I have become rather spoiled by the number of wireless headphone reviews I’ve been doing lately, as not having a cable connecting my headset to my iPod is definitely a convenience I have learned to enjoy. Just like every other new convenience there are good and bad points to explore however, and whether or not this type solution will appeal to everyone remains to be seen…
Today I am talking a look at a the Saitek Audio A-350 Wireless Headphones, a complete wireless system which allows the user to convert any audio device with a 3.5mm headphone jack into a wireless audio transmitter whose signal is received by the paired headset.
We’ll start this review by taking a look at the headset…
Measuring approximately 13″ long x 4.5″ wide all together, the 1.7 ounce headset is composed of glossy black plastic with red or orange accents depending upon the side being studied.
The headset is designed to fit with the fat “U-shape” behind the wearer’s head, with the curved arms over the wearer’s ear. The earbuds should rest in the bowl of the wearer’s ears when the headset is seated properly.
I can already hear a couple of our readers saying that there is no way one size headset will fit all, and they are right. That’s why Saitek has included a unique sizing method; the curve at the back of the headset is actually a removable piece that can be replaced with a section measuring from 2″ to 3.5″. Of course, if the earbuds are too large to fit in your ear properly, nothing can be done about that.
Included with the headset are supposed to be four replacement ends, mine came with eight – two in each size. There are also two neoprene pads which can be placed on the inside of the headset for a more custom fit, as well as four earbud covers total.
Slots built into each plastic end allow the headset’s body to accept whatever replacement end the user deems most comfortable. The On/Off switch for the headset is located on the rear top side
of the right headset arm.
The jack for the AC adapter is found on the underside of the right arm.
When the battery is being charged, a light will glow behind the red trim on the right side; once the battery is fully charged the light will glow green.
The underside of the left arm has a Line-In jack, which allows the headset to also work in non-wireless mode when necessary. There is a 42″ long 3.5mm patch cable included in the kit for that purpose, and Line-In mode is achieved by pressing and holding the Volume – button for five seconds. The LED will glow blue for two seconds and then switch off to show that the connection has been switched.
The end of the left arm has an orange Volume – button built into the outer edge…
…and the right arm has a Volume + button built in on its outer edge. There are ten different volume settings available.
In addition to the accessories already shown, the A-350 headphones come with an AC adapter, a Y-shaped cable for the AC adapter which allows the charging of the headset and transmitter at
the same time, the 3.5mm patch cable and the wireless transmitter.
In order to carry all of the included accessories, the set comes with a handy zippered hard case measuring approximately 7″ long x 4″ wide x 2″ thick …
…which includes sections for carrying all of the accessories inside.
Charging the batteries inside both the headset and the 2.25″ long x 1′ wide x 0.5″ thick transmitter is only done when both units are switched OFF and plugged in. If the light on the
transmitter is glowing orange – it’s plugged in and turned On; it needs to be switched Off. When the light glows green, the transmitter and headset are fully charged.
It takes approximately two hours to achieve a full charge on both the headset and transmitter, and according to the user’s guide the battery should last for approximately six hours of playing time on one recharge.
To pair the devices, the transmitter’s 3.5mm dongle should be plugged into the audio player and both should be turned on. The headset should also be switched on, while in the meantime the
transmitter will flash red and blue lights as it seeks to pair. A tone will sound in the headset (that is only noticeable if they are being worn) indicating that the headset is seeking to pair, and then a series of tones will sound indicating that the headset and transmitter have mated. As audio streams, the transmitter will flash a slow blue light. The process is pretty fool-proof as there are no passwords to enter or other tricky maneuvers; simply turn the two wireless items on and let them find each other.
The transmitter includes a rubber connector attaches to the base of the 3.5mm jack. There is also a removable Velcro and elastic cord collector for keeping things neat, I really didn’t use either.
After approximately six hours of transmitting, the transmitter will begin to flash a slow red indicating that the battery needs a recharge.
The Saitek A-350 was a bit of an exercise in frustration for me. Everything worked perfectly, I loved the look of the equipment and all of the included accessories, and the sound over the headset was very good. I really didn’t notice any degradation
until I stepped more than ten feet away from the transmitter. But unfortunately the earbuds did not fit my ears comfortably, so there was no way that I could wear the headset for longer than 20 minutes at a time. It wasn’t a matter of the size strap around my head, it was the way that the bud’s felt sitting in the bowl of my ear – almost painful. You know that feeling when you really like
something but nothing you do will make it work for you? Yah…I’m feeling it.
I asked Steve to try the headset on, and he found it to be comfortable enough – so it just depends on the person. I don’t think that the bowls of my ears are freakishly small, but I do have a past history of bad luck with ear buds. If you are able to wear them, then this headset should work well for you.