Feeds

Ten of the Best... Bluetooth Stereo Headphones

A2DP ahoy!

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Round-up The first Bluetooth headsets were simple mono devices, however as handsets developed into advanced accessories that can play music and video, so headsets have started to develop too.

The first step was to add stereo capabilities using a technology known as A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile). And, of course, the headsets needed to gain a second earpiece in order to accommodate stereo output. This led to a number of different approaches to the design of stereo headsets. Some manufacturers simply put two identical earpieces into the box – which leaves you walking around with two silly-looking bits of plastic dangling out of your ears - stand up Etymotic and iSkin.

Other manufacturers, such as Nokia and Plantronics, have focused more on the music side of things, producing traditional headphone designs. Recently, though, there’s been a third-wave of stereo headsets that attempt to combine technology with fashion, such as the ‘dog tag’ design of the Jabra BT3030.

One word of warning: always buy headphones or headsets that use Bluetooth 2.0, as this provides higher bandwidth and audio quality than the original Bluetooth 1.x, even though A2DP will work over it.

Creative CB8100 Wireless Headphones

Creative CB8100 Wireless Headphones

The CB8100 headphones are designed purely for listening to music, so there’s no microphone that will allow you to take calls on your mobile. However, the 'phones do include a separate Bluetooth adaptor that allows you to add Bluetooth capabilities to a device, such as an iPod, that may not have it already built-in. The audio quality is a little muffled – perhaps because the CB8100 is using the older Bluetooth 1.2 standard, which has more limited bandwidth. However, the only real problem is the price, which, at £159, makes this far and away the most expensive set of headphones in this group.

Price £159
Available from Creative
Reg Rating 70%

Etymotic Research Ety8

Etymotic Research Ety8

They’re expensive, and we’re not wild about the design, but we can’t fault the audio quality of the Ety8s. The design lacks elegance: two large rectangular lozenges, each almost the size of an iPod Shuffle, dangling out of your ears connected by a piece of string - which you’ll need, as the weight of the earpieces means that they fall out fairly easily. However, the audio quality is very good – clear and distinct, and you don’t feel you’re compromising on quality in order to get the convenience of a wireless connection. There’s also an ‘8-mate’ Bluetooth adaptor included, specifically for use with iPods.

Price £110
Available from Amazon
Reg Rating 80%

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Next page: Gear4 BluPhones

More from The Register

next story
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.