Hands Free

All posts tagged Hands Free

The Speak’n Go Earset from Sandberg is  made to not only provide you with the freedom of using your phone whilst keeping your hands free, but also to provide excellent call quality, with the added extra of using it to fill your ears with musical goodness.

The earset arrives in the standard Sandberg packaging – a see through plastic packaging that gives you a nice view of the product itself, with the ‘need to know’ information also included.  The front of the packaging shows that you can use the earset for handsfree conversation, and that the earset contains an inline microphone and answer button.  The back of the packaging provides a short paragraph about the headset – this information is also available in several different languages.

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Taking the earset out of the packaging, to be honest, if you have ever used a pair of earphones with your phone or an MP3 player, then you would already know what this earset is like.  It has the standard earphone feel to it, complete with the inline controls for use, and the 3.5mm connector at the end.  The earbuds themselves are the standard size earbuds, not the in-ear ones that are available nowadays.  Saying this though, the in-ear canal version of this earset is available from Sandberg, and both styles are available in a range of colours.

Comfort wise, this earset is not too bad.  I don’t have overly large ears and they stay in place as you would expect them to.  I am not sure, however, how they would feel to someone with smaller ears, or whether they would fit in place enough to be comfortable – the same with people who have larger ears.

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I used the earset to listen to some music from my phone and while the music quality was ok, it wasn’t the greatest I have heard.  Saying that, this earset is made for managing phone calls while on the go, and in that respect, they performed really well.  I had no complaints regarding the quality of my voice during phone calls, and I have no complaints in regards to the voice on the other end of the call.

Overall, this headset does what it was made for, very well.  Trying to use it for other tasks such as listening to music, etc, I don’t think would provide the satisfaction that you may be used to with other earphones.  For a handsfree headset for use when on the go, the Sandberg Speak’n Go does exactly what it says on the tin (and packaging).

The Sandberg Play ‘n Go headset offers hands free and portable entertainment.  Hopefully it will be able to live up  to expectations.

The headset itself arrives in a see through packaging which allows you to see it in all its glory.  The front of the box shows us that the headset folds up to make carrying it easier and also that it has a detachable cable.  The back of the box lists some information about the headset.  This information is also listed in several different languages.

Removing the headset was reasonably easy once I had figured out how to undo the fastening on the top of the box – a users problem through, to be fair.  The headset itself is sat in a plastic sleeve to help keep it secure whilst packaged.  It is just a case of lifting it out once removed from the box.  Also in the box are the cables required for use with your phone and also for the PC. The 3.5 to 3.5mm jack cable measure in at around 160cm and the cable that plugs into the PC to connect the headset to measures in at roughly 70cm.

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The headset itself feels a bit on the light side but does feel well made.  The headband is fully adjustable and seems to be able to expand enough to fit larger heads.  The headband itself is nicely padded to offer comfort during use.  The ear cups are also well padded and fit over my ears very well.  The only slight issue I have is that after several uses, the headband looks as if it may be coming away from the padding.  You can see it slightly in the image above.   The silver sections on the side of the ear cups is a nice touch as it helps to break up the white colour scheme.  Wearing the headset for extended periods of time does not result in any discomfort either.  I think with the headset being so light (300g roughly) and also with the ear cups fitting over my ears so well, this helps keeps things comfortable.

Sound quality when using the headset for phone calls is very clear and crisp and I have been told that I can be heard clearly too.  Music wise, the sound quality is surprisingly good, especially when you consider the low pricing of this headset.  Using the headset on the PC is pretty straightforward.  Just plug-in the 3.5mm splitter cable into the relevant ports on the PC and plug-in the main cable to the extender cable.  It works fine with Skype and other voice chat programs, again with sound quality being great on both sides.

I really do like this headset.  With it being so lightweight and comfortable, as well as the great sound quality, it is well worth the price that you pay for it.  The only downside, as mentioned, is the slight separation between the headband and the padding.

When it comes to driving around and relying on my phone to provide me with the music I need, a reliable mount is a must-have.  I tend to just start up the music from my phone and leave it sat in the compartment above my glove box – not always a good move.  The OSO U-Grip is something that I was sent out to review and I have to admit, I was looking forward to using it, even though I was worried about my phone taking a plunge.

Packaging wise, the mount arrived in a nice white box that contained several images of the mount, as well as a list of features, such as being able to mount all smartphones with screens up to 5 inches wide.  The mount itself comes in 2 separate pieces – the suction part of the mount and the phone cradle part which are reasonably easy to connect together – I was up and running in no time.  It’s simply a case of clipping the phone cradle to the window mount part using the ball attachment that is tightened using a fastener that is attached.  Also included in the box is a small round piece that you can stick to your dashboard to provide a smooth surface to attach the mount to, if you are intending on using the dash rather than the window.

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When it comes to putting your phone into the mount, it’s pretty simple.  You edge apart the two sides of the phone cradle and slide your phone into place, and do the same again to remove it.  One thing I find really handy with this mount is that I can use my phone with it without having to remove it from its protective case beforehand.  Once my phone was in place, it was easy enough to move loosen the cradle section and maneuver the phone into the position that I wanted it in and then tighten it back up again.  Having the freedom to move things about as required is very welcomed because it enables you to use your phone for music, recording videos, hands-free calls, etc.

Attaching the mount to the car windscreen was an easy task.  All I had to do was remove the film from the suction part of the mount, place it on the window where I wanted to put it, and push the small lever down to create the suction that holds it in place.  Once it is in place on the window, I tried using some force to loosen things – this didn’t work.  Even after driving around a bit, things were still as secure as they were when first attached.  In order to remove the mount again, you release the lever and use the small tab to gently peel the mount off of the window.  It is worth mentioning that once you remove the film from the suction part, there is already a large amount of tackiness there.  This helps to hold the mount in position even more and if it does happen to get covered in dust, for example, you can clean it by using some cellotape.

Overall, I am VERY impressed with this mount.  It not only holds my phone in place securely, it also allows me to get more out of my phone whilst travelling – not that I use it while actually driving.  Considering that you can pick this mount up for around £17.50 GBP on Amazon UK, or £17.99 direct from the OSO Mount website, it’s a small price to pay to keep things secure while driving.

Jabra is a company most known for their range of audio devices. Most recently, their Jabra REVO headphones from their Jabra Music range were released. You have a choice of either corded or bluetooth wireless headphones. I have managed to get my hands on a pair of the corded REVO headphones for the purpose of this review.

To say that I was looking forward to receiving these headphones is a massive understatement. I had previously used a Jabra hands free headset for use in the car so was eager to see how this headset lived up to the high expectations I had already.

The Jabra REVO headphones arrived packaging that is very easy on the eye. Everything from the box that they arrived in to the striking yellow rubber strip that runs down the middle of the packaging just popped and was pleasant to look at. You also get a good view of the headphones through the clear front packaging which made me even more eager to get into the box.

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Once inside, you are greeted with the headphones, a slight glimpse of the orange braided cable and two small black boxes. The headphones are held in place by two velcro straps just above the earpads. Inside the larger of the two boxes you find the orange cable (3.5mm jack), a bag that is used to house the headphones while they are not in use or being transported around and a small pile of booklets and information leaflets. Even the small paper wraps that are used to keep the headphone bag and the pile of information in place goes really well with the main packaging with the choice of yellow and black colouring.

The style of the headphones is very sleek and well designed. They are a headphone that I would be proud to be seen out and about with. With the striking white, grey/aluminium and orange colour scheme, everything just melds together. The orange cord is also a nice touch. Rather than going with a black or white colour, the orange actually compliments the headphones. You will notice also that you have a choice of which side to plug in the detachable orange cable. Very handy if you have a preference over what side you would rather have the wire attached. Speaking of the orange cable – on the in-line controls you will find a microphone so that you can take and answer calls without having to disconnect anything. You also have the ability to pause your music, skip tracks and adjust the volume level too. If you look at the earpads too, you will see the nice orange mesh inside and instead of having the standard L & R telling you which ear is which, it actually tells you on the orange mesh. A very nice touch!  The wire that runs from ear to ear through the headband is visible above the earpads and has just enough slack to be left undamaged when adjusting the headband to fit both larger and smaller heads.  The wire does not get trapped as you make the headphone size smaller nor does it get over-stretched as you make the size bigger.

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I tried using these headphones with a few different devices just to see if the sound quality was the same on all. I am very glad to be able to say that it was. The sound was very crisp and clear, and the quality was amazing. You could hear the bass, although it was not over-powering. Each and every song that I listened to was a pleasure to listen to, no matter what it was that popped up. Connectivity wise, you can use these REVO headphones with your phone, PC/laptop, and an MP3 player.

Looking at the headphones at first I was a little unsure as to how comfortable these headphones would be. Sure, there is a nice amount of memory foam padding on the earpads and the fully adjustable headband was soft to the touch but it still wasn’t enough to convince me that the comfort would be long lasting. How wrong was I! The first day that I tried them I was sat on the laptop and had music playing through my phone whilst using these headphones. I was easily sat here for three hours non stop and felt absolutely no discomfort whatsoever. There was also no unwelcomed sweatiness on the ears as I have experienced with other headphones after using them for long periods of time. I did not experience any discomfort in the headband either, despite expecting to.

Having a built-in mic is a very nice feature too. Not having to disconnect the headphones to be able to take calls makes things so much easier. I made a number of calls whilst using the REVO and feedback was always positive. I could be heard clearly with no static, and call quality on my end was just as good, too. The placing of the in-line controls did prove to be a little fiddly at times, but nothing that would hinder my choice of purchasing this headset. I think maybe the controls were just a little too far up the cable, but as I said, nothing choice changing.

The Dolby Digital integration would more than likely sway a lot of people towards this headset. The app required is available through the Apple or Android app stores. You also require a product code which is included in the little bundle of information you find when you first remove everything from the box. You will also find a handy QR Code that you can scan so you don’t have to go searching the App Store for the app. After downloading and installing the app and then entering the product key, I realised that you have to have music on your device to be able to use this app/feature. I had to add a few songs to my phone via iTunes because all of my regular listening is done via a streaming service straight to my phone.

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Once I had manually added a few songs it was easy to get started. Fire up the Jabra-Sound app and away you go. You can choose your music from the dedicated menu within the app. In the Settings menu you have the option to make changes via the Equalizer and also have the option to turn the Mobile Surround and Dolby Processing on and off. There is also an option to share your settings to Facebook and/or Twitter. Using the app was easy and straightforward> Now whilst I could definitely tell the difference between just using my streaming service, I do not think I would go ahead and purchase all of my music and import it to my phone so I could use the app. It will be very useful for people that do purchase their music from iTunes though.

The Jabra REVO headphones are very robust and could withstand anything that I threw at them. Saying this, I did not go out of my way to attempt to break them, but I also did not handle them as if they could break at any minute. Looking at the product details on the Jabra website it tells you there that the headphones themselves have been ‘Tested for life’. They have been bend tested 10,000 times, fold tested 3,500 times, drop tested from 2 meters, and the cable has been tested to 15kg/33lbs. After using the headphones for awhile, I can quite honestly believe that they have been tested to these extremes to ensure that they aren’t going to just fall apart.

 

Overall, the Jabra REVO headphones were an absolute pleasure to use. They are very well made and will withstand anything that is thrown at them, within reason, obviously. The sound quality is immense and the style of the headphones is just quality. If you are looking for headphones that are highly durable, offer great quality sound, and that are styled to suit anyone, these headphones are for you.

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