I guess it’s my turn to review a Bluetooth headphone. There’s a bunch out there and we’ve looked at several of them at The Gadgeteer. I’m not an audiophile, but I can tell the difference between good and bad sound for the music I enjoy, so I’ll share my experience with the 808.For the most part, I consume music by listening on the iPad mini using a noise cancelling headphone. However, recently the headphone’s ear-cups have disintegrated and I thought it might be a good time to go wireless. Also, the 808 has the option of connecting by cable.
Features and Specs:
- Enjoy studio quality sounding headphones wirelessly with Bluetooth® or go wired
- Flex Fit™ suspension design for superior noise isolation and comfort
- Integrated mic for hands-free calls via Bluetooth or cloth cable with mic
- Bluetooth AVCRP controls built in ear cup for track, volume, and call answer/end
- Frequency Response : 20Hz – 18kHz +/- 5dB relative to 1kHz
- Dimensions : 7.5 inches
- Weight : 0.5 lbs
- Sensitivity : 108dB @ 1kHz, 1mW
In the box you’ll find the headphones, a cloth covered cable for wired operation and a USB to microUSB cable to charge the internal battery.
On the bottom of the right side ear piece is the on/off button, indicator LED and the USB charging port. The LED displays red when charging and is supposed to turn blue when full charged. This didn’t happen for me. It just turned off when it was fully charged. In Bluetooth operation the LED indicates when it is in pairing mode and when connected. This worked as stated.
Nothing exciting on the bottom of the left side ear piece, but the jack for the wired mode cable.
The cable has switch for the control of the music and phone calls, plus a microphone for calls.
On the right ear cup are the music and phone controls used when in Bluetooth mode. In the above photo you can also see how the ear cups are suspended from the headband. This seems to make the headphones more flexible and they conformed to my head better than any other headphones I’ve had.
Here’s a feature that might come in handy if you’re an aspiring DJ or drive a vehicle in a State where it’s illegal to cover both ears when driving. Either ear cup can be rotated 90 degrees, allowing you to keep one ear uncovered.
I’ve been using the headphones for several weeks, as a phone input/output device and for music and sound from the phone, iPad mini and from my desktop PC.
The overall quality of the unit is good. The headband is spring steel and the padding on the ear cups is thin leather. These are over the ear headphones and I would have expected superior noise isolation because of this. In fact, I found it to be worse than my cheap on the ear headphones. This may be because of the holes in the ear cups which provide the anchor points for the suspension cables. As I sit here in front of my PC, I can hear the desktop fan and the TV downstairs.
When using the unit in wired mode, I was able to use the cable’s built in switch to answer phone calls and go back and forth between tracks. Incoming calls ring in the headset and pause the current playing track. Clicking the switch on the cable answers and when done another click terminates the call. The parties on the other end of the phone call told me the voice quality was fine, suggesting that the cable’s built-in microphone was up to the task.
Of course, the advantage of this unit is the ability to connect wirelessly. In order to do that, step one is to remove the cable, because Bluetooth won’t work with anything plugged into the cable port. Using my Moto G v1 cellphone I attempted to pair the 808 with the phone. After several unsuccessful attempts, I remembered having problems with Bluetooth devices using my phone and the hybrid calling provider I subscribe to. This turned out to be interference between the WiFi and Bluetooth signals in the phone. The fix is to turn off WiFi on the phone and then I could make the Bluetooth connection. I was able to receive calls on the Moto G over cellular. When a call comes in you hear in the headset an announcement about an incoming call. Pressing the 808 logo connects the caller and pressing it again will terminate the call. The calling parties told me my voice was loud and clear coming from the microphone built into the headset.
Listening to music via Bluetooth on the headphones was pleasant and the sound quality wasn’t any different than when using the cable with one exception. I listened to music from my iPad and phone in a remote area of my house and had no problems, however, when I sat at my desktop I would get occasional drop outs of the track. I think this may be due to interference between my WiFi router, which is 3 feet from my desktop, and the headphones. Both of these devices operate on the 2.4 Ghz band and are known affect each other.
It’s a shame I can’t use the headphones in Bluetooth mode with my phone. I need the phone WiFi enabled in order to make calls when there is no cell service. My situation is probably not unique and any Android phone users subscribing to a hybrid cell service provider will probably encounter the same problem and may wish to avoid this device. You may have better results with an iPhone. An internet search lists many complaints about interference under Android, but few using iOS.
Previously, I’d been using an active noise canceling headset and may have become spoiled. The 808 didn’t seem to provide much ambient noise reduction and the inability to use it wirelessly with my phone is a negative.