Iqua BHS-302 review: Iqua BHS-302

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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The Iqua BHS-302 has a unique clip-on design with a wired earpiece for convenience and ease of use. It has great sound quality, as well.

The Bad The Iqua BHS-302 can be a bit awkward if you don't have a shirt where you can clip it on, plus the multifunction button can feel somewhat stiff.

The Bottom Line The Iqua BHS-302 is an affordable and great alternative for those who like the convenience of a Bluetooth headset but don't want to wear it in the ear all the time.

7.6 Overall
  • Design 8.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 8.0

Iqua is a relatively unknown brand in the U.S., but in Finland, it's an up-and-coming company that specializes in Bluetooth products. Now, however, Iqua is making its way to the U.S. market with products like the Iqua BHS-302 Bluetooth headset. Similar to the Cardo S640, the Iqua BHS-302 is really more like a Bluetooth clip than a traditional headset. You wear it by attaching the clip to your shirt and then bringing the attached wired earbud to your ear. When not in use, the earbud can be conveniently attached to the magnetic multifunction button on the clip. As with the Cardo S640, we think this is a very nice solution for those who like the convenience of a Bluetooth headset but don't really like the traditional Borg-like look. The Iqua BHS-302 is quite affordable at $49.99 from Iqua's online store.

As we mentioned, the Iqua BHS-302 is more like a Bluetooth clip than a headset. The device clip, which houses all the controls plus the battery, is connected via a ropelike wire to a microphone as well as the wired earpiece. This clip is rather small, measuring only 2 inches long, 0.75-inch wide, and 0.35-inch deep, and it comes in white, black, and silver. Right on the front is the multifunction button. It is substantially raised above the surface, with a concave curve in the middle that is designed to fit the curve of a finger. The button is a bit stiff and requires a bit of a push but it has enough give that it didn't feel like we were forcing it.

On the bottom-left spine is the volume rocker with raised tips on the ends so that we could easily find it and press it. On the back is the metal clip, which you can clip onto your shirt. The microphone is attached to the wire halfway between the clip housing and the earpiece, which looks and feels like a normal earbud. It fits quite comfortably in the ear, and when not in use, you can easily snap it to the front of the headset. This is because the multifunction button on the clip is actually magnetic, and the earpiece can be kept attached there quite securely.

We tested the Iqua BHS-302 with the RIM BlackBerry Pearl. The pairing process went very smoothly, and we were quite impressed with the call quality. Because the earbud fits right in the ear, we managed to hear callers loud and clear. Also, since we could reposition the mic closer to the mouth, they could hear us just fine, as well. There was very little noise and static, except occasionally in noisier environments like on windy city sidewalks.

Features of the Iqua BHS-302 are fairly standard: you can answer, end, and reject calls; there's call mute; last-number redial; voice-dial support; and the ability to transfer calls to and from the handset.

The Iqua BHS-302 has a rated talk time of 9 hours and rated standby time of 8.3 days.

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