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This review is from: Sony Ericsson HiFi Bluetooth® Headset MW600, Black (Accessory)
Having been disappointed with a Samsung brand, this is my second attempt in the quest for a Bluetooth Stereo Headset (with FM radio) for my smartphone. The Samsung brand I tried (Samsung HS3000 Bluetooth Stereo Headset - Black) claims to have an FM radio (according to the product description here on Amazon's website) , but when it arrived I found out that the Headset actually doesn't have FM Radio.
The Sony Ericsson Headset MW600 has built-in FM radio as advertised and it really excels at what it does as a Bluetooth Headset. Let me enumerate the good things about this gadget for you.
1) You unpack and you'll find a UK power supply adapter. I've read some reviewers were disappointed by non-UK imports that became apparent with non-UK mains plug. The connector to the Headset is Micro B USB, and happens to be the same as my smartphone's connector, so this doubles as a spare for charging both for the smartphone and the Headset. The 550 mA current rating for this charger covers almost all portable devices. The phone can be charged from a laptop USB, so is this Headset. If you want to charge this Headset from your laptop (say while on travel) you can get yourself a Micro USB B cable such as USB 2.0 A to Micro B Data Cable for Mobile Devices which is low cost and come in different lengths. Good to have a compatible gadget family where interchangeable adapters and cables can be used thereby reducing clutter at home and on travel.
2) I have never come across earphones as close-fitting as this one with this Headset, due to the fact that the rubberised in-ear buds (two extra pairs also supplied as spares) are designed for tight fitting. It is really hard for the earphones to come off (a common nuisance with most earphones). The tight fitting suppresses the ambient noise so much that this could actually be a downside where you have to pay attention to ambient sound as in driving. If on the other hand you are around the home, or walking or cycling in the absence of vehicular traffic and enjoying FM radio or music from your phone, then you just found yourself a good companion!
3) The display is excellent and tells you almost anything you need to know: the radio station tuned to (e.g., as BBC R2, Classic, and so on) and the music being played from your smartphone, or various prompts during setup, etc. (Of course, the music on your device must be properly tagged with meta information (such as song name, artist name, etc.) for the song info to be displayed. Songs purchased online are almost invariably tagged. If copied from CD it is generally down to the software that copied it. If necessary, untagged songs can be manually tagged by such programs as Windows Media Player which is used to play music and video).
4) You can easily pair the Headset to more than one devices and the instruction how to do this is straightforward in the enclosed leaflet. I paired to my smartphone, laptop, and a Bluetooth transmitter for watching bedroom TV at night with its external sound supressed (here is the gadget attached to TV: Motorola Gateway Bundle pack) and I can, at will, switch between these three and the FM radio. So, the headset is in effect a hub for my smartphone (phone calls and music), laptop (Skype calls and music), TV, and FM Radio. It's bliss!
5) If you paired your phone with the Headset, but changed to listening to the Headset's own FM radio, then the phone's Bluetooth communication is still maintained so that your calls will still be directed to the Headset with the radio temporarily suspended. Excellent! If you are connected to another Bluetooth device, the communication to your phone is disconnected (and we shouldn't complain about this, should we?), but you can restore it at will (just press and hold the Play/Pause button and the icons appear corresponding to Radio, Device 1, and Device 2 which you can select by tapping the touch-sensitive volume control bar.
6) I find Call handling with a smartphone quite straightforward. A rapid double click does the last number redial, while a hold for about 2-3 seconds sets the phone into voice command mode, where, assisted by headphone's built-in microphone, you command your phone who to call, etc. (well, it's assumed here that you've trained your phone sufficiently with your voice commands to minimise misunderstanding and hence frustration). The success rate with voice command obviously depends to what extent the phone conforms to the voice command call via Bluetooth interface and not all phones are created equal. I tested with HTC HD7 (here is this phone with my review: HTC HD7 o2 SIM-free,) and calls with voice command work as a charm.
In contrast to the above good points, of course, you're expecting some bad ones, but sorry I only have minor points.
1) [In my opinion] the display should have been the other way round; yes, this is debatable depending on whether you're holding the clip end with your left hand or right hand. Not a major problem though but you'll understand what I mean.
2) The instruction manual is not as explicit as it could be. The touch sensitive volume control bar could be a source of frustration for users who are not as lucky as me to get grips with how it works (personally, I love the touch sensitive volume control!). For instance, press and hold the Play/Pause button the icons representing the radio and paired devices show up. The instruction says 'use the touch volume control to select a device'. This is not as clear as it could be. Actually what works very effectively is TAPPING the volume control. To select the left icon (radio), tap the left end of the volume control bar, for the middle icon - tap middle of volume control bar, and for right icon - right end of the volume control. I haven't gone beyond 3 paired devices but you'll get the idea with more paired devices. Tap, not touch.
I also discovered something that the instruction manual doesn't tell you. How do you choose between paired devices (excluding the radio), say you're multiplexing between two or more Bluetooth phones (for whatever reason). Press and hold the Call button and only the icons for the paired devices will show up and you do the selection by tapping as mentioned above. Yes, you could do the same with the Play/Pause button but holding the Call button is more convenient; with the Play/Pause button, it's hard not to touch the volume bar on the opposite side which sometimes has undesired effect (as the volume control works both for volume and selection). In short, just a mention of the instruction leaflet being economical with some explanations.
Bottom-line: An excellent gadget. But, I ask myself - is this gadget a genuine article? If the iPhone is cloned (confirmed to be the case on the media) then headsets like these are dead easy targets. Just a thought ...
Tracked by 4 customers
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Aug 2012 23:18:25 BDT
WJ Keng says:
Hi - thanks for the tips in your review. I wonder if you could help as I seem to have a strange problem with mine.
I bought my MW600 last week intending to pair it with my iPod nano generation 6. The iPod of course, does not have bluetooth built-in so I bought this cheapish bluetooth adaptor :
The MW600 and the iPod with the BlueNext adaptor paired easily. But when I used the supplied earphones that came with the MW600, I could only get sound from the Left earphone. The right was dead.
I tried with 2 other earphones, including the one that came with the iPod with the same result.
I then tried the earphone that came with my Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc mobile and that worked perfectly fine with music from both sides. The problem is that the cord is very long and the earplugs don't fit as well.
Yet when I use the MW600 supplied earphones with the MW600 alone on radio mode (ie not with my iPod) - I get sound from both sides !
Thinking it was a fault with the MW600, I sent it back to the seller who sent me a new one... with the exact same result!
So now this makes me think that it is a earphone compatibility issue with the Bluetooth pairing which seems somewhat illogical.
I could of course try the setup with yet other earphones and / or bluetooth adaptors for my iPod but I don't really want to spend unnecessarily if the end result is the same.
Have you had any similar problems with your MW600 or would you have any advice/ comments ?
In reply to an earlier post on 5 Aug 2012 05:37:23 BDT
Last edited by the author on 5 Aug 2012 06:46:34 BDT
What you describe has less to do with the MW600 as I've never come across such a problem. My guess is the Bluetooth Stereo Adaptor as it's the link between the source and the player. Saying that, getting it to work with Sony Ericsson Xperia earphone is a bit puzzling as this seem to indicate that the problem is with audio connection??
But, is the Sony Ericsson Xperia earphone the exact same connector as the other earphones (I'm assuming the standard 3.5mm stereo jack).
Here is what I think:
- The Bluetooth adapter sends a single channel instead of the 2 stereo channels (hence why I suspect the Bluetooth adapter);
- You will therefore get one channel only, as you describe in the left ear.
- The Sony Ericsson Xperia audio jack, I suspect, is TRRS type (ground shield, L & R audio, and microphone), rather than the TRS (ground shield and L & R audio on your MW600). Because of incompatible and staggered connections, it may be possible that the L & R audio connections on Sony Ericsson Xperia earphone make contact with the L audio on MW600 hence getting audio on both L (left) and R (right) Sony Ericsson Xperia earphone. In fact, what you're getting is a mono reproduction - the left channel is simply reproduced on both left and right. That is, the incompatible connection between TRS and TRRS connections created an illusion of a working audio connection when in reality the problem just got disguised by mono reproduction via TRRS connection.
This is the only plausible explanation I can give for the problem you describe. I don't think I will come up with a different diagnosis in 10 years.
Hope this helps.
Posted on 20 Sep 2012 10:40:29 BDT
Hi, you sound like you know your stuff so thought i'd ask you a quick question. From reviews it sounds like a great product but i really want caller display on the device as i have a One X and due to its large size i don't want to keep having to fish it out of whatever bag or pocket its in to see who's calling. I've read all the reviews on every page this product shows up on but none mention whether it has it or not. Please tell this has it...
In reply to an earlier post on 20 Sep 2012 11:03:39 BDT
Last edited by the author on 20 Sep 2012 11:10:59 BDT
On my HTC HD7 smartphone it shows the caller number. It means the Bluetooth Hands-free profile is working on mine but cannot say with certainty for One X since I never tested on that phone. If the phone implements the basic Hands-free protocol, it should display the caller number (of course, assuming the number is not blocked), but practice shows not every phone is the same. In all probability, HD7 and One X being from the same manufacturer, the number display should work but you'll understand my reservation.
It would be nice to go a step further and display the contact name for the caller number but this little gadget doesn't display the contact name. Not yet sure if this limitation comes from the Hands-free protocol or the phone connected to (or this headset!); this headset is capable of displaying song tacks without trouble and can't say it's due to display limitation.
I hope this helps.
Posted on 29 Nov 2012 18:57:47 GMT
Hi Kaio, I'm one of the unlucky ones that was sent a Euro model with a 2 pin plug direct from Amazon.
Could you do me a small favour, and check your UK adaptor for a model number, I've called Amazon CS and they will cover the cost of buying a UK charger.
I could of course just buy any generic Micro USB charger but it would be nice to get a hold of the SE one that it comes with, especially as I'm being offered one gratis!
Thanks in advance.
In reply to an earlier post on 29 Nov 2012 20:01:49 GMT
Last edited by the author on 29 Nov 2012 20:09:36 GMT
Sorry Nooster, couldn't locate the UK adapter for this headphone. As I'm using any 5V charger with microUSBs around me (from HTC and Samsung Windows Phones) I don't really have a need for more bulky adapter that comes with this headset. You may also like to consider neat adapters such as this cheap HTC Adapter which also comes with a USB cable. Really neat. Sorry I couldn't be of help with your specific request.
In reply to an earlier post on 30 Nov 2012 02:30:08 GMT
No problem, I think that's the exact same charger a work colleague has for his HTC Sensation, (works fine with the MW600 as you'd expect too).
I've already got two USB chargers, so I might just get a USB to micro USB lead and call it a day. Many thanks for your reply.
Posted on 5 Feb 2013 18:10:11 GMT
Thanks for taking the time to write an in depth review! I think I am sold on this... I was thinking of going for the Nokia BH111, but the display on this is a clincher for me. Only one question... how good is the quality of calls (for you and for the person on the other end?!)...
In reply to an earlier post on 5 Feb 2013 18:39:17 GMT
I never had a problem with call quality, nor anyone complained from receive end. Ultimately the phone contributes to the overall quality but this never showed up as an issue while using it for quite sometime.
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