Bluetooth technology – basically a low power wire replacement – has been around for 20 years. In the last several years, cell phones have been the primary beneficiary of the tech, as people use Bluetooth headsets to make and take phone calls wirelessly. Now with the near universal use of Android smartphones, iPhones, iPads and tablets of all kinds and flavors, we consume media on the go. We watch movies, TV and listen to music practically everywhere. We want to be able to hear our media better and more comfortably. Enter the wonder of Bluetooth wireless technology like the IAHB33B Bluetooth Headphones from iLive.
Ease of Use
One of the most important aspects of any tech gadget is the ease of use. If it doesn’t work well – or quickly, or preferably both – we’re not going to warmly embrace the technology. As this was my first experience with Bluetooth, I expected things to be more complicated than what I ultimately encountered. I figured there may be complex set-up or codes involved. The iLive IAHB33B Headphones makes Bluetooth use as easy as turning on the device – basically, all which is required. Pressing the power button for 7 seconds puts the device into pairing mode – red and blue indicator lights flash. All that’s then required to hook the device up or pair it together to a smartphone or tablet is turning on your phone, PC or tablet’s Bluetooth. More secure Bluetooth controls may require a password, but one is supplied and is perfectly simple to remember.
I’m using the headphones with a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. They’ve worked flawlessly so far. It only takes holding down the power button, then pressing OK when my tab asks if I want to pair up. It’s not as easy or quick as plugging in wired headphones, but it’s not far behind.
Sound Quality & Battery Life
The box label boasts ‘Studio Sound Quality. ‘ I’m not sure what it means exactly- as in recording studio? I guess so. The sound quality is good on all fronts and with all kinds of media – including voice when using them during a call, watching movies or listening to music. Pop, R&B, rock and other kinds of tracks all sounded clear and rich. Movie soundtracks and dialogue sounded through with vibrantly clarity.
I’ve gotten hours of battery life on a single charge. Supposedly, one should get about 10 hours of performance from each charge, so don’t worry about Jay Z, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus or Lady Gaga fading away to sad silence after a short time.
If ease of use is the most important element to using tech, then how comfortable it is to use – especially for extended periods of time – must be second. Headphones can be a chore to wear after a while. I worked as a directory assistance operator. I know from experience, after nearly 8 hours, you don’t want to be anywhere near headphones – no matter how comfortable they are when putting on at the start of a shift. I wish I had these to wear back then. They’re lightweight, slim and sleek. You have little feeling you’re even wearing anything. Each speaker is nicely padded and swivels, so it’s easy to always find a perfect comfy sweet spot.
iLive iAHB33B Bluetooth Headphones deliver a solid, listening experience for the demanding user or casual audiophile. Priced at about $35 dollars or less, the item balances quality with budget nicely. The product is so easy, comfortable to wear and effective to use it makes me wonder how much longer those old style wired headphones will be around.