Come this “summer”, iPhone 3.0 — see our walkthrough — will allow iPhone 3G (and perhaps next-generation iPhone users) to enjoy new Bluetooth functionality including stereo headsets, both the A2DP audio and ARCP control protocols. For consumers, the Motorola HT820 Stereo Bluetooth headset (available from our sibling store, WMExperts) may be an option you want to consider come release day. For developers testing using the A2DP/ARCP profiles on the iPhone 3.0 Beta, they might even be something you want to consider now.
Note: This pre-review will not be focusing on iPhone 3.0 functionality, which is currently in closed beta. It will concentrate only on the headset itself. However, for those developers needing an A2DP headset for testing 3.0, it’s our understanding this one works well on multiple units, over multiple carriers.
The HT820 Stereo Bluetooth headphones fit over-the-ear style behind your head. The headphones rest on the top of your ears, not in them. The earpieces are very well padded and provide excellent sound. The two earpieces provide some substantial weight to the headphones and if you are lying down, may not be all that practical. For your convenience the headset comes with a soft carry pouch, Bluetooth drivers for your PC, a Bluetooth receiver (in case you don't have one) and headphone extension cable.
There is the "M" logo that blinks blue when the headset is on and each earpiece has a unique function. The left earpiece is used for making calls and has the volume control buttons (up and down). The right side is for music, skipping tracks, charging USB port and attaching an extra 3.5mm headset.
This headset boasts some really nice functionality; 17 hours of talk, 15 hours of music, 500 hours of standby. This is more than enough to get you through a couple of days of use. In my testing, I was very pleased with the battery life. I am not an audiophile (heck, I listen to everything in 128kbps) so these things sound awesome. I can't attest to this if you are huge audio-junkie. Regardless, they sound better the the headphones that come with the iPhone.
I have never used a stereo Bluetooth headset before and I have to admit I was very impressed. Not only from the wireless freedom they give, but the sound was rather good. The added value of making phone calls was a really nice bonus. The only real issue I have with this headset is the weight. I wear glasses and these headphones rest directly on the top of your ear. The "resting piece" is a solid rubber, but still, after 20 minutes of use, I would notice ear fatigue. I don't attribute this to the headset, but if you wear glasses, this type of headset may not work since it adds more pressure on the top of your ear since it is also competing for space with your glasses' frame. If you don't wear glasses, this headset might work for you. If you do, I recommend the Motorola S9 Stereo Bluetooth headset; check Rene's review for more info.
This headset is great, and I will "suffer" through the minor ear fatigue just to use them. They provide a great value in functionality and sound great.