By May 4, 2009

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

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