- sleek styling
- uses standard Sony Ericsson charger
- High price
Sony Ericsson has designed a sleek and stylish headset that manages to be reasonably unobtrusive, despite having a boom microphone. Also, although it's at the heavier end of the range of headsets, its design means its still quite comfortable. It's also one of the highest-priced Bluetooth headsets we've seen.
The HBH-35's battery is used as the ear clip, so that it could be hidden depending on the size of your ears. Because this is also where much of the headset's weight resides, this makes it quite well balanced. The battery rotates so that the headset can be worn on either ear, but this does mean that the volume reduce button will be on top when worn on the left ear.
The volume controls are placed far enough away from the call button to avoid accidental disconnection, and their raised profile makes them easy to find by touch. The call button has a raised spot, although this isn't quite so easy to feel. You'll also find you may have to use a couple of fingers to balance the headset when pressing it to stop it digging into your ear.
An incoming call produces a short bleep initially, then a full ringing sound. A short press on the call button answers the call, while a longer one rejects the call. You can mute the microphone during a call by pressing both volume buttons simultaneously.
You can get an indication of the HBH-35's battery level by holding down both volume buttons. The indicator LED will then flash one to three times as a loose guide to how much life is left. You're supplied with a mains charger for the headset, but if you have a Sony Ericsson phone you can use the same charger for both devices. It plugs directly into the headset itself -- there's no cradle for the HBH-35. You do get a small stick-on dashboard holder for the headset, but you should really have the headset in place before starting to drive, since putting the headset on while driving is dangerous. You also get a belt pouch, which will be of more use to a pedestrian than a driver.
The HBH-35 is a nice headset, but it's priced far higher than the others we've looked at without offering much more in the way of features. If the styling of this headset particularly appeals to you, or you already have a Sony Ericsson phone and only want to travel with the one charger, by all means buy the HBH-35. Otherwise, you can get a headset that's just as good for less money.