As much as we like regular wired earbuds for listening to music, we would probably go for a stereo Bluetooth headset instead if it was an option. Not only does it free you from dealing with wires, but it's also easier to use in the gym or when running in the park. And thankfully, a lot of music phones come with stereo Bluetooth capabilities these days, and many stereo Bluetooth headsets also have call-handling capabilities. The Samsung SBH-700 is one such headset, and it's designed for sports activities, similar to the Motorola S9 Bluetooth Active Headphones from a couple years ago. It works with both phone calls as well as streaming music and costs around $60.
Like the Motorola S9, the Samsung SBH-700 is designed to wrap around behind the head for a secure fit, especially when running or jogging. The thickest part of the headset is the rearmost battery compartment, which measures about 5 inches long by 1 inch across and less than 0.5 inch deep. The silver-and-red chassis then tapers down on both left and right sides toward the ear buds via flexible wires. The ear buds themselves are connected to the wires via U-shape ear hooks and flexible hinges.
The charger jack is on top of the rearmost chassis along with the LED indicator, while the volume rocker and track shuttle keys are on the bottom. The Play/Pause key is on the front of the right earbud while the Call key is on the front of the left ear bud.
We won't lie to you--we found this arrangement quite uncomfortable. We thought the ear buds did not fit in the ear too comfortably, and as a result of this, they sometimes fell off. We really would have appreciated a variety of earbud sizes here. Also, having the volume rocker and the track shuttle keys all the way at the back of your head is not very convenient. We'll concede the buttons are easy to press, but that's about it.
We paired the Samsung SBH-700 with the Verizon Wireless Blitz. It paired automatically with the phone as soon as we had set both on Bluetooth discovery mode, which was great. Stereo music quality was decent, with loud volume and distinct melody. It's not the greatest audio quality in the world, but it's fine for most people if you're not too much of an audiophile. We did have one complaint; sometimes when we were adjusting the volume on the headset, there was a slight pause in the music. This seemed to occur when we hit the maximum volume, and the headset would beep loudly.
Call quality was good, but not great. Callers heard us just fine and vice versa, but they still reported some echo and a slight hollow quality to our voice. They also reported that our voice sounded slightly robotic. Other calling features include last number redial, call mute, and putting a call on hold.
The Samsung SBH-700 has a rated battery life of 8 hours of talk and music, plus a rated standby time of 5.83 days.