Forum > General discussions > Product reviews > Sony BT Stereo Headset DR-BT101

Author Sony BT Stereo Headset DR-BT101
V640 Black
Joined: Apr 29, 2005
Posts: > 500
From: Auckland, NZ
Posted: 2010-12-19 12:54
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Well, I just bought a pair of Bluetooth Stereo Headphones so though a review might be in order.

Here they are:

Why I chose these:
I've always liked cordless things. Over the years, I've grown to hate the headphones that come with mobile devices, not because of the sound quality - headphones have become quite outstanding in this regard of late - but because of the inevitable way the cables get tangled up. I've never been able to understand why makes BT Stereo headphones with cables. It seems to me to defeat the purpose of being cordless to include cords.

-Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR
-Profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, Headset Profile, Handsfree Profile
-Power Source: DC 3.7v Built-in Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery
-Weight: approx 125g
-Speakers: 30mm dome type, Frequency response: 14 - 24,000Hz
-Microphone: Omni directional, Effective frequency range: 100 - 4,000Hz
-Operating temperature: 0 - 45 degrees C
-Noise suppression and echo cancellation is included.

The headphones are black and blue in colour. The plastic moulding that covers the speakers and the foam that rests against the ears is black. The headband is in three parts - the centre part black while the lower, outer parts slide on both sides to adjust the fitting and are styled in a two piece design with an air gap where the speakers attach. The outer of the two pieces is transparent navy blue plastic. The overall impression is very impressive, futuristic and eye-catching.

The left hand (LH) speaker has no controls on it at all. The RH speaker has a chrome ringed, black power button in the side, ahead of the headband attachment and below it the hole for the microphone. On the top of the speaker (hidden by the headband) is the pairing button. On the side of the speaker, rearwards of the headband, is the button for answering a phone call. On the rear edge of the RH speaker up high is a +/- volume rocker with an indentation in the middle similar to the volume rockers on phones. Below that, in the middle of the rear edge is two LEDs (blue above, red below) that indicate different states - low charge, power on, BT pairing and others. Below these on the rear edge is a multi function switch which slides up to Skip Forward, down to Skip Back, and push in to Play/Stop. The button has small ridges on either end allowing your finger to position itself in the middle and have something to push against. On the bottom edge is a rubber cover for the Mini-USB port. A Mini-USB to USB cable is included for charging. No AC charger is included.

Call Answering button (left) and Power Button & Mic (right):

Pairing button:

Volume Rocker:

Multi function switch:

Mini-USB port:

My W20i Zylo and my GF's C905 both found the headset easily during a BT search. Pairing was simple, using the 0000 passcode. Opening the media player on either phone and playing music through the headphones worked flawlessly. The real test however was to connect to my Vaio notebook (for this test running Vista Home Premium OEM with Sony's extra multimedia software package with seems to work well with all my phones and accessories). The DR-BT101 was found quickly and paired seamlessly. I bought a generic BT adapter for my GF's laptop and the headphones work well with this too.

The DR-BT101 is comfortable to wear and doesn't feel heavy. The speakers sit against your ears and not over them. The tension is comfortable and not too tight. At medium volume some sound can be overheard by people nearby, at high volumes they can listen along quite clearly. The controls take a little bit of getting used to but are not difficult to reach or to operate. Phone calls recieved on the headphones sound clear and are easily understood by the other party. It was not obvious that the microphone being used was not within a phone.

Connecting the USB cable instantly stops the music, turns off the headset and begins the charging cycle. No headphone use is possible through the USB connection. The BT and USB functions cannot operate simultaneously.

I used these headphones while tramping for 1/2hr to a local beach. The headphones were comfortable ans stayed in position fine even when walking over uneven ground. Having got used to the controls I find them simple and intuitive to operate. Connected to my W20i Zylo, I noticed that the music would pause when I wanted to take a photo with the phone and resume automatically when the camera function is ended.

Sound Quality:
I'm no audiophile and I have no specialist equipment to do objective tests with. I just use my ears and filter that against the equipment I've used in the past. Playing the same mp3 track on both C905 and Zylo sounded good but a little tinny making my worry that the speakers may not be up to the job. However, when my Vaio played the YouTube videoclip of Kelly Rowland/David Guetta's Commander at 360p, the speakers produced some simply outstanding sound quality with the music pumping hard at high volume and no distortion or loss of quality at all. Obviously my 2m20s 2.1MB mp3 track has lost some quality during encoding. The fact that this is noticeable shows how finely detailed the sound quality is. These headphones have plenty of bass on dance tracks.

Battery Life:
The battery takes approx 4hrs to charge from empty with the USB cable. So far I haven't managed to discharge it fully during playback nor has my GF while commuting to and from work. I'll post more on this as I use the device more.

Overall Summary:
This is a most enjoyable device to use. It is simple to pair to any phone or laptop and has very good sound. It looks impressive and feels good. My GF has shown this headset to her workmates who were all massively impressed - one even insisted on pairing it to his own phone. I'm sure I shall not regret this purchase.

All photos taken using a C905

Clockwise from left: MBS-200 BT Stereo speaker, Sony DR-BT101 BT Stereo headset, W20i Zylo, HBH-PV705 BT headset.

[ This Message was edited by: carkitter on 2010-12-27 11:05 ]
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