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Samsung SBH700 Stereo Bluetooth Headset review: Samsung SBH700 Stereo Bluetooth Headset

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The Good Good battery life.

The Bad Uncomfortable to wear. Tinny sound. Controls are tough to discern.

The Bottom Line Samsung's Bluetooth stereo headset has a sporty look, but fails to cross the finish line properly.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

6.3 Overall

Review Sections

Design
Samsung describes the SBH700 as "perfect for the avidly mobile" — this is a Bluetooth stereo headset for the sporty crowd, and a suitably energetic visual design to match. In essence, you could breakdown the SBH700 into three distinct parts. There's two over-the-ear style headphones that aren't that dissimilar to those found in standard Bluetooth earpieces. The two of them are joined by a thick headband that rests at the back of your skull.

Features
The SBH700 is a Bluetooth 2.0 headset with A2DP support, and with the line "mobile enhancement" on the packaging, it's clearly marketed primarily for mobile phone users, although there's nothing stopping you from pairing it with other Bluetooth devices. As stereo Bluetooth headsets go, the SBH700 is on the lightweight side at 38.3g.

The SBH700's larger surface area compared to a regular Bluetooth headset does give it some scope for advanced controls, although Samsung's engineers have chosen to place them in rather unusual positions. The front right earpiece houses a play/pause control, while the left houses the call answer/hang up button. Sadly, except for pictograms there's nothing to distinguish the two when you're wearing them — they're even the same sized buttons — so until you learn "left=call", you may (as we did) try to answer calls only to have your music stop and your phone keep on ringing. Meanwhile, on the back of the headband, you'll find volume controls and track skipping buttons, as well as a pinpoint reset button and the AC adapter point, which hides behind a recessed cover.

Performance
It took us some time to get used to wearing the SBH700 headset properly. That's down to two factors. Firstly, it utilises an over-lug earpiece design, similar to most single ear Bluetooth headsets, but with the connecting body at the back, getting these to sit snugly and comfortably over your ears is tricky. It's doubly tricky if you wear glasses, or have long hair — we tested on several unwilling victims who were unlucky enough to pass our test bench while we tested. Nearly everyone struggled at least initially, even once informed you could bend the earpieces — and they're designed to — in order to facilitate the headset actually staying on.

The second issue was a straight comfort one. For an in-ear set of headphones, the SBH700's actual in-ear speaker buds are quite large, and several of our test victims found them uncomfortable, especially compared to the comfort you get with silicon-based soft ear buds.

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