Official Sony bluetooth headset

This must be one of my most anticipated goodies I got in a while. Not officially launched in South Africa, I imported Sony’s official bluetooth headset for a mere EUR 19,00:

It’s look is both plain and cool at the same time seeing as the Mic Mute button lights up when pressed. In other words, it’s not too flashy that it catches too much attention if you decide to use it with a Bluetooth 2.0 or Bluetooth 1.1 compatible phone. It actually worked a lot better than the headset that came with my new phone.

As an online gamer, however, the headset is downright perfect in mostly every way that counts. First, my PlayStation 3 identified it right away. Some gamers might have to go through a System Update (version 2.50 or later) for the quick automatic pairing as well as the headset status indicator that appears on screen. In no time, you’ll have the headset working to your personal specifications (e.g. volume control and voice level — remember that the pairing-passcode is ‘0000’).

The headset also comes with the USB and a charging cradle that can be propped up on a hard surface so you can use it as a desktop mic that works great with games like Rock Band. One of the headset’s most prominent feature, however, is the circular Mic Mute button that‘s easily accessible. When you want to suddenly cut off communication, simply tap the button and tap it again when you want to continue.

Say you’re in the middle of a Unreal Tournament 3 multiplayer match or playing Saint’s Row 2’s online co-op when your parent/significant other comes into the room and announces something embarrassing like “I know how much you like Jar Jar Binks from Star Wars so I bought you those Jar Jar pajamas you‘ve been wanting so badly.” You would certainly save yourself from some truly awkward moments.

In the headset’s High-Quality mode, you’ll clearly hear the difference. Another plus is that the headset charges rather quickly and can easily be used for up to 8 hours before charging it again. It also has an impressive 300 hours of standby time so you don’t have to charge it frequently when it’s not in use. Just about the only problem with the headset is that it also tends to pick up other people’s voices within its range. While other gamers won’t notice the “extra” voices in the background, those who do will bring it up.

As for features, the headset is packed with them. The High-Quality (HQ) mode, which only works on the PS3, uses the dual microphones to deliver some of the clearest, noise free in-game chat I’ve heard on the console. When chatting with others using the same headset in-game, it sounds nearly as good as a high quality digital phone call. When speaking with friends using other types of headsets the difference is immediately noticeable. The wide-band HQ mode will also be utilized by a number of game features such as voice command as seen in EndWar, voice animation like in LittleBigPlanet and proximity chat which is used heavily in Socom: Confrontation.

Some of these features may work with any headset, but being an official PS3 product, developers will focus on testing, and getting the most out of this specific headset. One of the absolute coolest features is the fact that the PS3 actually displays the connection status, battery charge level and speaker volume level when the headset is being used.

Quickly knowing whether or not the mic is muted, or how much battery is left is almost worth the price of admission alone. Last but not least is the simple and easy pairing of the headset to your PlayStation 3. Wireless pairing is available, but if you want the most out of the headset, a one time USB pairing is needed. After that you will never, ever need to re-pair it to that specific console. Very convenient.

The headset can also be used with pretty much any other Bluetooth-enabled cell phone or audio device, and it works as you would expect with the exception of the HQ mode-specific PS3 features. In terms of compatibility, it supports the Bluetooth 2.0 standard and is compatible with Bluetooth 1.1 and higher devices.