When you think of RIM products you think of their BlackBerry phones. While at CTIA a couple of months ago, I learned that there are also several BlackBerry branded accessories designed to work with your RIM BlackBerry devices. I had the chance to chat with a product manager for a few audio accessories and am really looking forward to seeing the BlackBerry Bluetooth Visor Mount Speakerphone. In the meantime, I was sent a BlackBerry Premium Multimedia Headset to test out with a Curve 8900. This headset allows you to both listen to tunes and hold calls with your BlackBerry. Check out some product photos in my image gallery.
|Image Gallery:Check out product photos of the BlackBerry Premium Multimedia Headset working with the Curve 8900.|
There is a long cord (approximately 3.5 feet) where the wires are covered in soft rubber that keeps it from tangling up so easily. About 5 inches down from the earbud on the left side you will find the phone mic piece where the cable passes through. The right side earbud has a red band around it so you can easily identify it as the right side.
Down the cable just over a foot is the piece that brings the two separate right and left sides together into a single thicker cable. Just below this is an adjustable clip to secure your headset to your shirt or coat and keep it from flapping around.
The headset controller unit is then found below the adjustable clip. This controller unit lets you skip forward and backward, play/pause your music, and control the volume level. Unfortunately, you cannot move forward or backward within a song with the controllers and still have to use the trackball to perform these actions. The controller is designed to work only with the default media player and has no control over any streaming music client (like Slacker) that you may use on your BlackBerry device.
Performance: The documentation states that you can answer, mute, and end phone calls using the controller, but I was only able to answer and then mute calls using the center play/pause button. I couldn't find any way to end calls using the controller. A single press of the play/pause button activates voice dialing prior to any call. For incoming calls a single press answers the call. During a call a single press of play/pause mutes your voice and a press and hold hangs up the call.
The capability to use the headset with the controller requires that your BlackBerry devices have OS 4.6 or newer. Currently, these supported devices are the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220, BlackBerry Bold 9000, BlackBerry Curve 8900, and Storm 9500/9530.
The headset sounded good and was what you would expect from a $90 set of headphones. My $250 Ultimate Ears obviously sounded much better in comparison, but that is why they cost so much more. If you are looking for a headset to enjoy music and also control your calls, then this looks like a decent choice.
The carrying pouch is quite durable and easily holds the headset and earbuds in place. The case does not really deform at all when you squeeze it and provides excellent protection for the earbuds. It actually ends up being about the size of the Curve 8900.
Price: The BlackBerry Premium Multimedia headset is available now for $89.99. The optional carrying pouch is $19.99.