The Samsung HS3000 is not so much a stereo Bluetooth headset as it is a stereo Bluetooth pendant. Like the Jabra Clipper, the HS3000 is designed to be clipped on to your shirt, and since it has a 3.5mm headset jack, you can choose to use your own headphones with it. Samsung has provided its own pair of earbuds for it, too, which we actually rather like. The HS3000 sets itself apart from most stereo Bluetooth headsets with the option to toggle through different preset sound modes. The Samsung HS3000 retails for $59.99.
A quick glance at the HS3000 might fool you into thinking it was an ordinary Bluetooth headset from Samsung. It has a simple rectangular silhouette, measuring 2.1 inches long by 0.8 inch wide by 0.4 inch deep. The HS3000 is clad in a smooth matte black, with a square Talk button outlined prominently on the front. Near the Samsung branding is a tiny LED indicator. Sitting on the back of the headset is a large clip that you can choose to wear on your shirt or collar. The clip is robust enough that you can also wear it on a relatively thick jacket lapel.
On the bottom of the headset is a Micro-USB port, and the 3.5mm headset jack is located on the top. The power switch, volume rocker, and sound mode button are on the left spine; the music controls are on the right. We like the convenience of the power slider as it's much easier to turn the headset on and off. Though skinny, the rest of the controls are raised and separated enough to press easily.
Because the HS3000 has a 3.5mm headset jack, you can use it with just about any pair of headphones, which is great if you already have a pair you like using. Samsung's own provided earbuds are pretty good too, however. The two earbuds have soft rubbery covers that fit snugly and comfortably in the ear. We thought the sound quality of the earbuds was great overall, with rich tones and decent bass. The earbuds might not be better than more-expensive headphones, but for the price, they did the job just fine.
We paired the HS3000 with the Apple iPhone 4, which has A2DP and AVRCP Bluetooth profiles that let you stream music and remotely manage them with play/pause and track shuttle controls. The music keys performed as promised, as did the volume rocker. As we mentioned earlier, the HS3000 comes with three SoundAlive sound modes that you can use to augment your listening experience: Normal, Instrumental, and Vocal. Normal is simply the default, whereas Instrumental attempts to separate out the instrument sound, making it sound louder and sharper than the accompanying vocals. The Vocal effect does the exact opposite, and attempts to elevate the voice above other sounds. In our tests, the latter two effects do work to a certain extent, but we don't think they improved the quality of the music very much. Your mileage may vary, of course.
When wearing the HS3000, you want to position it so that the microphone is facing you; the microphone is located next to the 3.5mm headset jack. Call quality is far more improved this way. We tested the HS3000, and we found call quality to be quite good for the most part. We didn't experience any static or crackling and we thought our callers sounded loud and clear. Callers did say our voice was perhaps a touch muddy, but it wasn't too different compared with when we weren't using the headset. They also detected a very distant hum, but it wasn't distracting. Callers reported great call quality on the whole, without much background noise.
The HS3000 has all the usual Bluetooth headset features like last number redial, voice dialing where available, call mute, and the capability to answer, reject, and end calls. It also provides voice prompts during certain actions like powering on/of, or when it's in pairing mode, just to keep you informed of the headset's current status. You can also turn off voice prompts if you like. The HS3000 also has a battery indicator. Last but not least, the HS3000 has multipoint connectivity so you can connect it with up to two different devices at the same time.
The Samsung HS3000 has a rated battery life of 7 hours talk time, 6 hours music playback, and seven days standby time.
The Samsung HS3000 is a well-designed stereo Bluetooth solution for people who still want to use a real pair of wired headphones. It has a 3.5mm headset jack so you can use it with any pair of headphones out there, though the HS3000's own earbuds aren't bad. Plus, you can attach it easily to clothing with the large clip. We like the dedicated controls for music, the option for Instrumental and Vocal modes, and multipoint connectivity. The Samsung HS3000 is worth its $59.99 retail price point.