Now that almost all of our smartphones and portable music players have Bluetooth audio streaming capability, the availability of headphones to use this technology has increased significantly. But what happens when you have a brand-new pair of $300 headphones that you love and now you want to make them wireless? Read on to see if this is a solution for you.
Genius has been making keyboards and mice for OEMs such as Microsoft and Logitech for many years but has recently started to branch into mobile accessories. One of the products that caught our attention was the Genius HS-905BT Bluetooth Stereo Headset.
The HS-905BT is a small, portable device that can stream music from most Bluetooth devices and allow the user to plug in any headphones or headset that has a 3.5mm audio plug. The device itself is smaller than a pack of gum or lip balm. Genius includes a set of ear buds with the product, but as with any “free” ear buds they are far from high-quality. Integrated into the device is a microphone so you can use it as a Bluetooth headset for answering calls while you’re listening to your music. There is a clip on the back so you can clip it to your shirt to use the microphone feature. There are several switches and buttons to control tracks and volume as well as a button to answer calls or play/pause music depending on what you’re doing at that moment.
The Bluetooth connection is limited to the usual 10m/33ft range and since you’re streaming music you want to stay well within that range. The rated battery life is 6 hours of playing time. I haven’t gotten that much time before getting that annoying low-battery “chirp” but usually get somewhere between 4-5 hours. Charging is done through a micro-USB port and it can be charged while using it.
I already talked about how this can be used to turn a set of ordinary headphones into Bluetooth wireless headphones. This device is also capable of Bluetooth streaming to any device with a 3.5mm AUX jack. So for those of us that have a car without have Bluetooth connectivity built-in, the HS-905BT allows you to plug an AUX cable into it and stream Bluetooth audio from your phone to your cars stereo. If you mount or clip the HS-905BT to the dash you can even take calls through your car speakers.
The same works with your home stereo or a portable speaker system. If your stereo is across the room or even in a different room then you can plug the HS-905BT in and stream music while keeping your phone in hand so long as you don’t go out of the 30 foot range. This lets you keep control of your music in your hands without having to run back to the stereo to keep changing tracks every few minutes.
Bluetooth will never provide the same audio quality when compared to a hard-wired connection. The compression required to transmit across Bluetooth inherently looses much of the low bass and some of the high frequencies. Having said that, the HS-905BT compares well against other Bluetooth audio devices I’ve used. If you are using a standard set of ear buds or a portable speaker then this device works perfectly and you won’t notice any difference in audio quality. On the other hand if you have a nicer stereo with a subwoofer or an expensive pair of headphones then you will probably notice the loss of the bass at the low-end.
Overall I think this is a great device with many different uses for different people. If you’re not an audiophile and just looking to get into Bluetooth streaming on many different devices then you can’t go wrong with the HS-905BT. The price at the time of writing is about $50 on Amazon and I think you’ll have a difficult time trying to find a device as capable as this one for the price.
- Can play and charge at the same time
- Uses standard micro-USB and 3.5mm AUX connections
- Audio Quality
- Battery Life
t3chniq final verdict: BUY(if you’re not an audiophile)