Motorola HT820 Bluetooth Stereo Headset Review

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Motorola HT820 Bluetooth Stereo Headset Review

Postby Apoptosis » Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:42 am

Motorola HT820 Bluetooth Stereo Headset Review

Today Legit Reviews looks at the Motorola HT820 Bluetooth Stereo Headphones. The HT820 can answer phones calls and listen to music with true stereo sound for up to 17 hours on the battery. If you like to listen to music wherever you go the Motorola HT820 might be something that makes life a beat better.

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Incoming calls were registered on the Motorola HT820 almost instantaneously with a pleasant ring in the headphones. When dialing, phone calls were transferred very quickly to the headset – many times even before the call started ringing. I was easily able to go 35 feet or so away from the headset when talking which makes the range of this Bluetooth set excellent and one of the best we have seen.


Article Title: Motorola HT820 Bluetooth Stereo Headset Review
Pricing Link: Current Pricing
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Exactly

Postby schorem » Tue Apr 04, 2006 11:36 pm

I have been searching for the elusive high quality wireless stereo headphones that can be used with my computer or bluetooth cell ---- and really thought that this was the one --- but the sound quality problems that you mention to at the end is exactly what I am concerned about.

The other feature (besides the unattainable above) is a interface device so that this "perfect" headset could also be used with standard Analog or Digital phones --- preferably useing the technology that allows it to accept signaling from more than one phone (desk and cell) and allow you to switch between phone and music at the 'touch of a button'.

When I described the above to a rep at a trade show, he understood what I was looking for and asked how much I would be willing to pay for this system. I've pondered that and if it met all of the above and was light weight, I would probably go $350 - $400.

Perhaps some day (soon!)
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Postby econcepts » Tue Apr 18, 2006 10:21 am

To get the high quality stereo on a PC this headset has to be paired twice. Usually you need to goto advanced or custom pairing. There will be two pairings on the same machine. One for headset (cel phone quality, with mic) and one for stereo (no mic but great sound) I tried both the toshiba bluetooth dongle with V4 stack and the bafo mini adapter with latest bluesoleil stack - works with both, but better with toshiba V4 - but not at all with earlier toshiba (its a rights issue: "you cannot connect to a device that is not coypright-protected by SCMS-T method")
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Treo 650 users can use this headset

Postby Motorman » Thu Apr 27, 2006 7:46 am

Softick Audio Gateway is an add in program sold at the palmone website for $17. You can also down load a trial version

Softick Audio Gateway can operate with any Bluetooth audio device which supports Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) designed to transfer a high-quality stereo audio stream. The newest version also supports AVRCP
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Postby iRonTech » Wed May 03, 2006 11:21 pm

Well, I need to add in my comment on HT-820.

I'm using MSI Bluetooth ver 1.1 (first version, USB) which doesn't support A2DP at all. But, I remove MSI manufacturer software instead of add in IVT BlueSoleil software which enable AV profile. Hence, it allow my Notebook connect to HT-820.

1) It works for SKYPE/Yahoo Messenger Call as HeadSet (Mono Quality). The way HT-820 handle the receive/make call is very fine, the voice received & sent out is very fine.

2) (This one important!!) It works very fine as Stereo HeadPhone via Bluetooth AV profile, which once connect BT AV Service allow my Notebook default Sound Output to Bluetooth AV. Hence, any of my WinAmp, Windows Media Player, DivX sound output to Bluetooth AV.
I wanted to emphasize the Sound Quality is very good, in STEREO, its clear enough, the bass are there and its much much more improve compare to HT-820 BT to Motorola E680i Linux Phone, or better than some of the wired HeadPhone.
It allow Volume +/-, Fast Forward/Backward, Next/Previous Track, Pause. (This is AVRCP profile)
I'm very sastified using HT820 listen music most of the time. And it can last me 12 hours via WinAMP playing MP3/WMA file, or even some Video.


Ah..it can't use SKYPE & Stereo HeadPhone(Listen Music) together, only either one of them at one time.



Refer to this part of the review -->
************************************************************
Working with a Bluetooth-enabled computer

Here is where things get really interesting. Naturally, we wanted to use these headsets with our computer with applications like Skype and MSN Talk. We already have a few computers with either built-in Bluetooth connectivity, or a Bluetooth-USB dongle. Our current PC test rig has a Belkin F8T012 PC Adapter running WIDCOMM�s Bluetooth Software (version 4.0.1.2500). We also are using a PowerBook G4 running OS X �Panther� with built-in Bluetooth connectivity as well. When trying to use the Motorola HT820 with our existing setups, we were unsuccessful. There were a variety of issues that initially stopped us from using this set: Our Mac running OS X recognized the headset, but didn�t let the headset pair with the computer; when trying to pair the HT820 with our PC with Bluetooth dongle, again, the set was recognized and even was paired, but not usable.

Finally, we had success when we used Motorola�s Bluetooth Stereo PC Adapter PC850. This is the Bluetooth dongle that Motorola recommends for use with the DC800 and HT820. After installing the Motorola PC Adapter, we were able to pair our PC with the HT820 and use Skype wireless. The sound and voice quality when using Skype was fairly good. It wasn�t high-fi, but it was cool walking around the house talking to friends. We found the range from the PC to be at least 30-40 feet. In fact, it was hard for us to get the HT820 out of range.

We ran into disappointment again when playing CD quality audio � the music was not stereo quality at all. The best we got was �cell phone� quality audio which, for this audiophile, was highly disappointing. This is not the fault of Motorola though, as it goes back to how Bluetooth protocols are implemented in PC adapters right now. We certainly hope that in the near future, more companies will make their products compatible with all Bluetooth protocols.

(http://www.legitreviews.com/article/323/4/)

************************************************************
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Glad the Moto worked for you.....

Postby Digital Puppy » Thu May 04, 2006 1:19 am

iRonTech, welcome to Legit Reviews!

We were unsuccessful in pairing the Moto headset in STEREO with many BT/USB adaptors. We tried the MSI, Belkin, and D-Link. We also tried on two laptops and their built-in Bluetooth stack. We tried 1.1, 1.2, and 2.0 versions of Bluetooth all to no avail.

The Motorola USB PC adapter seemed to work fine, but we wanted real-world test for those wanting to pick up the headset and go. It's cool that you seem to have found a work around with your MSI adaptor, but during the time of this review, we didn't have any luck with our test machines using "native" settings.

When we heard the Moto's stereo sound, we thought it was quite good. Our problem was universal connectivity, that's all. If you read LR's review of the Plantronics BT Stereo headset published this week, you'll see that we liked the sound quality of the Plantronics even better than the Moto's (not to mention the superior universal connectivity).

I am glad that our readers are finding luck using the Moto, I think it's a really good set. If I had to recommend one headset though, it would be the Plantronics.
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Re: Glad the Moto worked for you.....

Postby iRonTech » Thu May 04, 2006 4:51 am

Digital Puppy,


1) As I said, very important FIRST STEP is, remove all the default Bluetooth Driver/Software whenever you installed on your Windows OS (MSI/Belkin/D-Link/etc). DO NOT USE the original provided software.

2) And, download and install the software (http://www.ivtcorporation.com/download/ ... wnload.php)

The IVT BlueSoleil provide great connectivity for my existing MSI BToes(MS-6970), MS-6967, which doesn't support A2DP at all. (http://www.msi.com.tw/html/products/com ... 6970-3.htm)

Very big surprise to me which IVT BlueSoleil did a good job allow my MSI Btoes connect 'Bluetooth AV Service'.

Look, during HT-820 Service recover, IVT BlueSoleil found:-

Bluetooth AV (Which provide Stereo for music, video)
Bluetooth Headset (Which provide Mono sound, for SKYPE/Yahoo Messenger Call)

Pairing is very straight forward.

3) Steps to connect HT-820:-
Whenever I turn on my HT-820, the IVT BlueSoleil automatically connect the Bluetooth Headset service, where I need to press the HT-820 Right button(Next/Previous button site) once to disconnect the HeadSet, then connect the Bluetooth AV Service (can create shortcut paste on Desktop) from my Windows XP(SP2).
If both services connected, you wouldn't hear any sound from your PC's Audio. Because the default HeadSet service is ON, ready for communicate via software like Skype/Yahoo Messenger Call.
Same way if just connected Bluetooth Headset, you can hear any Audio file play from PC but it's Mono.

4) Show time:-
Set 'Default Audio Device' under IVT BlueSoleil, which mean once you connect HT-820 all sound will output to HT-820. (This part I like)
Now you could play any WinAmp/DivX from your Windows XP.


My conclusion, the IVT BlueSoleil did a very good job to provide Bluetooth AV Service instead of A2DP, ans provide the very great Full Stereo Sound Quality to HT-820.

I hope my explaination is clear enough for you to get Stereo connected.

FYI, more infor about my MSI Btoes:-
Manufacturer : Cambridge Silicon Radio
HCI Version : 1.1
HCI Revision : 20D
LMP Version : 1.1
LMP Sub Version : 20D

More infor about my HT-820:-
Device Class : Headset (24:04:04)
Device Address : (mac address)
LMP Feature : Unknown
LMP Version : 1.2
Manufacturer : Cambridge Silicon Radio

IVT BlueSoleil 1.6.4 Version.
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Postby Digital Puppy » Thu May 04, 2006 9:07 am

iRonTech,

Dude, I hear what you are saying about the IVT Corp. software - it's great and gives full functionality to ALL hardware, not just the Moto headset. I get it.

I just wish we didn't need third-party software to make this type of hardware work out of the box. Since we do, the IVT and Softick software are perfect solutions. (BTW, these two pieces of software actually use the A2DP/AVRCP/headset protocols).

Back to my original point in this thread: I agree with you that the Moto HT820 is good and sounds great in stereo...is there something I like even more? Yes, the Plantronics 590A because it sounds better.
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Motorola Wireless Headset - completing the nightmare

Postby bloodaxe » Mon Jul 10, 2006 2:59 am

Somebody is actually recommending this product? For what? Monographic sound a la AM Radio? I don't know what the problem with technology is, but I see complaints about the lack of a good wireless headset all over the net. However, my experience is beyond even most jaded imagination of product return hell. This is an even bigger nightmare for me than your readers could imagine.

My story:

First, let me talk about a different set of headphones I started with. In January of this year, I bought the Logitech wireless headphones. They hooked up nicely, sounded pretty good, however, range was weak - about 8 feet, but I was only using them for my computer at my desk so that was okay with me. Then, 2 weeks later I notice a stress crack at the top of the plastic headband, which actually goes around the back of your head. The crack got worse, and then there was no tension left to keep the headphones on my head. I took them back to CompUSA and they gave me a new pair. I took them home, and within 2 weeks, THE SAME THING HAPPENED. The headband cracked in exactly the same place. Now, don't get visions of some guy with a head the size of a basketball, i'm a 7 3/4" hat size.

CompUSA gave me another pair (#3 now). I took them home, brought out the Gorilla Glue, and blotted the whole inside of the headband with the glue to strengthen it. It helped a bit, but it looked UGLY, as in FUGLY. No matter, six weeks later, a crack appeared down closer to the right head phone.

I now take my THIRD pair of Logitech headphones back to CompUSA (they know me for sure now as the "cursed headphone dude"). They swapped now a FOURTH pair of Logitech wireless headphones.

I brought them home, and carefully Gorilla glued them again, as much as possible without making it look like some pus-stained aural unit from a Frangonian's brainpan. (Gorilla glue is strong, but it expands into a yellowish bubble -use it sparingly).

After about six weeks, AGAIN the crack appeared near the right headphone on the headband. I thought for sure Logitech got a seriously bad batch of plastic from some outcast recycling company. I brought my fourth pair of headphones back to CompUSA (kudos to them for dealing quickly with replacements and refunds)

Then I noticed the new Logitech wireless headphones -- WOW! They had a gray thick plastic headband, looked solid and strong! I picked up a pair and went to trade them in for the last time... then the smart CompUSA counter girl said "these are for an ipod sir". I looked at the connector and sure enough, they were specifically made to hook up to an ipod. I own an ipod, but I didn't need the headphones for the ipod, i needed it for my 20" iMac 2ghz fully loaded beautiful piece of computing genius. (God, why do people even buy PC's? This Mac computer ROCKS).

Anyways, so now I asked what wireless headphones they could trade out with me. (The model I had been breaking every month for four months was nowhere to be seen on their shelves). "Oh, the Motorola HT820 bluetooth Headphones." In fact, some guy came to the counter within 2 minutes and picked up a pair he had on hold.

Sweet, I though to myself. Finally, a pair of wireless headphones that will work nicely that seem to have a nice strong headband. So I swapped out the Logitech (CompUSA actually returned my full price on the Logitechs, which was about $140). The Motorola headphones were only $99. AND they included a mic built in to the headset for skyping or connecting to a bluetooth enabled cellphone. VERY SWEET!

So now I have these Motorola HT820 Wireless Headphones and I'm pumped up to try them out. I get home, pair it up easily with my iMac (cuz Mac does everything oh so much easier than a PC).

Then I turn on iTunes. I play Jimi Hendrix "Voodoo Child" (to test the stereo effect, obviously, and to make sure the shrooms were kicking in).

OH MAN, PLEASE LORD DON'T MAKE THIS CURSE CONTINUE!!!!

The Motorola HT820 headset sound quality was HORRIBLE. I mean, like old style monographic horrible. The stereo did NOT work on the bluetooth connected music feed. It sounded like the music was being fed to me through a papertowel cardboard tube. Ridiculous.

So the next morning I call their support number. I talk to the friendly outsourced Indian support guy, who exclaimed that iMac and this headset should work so happily together that roses would bloom right on my desktop. He said - "YOU HAVE A DEFECTIVE PRODUCT, PLEASE TO BE RETURNED TO STORE."

So I go and return the Motorola HT820, my FIFTH HEADSET THIS YEAR, to CompUSA. By this time, the manager, three counter people, and one particular counter girl named Cynthia are thinking either I'm a freak or lonely or neurotic about using sound-generating ear coverings.

However, they swap me out a new HT820. I get it home, charge it up, and then get it working again --- and shizzle mah nizzle. Same cardboard tube sound quality. Same monographic sound. The music was so bad it reminded me of an old transistor radio from like, 1968.

Then I noticed something. There's a cord that comes with the package. It's a cord that connects the HT820 headset to the computer for wired sound. I plugged it in -- and got beautiful sound quality. As I write, I am listening to "Bartender" by Dave Matthews with my new Wireless HT820 headphones by Motorola, connected by their headphone connector cord, just like a regular wired headphone that would cost you $24.95. The cord is short, so it's kinda hanging off my shoulder and pulling on my arm.

Suffice to say, before the first Motorola HT820 was returned, I ordered a Saitek A-350 wireless headphone for $95 from Amazon.com. My thinking on this? Well, this HT820 Motorola headset will serve just fine as a wireless SKYPE unit (cuz i was using a wired headset so clunky I don't even know where to store it - brand new too - $50 Altec Lansings. Great sound quality, but those big old earphones make your ears sweat after 10 minutes.).

So, i'll keep these HT820's for SKyping, and wait for the Saiteks to arrive and test for music and gaming wirelessly. As for listening to MUSIC wirelessly on these HT820s? FORGET IT PEOPLE. I can't believe the site administrators recommended them.

THe Logitech's would be great wireless headphones if the headbands didn't break. Let's see how they'll fix that problem. It might take awhile though, because they're probably trying to dig themselves out from under all the returns of defective headphones returned in the last six months.

peace
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Postby DMB2000uk » Mon Jul 10, 2006 6:26 pm

Hi Bloodaxe, welcome to the forums. Sounds like someone is an audiophile :)

Sorry to hear about your bluetooth headset woes. Its for that reason that I've not bought a bluetooth headset yet, they're still in they're infancy, so I stick to my Sennheiser PMX60's for most PC/iPod music playback.

One thing shows in your [strike]rant[/strike] informative story, that you didn't take the time to read the article before bashing the people that wrote it!

It says in the review:

We ran into disappointment again when playing CD quality audio – the music was not stereo quality at all. The best we got was “cell phone” quality audio which, for this audiophile, was highly disappointing. This is not the fault of Motorola though, as it goes back to how Bluetooth protocols are implemented in PC adapters right now. We certainly hope that in the near future, more companies will make their products compatible with all Bluetooth protocols.


And again in the final thoughts section:

Unfortunately, you can not get this same quality with your PC using native Bluetooth connectivity. The closest thing you can get is “cell-phone” quality sound with Motorola’s PC Adapter PC850. For most people with Bluetooth enabled PCs or laptops, and for those who already have Bluetooth PC adapters, it is probably not worth the investment of another $60-$100 in equipment for PC connectivity.

With a behind-the-head design, this headset was feeling quite heavy after long-term use. My ears really started to cry after an especially long session of Battlefield 2 and needed a rest.


So these headphones got the recommendation they deserved, as a solid Bluetooth hands-free kit. The product did not get our esteemed Legit Reviews Editors Choice Award, rightly so due to the poor music playback :P

Hope this has enlightened you to the beauty and depth of the reviews here at Legit Reviews!

Dan
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My bad -- or my computer's bad... am I my computer's keeper?

Postby bloodaxe » Tue Jul 11, 2006 2:03 am

DMB2000uk wrote:Hi Bloodaxe, welcome to the forums. Sounds like someone is an audiophile :)

Sorry to hear about your bluetooth headset woes. Its for that reason that I've not bought a bluetooth headset yet, they're still in they're infancy, so I stick to my Sennheiser PMX60's for most PC/iPod music playback.

One thing shows in your [strike]rant[/strike] informative story, that you didn't take the time to read the article before bashing the people that wrote it!

It says in the review:

We ran into disappointment again when playing CD quality audio – the music was not stereo quality at all. The best we got was “cell phone” quality audio which, for this audiophile, was highly disappointing. This is not the fault of Motorola though, as it goes back to how Bluetooth protocols are implemented in PC adapters right now. We certainly hope that in the near future, more companies will make their products compatible with all Bluetooth protocols.


And again in the final thoughts section:

Unfortunately, you can not get this same quality with your PC using native Bluetooth connectivity. The closest thing you can get is “cell-phone” quality sound with Motorola’s PC Adapter PC850. For most people with Bluetooth enabled PCs or laptops, and for those who already have Bluetooth PC adapters, it is probably not worth the investment of another $60-$100 in equipment for PC connectivity.

With a behind-the-head design, this headset was feeling quite heavy after long-term use. My ears really started to cry after an especially long session of Battlefield 2 and needed a rest.


So these headphones got the recommendation they deserved, as a solid Bluetooth hands-free kit. The product did not get our esteemed Legit Reviews Editors Choice Award, rightly so due to the poor music playback :P

Hope this has enlightened you to the beauty and depth of the reviews here at Legit Reviews!

Dan


Hi Dan,

Boy, do I feel stupid. I read this article that led me to this forum, and it wasn't you guys who gave it the four stars, it was from some affiliate or other page source that said nothing that you're saying that was said here. I didn't see anything that you provided here for comments on bluetooth.

I attributed the "thumbs up" comments to this product to you guys wrongly. My bad. I think I can basically blame it on :drinkers:
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Postby DMB2000uk » Tue Jul 11, 2006 6:45 am

NP :P

Hope you'll stick around now!

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it works

Postby econcepts » Thu Sep 07, 2006 12:25 pm

holy smokes - I have got this to work with every stack I have tried - blue soli something or other, toshiba, and widcom - the trick is to have the latest version of the stack (they all need updating) and (of course) use bt 1.2

The drawback - have to use one or the other headset or AV (headset function gives poor quality audio but works with skype, messenger, etc), (AV gives awsome stereo but the mic is not functional). These are TWO DIFFERENT functions you can only be connected to one or the other at a time. I noticed with the widcom stack, I usually had to pull the radio out (usb) and put it back in before switching connections. Toshiba works very well (V4.x or later).

The people that are saying that audio is not good are listening to their music with the headset profile, not A2DP
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Postby meth2000 » Fri Sep 15, 2006 10:18 pm

has anyone tried to pair this headset with a motorola V710 cell phone?
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Postby Apoptosis » Sat Sep 16, 2006 6:09 am

I had a HT820 with my Motorola V600 and V551 with no issues.
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Postby meth2000 » Thu Sep 21, 2006 12:08 pm

were you able to control the mp3 play back with the head set on those phones?
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Leopard supports A2DP

Postby tseal » Fri Sep 22, 2006 1:57 am

For any of you trying to get your Bluetooth heaphones to work (in stereo) for OS X there is hope!

I just got a pair of HT820 headphones.... love them... but as we all know, one problem. On a mac there isn't support for A2DP. I was very dissapointed to pair mine only to hear mono sound from them. after much frustration and searching the internet for two days, buying a USB BT A2DP dongle that didn't work, i found the solution! 

Apple's new OS X Leopard fully supports A2DP.  I did some searching and reading and found out that Leopard supports A2DP. 
Last edited by tseal on Fri Sep 22, 2006 2:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Kaso » Tue Jan 02, 2007 2:33 pm

Thanks for the reviews and comments. I have a few questions. I just got my headset today. I use an HP DV8300 CTO notebook with built in BT. the headphones pair just fine and the sound is great. However I did read that you can not use the mic and High Quality Stereo Sound at the same time. Is there anyway around this or has anyone figured it out. I have noticed all your posts are relatively older and there maybe some new discoveries. comments would be appreciated.

Edit:
I have been playing with it and noticed that my laptop adds the 2 services seperatley the Headset(talking + low quality sound) and the headphones (high quality sound) Man I love HP!!! However I want to use the mic with the highquality sound for gaming and voice talk during the game, it does sound a lot better. Any ideas to get both services running simultaneously or at least the high quality sound and mic.

Aside from what people have been saying about this product I think it is great. I had a HP/Logitech BT headphones and the sound was excellent. They fit a little better since the headband is a little small on these but other than that the HT820 works well. Anyone that says sound quality is bad has just not connected to the High quality audio service on the headset. remember there is 2 services the high quality audio (AD2P profile i think thats what it is called - its for the listen of music) and the talking profile. The mic picks up really well. my 2 beefs are the small headband and my head size is 7 3/4 which is not that big, there are definately larger melons out there, and my other beef is right now, not able to have high quality audio and the mic at the same time. However lets be honest it is not made/designed for use with a PC. It's primary role is with a Cell/PDA. 9/10 rating.
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Postby Digital Puppy » Tue Jan 02, 2007 11:46 pm

Kaso- First of all, welcome to the forums. Your experience with the HT820 is consistent with the reviewers. One of the most frustrating things about the AD2P protocol is that it leaves it up to the various manufacturers to implement the scheme that they will use for each one of their devices. That means just because a headset is fully AD2P, the BT dongle or BT stack in your computer may not be. I found when playing with different BT devices I had a variety of success but NEVER quite managing to get stereo sound with the microphone simultaneously. That is the biggest beef with not only the MOTO, but with other BT stereo headsets used for VOIP.

As far as the sound, I still prefer the Plantronics over the Moto for wireless sound, and my Sony MDRs are still king of my ear, but of course they aren't wireless! :D

Hopefully, CES will introduce some more BT Stereo Sets. 8) We've got to stay on Nate to keep his eyes open.
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Postby suthekb » Thu Jan 11, 2007 2:54 am

I just bought these and was trying to use them for the same reason as Kaso. I really need the microphone to work along with the high quality stereo sound simultaneously. Is that not possible with this headset?

If not, does anyone have any recommendations for other headsets I can try? I'm only comfortable with this over-the-ear style of headset (all earbuds hurt my ears a lot). I'm begining to wonder whether I can even use a wireless headset at all now... this limitation of bluetooth makes them useless for gaming :(
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