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Sony Ericsson HBH-610 Bluetooth headset review:

Sony Ericsson HBH-610 Bluetooth headset

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The Good The Sony Ericsson HBH-610 is a simple headset that's easy to use and can be worn on either ear. We also really like its flexible ear hook and snug fit, and the exchangeable decorative panels are a nice touch.

The Bad The Sony Ericsson HBH-610 is a little clunky for our tastes, and it feels awkward after you've worn it for a long period.

The Bottom Line We thought the Sony Ericsson HBH-610 was bulky, but its sleek design, its snug fit, and its good audio quality make it a decent headset.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

CNET Editors' Rating

7.0 Overall

Sony Ericsson HBH-610

The Sony Ericsson HBH-610 is yet another Bluetooth headset from the company that primarily targets business users. While its slim penlike form factor is compact enough, it's still one of the bulkier headsets out there, especially when considering the trend toward smaller headsets such as the Motorola H700 and the Jabra JX10. Still, the HBH-610 has a comfortable fit, and it delivers good sound quality. The HBH-610's default color scheme is in black and silver, but it comes with two additional decorative panels in black and beveled grey. It retails for $99.99, but you can easily get it for $34 after discounts online.

As mentioned, the Sony Ericsson HBH-610 is a little bulky, measuring a clunky 3 by 0.5 by 0.75 inches. It still has a fairly simple design with a streamlined form and no boom mic. On the back is a unique ear hook that can rotate 360 degrees so that you can wear the headset on either ear. It also has a rubberized tip for additional comfort. It takes some effort to place the earpiece against the ear, but once it's in position, the headset fits snugly. Yet we wouldn't recommend wearing this for long periods of time, as it starts to feel uncomfortable after a couple of hours.

On the face of the HBH-610 are a square multifunction button and a green LED that lights up when the headset is on. The multifunction button answers and ends calls, and when held down for 2 seconds, it rejects calls. Pairing was as easy as holding the same button for 5 seconds and following the instructions on the phone. The volume controls are on the right spine, and the charger port is underneath the earpiece. While the multifunction button was easy to press, the volume controls required a tad more force.

We tested the Sony Ericsson HBH-610 with the Sony Ericsson W600i. The pairing process was made even easier by Sony Ericsson's new autopairing solution that doesn't require a PIN code to authorize the connection. Autopairing is available only on Sony Ericsson phones, however, so you'll have to pair the headset the old-fashioned way with other phone models. Thanks to a set of technologies such as noise reduction, automatic volume adjustment, and echo cancellation, phone calls sounded loud and clear, even in noisy environments. Callers also heard us without a problem. Aside from letting you answer, end, and reject calls, the Sony Ericsson HBH-610 also supports voice dialing, three-way calling, last-number redialing, call waiting, and holding or muting a call.

The Sony Ericsson HBH-610's charger port is compatible with any Sony Ericsson charger; if you have an existing Sony Ericsson phone, you can use the same charger for both devices. The rated talk time for the HBH-610 is 6.5 hours, and the rated standby time is 12.5 days.

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