Smartphone headphone and earphone reviews
18 Sep 2012
Plantronic's excellent Voyager Legend Bluetooth headset, some phone-friendly Sennheisers and a funky old-school phone handset...
Plantronics Voyager Legend (www.amazon.co.uk, £90)
This professional Bluetooth headset is one of Plantronics’ top-range models, and also one of its largest (but still impressively light at just 18g). The Voyager Legend's curved body slips easily around your ear and fits snugly inside, holding fast even when you shake your head like a madman and giving a comfortable user experience. When you get an incoming call, the caller’s name is announced and you can answer or ignore simply by saying those words.
Three built-in mics eliminate background noise, making the Voyager Legend perfect for taking business calls on the move – especially when you’re navigating noisy London streets, as we can testify. You can also stream music, podcasts and other audio when you’re not getting down to business, which are automatically paused when you pull the headset away from your head. You get up to 11 days of standby between charges and almost a full working day of talk time. We also love the very funky magnetic charging dock that eliminates irritating cable fiddling.
Sennheiser CX 275s earphones (www.sennheiser.co.uk, £50)
Music fans after some good quality earphones for the commute will love the CX 275s from Sennheiser. These in-ear efforts plug straight into your smartphone’s audio jack and are a snug fit, with different size replacement buds to ensure they’ll fit any ear. They’re comfortable to wear for lengthy journeys. We used them while walking and never had any issues with them slipping out, while the 1.2m cable is long enough even for lanky users. They also do a good job of blocking out surrounding noise, a massive plus if you’re stuck on a train with noisy commuters and kids.
Sound quality is strong, with enough power to satisfy even the most hardcore metal head. Best of all, if your music is interrupted by a phone call, you don’t have to pull out the CX 275s or fumble for your phone. A handy button on one of the ear cords picks up the call, and a built-in mic means you can chat away without lifting the phone to your face. The ‘phones are compatible with Samsung, Apple, HTC, Nokia and many other brands of mobile.
Swissvoice CH05 corded handset (www.swissvoice.net, £35)
“You will never be tired of the conversation with your beloved. Keep talking to your friends, you have no reason to stop.” So claims the manual for this funky mobile accessory, the Swissvoice CH05 corded handset, which plugs into your smartphone’s audio jack and gives you an old-school handset to chat with. We love the hollow plastic design and bright colours (pink, orange, blue and green models available), and while the handset does flex when squeezed, we never felt like it would break.
You might be wondering why you’d want a massive handset to use with your mobile, but the SwissVoice CH05 really is practical when used around the home. For a start it’s easy to wedge between shoulder and ear when your hands are busy, and you can also access your phone’s screen for checking texts, emails etc. during a conversation. Anyone worried about radiation killing their brains will also be reassured. Sound quality is perfect, and if you’re rocking an iPhone, you can adjust the volume and bring up Siri. A non-slip mat is also included to rest your mobile on.
Editor: Chris Barraclough