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Anycom Blue HS-890 Bluetooth headset review: Anycom Blue HS-890 Bluetooth headset

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The Good Comfortable fit and attractive style; user-friendly controls; solid calling features; admirable audio clarity indoors.

The Bad Not great in windy conditions; volume somewhat low; short standby battery life.

The Bottom Line The Anycom Blue HS-890 is a good choice for a lower-end Bluetooth headset.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

6.6 Overall

Review Sections

Anycom Blue HS-890 Bluetooth headset

Unlike cell phones, Bluetooth headsets don't do much beyond making calls. They don't have cameras or video capabilities, they can't play MP3s, and they don't even have a rudimentary calculator. As a result, choosing a headset generally comes down to just two criteria: whether it fits comfortably, and whether it offers satisfactory performance. If it accomplishes both tasks, then it may be a wise purchase. Of course, style is also important--you still have to wear it, after all. The Anycom Blue HS-890 offers a reasonable mix of all three. It's not the absolute best Bluetooth headset we've seen, since the battery life could be better, but it does its job reasonably well. Plus, the price is fair at $89.

The headset's attractive design is functional without being too conspicuous. Its most prominent features are rounded edges, a slender shape, and a short boom mic that comes halfway down the cheek. The Anycom provides a traditional over-the-ear fit via a flexible rubberized ear hook that can easily be adjusted for either ear. The earpiece slightly protrudes into the ear, but it wasn't uncomfortable. Overall, the headset fits securely and was so light (0.5 ounce) that we hardly knew it was on.

Controls on the Anycom Blue HS-890 are well designed and easy to manipulate. A large circular control at the top of the headset regulates the volume, while a smaller button just below it turns the HS-890 on and off; it also controls calling functions. Both buttons were easy to find and use when we were wearing the headset, and a small LED indicates the headset's status with a red or blue light. Featurewise, you get a good selection of calling options: the HS-890 supports a hands-free profile for cell phones with voice dialing; you can redial your most recent call with the multifunction button; you can transfer calls between the phone and the headset; and you can answer second calls without touching your mobile.

We tested the Anycom Blue HS-890 using the Sony Ericsson S710a. Pairing the two devices was painless, and we were up and running in just a few minutes. Audio quality was decent. We had no trouble hearing our callers, and they said they could hear us as well. However, they could tell we were using a headset, as some static appeared from time to time. Windy conditions also diminished performance, but that can be standard with a headset. We noticed the volume was a tad low. It was no problem for us, but users with hearing impairments might want to test it out first. There wasn't a significant delay between the time our phone rang and the time the headset beeped in our ear for a call, but on one occasion, the headset automatically disconnected when we ended a call. It didn't happen regularly, but we had to reconnect the HS-890 to the S710a before we could start again.

The Anycom HS-890 is rated for 5 hours of talk time and six days of standby time. In our tests, though, we managed only four days of standby time. That's not a terrible result, but hard-core road warriors may desire a headset with more juice.

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