitively priced, portable, and doesn't require installation. Definitely a winner.
Price$ 120.05 (AUD)
The Sony Ericsson HCB-100 is a Bluetooth hands-free speakerphone that is designed for use in either the office or a car. Boasting above average sound quality and the ability to connect with up to five phones, the HCB-100 is an excellent device.
The HCB-100 includes a visor clip to mount in your car. It supports Bluetooth 1.2 and will work with any Bluetooth phone or computer that supports Bluetooth headsets. For use in an office, the HCB-100 can be placed on a desk and the microphone flips up to ensure better voice reception.
The controls are well laid out and marked. There are four buttons; a call key, end/power key, and two others; one to mute the microphone during a call and turn on Bluetooth pairing mode, and the other to switch between the five Bluetooth profiles available and check battery life. The HCB-100 has a coloured LED that tells the user which of the unit's five available profiles are being used, and a volume control on the side; the latter is used to adjust both the ringing and in-call volume of the speakerphone.
The HCB-100 functions much like a standard Bluetooth headset. Calls can be answered or rejected at the touch of a button. Pressing the call key enables voice dialling (if supported by the mobile phone), while pressing twice redials. In terms of audio quality, the HCB-100 does a very reasonable job. We experienced no echo, although of course you'll need to close your car windows most of the time to avoid wind noise. The flip-out microphone definitely helps a little in this regard.
The HCB-100 measures 91mm x 76mm x 21mm and weighs 91g although the visor clip will add an additional 21g when attached. According to Sony Ericsson, the HCB-100 has an impressive battery life, rated at up to 20 hours of talk time and 250 hours of standby time. The unit is charged via the included car charger and importantly, it automatically turns off after 10 minutes without a connection, saving valuable battery life.
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