Gadgetgasm (next in a very occasional series)

hp.jpgFlipping through a magazine last week I came upon an ad for Logitech’s new wireless headphones for iPods and having long salivated at the thought of being able to cut the cords between my trusty MP3 player and its earbuds while I walk, hike or mountainbike, I begrudgingly shrugged at the pricey $149 tag and ordered me up a pair, which I’ve put through some paces since their arrival.

By no means an audiophile, I can’t give you much detail regarding their output range other than to say the music they’re pushing into my ears sounds good, crisp and clean and nicely balanced between the treble and bass.

The headphones themselves are equipped with integrated controls on the right side that allow you to control the volume, select, play and pause tracks by communicating via Bluetooth with an adapter that plugs into your iPod’s jack. The distance I’ve experienced before the connection starts to break-up is an as-advertised 30 feet, give or take obstacles, corners and such. An included jack extension wire allows you to plug the adapter into older iPods as well as a variety of componentry (CD players, TVs, DVD players) that’s equipped with a 3.5mm plug.

The headphones’ in-action functionality is all good, but there are several disappointing “behind the scenes” aspects. For starters, both the adapter and the phones have to be charged and recharged, meaning yet another AC adapter cord to manage (but at least in this case the cord’s been split so you can charge both at once from the one adapter). Once charged the power-up and power-down sequences requiring you to press and hold the on/off buttons can be a bit trying the first few times and you must always make sure to turn on the headphones first before the adapter, otherwise they have trouble connecting to each other.

Most problematic of all is the design of the headphones themselves. Crafted from a single piece of flexible plastic, they are designed to wrap around the back of the wearer’s head, rather than up high over the crown. Trouble is while the hold on the ears is solid but not overbearing, there’s no expansion or contraction of the headpiece so it’s something of a one-size-fits-all, and in my case they’re one size too big. Though I’m oftened accused of having a big head, with the phones in their most comfortable position over my ears, there’s a sizeable gap between the back of my massive cranium and the headpiece that I wish was a little snugger. And if the user is wearing glasses of any sort, expect interference with the way the arms of the headphone extend back tight above the ears.

I’m sorry for these drawbacks, but not sorry enough to return them. Most likely I will wear them happily until I rationalize making a purchase of a future generation of wireless headphones that will no doubt be more accommodating and flexible in their design and application.

Previous Gadgetgasms are here and here.

6 Replies to “Gadgetgasm (next in a very occasional series)”

  1. Yeah Courtney, I’d bet it won’t be long before other brands are on the market that are better designed and cheaper.

  2. hey – since we’re talking about headphones – here’s a bit of a bleg for advice on decent sports ‘phones. i’m looking for a good pair suitable for running – meaning they should be light, loop over the ears somehow, and not be so noise-blocking that i get run over by other runners or large trucks.

    anyone?

    not having the cord flap around would almost make me buy these bluetoothed jobbers, but i’m too po’ to get ’em.

  3. CD, I’d check out the Engadget site Koga ref’d above and see if they have any suggestions. You might also want to check the Consumer Reports website on the off chance they’ve done a comparison of the type of phones you’re looking for.

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