Date: September 18th, 2008
Article by: Mike Carter (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Cirago
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PRODUCT PICTORAL AND WALKTHROUGH
Being what the HS-450 is, there's not a whole lot to go over. There are three buttons. One big one in the middle that serves most purposes, such as answering a call, initiating a voice dial, and pairing the headset to the phone of your choice (or computer, MID, or any other Bluetooth enabled device. Not so easily visible are two side buttons, which control volume. Nice touch, as some headsets are finicky about in-call volume settings.
Charging is supplied by a mini-USB jack, nestled under the loop at the end of the headset.
The microphone is nestled beneath a plastic cover that shows the CE and FCC logos. The earpiece itself is held in your ear all by itself, without any external support. There is an “ear band”, but I can't figure out how it's supposed to work.
PRODUCT INSTALLATION AND TESTING
Installation should be painless, quick, and easy to navigate. There is no software required, no brain-pounding install screens, just an easy pairing with the device of your choice.
In this respect, the HS-450 succeeds. For this test, I'm using my favorite Palm Treo 650.
Pairing was effortless, simply hold down the middle (S1 or big key) for six seconds, and the phone detects the headset. Enter the security passcode (1234) and you're on your way. I didn't experience a loss of connection like I did with my current Plantronics ‘set.
Once paired, I did a few test calls, to friends who don't mind being bothered at work for my foibles. Call clarity was excellent on my end, and due to the noise reduction of the headset, clarity on the other end was reported as very good. This honestly surprised me, as the mic is so far away from your mouth. Buttons worked as described, with no hiccups or lag. Volume was good to great, depending on the call I made. I attribute this more to my cell connection than to the headset itself.
My Treo doesn't support voice dial natively, so I was unable to test this function.
How about comfort? It's light, unobtrusive, and stays put. I was able to shake my head around and not dislodge the headset from its perch in my ear.
Now, how about charging? This is where I have a few nitpicks. Charging is accomplished using a mini-USB jack. There's a small rubber cover over the jack, which is not tethered in any way. It's a little tricky to get it out, and a lot tricky to get it put back in. I can imagine most users jettisoning this cover.
The supplied power brick is a unique design, only taking up a single plug on your power strip. Way to go! I was impressed by this at the very start.
The USB cable is a mystery. I assume it is meant to charge up the headset via a USB port, but the slim instruction manual says nothing about it. I haven't tested it yet, but if it is a USB charging cable, the HS-450 will appeal to laptop users.