SoundID 200 Wireless Bluetooth Headset (Cobalt Blue) review: SoundID 200 Wireless Bluetooth Headset (Cobalt Blue)
SoundID 200 Wireless Bluetooth Headset (Cobalt Blue)
Sound ID has impressed us in the past with its Bluetooth headsets, such as the Sound ID SM100 and the older SoundFlavors Bluetooth headset. Both impressed us with their great call quality, but even more so with their comfortable ear fit. This is fitting, since Sound ID was founded by an ear doctor from Stanford University. However, as advanced as the SM100 and the SoundFlavors were, they did seem a little expensive. The Sound ID 200, however, is a lot cheaper at $99.99, with much of the same performance as its predecessors.
The Sound ID headsets aren't always known for their aesthetic, but the 200 is a little different, with a slim minimalist appearance that's quite attractive. Measuring 2.1 inches long by 0.6 inch wide by 0.3 inch thick, the Sound ID 200 has a sleek metallic blue covering with only a lone LED dot on the front.
The multifunction call button is on the top, and the volume key is on the left side. Both buttons are very skinny and small, though they are raised above the surface so we could still find them easily. We didn't like that there was only volume button though; this meant we had to toggle through different volume levels to get to the right one. According to Sound ID, you wont need to use the volume key all that much because of the automatic volume adjustment on the headset, but we still would prefer manual adjustment with two volume keys.
On the back of the headset is a rubbery earpiece Sound ID calls their Real Comfort Ear Loop. It's tapered to a narrow point, like a spout, and there's a rubber ear loop that's attached to it for a more secure fit around the folds of the ear. It comes with three different ear loop sizes for a more customized fit. We tried it out, and we have to say it ranks as one of the more comfortable headsets we've tried. There's an over-the-ear hook for additional stability, and the earpiece can be swiveled either to the left or right to fit either ear.
The Sound ID 200 does not have the environmental mode or personalized sound modes of the SM100 (For those two features, you'll have to look for future Sound ID headsets), but it does have dual microphones and a Noise Navigation technology that optimizes speech and reduces wind and background noise.
We paired the Sound ID 200 with the Apple iPhone 3G, and we have to say that call quality was very impressive. Callers said that we came through loud and clear, even though we were walking along a busy sidewalk during rush hour. They did get a bit of wind noise and the background sound wasn't eliminated, but we could still carry on a conversation. We turned off the Noise Navigation feature for a little bit to see if we could tell the difference without it, and there was a lot more environmental noise without the noise cancellation, so it does work.
We also think the automatic volume adjustment works very well--it automatically knew when we were in a quiet office environment versus a noisier outdoor environment, and adjusted the incoming volume appropriately.
Other features of the Sound ID 200 include the normal answering, ending, and rejecting calls, call-waiting support, voice-dial support, call mute, and a battery life indicator. The Sound ID 200 Bluetooth headset has a rated talk time of 6 hours and a standby time of 9 days.