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>> Hey, I'm Donald Bell, Senior Editor for Digital Audio Mp3, and today we're taking a first look at the Altec Lansing Backbeat 903. This is a wireless stereo headset that communicates over Bluetooth to your cell phone or any device that can transmit Bluetooth audio. The Backbeat comes in two different flavors; a $99.00 903 model with a headset and a charger, and a $129.00 906 model that also includes a universal Bluetooth transmitter you can plug into any mp3 player. This headset is definitely aimed at people who want a wireless solution for listening to music, but it can also work to take calls from your phone. There's a microphone on the front of the earpiece and a call answer button on the side here that picks up calls with a short press and ignores calls if you hold the button for a few seconds. Call quality was impressive, which makes sense since Altec Lansing is really using Plantronics technology here. The company also took a lot of care with design. Each earpiece can telescope out and swivel back and forth to accommodate your ears, and the actual headphone that hears is covered with a soft removable silicone tip that works to keep the earpiece in place but isn't actually designed to seal the ear and block out sound. On the right earpiece, you've got all the controls for music playback including a play, pause button and a small but conveniently place switch for track skip and volume adjustment. The controls are AVRCP compliant, so they can remotely control many Bluetooth audio source; however, the iPhone and the iPod Touch don't support AVRCP yet. Fortunately, the pause button will mute audio directly on the headset, so you never have to worry about not being able to shut off your music. Overall, the Altec Lansing Backbeat is a high quality headset with a rugged construction and above average audio quality. The only drawback is that the design might not be comfortable for people who don't like things hooked around their ears or get annoyed with cables on their neck. From seenit.com, I'm Donald Bell, and that was a first look at the Altec Lansing Backbeat 903.
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