Friday, July 12, 2013

Review: SONY DR-BTN200M Bluetooth Headset

Of late, I have received numerous PR email invitations to review their audio products. Sadly I am unable to accept all their offers because of time constraints, so I have to be picky in selecting the products that I feel have greater appeal to my readers. It was not always about pick the "best" products because then it would be pointless if my readers cannot afford them. When Sony's PR agency announced the new Sony Bluetooth headset, I decided to take in for a review.


Specs:
- Bluetooth 3.0, NFC
- Supports mutiple device pairing
- Over-the-ear 30mm dynamic speakers
- Power, Play/Pause, Next, Previous, Volume Up, Down, Answer Call, NFC On/off.
- Micro USB for charging
- 10 - 24000 Hz
- 40 hours stream time
- Includes soft case

Sony has decades of Bluetooth audio product experience, that is, if you include the Sony Ericsson portfolio. The DR-BTN200M does not completely disappoint in the audio aspect. The Bluetooth connectivity is flawless without any audible compression artifacts. The headphones are tuned for general flat-response listening, which suits me great. The bass is not overpowering and the treble delivers sufficient clarity.

I wasn't that impressed with the plastic build quality, a rare disappointment with Sony. The design and buttons are functional, without any effort to impress. The headphones fit fine on my ears, not too tight nor loose. Noise isolation is practically non-existent as the earpads do not cup over the ears. Oddly, the USB charging with a computer requires a driver installation else it will not charge. However, charging over AC power is fine (the package does not come with AC charger. The USB connector is purely for charging, for there is no USB audio capability.

The headphones come with NFC, which Sony could have omitted to price it cheaper, or perhaps channel the cost to better plastic mould. But I believe the inclusion of NFC is to promote inter-connectivity with the popular Xperia mobile devices. NFC pairing easily works with any NFC-enabled devices, as tested with a Samsung Galaxy S3 and another HTC smartphone. The pairing is fast and fuss-free compared to using the traditional Bluetooth pairing method, which may require the user to be a little bit more tech-savvy.


Retailing at S$178 in Singapore, the price is not exactly competitive for a wireless headset. But on the whole, the DR-BTN200M is a light-weight, well-sounded and functional headphones that doubles as a handsfree for your smartphone so that you can enjoy music without missing a call.

Also available from Amazon.


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