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Sony Ericsson HBH-DS970 review: Sony Ericsson HBH-DS970

Despite some design and performance complaints the Sony Ericsson HBH-DS970 delivers solid sound quality and generous features.

Alex Kidman
Alex Kidman is a freelance word writing machine masquerading as a person, a disguise he's managed for over fifteen years now, including a three year stint at ZDNet/CNET Australia. He likes cats, retro gaming and terrible puns.
Alex Kidman

When you think Bluetooth headset, you normally think "wireless" -- unless you're Sony. The HBH-DS970 is a bud-style headset with wires and a lanyard that leads down to the volume and control buttons. It's an odd approach -- it's exactly one plug short of just being a cabled headset, really -- but at least you don't end up looking out of place in public areas, as it looks like you're just listening to another MP3 player.


Sony Ericsson HBH-DS970

The Good

Superior sound quality. Easy to use. Supports a range of Bluetooth profiles.

The Bad

Wearing style is a bit clunky. Sometimes refused to enter synchronisation mode.

The Bottom Line

An interesting take on Bluetooth headsets, but as they're almost as cabled as full headsets, we're not that sold on the HBH-DS970's potential.

Sound quality
The earpieces are comfortable to wear -- as long as you like buds -- and do a decent job of presenting audio for most sound types, with only a slight tendency towards distortion at louder volumes.

Pairing/ease of use
It took us longer than most headsets to get the HBH-DS970s to pair, as it often refused to enter synchronisation mode. Once we'd paired successfully, audio quality was good, and the relatively small number of controls made music listening very easy. Like the Jabra BT920S headset, the HBH-DS970 supports multiple simultaneous Bluetooth profiles. We weren't impressed with the HBH-DS970's range, however, which dropped out consistently only about three metres from our music source.