RIM Blackberry HS500 Bluetooth Headset Review


hs500I know what a lot of you are thinking… “oh great, another Bluetooth ear piece. And I have to be honest, I thought the same thing when I saw this. Boy was I wrong! First of all, it is an actual Research In Motion Blackberry branded device, not some third party off brand. RIM is coming out with alot more branded accessories lately, mainly due to the huge growth the company has had with getting their phones out to the mass market. IMG00067-20091026-1557

The design of this particular device is what some people would call boring. However, I like that better to be honest. Most professionals DO NOT want a Bluetooth device that screams ” HEY LOOK AT ME!” Most would rather have a device that blends in. The HS500 is only available in one color, and that is Black/Grey. Along with the bland color and design, you will also see a lack of volume keys. This is actually my favorite feature. Instead of adding more clutter to this conservative looking device RIM included an automatic volume control feature. Based on the background noise it automatically adjust itself. It does this very well actually. I was at a 3 year old’s birthday party and we all know how noisy those can be. The Automatic volume control canceled out the background noise so I could hear very clear and the person on the other end said that the sound was very crisp and he could barely hear all the screaming kids in the background. Another friend said he couldn’t tell that I had my window down while driving down the highway.IMG00072-20091026-1601

Aside from the Auto volume, this device works like your typical ear piece. On this one it’s the pretty Blackberry logo that is your call button. The call button will do all of your normal functions, from answer, end, mute, and voice dialing. There are a few press combinations that you will have to learn but they are very simple. For example it would be one quick press to answer, two quick presses for mute and swap calls and so on. The only other button on the HS500 is the power switch, which is hidden along the bottom of the device. The talk time on this thing was actually very good. I got just under 5 hours of talk time before it totally died, and it only took about 2 hours to fully charge. Another nice thing about this device is the fact that it works with selected third party GPS mapping applications to allow you to listen to your turn-by-turn directions without annoying everyone else in the car. Another nice feature about the HS500 is the fact that it is stereo, which allows you to listen to your music and video through the ear piece. I know a lot of other do not allow that to happen.IMG00058-20091026-1550_1

Yet another great feature is there is no constant LED flashing to let people know how cool you are! 🙂 The only time the LED blinks is when it is being paired to another device or when it is charging. Again most people don’t want the flash they only want the function.IMG00060-20091026-1551_1

The HS500 comes with a few things you may need. First it comes with 2 behind the ear wraps, and 4 different size earbud speaker covers. Most people will be able to use it right out of the box though. It also comes with a micro USB car charger. No home charger, which I thought was strange. However, it is very cool that you can use the included car charger for your phone as well (considering most new models are coming with the micro USB port). And of course you also get your owners manuals as well (which are in 5 different languages).IMG00062-20091026-1553

Overall, I personally love this thing. It fits in the ear very comfortably. Anyone who is a die hard Blackberry fan (such as myself), this is a must have. You will not be let down by the HS500. Now if you are looking for fashion over function, then the HS500 may not be for you. But like I said before, who wants a giant LED flashing, florescent green ear piece? If you are looking for a device with superior sound quality then the HS500 may not fit your needs either. Personally I feel the sound quality is perfectly fine. It is better than most other ear pieces I have used, but not by a huge margin. Still very clear and crisp and without a doubt the HS500 is more than good enough for anyone looking for a new ear piece. The HS500 is a worthy addition to RIM’s accessory line-up. Blackberry fans will be pleased with the form factor, which matches the design and styling of most of their latest handsets. The HS500 is easy to use and extremely functional, with above average sound quality and a cool feature that allows you to stream music from other stereo Bluetooth equipped gadgets.IMG00054-20091026-1546

At only $79.99 the HS500 is a definite must have, especially for the Blackberry purist. Head over to www.shopblackberry.com to pick one up. You will not be disappointed and it is well worth the money. You are getting a top level device at a mid level price. If you search hard enough you may even be able to find it for a bit less.

Posted in: Bluetooth Gear, Miscellaneous
{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Al Sacco October 26, 2009, 11:09 am

    Hmmmm. Those images look familiar….

    How about at least linking to the site you stole them from? I took those images…..



  • Frank October 26, 2009, 11:32 am

    Thanks for the review. But, which specific 3rd-party GPS software does it work with? I can’t find any statement at all on the BB site for this product…it’s not in the manual that they had posted unless I just missed it. Could you elaborate?

  • Daniel T October 26, 2009, 1:23 pm

    Looks just like a rebranded Jabra BT530 if you as me … down to the exact location of the On/Off dedicated switch, ear loop etc.

  • Adam Scinto October 26, 2009, 2:51 pm

    How does stereo work with this, I only see one ear piece

  • Julie October 26, 2009, 4:43 pm

    @Al Sacco We apologize, the images have been removed. Andy will be replacing them with original images asap.

  • James December 23, 2010, 3:12 pm

    I like the HS 500 bluetooth headset. Sound quality is good, easy to stream MP3 music from my Blackberry Storm.

    There seems to be an issue with the quality of the on/off switch. I had to exchange mine for another one because it would not turn off and drained its’ own battery as a result. I have read online that some others report this issue as well.

  • James April 26, 2011, 4:59 am

    I have had the HS 500 for four months now. It is excellent for use with my Blackberry Storm, good sound, great ease of use, always handshakes well with the Storm. There is an issue with the plastic ear holder (that wraps around your ear to hold the unit in place). It is removable so you can switch the unit from right ear to left ear. On mine, the ear holder became loose due to oils from the skin. I solved this problem by putting a dab of silicone on the bottom so the ear piece would not fall off. RIM should include a little rubber cap for the bottom of the wire ear holder to prevent it from falling off.

  • Diego June 17, 2011, 7:26 pm

    Thanks James, that’s very helpful.
    And thank you guys, of course, for the review

  • muzammal January 2, 2013, 6:01 am

    i am using hs500 for more than a year and i found it very comfortable to us ewhile drive and moreover it connects both to 2 devices simultaneously that makes it distinguished and helping to communicate and in touch with everyone while on the go.but i got some problem with my device as it was stolen and that person kept it on for more than a week.its behind the ear loop is also broken and ot is not funtioning now.only green charging light is on when charger is connected and it blinks for sometime then gives 3 blinks when it shows 75% charging.then it stop blinking and gren light still on as if it is fully charged.thank God i got it back but now it is of no use.can any one help how to get i repaired or where i can get new one and orignal one. in pakistan .thank you

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