23 September 2013

Jabra BT620

You know how it is.. You are doing some housekeeping; maybe vacuuming the house and you feel that such a boring job would benefit from a little music. But where to put your iPod? The wire always gets in the way whether you have it in a front pocket or maybe in a back one with the wires running up your back! What you need are wireless headphones.

Some years ago I bought the Jabra BT620 headphones and they came with a small Bluetooth transmitter that fits into the power/output socket on the bottom of the iPod. They weren't too expensive and I used them for a while and then they ended up in a bag in the loft. Whilst up there over the weekend I found them, plus the handbook (usually lost!) and charged them up.

The Jabra headset can have two connections at once, so once charged, I paired it to my iPhone and was able to listen to music and a podcast from there. My iPhone is a 3GS with just 8GB on memory and so I have very little on it as it fills up all to easily and gets slower and slower in operation and sometimes can't run any apps until re-booted.

The range isn't that good, maybe 15 feet and without too many obstacles in the way to block the "line of sight", so to vacuum the entire house I needed to re-locate the iPhone a couple of times to avoid sound drop-outs.

The sound quality is good enough for me. I don't need to hear the difference between first and second violin listening to my music, although every nuance of Joe Bonamassa's skills on the both the electric and acoustic guitars is pretty clear. Maybe less clarity is needed with Black Sabbath? 

Once the Bluetooth transmitter was charged it needed pairing as it had forgotten the last pairing done three or four years ago! It should be pretty straightforward but took a few goes before the music from the iPod was received in the headphones. On testing it seems to have the same sort of range as the iPhone connection with the same "line of sight" limitations. In reality, I will most likely use them on the train to work mornings and evenings and so the transmitter/iPhone will be a few feet away on the table in front of me.

Volume is actually controlled on the headphones and not on the iPhone or iPod itself. So you can turn down the volume, which will save battery life.

Sound bleed? One of the bug bears of any sound system in a public place is having to listen to the tinny sound from someone else's muzak. People pay an arm and a leg for an iPhone and Apple package it with the shittiest earphones available. Why?

As a result I am paranoid that when I am listening to mine, that I will enrage my fellow passengers. Maybe that sets me aside from some of the muppets I have to put up with? So my test included that as well. Could Claire hear any sound escaping? Apparently not at normal sound levels. Phew.

I am sure over the years manufacturers are making better more up to date options but for now, the BT620's will do for me.

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