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IOGear Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Headphone Kit review: IOGear Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Headphone Kit

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MSRP: $169.95

The Good The IOGear Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Headphone Kit offers a good-sounding option for cord-hating MP3 listeners and cell phone chatters.

The Bad The IOGear Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Headphone Kit is expensive, features an imperfect design, and has poor battery life.

The Bottom Line If you must have a cord-free option that allows you to listen to your MP3 player and talk on your cell phone, consider the IOGear Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Headphone Kit. However, you might want to wait for the next-gen design.

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6.3 Overall

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IOGear Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Headphone Kit

Aside from battery life, one of the biggest problems with portable audio today is those dastardly headphone cords. They tangle in bags, snag on obstacles, and make a general nuisance of themselves, as anyone who's ever jiggled a headphone jack to get stereo sound surely knows. The IOGear Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Headphone Kit solves this problem for $180, allowing users to listen to their portable MP3 players sans wires. Better yet, it doubles as a cell phone headset and also works with laptops, cars, handhelds, and anything else that follows the Bluetooth audio standard.

IOGear's Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Headphone Kit features two main components: the headphones themselves, which wrap around the back of the head and fold up for storage, and a Bluetooth transmitter that fits into any standard 1/8-inch stereo headphone jack. The headphones rest comfortably on the ears and flex to accommodate heads of various sizes. Blue lights on both components indicate when the Bluetooth connection is up.

Four buttons on the right earphone control playback--fast-forward, rewind, and volume--when the headphones are connected via Bluetooth to a laptop, a PDA, a car, or anything else that is natively compatible with Bluetooth audio; supported profiles include A2DP, AVRCP, and Headset. Unfortunately, this does not include any current MP3 players, so you'll still have to control playback on the device itself, unlike with the Logitech Wireless Headphones for iPod, which can control the second-, third-, and fourth-generation iPods.

Since most people driving cars don't need to listen to music on headphones, IOGear's Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Headphone Kit makes the most sense for two things: listening to portable audio on an MP3 player and taking calls on a cell phone.

You can leave your cell phone in your pocket and field incoming calls using the same headphones with which you were listening to your MP3 player just moments earlier, with no wires connecting any of the three devices involved. When a ringing sound interrupts your music, just click the Center button, and you'll hear the caller's voice come through both headphones. A detachable mic on a bendy wire picks up your voice.

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