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Home > Hardware Reviews > Mobiles

Thursday, January 20, 2005
Sony Ericsson HBH-660 Akono Bluetooth Headset

2. Headset Operation

Sony Ericsson HBH-660 Akono Bluetooth Headset - Page 2

- Headset Operation

After charging the headset for almost 1.5~2 hours, we turned it on, by pressing the "Call Handling Button" for 5 seconds. The LCD screen powers up and the "Akono" logo comes up.

Sony's Ericsson's manual describes in depth, how to exactly connect (pair) the headset with your mobile phone. Although the instructions are mainly for Sony Ericsson phones, they should be more or less the same for other brands as well.

As we mentioned earlier, before being able to use the headset, you have to "pair" (aka connect) the headset with the phone. This takes only a few seconds and as Sony Ericsson suggests, you have to be very close to the phone:

By pressing the "Call Handling Button", the headset will connect to the phone. After typing four zeros (0000) for the password, your phone will pair the headset with its ID (Akono HBH-660)

The performance of the headset, mainly depends on your position with regard to the phone. The Bluetooth protocol has as maximum range, 10meters. However, no obstacles should be between you and the phone. The following graph shows the headset's optimal performance:

You can swivel the ear brace 90 degrees to fit it to your ear.

Or even 180 degrees if you want to place it on your left ear. Note that the LCD screen display can be turned up or down too!

When someone calls you, their number is displayed on the LCD screen. If the number is stored in your address book, the name will appear instead of the number. We noticed however, that this is valid only for contacts with only a single entry (mobile) and not multiple...

The headset recognizes voice commands that can be used to dial, redial, answer and reject a phone call. Of course, you first have to make the corresponding entry in the phone's memory.

To master all headset features, it is adviseable to read carefully the included manuals...There is also a big online FAQ in case you still have some questions.

- Performance

I haven't had any previous use with other Bluetooth headsets, but the headset seems to fit very comfortably around the ear, although I would like it to have a more stable feeling and the earpiece could me more comfortable. After having placed it on your ear, you tend to forget that it's there, thanks to its light weight, although there are much lighter headsets available on the market.

The sound that comes from the headset speaker is loud and clear, and can be turned up/down with the corresponding buttons, which is convenient. The 6 digit LCD screen is very useful when someone calls, since it lights up with the phone icon, warning of an incoming call. However, since it's very small, the number will scroll left/right very qucikly making the idenfication rather difficult in case you had a phone call from an unknown source.

The battery seems very good, so far had it turned on 40 hours, talked over 2hours and still haven't seen it drop at 50%, so i assume that the numbers which Sony Ericsson claims, are more or less true. The battery gauge indicator at the LCD screen is very useful, we want to know when we run out of battery so we can re-charge it for another hard day.

In real life conditions, we were able to talk after walking away from the phone, around 4-5 meters with two thin walls in between, although with a little distrortion. We didn't notice any delay in the voice and in general we were happy with the performance so far. While we didn't test the headset with any other phones, we read various reports around the net, showing that the headset will work fine with all bluetooth enabled phones and even display the caller ID on the LCD screen.

The headset cannot be used to hear music (mp3 files, radio) or other audio (recorded messages/video files), unfortunately! As a last negative, the end of the rubber grommet on the swivel brace may eventually wear out after long time use... ours has already started showing traces of wear.

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