By Seow Tein Hee
We do know that Bluetooth headsets are aplenty in the market. Having said that, it remains a popular peripheral among mobile phone users. Thus, we've set our sights once more on the Bluetooth realm. To start off, we present another i.Tech offering, the i.Tech Clip Music 801 Bluetooth stereo headset.
Of Wires and Buttons
The Clip Music 801 (as we shall call it) is as simple as one can get for a Bluetooth headset. Much like i.Tech's earlier Clip-D series, the Clip Music 801 comes in a clip form factor. It may be small, but lacks a certain degree of subtlety. The Clip Music 801, from every angle that we tried, appears too stubby and will literally stick out like a sore thumb should you clip it onto your shirt.
The primary controls are situated at the top of the device with the Play button flanked by both the Volume Up and Down buttons respectively. These buttons also perform dual functions, acting as the Call and Forward/Back buttons. Unfortunately, they are stiff and requires a moderate amount of pressure to register an input (this takes time since you'll have to hold the Forward and Back buttons to skip through tracks). Thankfully, the Clip Music 801 comes with a 3.5mm audio jack for your earphones or headphones of choice.
Listening to the Blues
The Clip Music 801, first and foremost, is meant to be a hands-free solution for mobile phones, so how did it perform? Within a moving vehicle, there was hardly any noise for both the caller and the receiver. Walking along a busy street, ambient noises are adequately reduced, though the receiver did catch some unwanted noise from the surroundings.
When it comes to Bluetooth audio streaming, a certain amount of audio signal loss is unavoidable. What really matters is the amount lost. We hooked the Clip Music 801 to a mobile device over-the-air and had a go with a few tracks over a wide pitch range. For users who aren't too picky with audio quality, the Clip Music 801 does manage to deliver an acceptable level of audio clarity. Though adequate, sound delivery is markedly flat and lacked punch.
The Clip Music 801 comes with a few nifty features. The advanced mobile away alert comes in pretty handy as a gentle reminder with a buzzing alarm that the Clip Music 801 is moving beyond its range of 10m from the phone. For users who straddle between two mobile phones, to differentiate between work and personal life for instance, the multipoint function that connects two different devices will be very useful, giving you direct access to both devices at any moment.
If the price is right, will it attract the right crowd? At just under S$100, we certainly think so. For that price, you'll get a Bluetooth headset capable of A2DP profile, giving you the choice of listening to your music with as few wires as possible. Add on the flexibility of connecting to two different devices and you might get a winner with this. The only catch is that the fashion-conscious crowd however would probably find the Clip Music 801 less than elegant for their tastes.