Samsung is known for innovative, quality, and dependable products. Bang and Olufsen is a Danish company known for excellence in audio design. These two industry leaders have joined forces to create the Samsung WEP 420 Bluetooth Headset ($79.95). The WEP 420 is an impressive looking headset but will how well will it represent its pedigree?
Read on for the Full Review!
Out of the Box
The WEP 420 comes packaged with a very unique charging cradle, a quick start guide and a more in-depth owner’s manual. Measuring 2.2 inches long and .59 inches wide, the satin silver headset weighs in at .42 ounces. The WEP 420 has a fixed mounted ear hook that swivels to accommodate left or right ear carry. I will have to admit that the silver and black finish of the headset is very appealing.
The silver cover of the headset slides to extend the length of the headset about half an inch. In doing so you expose control buttons and the extended cover helps block out unwanted noises from the microphone. Calls can be answered by extending the slide and ended by retracting the slide. To make a call, the slide has to be extended.
The WEP 420 has three buttons that are exposed when the cover is extended. A multi-function button and two volume control buttons. The multi-function button controls answering when the headset cover is extended, redialing the last number, rejecting calls, placing calls on hold, and activating voice dialing (phone dependant feature). To end a call, you must retract the headset cover.
A slim LED light is nestled in between the headset and cover. This discrete light alerts users of functions through a series of flashes. The light is a difficult to see in daylight but is clearly visible otherwise.
The charging cradle is unlike any other charging cradle I have seen. I first thought it was part of the packaging but quickly realized it was an integral part of the WEP 420. Looking more like a book than a charger, the WEP 420 slides into a center slot, connecting with the charger by means of surface contacts on the charger and headset. A wall plug attaches to the book-like charger.
Pairing the WEP 420 with my BlackJack II was uneventful. The WEP 420 has to be put into pairing mode by pressing and holding the call button (starting with the headset turned off) for a few seconds. The small LED light will flash blue and in a matter of seconds, the headset was recognized by the BlackJack II.
The connection between the phone and headset was good with no static or interference experienced. Call quality was equally as good. The microphone had no problem picking up my voice when using a normal tone and volume. Background noise was filtered out good but not as well as other devices such as the Motorola H680.
The headset wore comfortably but felt larger than its size. I don’t know if it’s a case of having tested so many mini-headsets lately but the WEP 420 felt large on my ear. It was more comfortable than the Jabra BT5010 but not as comfortable as the Samsung WEP 410. The headset rode secure and I never had the feeling it was going to fall off my ear.
Samsung reports battery life for the WEP 420 to be 4 hours of talk time and 70 hours of standby time. Four hours of talk time is on the low side, compared to other Bluetooth headsets. Because of the proprietary charging cradle, the recharging options are very limited making monitoring your battery life all the more important. Luckily, when the headset battery falls below 10% of capacity, the LED flashes red and five tones are sounded every twenty seconds.
Sound quality, style and comfort are all assets to the Samsung WEP420. While it’s performance was very good, there was an intangible quality about the headset that made it uncomfortable to use. Personally, I’ve grown accustomed to the mini-headsets and it might be that preference coming through.
Of all the headsets of similar size, the WEP 420 is one of the strongest performers. The sliding cover doesn’t extend the length too much, the controls are easy to navigate through, and as mentioned, call quality is good. I would have preferred a more standard charging method to allow for in-car charging but the design of the charging cradle adds to the uniqueness of this headset.
The Samsung WEP 420 Bluetooth Headset ($79.95) is a good headset and if you prefer a slightly larger headset than a mini-headset such as the Samsung WEP 410 or the Bluetrek Mini, it deserves a long hard look.