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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Imation Bluetooth Stereo Headset BSH-220 Review



It seems that every modern gadget today uses Bluetooth. Your phone, tablet, home theater and even your car radio have it. But what if your old favorite pair of headphones and perhaps your home Boombox doesn’t support it? Imation may have the solution for you. It’s called a Bluetooth audio or music adapter.  It essentially gives Bluetooth support to any headphones or actually just anything with an AUX IN jack allowing you to stream music wirelessly. I’ve been searching for one of these gadgets for quite some time and I was hoping CDR-King would have it. Unfortunately they don’t, or at least none that I could find.  Locally, I found the Imation BSH-220 (Php 1,350) and the Genius BT-100R Bluetooth Music Receiver (Php 1,250). Let’s list down the specs and see if I made the right decision.

Specs:

- Imation Bluetooth Stereo Headset BSH-220
- Bluetooth Specification v2.1+EDR class 2
- 3 Button design: MFB,VOL+,VOL-
- Rechargeable 90 mAh Li-Polymer Battery
- Nominal charging time: Max 1.5 hours
- Talk time: Up to 4 hours
- Standby time: Up to 90 hours
- Frequency Response: 20 Hz - 20 KHz,94dB SNR stereo DAC playback
- Radio Performance: Receive Sensitivity of -88m,TX Power Max 4dBm
- RF Frequency Range: 2.402-2.480GHZ, 2.4G ISM band
- Supports Bluetooth Headset and Handsfree ProfileHFP 1.5
- The latest version of A2DP1.2 and AVRCP1.0 profiles support



Performance

One of the reasons I need a Bluetooth adapter is to "cut the cord" during running and working out while still being able to use my old earphones. The size and design was the deciding factor in choosing the Imation over the Genius. I wanted something small and light that I could clip to my shorts or shirt. I also wanted the ability to answer calls and control the music, a feature that is missing on the Genius. Pairing with my Galaxy Note 3 was pretty straightforward. Streaming music quality is actually quite good. However, you'll want to ditch the included earphones. Plugging in my "higher" quality headphones really made a difference, so I suggest you do the same. The volume up and down also doubles as the forward and back controls for skipping tracks simply by doing a long press of the button. Battery life is rated at about 4 hours. So far I've used it for about 3 hours straight with still some battery power left.




Verdict

Overall, I'm pretty happy with my purchase. It's a simple and relatively cheap solution to add wireless music streaming to non-Bluetooth devices. A couple of issues, though: It doesn't use micro USB power charging cable which makes me scared that I might lose the included proprietary charging cable; secondly, the battery life is only 4 hours. While it may be fine for the casual workout it's not enough for let's say, a long haul flight.  I would still suggest you look at the Genius BT-100R especially if you plan to use it at home. But for mobile use, the Imation might be your best bet.

The Good:

- Design and size
- Works as advertised
- Easy to pair

The Bad

- Non-standard power charging cable
- Included earphones are not very good

- Battery life is only 4 hours

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