Turn any pair of headphones into Bluetooth headphones! The Smartbean Bluetooth Wireless Receiver

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There seems to be a plethora of Bluetooth audio products out these days.  I had been interested in wireless headphones but the price has been a huge factor in why I don’t have them.  Battery life is also an issue…when you have a compact device, you are really limited in how long you’ll be grokking tunes.  The Smartbean Bluetooth Wireless Receiver is an excellent compromise.  It’s a 1 3/4″ X 1 1/4″ X 1/3″ block that weighs less than an ounce and can clip onto your clothing with a 3.5mm headphone port and a 6-hour battery life that will connect to your phone via Bluetooth and pump the tunes to your ears.

It has an integrated microphone so you can take calls and controls for volume, pause/play and track forward/back.  It charges via USB.  Save the audio port on your phone and get some more freedom with this very handy gadget.  Available at Thinkgeek.com for $39.99.

Posted in: Audio, Video, TV Gear, Bluetooth Gear, News

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Danny April 15, 2014, 12:20 pm

    Do you notice any sound degradation with this device?

  • Mark Rosengarten April 15, 2014, 1:57 pm

    This is a news item, not a review…though I wouldn’t mind trying these puppies out.

  • Pam T. April 16, 2014, 9:28 am

    Jabra used to make a similar product (Jabra BT3030) that I still use off and on today. It’s nice to be able to use your favorite pair of earbuds, blending the freedom of bluetooth with the comfort of a good headset.

    The Jabra’s sound quality is fine. Not audio-geek fine, but good enough for a run or walking the dogs. I suspect the Smartbean is about the same.

  • Jane P. April 16, 2014, 6:35 pm

    I just placed an order. I’ll let you all know how it works in about 10 days.

  • frank April 17, 2014, 1:31 pm

    you can find more information about the product here. http://www.antecmobileproducts.com/headphones/smartbean-white.html

  • J April 18, 2014, 4:00 pm

    I’ve been looking for something like this… Any other alternatives?

  • Jane P. April 22, 2014, 10:48 pm

    OK folks, I just got the smartbean in the mail today! Processing my order and shipping took only 6 days which is pretty good.

    I bought this to listen to music when exercising and out an about. I have problems using my iPod Touch in the gym and on my stationery bike. I really don’t plan to use it with my phone. But I can experiment and add my phone experience on a future post.

    The package includes the Smartbean devise, a User Guide, and a charging cable.

    The first thing I had to do was charge it. The product comes with a 12 inch USB cable (I think it should be longer … but it works just fine with my charger). Per the User Guide, charging takes up to 2.5 hours. But it was fully charged in less than 1.5 hours.

    The User Guide has complete, easy to understand instructions. But has very, very, very small print (really, smartmean?). They could have put the instructions on a little larger sheet of paper, I mean I started to look for a magnifying glass!

    Regarding the product, it works very well. I had no problem pairing it to my iPod. You can move it quite well between sound tracks. Volume control works OK. Pause works well. I didn’t mind the audio at all. It sounds just as good as when the earplugs are connected directly to the iPod.

    It’s truly nice to put the iPod on my desk and not worry about that “umbilical” cord. I can see it working very well in the gym (no pockets for my iPod!).

    What is interesting is that you can pair this with two bluetooth devices. They call this “multipoint technology”. The User’s guide states that the battery will drain faster when paired to more than one device. But it’s good to know about this capability.

    I haven’t had it long enough to gage battery life.

    Now, for one potential problem: it’s cheaply made. Although the picture shows the device clipped to the waste band on a pair of jeans, it does not open wide enough. I didn’t want to risk breaking it, and ended up clipping it to my jeans pocket. Personally, I’d be surprised if the clip lasts 6 months. There are things Soundbeam can do to make the clip more flexible and stable. Right now, I think the clip will prove to be a big problem for any purchaser.

    Also, there is a central button which you can see in the picture. This is the pause button. On the device I bought, it is not seated properly: it leans over to one side. Another illustration of how cheaply the product is put together.

    One problem with reviewing a new electronic product: you do not know how long it will last. I’ll be sure to post an update, should this product give me trouble over the next few months.

    My recommendation: the price – $40 – is good for what it claims to do. But it is not made well, and buyer beware. If you have a good reason to get something like this (I want a little more freedom in the gym), then go for it!

    @ Julie, My first review …

  • JC FLorida August 13, 2014, 12:15 am

    Received mine today – purchased on groupon for $19.99. I plugged it into my audio port in my vehicle as I do not have Bluetooth in my car. I made a phone call from the car to my home answering machine and you cannot tell the difference between my phone and the Bluetooth in audio quality. The product would be even better if it offered a direct jack/adapter into my car’s audio port instead of having to use a cable – but that’s just a suggestion. Music from my Samsung Galaxy S4 Active worked like a charm. All in all, I am very pleased with my purchase worth the $20!

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