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Editor's note:The Logitech Wireless Headphones have been known to break during long-term use because of durability issues with the headband. If you are looking for a more durable and up-to-date pair of wireless headphones, the Logitech Freepulse Headphones are a better option.
Although it's anybody's guess whether Apple will release an iPod with integrated Bluetooth wireless capabilities, Logitech has stepped up to the plate with its Wireless Headphones for the iPod ($150), the first set of Bluetooth headphones for Apple's MP3 player. The well-designed product includes white neckband-style headphones with foam-covered ear pads and built-in controls, a low-profile Bluetooth 1.2 wireless transmitter (measuring 1.25 by 2.5 by 0.75 inches) that attaches to any dockable iPod, and a charger cable. (If you want wireless headphones for another MP3 player, check out Logitech's Wireless Headphones for MP3.) The transmission range of up to 30 feet lets you conveniently stash your iPod in a messenger bag or a purse, for instance, while listening untethered.
At just 3.2 ounces, the surprisingly light headset was comfortable throughout mostly sedentary, multihour listening sessions and didn't dislodge once during a 40-minute jog. However, you should note that the headband is not adjustable, so the 'phones won't fit everyone as well as they fit us. Although you wouldn't want to regularly run while holding the bulky iPod, the wireless capability lets you stash it in a treadmill's accessory holder or even leave it in a nearby gym bag during your workout. The headset is appropriately easy to operate without requiring you to look at its controls. The outside of the right earpiece hosts four keys (volume up, volume down, next track, and previous track) that are intuitively arrayed around a large, circular play/pause button, and the volume controls have slight indents so that you can distinguish them by feel from the track-skip keys.
Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries power the headphones and the transmitter, so you don't have to worry about any drain on your iPod's battery. The charger cable splits into two plugs to simultaneously accomodate both components. Because the device's battery life is rated at up to 8 hours, the 'phones nonremovable cells are likely to require more frequent recharging than your iPod. That said, in informal testing, we got nearly 9 hours of continuous playback from new, fully charged batteries. A status LED located on the play/pause button blinks red when the headphones' cell runs low, but it's less useful than mobile phone-style battery-status bars would be. The batteries fully recharge in around 2.5 hours.
In addition to being a cool iPod accessory, the Logitech Wireless Headphones for the iPod also deliver solid sonic performance. The 'phones sound markedly bigger, smoother, and more detailed than most portable audio headphones, including the stock earbuds supplied with our iPod Photo 60GB. Although the Logitechs weren't able to play quite as loud as the stock iPod 'buds, sufficient volume was always available. Midrange and treble-intensive sounds, such as vocals in Björk's track "Headphones," sounded pleasantly velvety, while bass lines had competitive presence, thanks in part to the 'phones relatively large 40mm drivers and fairly deep-reaching 20Hz-to-20KHz rated frequency response. When we roamed more than 20 to 30 feet from the iPod with the headphones, playback dropouts were a problem, but aside from Bluetooth range limitations, transmission was for the most part seamless.