Archive for the ‘Gadget’ Category

Sony DRBT101 Stereo Bluetooth Headset

Sony DRBT101 Stereo Bluetooth Headset

My latest and greatest gadget purchase, the Sony DRBT101 Stereo Bluetooth Headset are durable, feature packed, dual pairing, and most important of all, great sounding headphones.  I’m no audiophile but its hard to tell the difference between the sound of a movie/game when wearing this headset and listening from my regular surround sound system.  I’m talking about pulling these things off in the middle of a round of Call of Duty – Modern Warfare 2 fearing that the sound was actually coming from my speaker system rather than the headphones and was waking everyone up.  The explosions are an excellent example of the depth of sound these provide.  I always enjoyed listening to an album on my car or stereo speakers for a while then listening to the same album thru decent quality headphones and hearing all of the new instruments, sound effects, and lyrics that i missed on regular speakers.  The Sony DRBT101 is a perfect example of that same effect but with a wireless capability.  Watching movies and listening through the headphones can dramatically improve the entire movie for me since the sound is more inclusive and full feeling.

Aside from the sound the next best feautre of the DRBT101 is the Bluetooth.  This seems obvious but i’ve gone through a couple pairs of stereo bluetooth headphones and while DRBT101’s are the best sounding of all of them, the others weren’t bad but their downfall was the (lack of) strength in the bluetooth chip.

It can be difficult to determine where the lack of strength originates from in a bluetooth pairing since it can be either end or both ends.  Having multiple devices to connect to, I’ve narrowed any problems i’ve had down to the other end of the connection, not the DRBT101 end.  For example, I have a new tv and being an early adopter/gadget fiend, I found a reasonably priced, top-of-the-line Vizio 42″ 1080P 240Hz Internet Apps (wifi-N built in) LCD TV.  Among the many special features that place this TV a generation ahead of anything else thats out there in its price range, the built-in Bluetooth is one of the most useful.  I’m aware that Bluetooth will soon be releasing the newest version of its technology, Bluetooth 4.0, which will dramatically expand the range of the technology and the data transfer rate.  Whatever the bluetooth version in the Vizio is (i checked but can’t find it anywhere), it is the most powerful version i’ve ever used.  I”ve been all over my house wearing these headphones while connected to the Vizio and i’ve never once had a crackle or skip.  Comparing that experience against when i connect the DRBT101’s to my computer with the $17 USB Bluetooth adapter, I experience skipping and lag at only a few feet and a complete loss of connection at about 30 feet or 10 feet with our thick plaster walls in the way.  This means the connection must be as good in the headset as it is in the TV (and my Droid which also has flawless connectivity at longer ranges than my computer).

In addition to advance range and transfer rates, the DRBT101’s allow for dual pairing which means i can have a stereo audio connection with my TV while simultaneously having a mono audio connection with my phone.  When someone calls, the TV audio pauses until the ringing stops or I answer, then TV audio resumes after I hang up.  Its a liberating feeling compared to using corded headphones all the time and since i can tell if i’m getting a call without seeing my phone, i can leave it in the other room while i watch TV and/or play on my PS3.

One thing to note that is slightly disappointing, these headphones don’t play nice with the PS3, despite both being manufactured by Sony.  The stereo sound works with the PS3 but it will not connect to the microphone at the same time.  The PS3 must not be set up to support stereo bluetooth connections but i’m sure that will change with software updates in the future.  Other than that, I have zero complaints about these headphones.

I first saw these at Target for the steep price of $80 but thanks to Droid awesomeness, I used the Shopper app to scan the bar code and find similar items online.  This lead me to Amazon where i found them priced for $30 + $5 s/h.  I decided to buy them from Target to test them out and when i realized i couldn’t go without them, i ordered them from Amazon.  Once the package came in the mail, i returned the original pair to Target and saved myself $40!

Final Words:  The Sony DRBT101 Stereo Bluetooth Headset is an instant ‘BUY’ and depending on how many devices you have in your home that support stereo bluetooth, i would also say they are a ‘KEEPER’.