After accepting an invitation as a guest reviewer at FantastyLiterature.com, I began receiving items to read for future reviews, including three audio books. Audio books have increased appeal to me now (during Spring and early Summer) as I can simultaneously pursue my fitness goals and continue reading. However, I don’t own (nor do I want to own) a portable CD player, so the first thing I do when I receive an audio book is to rip it to MP3 format so I can upload it to my phone.
And about my phone … it makes phone calls well and I can text from it, but other than that, I’m looking forward to moving on to a smarter phone. My current intellectually challenged phone is the Samsung t659 from Tmobile, who are also on my crap list for selling their collective corporate soul to the devil in ATT clothing. Among the myriad items I would change, like a larger clock display, flash for the camera, and larger than 2 GB microSD capacity, the headset that came with the phone, while stereo, cause a nearly instant headache from the pain of placing the ear-buds in my ears for more than five minutes.
And to add insult to injury, the Samsung t659 uses a proprietary headphone jack, so I don’t have the option to use a normal set of headphones. And my older Plantronics Bluetooth headset works great for phone calls, but fails miserably and completely for listening to music or an audio book. So I went on a quest for a set of Bluetooth stereo headphones last week.
I wanted to acquire them prior to a long road trip schedule for a long weekend. With such a short deadline, I found less than a half dozen headphones, with mixed reviews (ranging from just two stars to one with a four star rating), only two of which were available locally through Best Buy. I vainly looked through WalMart’s electronics section, but they only supplied normal one-ear Bluetooth headsets. I ran out of time before I could purchase any headset, so resolved myself to either not listening to the audio book while driving to Table Rock Lake or the excruciating pain provided by my factory-issued Samsung headphones.
During our weekend visit to Branson, my husband and I stopped into a local Best Buy and I impulsively bought the Motorola S10-HD Bluetooth Stereo Headphones. I should have resisted the temptation, especially after reading many of the reviews found on Best Buy’s web site. I have a large head, or at least large compared to the rest of my immediate family, with a circumference of approximately twenty-three inches. According to the instruction booklet (I just can’t bring myself to call it a user’s guide or user’s manual because of it’s tiny size), to wear the headset, you guide them over the top of your head and settle them over year ears (like wearing a pair of glasses backwards). Not only is my head larger, I have very thick hair and on this particular weekend, I had styled it and because of rainy weather, applied enough hairspray to ensure a near impervious hair helmet. It was impossible to follow the instructions as written in the booklet.
I had to expand the headset beyond what I felt comfortable doing, reach behind my head, slip the headset around my neck (like a torque) and then move them up and over my ears. The headset was heavy (probably due to the Bluetooth electronics ‘hovering’ over the nape of my neck), pulled down on my ears and put excessive pressure on my ear canal via the ear buds. All-in-all, not much of an improvement, if any, over the aforementioned OEM headset from Samsung, just a whole lot more expensive. On the drive back home across Missouri in an unseasonably cold May drizzle, I could only listen to my audio book for fifteen or twenty minutes at a time before I had to remove the headset and give my poor ears a break. And how are you supposed to wear sunglasses (see first photo above) with over-the-ear headphones?
I gave the headset another try last night while I walked one of my Rottweilers around the neighborhood. I survived the thirty minute walk with Apollo, but my ears were (and still are) smarting from the uncomfortable fit. I expect more from Motorola, a company I’ve come to trust over the years for their audio equipment. On a scale of one to five stars, I would give this product either a zero or, if that’s not allowed, a one star rating. I will be returning this headset to Best Buy this evening (the one in the Legends, not the one in Branson).