It is hard to go anywhere these days without seeing someone with a gadget attached to the side of their face. As society demands more convenient ways to converse with one another, the use of wireless technology will only grow. Having a well designed Bluetooth headset is imperative these days, and Cardo’s S-800 model is sure to please.
I have used a number of different Bluetooth headsets over the years, ranging from terrible to fantastic, and I must say that this S-800 model is definitely in the later category. Combining a bunch of useful features into one unit, Cardo has crafted a headset that anyone can use, from both the die hard Bluetooth user to the occasional “I’ll use it when I’m driving” user all with a decent price point.
As with any other product on planet Earth, first impressions are critical. Upon first glance, anyone can see that this product has been developed with sophisticated design in mind. The sleek black and silver packaging and overall squared design of the unit makes it look like something out of the future. Because the unit’s packaging is basically a tall, thin rectangular box, all accessories must fit in the unique shape, including the instruction manual. While the instruction manual is well written, I do not totally agree with its overall design. The very long layout of the pages makes holding and turning the pages a little more difficult than it should be. But at the same time, this unique page layout fits with the unit’s overall sophisticated theme.
This box is filled with extra goodies to complete your headset experience. Besides the headset itself, an Ear-loop, a lanyard, a 110-220V Universal Travel Charger, a USB cable (to charge from a computer), and all the typical paperwork are included with the purchase of this item. Everything you will ever need from a Bluetooth headset is included; nothing extra will need to be purchased.
The headset itself sports a sleek/sexy design. Revolving around one big Control Button, this unit is easy to use while still offering some pretty sweet features. Pairing the unit is simple, easy, and effective while the unit boasts a long battery life. With a stand by battery life of one week and a talk time of 8 hours, hardcore users should be able to get a solid couple days use on a single charge. And the user has the option to charge the headset via wall outlet AC adapter or through a computer’s USB drive. My only complaint is I wish that the AC charger used a foldable design like a Nintendo DS charger. Having the power plugs always sticking out slightly decreases the portability and durability of the unit.
The biggest button on the unit is the major Control Button while the Power Button is the smallest. Unfortunately, I wish the power button was either a little bigger, or was slightly bumped out from the rest of the unit’s profile. Holding down this tiny button requires a strong finger nail instead of simple, typical finger use. But this is minor complaint as compared to the unit’s wearable design. Unfortunately, there is absolutely no way to wear this thing in your ear without the bundled ear loop accessory. The ear piece itself is comfortable, but because it is a bigger shape, the headset will constantly fall out of your ear. However, the ear loop attachment completely alleviates this flaw. And going back to first impressions, I was very hesitant to use this ear loop. Almost looking like a bent paper clip, this ear loop can easily be mistaken for a Mid-Evil torture device. Putting my fear behind me, I can honestly say that this is one of the most comfortable ear loops I have ever worn. In this case, looks are very deceiving. I’ve worn this ear loop attachment for hours and forgot I was wearing it, even with my glasses on.
This headset is loaded with neat features, all useable through three buttons: the hot dial/power button, the big control button, and the multi-function wheel. Besides the usual call-back and call reject functionality, this unit also uses SWAP technology, allowing the user to switch between two mobile phones. This feature is especially useful for users like me who use both a personal cell phone and a work mobile Blackberry device. These features alone will eliminate the “which phone is ringing” question.
Another unique feature that this unit supports is a location buzzer. Being that Bluetooth headsets are usually quite small in size, they can be easy to misplace. The feature brings a sense of security to forgetful users.
Other features include an auto-answer option, a missed call indicator, conference call option, toggling between two calls, button lock, multi colored status light, mute option, battery status indicator, and supports both the left and right ear. To sum up, this headset can do a lot.
Besides looking cool and having a lot of features, the one other major aspect of any Bluetooth headset is call quality. Being able to listen and speak clearly is an absolute must. Unfortunately, this is my biggest problem about this product. No matter which volume level I talked at, there was always constant buzz/static sound in my ear. I was still able to hear every word spoken, and listeners were able to hear me, but there is this ever present buzz that actually started to give me a headache with an hour long phone conversation. This slight buzz sound was also confirmed on the receiving end as well. This buzz/hum noise is not overpowering, it is just that it is always there, constantly in your ear, unlike my slightly more expensive Plantronics headset. If it was not for this downfall, this Cardo S-800 headset would have been my headset of choice.
Without question this Cardo S-800 series is a well designed piece of equipment. With a price tag of about $84.99, you get a lot of bang for your buck. Loaded with features, this Cardo headset not only looks great, but also performs well…minus the slight constant buzzing background noise whenever a call is made. It sucks that you must use the ear loop to keep this thing in your ear, but it is so comfortable, users will not mind at all. If you are looking for a headset under $100, this Cardo would be a great purchase decision. But if you are looking to spend a little more, I would have to recommend a higher end Plantronics model just because their call quality is better (no static noise).
– Probably will not be able to use without attaching ear loop accessory
– Constant background static/buzz noise whenever call is made
– Strange instruction booklet layout
– Small power button – need strong fingernail to use
– AC adapter should have supported a flip out design
– Many Neat Features
– Looks like a sophisticated headset
– Talking and listening sound decent if you can put up with the constant buzz
– Get a lot of features for the cost of unit
– Long battery life
– Bundled with many accessories including a standard AC charger and USB cable
– Very small and very light weight.
Visit http://www.cardowireless.com/home for more.