Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Review: Kinivo Bluetooth Headset

My Ericsson MW600 died from the inevitable: it was so small that when it was left in my pocket for a laundry run it was put through the washing machine and didn't survive. Sony promised to honor the warranty, but for whatever reason my MW600 didn't make it to them so I never got a replacement. So it's back to the drawing board and looking for a bigger bluetooth headset that I won't accidentally leave in my pockets.

The Kinivo BTH220 looked a lot like my old beloved SBH-500, so I ordered it. While it looked like the SBH-500, it's actually quite a bit more compact, with swivels built into the earpieces so the whole device collapses down to a small package. The battery life is pretty good --- I have yet to have to charge it more often than once a week (or even every two weeks), and it gets used often enough that I never think about it.

The biggest problem is that it can' pair with more than one device at a time, but in practice, that's not as big a deal as you might imagine, since I pretty much pair it with my phone and leave it that way. Sound quality is decent, but the big problem is with voice. The microphone pickup isn't as well designed as the SBH-500, so if there's any noise at all the other side has a hard time hearing you. I've used the headset a lot for hour long interviews in quiet rooms, and it works great. But outside of those situations don't expect it to perform.

I managed to snag a deal on one of the deal-a-day sites for $20. But even at the full Amazon price of $30, this won't break the bank and so far has lasted long enough that I'd buy another if this one died tomorrow.


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