The Apple iPhone has had Bluetooth capabilities from day one, but for some reason those all knowing, all powerful forces within the friendly confines at 1 Infinite Loop Cupertino, CA, decided that you and I didn’t need A2DP enabled… Yet.
Software version 3.0 changed that, and opened up the wonderful world of Stereo Bluetooth. Convenient? Absolutely! What you gain in the loss of the tether, you lose some sound quality, but depending on what you’re doing, A2DP is pretty damn cool.
After lots of searching for a good headphone solution, I bought a pair of Sony headphones, and I loved them. I only had them for about a week, until my lovely wife decided that she loved them more. I’ve never seen those headphones again. $89.00… Poof.
The stereo in my car is stock Nissan, but it has a AUX in port on the front of the unit. I use this all the time with my iPhone (among other chargers and such) so I was jealous of people with A2DP built in. And then after some research, I found what I was looking for.
Enter the Sony Ericsson HBH-DS205 Stereo Bluetooth Headset.
The bluetooth unit is small. About the size of my little finger, maybe a bit smaller. It has a volume rocker (actually a slider) , on / off button, A microphone, an Action key, and an 1/8″ headphone port. On the bottom, the proprietary Sony Ericsson charging port. Let’s not forget the fancy clip for your shirt!
The unit comes with a pair of headphones, and usually a charger. I say usually, because I purchased this used on eBay, and it came sans charger. I knew this, and picked up an iGo plug and USB iGo cord to charge the unit. Since I purchased this used, no way am I sticking the ear buds in my ears. Hell, it looks like the Geetus had them in…
The unit paired with the iPhone almost instantly. Setting to phone to discover, and holding the power in on the unit for 5 seconds when off, and then entering the code. Simple, and done. I then hooked a 1/8″ to 1/8″ cable from the headphone port of the AUX port on the car stereo, and played a song. It works beautifully. Even putting the iPhone back into my pocket once the song was playing, and the stream never broke once.
Sound quality however suffers. I don’t mean suffering like having to listen to The Geetus fumble on his Bass for hours at a time, but bad enough where I can hear a difference. When I go direct from either the headphone port on the iPhone, or when using a car charger with a line out from the dock, the sound is very crisp, and clean. When using the A2DP, you begins to hear a degrade in quality, similar to a lower bit rate MP3. For somethings, this is more then acceptable. For audiophiles, for just people who enjoy higher quality, this may not do for you.
It says it has telephone answering capabilities as well, and to be honest, I didn’t pick this up for that reason, so I have yet to fully try this feature, and when I do, I’ll add a follow up here.
Bottom line, this unit is great, as it will work with any set of headphones with a standard 1/8″ jack. Also, if you have a AUX port on the car, you can rig it us as I have to use there. Maybe even a stereo in the house… You get the idea. For the price of around $89.00 I can’t really say if this is worth it. You’re still tethered to a degree using headphones. I would suggest doing what I did, and looking on eBay. You can pick it up for less, and even get to a level of affordability that even The Geetus could scrape together.