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Callpod Onyx - headset review: Callpod Onyx - headset

Callpod Onyx - headset

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Nicole Lee
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Nicole Lee

Former Editor

Nicole Lee is a senior associate editor for CNET, covering cell phones, Bluetooth headsets, and all things mobile. She's also a fan of comic books, video games, and of course, shiny gadgets.

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Callpod makes a variety of cell phone accessories, ranging from the humble charger to the trendy Bluetooth headset. The Callpod Onyx is one of the latter, with a subtle yet sleek design and the promise of great call quality. Unfortunately, the Onyx suffers many of the problems of its sibling, the Vetro. We found the fit to be awkward, and we didn't like the buttons either. The Callpod Onyx does have walkie-talkie functionality and the audio quality is average, but that wasn't enough to justify its $69.96 price tag.

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5.3

Callpod Onyx - headset

The Good

The Callpod Onyx has a slim and discreet design. It has walkie-talkie functionality and an operating range of up to 50 meters.

The Bad

The Callpod Onyx has awkward button placement and doesn't have very good audio quality.

The Bottom Line

The Callpod Onyx might be slim and affordable, but we would look elsewhere for a better quality headset.

Unlike the Dragon and the Vetro, the Callpod Onyx has a very simple design. Measuring 2.2 inches long by 0.6 inch wide by 0.4 inch thick, the Onyx is a slim headset wrapped in black plastic and topped with a black metal finish on the front. It's so thin and small, that it looks quite discreet when worn. In the middle is a slim LED that glows red or blue.

At the top of the headset is a half-circle volume rocker that can be pressed down to act as the power button. As with the Vetro, the placement of the rocker is a little awkward as it bumps up against the ear when worn, and changing the volume while wearing it is a bit uncomfortable. The multifunction button is on the right, though you would be forgiven if you missed it. It's a tiny piece of cut-out plastic and takes a considerable amount of pressure to push--there is little to no give, and we can barely tell if it has been pressed. The Micro-USB charging port is on the left side.

On the back of the headset is a round rubbery "GummyGel" ear bud. It's a bit too big for our small ears and feels uncomfortable when worn, though your mileage may vary. It comes with a thin flexible ear hook as well, which we found to be necessary rather than optional.

The Onyx has the usual headset features like answering, ending, and rejecting calls, voice dial support where available, and multipoint connectivity. It also has two-way walkie-talkie functionality when paired with another Callpod Bluetooth headset. Last but not least, it has a working range of 50 meters, which is around five times the operating range of a normal Bluetooth headset.

We paired the Callpod Onyx with the Apple iPhone 3G and the RIM BlackBerry Curve 3G. Call quality was average, but nothing great. We heard our callers clearly without a lot of distortion, and thought their voice quality was quite natural. On their end, though, callers said they heard quite a bit of background noise, even when we were in a quiet office environment. They could still hear us, but the static and noise were a little distracting.

The Callpod Onyx has a rated battery life of up to 5 hours of talk time and over 7 days on standby.