With all of the choices that technology gives us, sometimes the differences between one device and another get blurred. This statement is especially true with the proliferation of Bluetooth headsets. Most headsets follow a similar shape and offer similar features, so it can be difficult to discern the pros and cons of a particular product.
The flip side of this argument is that when a manufacturer releases a headset that breaks the mold and brings a new form factor and/or groundbreaking features, it comes as a breath of fresh air to those of us who follow the market closely. I would like to welcome to the world: Samsung’s WEP870. What is it about this headset that sets it apart from a world full of pretenders and lookalikes? Hit the jump to find out.
The idea behind the WEP870 is really cool. Samsung starts with what looks like an ordinary headset. What you don’t see is that the headset supports A2DP, or Bluetooth Stereo. There are two ways you can use the A2DP profile. First, you can simply listen to your music or podcast through a single ear using just the headset. Secondly, you can use the included headphones and lanyard to convert this unassuming headset into a pair of stereo headphones.
I’m going to forgo the suspense and just say that Samsung designed this product well, but it could've been better. In general I’m not a fan of the headphones being attached to a lanyard, as I generally don’t use lanyards. The interface to link the headset to the headphones is a standard microUSB, which is a good start. The headset snaps into place; buttons on either side of the connection allow you to easily separate the two parts.
As far as buttons are concerned, all of the controls are on the headset itself. An on-off switch is preferable to a button in my mind because it is easy to determine if the device is powered on or off. The volume control is also where I prefer it be, on the top of the headset (assuming it is on your right ear). The call button is in its traditional place, on the outside face. The only button that I have an issue with is the call button, as it doesn’t really have much of a feel to it other than a slightly raised phone symbol.
Sound quality out of the stereo earbuds is nothing short of phenomenal. The ear gels provide a nice seal, which enhance the range and quality of the sound by sealing it in. My thought is that the quality if the WEP870 takes a little bit of a hit, but the $79.95 price tag is actually very competitive for a product that provides both the headset and the headphones in one package.
The headset itself is fairly no frills from a hardware perspective. A single ear hook is included and can be flipped around to allow for ambidextrous use. Personally I found the headset to be a little uncomfortable, but may be something you would get used to. One thing that IS cool about the headset is that there is an LCD display that shows you Bluetooth and Battery status at a glance. That may seem like a trivial thing, but it’s a really nice feature to have on any device.
This isn’t the best headset on the market, nor is it the best pair of Bluetooth headphones. The WEB870 does provide a solid product that has its feet firmly planted on both sides of the fence. For the $79.95 that this will set you back, I think it’s definitely worth a look. For folks just getting into the Bluetooth headset market, I would say this is right near the top of the list of headsets that I would recommend. Get yours now at the WMExperts store.