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Review of Bluetooth Headset Samsung HM1600

Sales package:

  • headset
  • charger
  • earpiece caps5
  • User guide

This model is one the possible complements to some of Samsung phone models. As a reminder, the Corby headset pioneered this approach. This gadget cannot be regarded as a breakthrough, but it came to the market at perfect time and completely matches its second half a like named handset. Samsung HM1600 was seen in a Monte ad. So lets look what interesting does it have to offer?

Design

Just one look at the headset is enough to notice its similarity with the Monte: unusual wave-like shape. The device is neither big nor small, neither wide nor narrow the size doesnt cause any negative feelings; everything is very normal. The casing is made of quality plastic; the fascia is rather easily soiled. On the sides are the silver plastic insets covered with lacquer, I doubt it will scratch easily.

If the sides are something worth looking at the fascia is, on contrary, rather boring. One could guess there was an attempt to make it simpler and more practical. Of course, HM 1600 isnt a top of the line accessory, but I wish it would be more interesting. The device is also available in black-and-yellow color scheme - the very color combo we see in the Monte ad.

HM 1600 weighs 10g, typical for a headset.

To sum up, I have to say there is something in HM1600. Speakers podium is made in very unusual manner: a wave-like shape hides behind the unsophisticated fascia. It seems to be calm and classic, but still there is something special in it.

Wearing the Headset

You can wear the headset both with and without ear loop, it is easily removed and its position is changed without any problems. The loop is made of translucent plastic, it is thin and it doesnt chafe anywhere or causes any problems at all. A great idea is the use of narrow speakers podium and a silicon cap. You use a headset, but you feel like wearing headphones. Such approach positively affects not only the ease of use, but the speech transfer quality as well. Due to better noise reduction you hear the person on the other end quite well even if a music center near you is turned on to a maximum volume.

The headset doesnt fly off your ear should you do some rapid movement thus nothing prevents you from using it in a gym or while jogging.

Controls

Nothing to complain about. There is a double Volume rocker, large multi functional button on the front used to answer and end calls, redial the last number and activate voice dialing. It is interesting that power button is now made separate. For those who has no experience with such devices it will greatly simplify the operation. The edge houses a tiny light indicator informing about the remaining charge level. For detailed information about it see the user guide.

The keys are distinct and moderately tight, each press is accompanied by a reassuring click. In a word, everything is good here.

Multipoint

The headset works with two devices simultaneously, but the pairing algorithm is rather unusual. After HM 1600 is paired with the first device you should press and hold Volume + button to activate multipoint. Then you should turn on the Bluetooth on the second device and detect HM1600. After all that done you should pair the first device once again. Simple? In general - yes. The pairing was done successfully. We tested HM1600 with iPhone and Nexus One and finally we managed to make this arrangement work. Unfortunately, after a while we lost the connection with the Nexus for reasons unknown, so we had to pair it once more.

I wont repeat that multipoint is not a must have in a headset. For now, there is not a single headset that made me happy with the way this feature works.

Battery life

According to the manufacturer the headset can work for 7 hours in talk mode and up to 400 hours in standby. MicroUSB slot is covered with flap. You should not lose it or tear it off by some clumsy move. The charger HM 1600 comes with is good, we successfully charged Nexus One and Blackberry with it. Unlike charger included in Jabras sales package everything is normal here. So should you buy the headset you get not one, but two useful accessories.

Phone Connection, Sound Quality

The headset was tested with iPhone 3Gs, Nexus One, Blackberry 9700. With all these devices pairing was performed seamlessly. The supported Bluetooth version is 2.1 (with EDR), real life working distance is about 6 meters (18 feet).

The headset features automatic volume control, noise and echo cancelation system. Lets say I didnt have to raise my voice or do some other unnecessary moves. In the room, where the music is playing softly talking is more than just comfortable. The same is true for a car and street.

Conclusions

The headset has no downfalls, I would call it a representative of so called Main class, when the functionality goes hand in hand with low price. First, lets look at the advantages:

  • pleasant appearance
  • good ergonomics
  • comfortable controls and way of wearing
  • works with two handsets
  • effective noise reduction and automatic volume adjustment

Everything is way too harmonious and too good, which is a negative. I would recommend the company to pay more attention to design as the functionality is already nothing to complain about.

I can absolutely recommend the Samsung HM1600 for purchase. Official pricing is yet unknown, but I believe itll be rather attractive (for such a functional gadget).

Sergey Kuzmin (skuzmin@mobile-review.com)

Published — 06 May 2010

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