A great wireless music solution
- Good quality microphone, A2DP support
- Largely unresponsive media keys, poor quality earphones
TDK provides the Bluetooth market with an excellent solution for listening to music and making stereo phone calls.
Price$ 89.95 (AUD)
If you've been waiting for a decent wireless music solution the wait is over. TDK's BT-100 is an excellent Bluetooth device, providing users with uncompromising sound for both music and phone calls. The inclusion of A2DP support — which allows wireless Bluetooth music streaming — and a high quality microphone make for an excellent wireless music and telephony solution.
The BT-100 is a sleek device: it's small and easy to hide. Integrated navigation buttons are suited to both music and phone calls, allowing users to increase volume, change tracks or end a phone call. These can be slightly unresponsive at times but are largely functional. The inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack rather than a proprietary port or attached earphones is a welcome inclusion, as this means you can use the device with any set of headphones.
The BT-100 is designed to clip onto the user's lapel, and as such the provided earphone cord length isn't very long though it should suffice. We found the earphones to be of quite poor quality. Music reproduction was inaccurate and exaggerated low- and mid-range frequencies drowned out most other sound. This was particularly noticeable in songs with male vocals and acoustic music, though dance and electronic music tended to benefit slightly from this flaw. We also noticed an unacceptable level of distortion was apparent when the mobile phone was pushed to full volume, a result of the earphones themselves rather than the device. Given the price point of the device, it is a minor quibble.
Testing the device with our own earphones provided much better results. Using our high-quality earphones, the sound is quite impressive. There are no marked exaggerations in frequencies and the BT-100 provides a balanced sound with an acceptable volume level. The ability to use third party earphones through a standard headphone port is a very welcome addition, allowing users to customise their listening experience depending on their musical tastes and sound quality preferences.
Call quality was generally acceptable. Using the provided earphones, the same exaggeration of mid-range frequencies is apparent, resulting in the recipient having a muffled voice. When using high-quality earphones with a much more balanced sound, the quality was much better. The recipient claimed that the microphone was of a high standard and the resulting quality was solid. Overall, we found audio quality was passable and comfortable enough to conduct long conversations. Calls were output in stereo, a welcome if impractical addition (the vast majority of Bluetooth headsets on the market output in mono).
At an affordable price point, the BT-100 has enough flexibility to suit the needs of both those with heavy phone calling needs and avid music listeners. While the provided earphones certainly have flaws, the device is a suitable addition to the modern mobile phone.
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