There are countless trends competing for attention in the gaming notebook and laptop space but not all of them are either useful or benefit the core gaming experience.
Sony Ericsson HBH-DS970
- No wires, Display screen, Easy to use, Caller ID support, Noise cancelling
- A little pricey, Sound quality not the greatest
Although it doesn’t have the greatest sound quality, the HBH-DS970 wins points for its wireless music streaming convenience and hands free phone calls.
Price$ 175.00 (AUD)
The Sony Ericsson HBH-DS970 is a wireless Bluetooth stereo headset that allows you to listen to music via any A2DP compatible mobile phone. The HBH-DS970 also doubles as a hands-free headset and features a small display that shows caller ID and music track information.
The headset features a band that hangs around your neck like a necklace and two ear buds that run off this. The left earbud features an answer/end call key on its wire while the right has a small microphone for voice calls. The earbuds are noise cancelling and three sets of rubber earpieces are included in the sales package, so the HBH-DS970 should fit most sized ears.
A2DP stands for Advanced Audio Distribution Profile and is a technology that lets devices stream stereo sound to each other via Bluetooth. Connecting the HBH-DS970 is simply a matter of pairing it with your phone, like you would a regular hands-free, and we had no issues finding or keeping a connection.
The headset can be connected to up to 10 wireless devices simultaneously and this is called multipoint mode. It can be selected via a switch on the side of the unit and allows you to wirelessly stream music from your computer while staying connected to your mobile phone so you don't miss a call. The HBH-DS970 can play most music files from your computer, PDA or any other Bluetooth device that supports AD2P. We tested it with a Bluetooth enabled Apple iMac and were pleased to report that it worked quite well.
Once connected to your phone, the HBH-DS970 uses a small display to list currently playing tracks, as well as the unit's battery life and Bluetooth status. We felt the screen could have been a little larger, especially as there is plenty of space on the front of the unit. The headset is fairly easy to control though thanks to a previous/next track slider, volume up/down key, play/pause button and even a hold key to prevent accidentally bumping any buttons. The track slider is a little fidly however - at times it isn't very responsive, so we would have preferred standard keys for this operation.
When the phone rings, a quick glance at the display hanging from your neck reveals the name or number of your caller, allowing you to decide to accept or reject the call. The call can be answered by pressing the call handling button and rejected by holding this same button for two seconds. Conveniently, if you are listening to a music track on your mobile and a call comes through, the HBH-DS970 will pause and mute your music and notify you of the incoming call. When your call is completed, your music will play again - all this without the push of any buttons.
In terms of sound quality, the HBH-DS970 is definitely better than most headphones that come pre-packaged with mobile phones, although they still aren't of the same quality as a more expensive set of noise cancelling headphones. We noticed a slight hissing in the background during music playback and although it isn't a major problem, those with sensitive ears may be disappointed. The HBH-DS970 charges via an AC adapter and this is included in the sales package.
Overall, while it is a little pricey, what you are paying for with the HBH-DS970 is the convenience of both music listening and hands-free phone calls in one set of headphones. While the sound quality isn't all that noteworthy, the convenience and flexibility it offers will be a big selling point for some.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Expensive, but probably the best phone you can buy right now
- 2 Huawei Nova 3i review: All Sell, No Soul
- 3 Oppo A5X review: A winning blend of long battery, solid performance and low-price
- 4 DJI Mavic 2 Pro review: These glorious heights
- 5 Huawei FreeBuds review: Solid as a value-add, less so standalone
Latest News Articles
- Samsung to put a time limit on free custom Android themes
- Google's Pixel smartphones get Night Sight in new update
- Samsung's next flagship processor comes with a NPU
- Forget the foldable, Samsung's One UI overhaul is the real big news here
- Oppo up the ante in the mid-tier space with new R17 and R17 Pro
PCW Evaluation Team
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
- Apple iPhone XS review: Astonishment at a price
- Google Pixel 3 XL review: Ghost in the machine
- Oppo Find X: Full, in-depth review
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?