MP3 Players & Accessories

By May 4, 2009 Read More →

Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 Wireless Headphones Review

Earlier this month Matt reviewed the Sony XB40EX headphones and mentioned that “In-ear style headphones are now pretty commonplace but the downside of these is that they have to be small enough to fit in your ear canal which often means that the speaker driver is also small and small drivers lead to a puny sounding bass”.

Does the HBH-IS800 follow the same methodology?

Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 Case
Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 Case View

What’s in the box?

  • The Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 wireless headphones
  • Three different size ear plugs
  • Clip to hold the cable in place
  • Headphone Case

Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 headphone features:

  • BluetoothT Technology – 2.0
  • Auto pairingT
  • Echo cancellation
  • Noise reduction
  • Automatic volume adjustment
  • Whisper mode
  • Second call handling
  • Redial
  • Voice Activated Dialing (VAD)
  • Enhanced Data Rate (EDR)

Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 headphone specifications:

  • Talk Time: up to 4 h
  • Standby Time: up to 270 h
  • Weight : 12.0 gr
  • Available Colours: Black / Silver
  • Operating Range: 10 meters
  • Sizes: 370.0 x 3.0 x 3.0 mm

 

Review

When I got the call from Sony Ericsson asking me to review these headphones I jumped at the chance. You may find that a little bizarre but having never done a review of this sort before I thought it was a great idea both for me and for tracyandmatt.co.uk.

When the package came and I opened it there was a Sony Ericsson W902 and the Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 wireless headphones. Being me I instantly got myself used to the handset as ultimately this is what I was reviewing, the headphones with a compatible and recommended handset. The headset was very lightweight and looked a tad odd as its not just the norm to have wireless headphones yet.

HBH-IS800 Headphones

Unfortunately the headphones were not charged when I got them and I had to get them on a charge before I started testing them. This proved to be difficult as I have a terrible issue of not liking user manuals, so finding the charging port wasn’t just that simple. After finding the charge port hidden behind the Sony Ericsson logo on the right earbud I started charging it (or so I thought). The charge status light is also on the same earbud but not so easy to find and not very bright unless in a dark room.

After getting the headphones charged and sorting which size of in-ear buds were the correct size for me I got about downloading some songs onto the handset of varying types. I used Rock, Pop, Dance, Classical and Jazz music genres to test the diversity of the headphones with the multiple EQ’s on the handset too.

Pairing of the device was simple as it auto-pairs and entering the four zero’s for the passcode was certainly a lot easier than having to try and pair manually.

I was instantly amazed at the clarity and sound that the HBH-IS800 was producing, after all lets not forget that this is a Bluetooth device.

HBH-IS800 Earphone View

All music genre’s sounded fantastic and I listened to music for near on 1 hour without felling the usual uncomfortable feeling that you get with standard earphones. Having that extra bit of freedom to get up and walk around without having a handset with me was a great feeling although notably the 10m distance was put through a strain and after about 7-8m the sound quality did start to deteriorate.

Using the handset at maximum volume level felt a little bizarre due to the Automatic Volume Adjustment  that the HBH-IS800 had. I’m not saying it wasn’t loud enough but I like to have control of the volume away from the handset and this was a major downside for me.

It was time then to start testing the call functionality of the HBH-IS800.

After setting up the voice activated dialling on the handset I called my wife (as she can talk!). Considering I was on the street when I made the call and there was a bit of a wind, the in call clarity was very clear, this is where the noise reduction and automatic volume adjustment came in handy. Whilst my wife didn’t complain that she couldn’t hear me at any point during our call she did mention that at times it sounded like I was in a quiet room as the noise reduction had kicked in so much so that all background noise was pretty much cancelled out.

Unfortunately not even my wife can talk enough to test the talk time and stand by time but I will say that over a period of 1 week I never had to charge the HBH-IS800 once even with using it on my laptop and handset.

Conclusion

The HBH-IS800 is pretty much the answer when it comes to a wireless solution. The only drawbacks for me were the lack of volume control on the headphones and the auto volume adjustment but again this could be down to personal taste. As far as comfort and sound go I would go as far as to say they gave me almost the same listening experience as my Sandisk Sansa View and the answer to the question at the start is yes, the base is handled very well indeed.

Price wise the cheapest I found them was £72.95 which is a little on the steep side for a set of headphones but if I had the money to spend then I would 100% get myself a set of these (or Sony Ericsson could just give me them).

Review by: John

By March 28, 2009 Read More →

Archos Android phone still on track

image Archos, after shocking many with the announcement it will be pushing the Android platform onto its Internet Media Tablets, has given away details on when we’ll finally be able to get our hands on it.

According to recently produced financial results, the company is set to launch the telephony-enabled Android phone in Q3, which means it could very well land before the previous September release date.

It also states that it intends to continue in the MP3 player market, something which the company says is one that ‘remains important in volume’ to Archos.

Archos has pledged to keep all of its future segments (MP3 players, the recent Archos 10 netbook and the forthcoming Android phone) under €500, which means should the exchange rates settle down we could be picking up an Archos Android for less than £400.

via Techradar

Technorati Tags: archos,android,phone
By February 21, 2009 Read More →

Is a sync client a necessity for a good mobile music experience?

image I have been giving media a huge amount of thought over the past few months and why it is so successful on the iPhone, but such a bad experience on other devices. Ask most Windows Mobile users what they use to listen to media on their device and nearly always the answer is “I don’t use my device to listen to music.” Now why is that. Well I think I know the answer, quite simple there is no software that can provide a good experience with organising music, videos or podcasts quite like iTunes. Lots of people hate iTunes but for me it is an amazingly simple solution for organising your media.

By February 9, 2009 Read More →

Archos set to release Android phone

image Archos has announced plans to release a new version of its Internet Media Tablet range but this time it will be a smartphone running on the Android OS Although details are fairly sketchy at the moment, the new IMT will function as a smartphone, with inbuilt 3.5G HSPA connectivity. A 5-inch screen size, storage capacity of up to 500GB and a 7 hour playback time with awesome media capabilities this could be a serious contender to the iPhone crown. The handset will come in at a fairly pocket friendly 10mm thickness, although it’s unlikely to carry a SSD, meaning the spinning HDD will weigh a few pounds. It will probably be similar in size to the Archos 5 pictured above but as yet no official pictures have been released.

By January 7, 2009 Read More →

Video demo of Sling Player iPhone application

image The guys over at The iPhone Blog have grabbed a video demo of the Sling Media Player application for the iPhone in action. This is looking like a great application with screen swipes to change channels see through menu overlays and good quality H.264 video. I don’t have a Sling Box at the moment but as soon as this App gets a launch date I will be straight down to PC World to get one. Video after the break.

By January 5, 2009 Read More →

Review Optoma Pico Pocket Projector

image Having reviewed lots of mobile phones last year it is nice to start this year with a review of an accessory that has left me speechless, well nearly anyway. When I was offered the chance to review this pocket sized projector it really interested me as I had heard so much about it and couldn’t wait to receive it and now after a few weeks use its time to share my thoughts on this amazing piece of tech.

By December 24, 2008 Read More →

Philips GoGear MP3 player review

Philips have released a new MP3 player into the market, the Philips GoGear, but is it bold enough take the crown from Apple?

Philips GoGear MP3 player

The Philips GoGear

 

 

Introduction

Philips market the GoGear MP3 player as ‘the very best in audio and video playback’ – it certainly packs a useful punch with an array of features which include 8GB internal memory, a 2.8” QVGA LCD colour display, a SuperScroll™ function which claims ‘to find what you want quickly and simply’, MP3, WMA and AAC compatibility as well as an in-built FM radio, WMV video playback, a built-in microphone and high definition headphones which are designed to minimise noise and direct the sound directly from the speaker to your ear drums!

 

 

What’s in the box?

  • Philips GoGear audio video player
  • In-ear headphones (3.5mm)
  • Rubber textured pouch
  • Software CDs (1 for audio player & 1 for video player)
  • User Manual
  • Warranty etc

Philips GoGear Specification:

  • Memory size: 8GB
  • Memory type: Integrated
  • Screen size: 2.8” QVGA
  • Screen resolution: 320 x 240 pixels
  • Weight: 95g
  • Radio: With RDS
  • Audio/Video formats: AAC , MP3 , WMA , AVI , WMV , MOV
  • PC Interface: USB 2.0
  • Battery type: Lithium Ion
  • Height: 10.6cm
  • Width: 5.8cm
  • Depth: 1cm

 

 

General

The GoGear SA5385 is a fairly conventional looking MP3 player. The player feels very sturdy in the palm and not at all cheap.

On the front of the SA5385 you’ll find all the basic controls. There’s a 5 way navigation control with play/pause button in the centre. Above and below this are the options and back buttons. These controls take up quite a large amount of space for my liking below the 2’8″ display.

Philips GoGear MP3 player_main

GoGear front view

 

The bottom of the device is home to the headphone socket which is a standard 3.5mm jack socket so you’ll be able to use your favourite headphones. The proprietary sync/charge connector, hold/lock button and reset button are also located here. It’s a simple reset button that you’ll need either a pin or a sharp pencil to press.

Philips GoGear MP3 player_bottom

GoGear bottom view

 

On the right of the unit there is a lanyard holder for those who prefer to hang their devices around their necks.

Philips GoGear MP3 player_end

GoGear end view

On the top of the device you’ll see an up/down rocker for volume control

Philips GoGear MP3 player_top

GoGear top view

 

 

Highlights

  • Strong sturdy design – capable of taking a few knocks
  • Easy to navigate menus
  • Impressive screen resolution in video playback
  • Headphones; excellent sound quality
  • Very easy file transfer – drag and drop
  • Quick processing speed – very little lag/delay (300MB transferred in less than 1 min!)

Lowlights

  • Poor battery life
  • Shame it has been designed in landscape – makes one-handed operation difficult
  • Pouch not the best thought out design/quality

 

 

Review

The GoGear SA5285 takes the form of all standard MP3 players on the market today. It sits quite comfortably in the palm of your hand with all of the important buttons laid out so that you can reach them easily with your thumb. Although I would point out that the device is definitely designed for right handed use and cannot easily be used with just one hand. This is partly due to the fact that the controls seem to be positioned to close to the edge and also due to the weight itself. Not a huge downside but it just means the basic controls, including the volume control is on the wrong side for left handed customers. The directional pad and buttons to the right of the screen are small and somewhat fiddly.

All the basic necessities are to found in the box. The device is plug and play compatible as I found, making transfer of music and videos very quick and easy. The transfer/upload process was something I was impressed with, having previously owned a Zen vision:M, the GoGear was light years quicker!

Once the device is up and running everything is laid out in an easily accessible format. The main screen has 8 icons that you can easily work through with the 5 point navigation control (4 way arrow selection and a central select/power/play/pause button). The icons include music, videos, pictures, radio, recordings, folders, settings and last played. There was nothing innovative about the way the device/menus work which left me quite disappointed at it was the ‘same old menus’ in a ‘new device’.

The GoGear comes with a set of ‘in-ear’ headphones, which are impressive and are capable of delivering quite a punch, albeit to your eardrums! They come with 3 various sized cushions, either one should be suitable for your respective ear holes.

Philips has included a 2.8″ QVGA display on the device making it great for playing videos. The display is clear, bright, sharp and evenly lit.

Having watched the sample ‘how-to’ videos supplied on the device I have to say that video play back is impressive, there are no signs of motion blur or lag. The player will automatically bookmark your place in a video file for you when you pause, so you can return to the same position after going off to change some settings, or even listen to some music. This works with multiple video files, too; handy if you make a habit of watching your movies in chunks. It’s slightly disappointing that forward and backwards scanning is limited to 4x speeds. In my opinion the video playback surpasses that of the iPod family which I have always found somewhat pixelated, maybe it’s just me… however, one thing I was unimpressed by is the font that is used to label menus/folders, not very clear.

With 8GB of storage space at your disposal you’ll be able to get a whole host of music tracks and video on the device!

All in all the device is nicely designed and put together, with a glossy black front, thin silver trim around the edge and a brushed aluminium-effect black plastic rear panel. Claimed battery life runs to an impressive 30 hours for music and six hours for video, I found this too be very different on the player I had, might have been a dud battery. Music file format compatibility is good, with support for not only MP3 and WMA, but also AAC and Audible files. A positive point is also that GoGear is capable of playing radio on the device straight out of the box with RDS and 20 presets, plus the facility to record either radio or voice via an external microphone.

 

Conclusion

Despite its numerous capabilities the GoGear SA5285, doesn’t quite hit the mark for me. It is well priced at just under £100 for an 8GB player with such a large screen and great headphones, it is better than most deals available. But when all aspects of the device are weighed against others on the market, I feel you would be hard pressed to be parting with your cash for the GoGear.

 

Review by: Noman

By December 21, 2008 Read More →

SeeqPod Release the First ‘Playable Search’ Application for Windows Mobile

image SeeqPod Inc., the Playable Search™ company, today unveiled the only application for Windows Mobile devices that allows users to play search results from any Windows Mobile powered device. The application, developed especially for the Windows Mobile operating system, taps an infinite amount of media available in the ‘Cloud,’ making millions of search results, podcasts, Wikipedia content and other playable data throughout the Internet, accessible for a one-time fee, which is currently offered at the introductory rate of $9.95 US.

By December 18, 2008 Read More →

SlingPlayer Mobile for BlackBerry Public Beta Available December 30th

image From 30th December Sling will launch the Public Beta for Blackberry. SlingPlayer™ Mobile lets you watch and control your home TV and DVR via a Slingbox™ on your BlackBerry smartphone. Currently available now for Windows Mobile, Palm and Symbian this is a welcome addition to supported handsets. Sling are also rumoured to be working on a version for the iPhone too.

By December 12, 2008 Read More →

Microsoft say no Zune Phone announcement in January

image It seems that the rumours of a Zune phone debuting at CES 2009 are false, speaking to Gizmodo, Brian Seitz, Group Manager of Zune said: “No Zune phone at CES.” The rumours came about after analysts were quoted in Barrons as saying that a phone with Zune software embedded was set to be announced by Steve Ballmer on 7 January next year. Called Project Pink, the rumoured development that has been floating around for a number of months, it was meant to be the rival to the iPhone from Microsoft that many expected.

via Techradar

Technorati Tags: zune,windows mobile,microsoft