The SoundID SM100 comes with multiple modes and functions to better optimize the audio performance. For example, there are three Personalized Sound modes or Hearing Enhancement programs--Normal, Moderate, and Strong--and you can toggle through these modes by hitting the Personalized Program button. As the names suggest, these modes toggle through normal sound clarity to strong sound clarity, depending on your hearing needs.
There's also something called Environmental mode, which amplifies the sound around you when you're not on a call. This is because a lot of Bluetooth headsets sometimes act like earplugs, blocking outside sound when you're wearing the headset. Well, with Environmental mode turned on, the surrounding sound is amplified so you can better carry on a face-to-face conversation while still wearing the headset. While we commend this feature, we often found this to be less than ideal--for one thing, when the Environmental mode is turned on, there was almost too much amplification of surrounding sound, resulting in a constant background buzz. We would just rather take off the headset to have a conversation. If you want, you could also turn off Environmental mode by toggling through the Personalized Program button.
Another neat feature is One2One mode, which is available only if you have another SoundID SM100 lying around. If you do, you can pair them with one another and activate a kind of ad-hoc two-way radio communication.
We tested the SoundID SM100 Bluetooth headset with the RIM BlackBerry Pearl, and the pairing process went smoothly. Call quality was exceptional. Callers could hear us just fine--they reported some background noise in especially windy environments, but even then they could hear our voice just fine. We also tried making calls with an automated voice service without a problem. Though we weren't too pleased with the Environmental mode because of the background buzz, we do think it's better to have that turned on than to go around half-deaf because of the headset. We liked the three different hearing enhancement modes for better clarity, and we certainly love the headset's noise compensation technology that alters the sound level depending on environmental noise.
Other features of the SM100 include the typical answering, ending, and rejecting calls, call-waiting support, voice-dial support, call mute, and a battery life indicator. The SoundID SM100 Bluetooth headset has a rated talk time of 8 hours and a standby time of 3 days. With the Environmental mode turned on, the standby time is 24 hours.