Known for its stylish cell phones, Siemens once again melds form and function with its HHB-500 Bluetooth headset. Although it's a bit larger than other headsets, such as the, and a bit more expensive ($150 list), we like the way the headset is designed to fit over your ear; we were also impressed by its performance. The silver coloring of the HHB-500 gives it a stylish look, and as noted, we found it fairly comfortable to wear. You simply first fold down the clip, place it over your ear, then flip the headset to position the earpiece. That said, those with smaller ears may find the fit a little loose.
Like Sony Ericsson, Siemens was smart to use the same power connection here as for its S56 cell phone--simply plug it into the small travel charger that you connect to the top of the headset. Our only major gripe with the design is that the volume button is situated directly above the similarly sized Push To Talk (PTT) key, which you may mistakenly hit. We would have preferred the volume controls on the side of the device or at least smaller dedicated buttons for adjusting the volume.
Voice dialing was a snap with our test S56 phone; you briefly press the PTT key and say the name listed in the phone's voice directory. To transfer dialed or received calls to the headset, just press PTT either during the call or just before connecting. You can't, however, use the headset to redial the last number.
Audio was loud and clear on our side, and callers never complained about the quality on their end. We also matched the rated distance of 30 feet. As for battery life, we reached 4 hours, 20 minutes of talk time, beating the rated time by 20 minutes. We also squeezed slightly more than the rated 150 hours of standby time.