Sony Ericsson HBH-DS205
Sony Ericsson's new wireless Bluetooth, stereo headset is designed for mobile phone calls and listening to music.
- Excellent sound quality, slimline design, 3.5mm headphone jack, ease of use
- Microphone can struggle to pick up voice audio in wind noise, included headphones provide average sound quality
Sony Ericsson's latest HBH-DS205 combines a compact design with excellent sound quality. If your mobile phone is your primary music player and supports A2DP, then this is definitely worth reviewing.
Price$ 179.00 (AUD)
A wireless Bluetooth stereo headset that allows you to listen to music and handle phone calls, the Sony Ericsson's HBH-DS205 also includes a small display and a handy shirt clip for maximum comfort.
Essentially, the HBH-DS205 is a small, cylindrical shaped device. The best aspect of the design is the built-in 3.5mm headphone jack — this means you can swap the included headphones with any other set you already own. With a microphone built into the unit, you can use any set of headphones and still take phone calls with ease.
Despite being such a small device, the build quality feels solid and a useful shirt clip allows you to comfortably wear the unit. The 3.5mm headphone jack is located at the top of the device, while a small display shows a battery indicator, power status and whether or not the unit is in pairing mode.
Connecting the HBH-DS205 is simply a matter of turning it on and pairing it with your phone, as you would with any Bluetooth device. The process took less than a minute, and we had no problem finding or maintaining the connection. Once connected, the headset is fairly easy to control thanks to a play/pause button and volume slider. The volume slider is spring operated, so you simply push it in one direction to change the volume and it will automatically return back to its original position.
Sound quality is excellent, particularly for voice calls. The volume is loud and clear and both outgoing and incoming audio is above average in clarity and volume. The microphone can struggle to clearly pick up your voice audio if you are using it in windy conditions, but these results are on par with most Bluetooth headsets on the market. The main advantage of the included headphones is the short cord length, but this aside, the quality is below average, particularly when listening to music. We recommend the use of a higher quality pair of in-ear headphones, as these tend to block out a lot more noise.
When in use, for example if you are listening to a music track on your mobile phone and a phone call comes through, the HBH-DS205 will pause and mute your music track and notify you of the incoming call by playing your ring tone through the headset. When your call is completed, your music will commence playing again — without the need to push any buttons.
For music, the sound quality of A2DP devices has certainly come a long way. In the past, these Bluetooth devices struggled to produce sound quality to match their wired counterparts, but the gap is closing and the HBH-DS205 is a good example of this improved performance.
While a slight hissing sound in the background remains, the sound quality is above average. Obviously it won't impress audiophiles (nor is it designed for that market), but for general use listening to music and receiving phone calls, we were relatively happy with the HBH-DS205's results.
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