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While some stereo Bluetooth headsets are designed for workouts or an active lifestyle, others are more suited for just general use. The BlueFox Extreme BF-402 is one such headset, and it's designed to look just like a pair of regular headphones, except without wires, of course. We appreciate its slim design, and though the sound quality won't be as good as more expensive headphones, it's still pretty good for listening to music. For making calls, however, the sound quality didn't work for us at all. The BlueFox Extreme BF-402 retails for $69.99.
The design of the BF-402 reminds us a little of the Jabra Halo. Like the Halo, it has a very slim profile, from the earpads to the connecting headband. The BF-402 is designed to be worn like a regular pair of headphones--over the head--and the earpads are padded with thick foam cushions attached to a flexible hinge. This allows the earpads to press gently against the ears with just the right amount of tension. Indeed, we found the fit of the BF-402 to be just fine--not too tight or too loose. You can adjust the size of the headset by extending or retracting the earpads on either side.
All of the headset's controls are housed in the right earpad. They consist of volume controls, the track controls, as well as the multifunction call button. The LED indicator is housed at the top of the aforementioned call button. All the buttons pressed easily without a lot of effort. At the bottom of the right earpad are the charger jack plus the microphone.
We paired the BlueFox Extreme BF-402 with the Samsung Intercept. Sound quality for audio playback was fairly decent for the most part. The bass was a little weak, and we would've appreciated a more full-bodied sound, but we think nonaudiophiles won't mind these minor defects.
Where the BF-402 really fails is in the call-quality department. While we could hear our callers perfectly fine, callers couldn't hear us at all. At first we thought we had turned on the mute by mistake, but after some trial and error, we discovered it's because the microphone couldn't pick up our voice. Only after taking off the headphones and holding the right earpad right up to our mouth so we could speak directly into the microphone could our callers hear us. We tried this with other phones--the Apple iPhone 3G, plus the Motorola Droid X--and suffered the same problem. BlueFox boasts extreme noise canceling, but this is unacceptable.
Strangely, when we tested the microphone with just the phone's internal voice recorder, the microphone picked up our voices just fine without us having to speak directly into it. We suspect this a software issue that BlueFox needs to rectify.
The BlueFox Extreme has a rated battery life of 8 to 10 hours of music playback, 9 to 10 hours of talk time, and 245 hours of standby time.