Sony Ericsson Akono HBH-300 Bluetooth headset review

4 out of 5
£70

For

Long battery life, easy to use, comfortable to wear

Against

Buttons should be larger to pick up and drop calls, problems pairing with some phones

Recently announced, the new Sony Ericsson Akono HBH-300 has been described by its manufactures as a true ‘workhorse'. Specifically created with the business market in mind, the HBH-300 is indented for use for extended durations of time, offering flexibility in both the office and car.

The elongated boom has been designed to get the microphone nearer to the users mouth, letting less ambient sound into garble conversations, combine this with noise cancellation technology in the earpiece and overall sound quality is impressive.

The battery life gives a whopping 10 hours talk-time or 300 hours standby and the HBH-300 comes with it's own desk charger, converting to a car charger with the aid of the sticky-mounts provided, if desired. Sadly the adapter to connect into the cigarette lighter (CLA-11) is not included in the box, although shrewd shoppers may be able to find it included in a deal somewhere. The battery is stored in the behind-ear lug, which flips over the boom-arm to swap from left to right side wearing. There's even a lanyard and pen clip to keep the headset out of harms way when not in use. The flashing status-light, down the booms arm, is also a useful indication of when the headset needs a charge.

Pairing the device, via Bluetooth, to my Nokia 6820 was as simple as turning the HBH-300 on and holding the paring button down until the device was located. It must be said that the instruction manual is not the easiest guide to follow so I was grateful for small mercies. Problems occurred when trying to connect to a Nokia 6600, even though Sony Ericsson states that the HBH-300 model supports this particular Nokia, pairing simply refused to take place. This matter may transpire to be more Nokia's fault than Sony Ericsson's though. The ‘pick-up & drop-call' button should be a more pronounced as well, aiding the speed of use.

Verdict

Overall the HBH-300 carries itself well. The design is sensible and the scale is intended to be practical for both placement on ear and use for conversation. The length talk-time between charges is a big plus. I am particularly impressed with the clear status indicator hopefully reducing the chance of the phone conking out between charges.