The iPod is cool. Wireless is cool. So why are the Logitech Wireless Headphones for iPod uncool then?
It could have something to do with the fact that they are a rather heavy (only 3.2 ounces but it feels like more), non-adjustable one-size-fits-nobody strap to the back of your head (think Beckham Alice band on backwards) design. Or it could be that they are made of grey plastic.
Oh why oh why oh why? Who was the Einstein at the Logitech design labs who thought "let’s take the really successful ceramic white theme of the iPod and change it to dull as dishwater grey - that will work even better"?
So they look bad and feel uncomfortable if worn for more than a CD worth of music (or one Meatloaf ditty), but is there anything else bad you should be aware of before we get to the good stuff?
Well the claimed range of "as far as 30 feet away without ever missing a beat" is about right, but that isn’t as far as it sounds. We managed to make it from the office to the kitchen OK, but were unable to listen to Handel’s Water Music in the loo without it sounding less digital and more scratched vinyl.
What we’d like to be able to do is go wireless all around the house and down to the bottom of the garden. After all, the wireless network here can send the Internet to a PDA or laptop in all these places, so why can’t the Logitech iPod transmitter thingy do the same to these headphones?
Because the wireless in question is Bluetooth, not Wi-Fi. This is the same technology used to get voices out of the mobile phone in your pocket into the frankly rather stupid looking chunk of plastic balancing on your ear.
So it’s OK if you keep your pod in your pocket, but not if you leave it on the table and wander too far off. And if you have it in your pocket why the need to go wireless, unless you want to look cool, which brings us back to grey plastic once more.
The rechargeable batteries, one in the headset itself and another in the transmitter that attaches to the top of your iPod, do a good job of providing 6 to 8 hours of sound.
The exact time depends on how much you use the fast forward, rewind, skip and pause controls that are built into the right hand side of the headset.
Thankfully the power adaptor can charge both headset and transmitter simultaneously, and in just 2.5 hours from flat. It is yet another thing to carry around if you are going to be away from home for more than a day though.
And talking of added bulk, the Bluetooth transmitter adds an extra inch of height and ounce of weight to your iPod, which needs to be taken into consideration. We will, without doubt, excuse all of this if the sound quality is superb.
But like everything else, Logitech has failed here as well. We weren’t expecting Shure E5C quality because they cost twice as much, yet a pair of E3C sound insulating earphones sound twice as good and cost much the same.
The truth is that you just aren’t getting £100 worth of sound quality, you are paying for the wireless technology.
Not that they are baked bean cans and string awful, if anything the clarity and warmth are better than the standard iPod earphones. It’s just that we kind of hoped for premium sound to accompany the premium price.
If the headphones sounded better and were smaller, lighter, cheaper and whiter they might be worth considering.
You need a serious cord phobia and plenty of spare cash to buy these though.