Ok, I admit it. I have a problem. I am addicted to Bluetooth Stereo Headphones. I just can’t help it. I love music; and being a gadget junkie, anything wireless is just that much better. I’ve already found my favorite all around solution. Motorola’s S305 headphones are lightweight and perfect for use in a wide variety of situations. The one knock against the S305’s though, was the fact that they don’t put out sound that you would expect from a pair of premium headphones. This brings us to my new quest. Find the perfect pair of high-end, audiophile quality Bluetooth Headphones. First on the pedestal are the SBH600’s from Samsung.
Obviously, Samsung is one of the big names in Electronics. Their fingers are in every market from computers to TVs to some of the most popular Windows Mobile devices ever (BlackJack, BlackJack II, Omnia, Jack, Omnia II, etc.). Bluetooth is another one of those areas that they are intimately familiar with. My criteria for this review are going to be based primarily on comfort, sound quality, ease of use and additional premium features. Hit the jump for the full review.
The SBH600’s are of the DJ-style, over the head design. Because of the size and weight, this is a necessity. If I had to describe these headphones in one word it would be luxurious. The ear cups and the head band (at the top of the head anyway) are wrapped in thick leather that is amazingly comfortable and seals the sound in nicely.
After looking at the pictures I was a little concerned with the way that the ear cups were shaped (almost a semi-circle shape). After wearing them for an extended period of time I noticed that this is actually one of the better design features of the headphones. The front edge of the ear cups is fairly straight, and is in line with the headband. This edge sits directly in front of your ear and bears the brunt of the pressure of the headphones gripping your head. The earphones then flex outward to cover your ears. This prevents the pressure from being applied directly to your ears and makes these headphones infinitely more comfortable.
My one word of caution with these headphones is that I would be careful if you have very short hair as the transition from the leather to the plastic on the headband looks like it could be uncomfortable if you don’t have any extra padding on the top of your head.
Um, wow. The ear cups form a very nice seal, which is where great sound from a pair of headphones has to start. Outside sounds are greatly reduced and the bass is stellar.
For those of you that would knock Bluetooth and say that A2DP does not produce the quality of sound that a wired connection does, a 3.5mm port is included so that you can get the best of both worlds. In order to use the wired connection, the headphones actually have to be turned off. This preserves the battery, but prevents you from using the bass boost feature of the headphones. Most people won’t have a problem with this as most music players have some kind of equalizer built in.
Ease of Use
Pairing the headphones with your phone is an exercise in simplicity. The SBH 600’s support both the Bluetooth Stereo and Hands Free profiles. As with most A2DP capable devices AVRCP is also included to allow you to control your music player using the buttons on the headphones. Here is the rub, button placement is atrocious. The call and play/pause buttons are located on the back of the left and right ear cups respectively; but the surface of the headphones is stepped, making it very difficult to find the buttons by feel. Track forward/back and volume controls are located on the bottom edge of the headphones, and are also an exercise in frustration.
As I mentioned, a wired connection is supported and actually works really well. A wall charger is included, but unfortunately it doesn’t use any standard connector. A carrying pouch is also included, helping protect your investment from dust and scratches.
This is a really nice pair of headphones. The sound quality and comfort are near-perfect. I would have preferred a standard connection for the charger, and the button placement leaves a lot to be desired (but it is something that you get used to quickly).
If you’re looking for an amazing pair of headphones that give you the flexibility to use a wired or Bluetooth connection, look no further. Samsung’s SBH600 is premium in every facet, and is well worth the $99.95 that they will cost you at the WMExperts store.