The content of this blog is my personal opinion only. Although I am an employee - currently of Imagination Technologies's MIPS group, in the past of other companies such as Intellectual Ventures, Intel, AMD, Motorola, and Gould - I reveal this only so that the reader may account for any possible bias I may have towards my employer's products. The statements I make here in no way represent my employer's position, nor am I authorized to speak on behalf of my employer. In fact, this posting may not even represent my personal opinion, since occasionally I play devil's advocate.

See http://docs.google.com/View?id=dcxddbtr_23cg5thdfj for photo credits.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Bluetoooth Stereo Headphones: Kinivo 240 & 220 neat SoundBot SB20 and Jarv Joggerz BT301

I depend on a headphone/headset/mike in order to participate in phone meetings.

I find that I cannot use earbuds - they hurt my ears, and often cause ear infections.

I prefer on-ear headphones. (Or over-the-ear, or around-the-ear.)

I used mainly to use wired headphones, but I had pretty good luck with a pair of Kinivo BTH240 bluetooth headphones.  When I mislaid them, I decided to do a bit of comparison. I have tried:

Kinivo BTH240 (29.99$ for a "Limited Edition" bright blue set; the set that I purchased in December cost me 24.99$, which seems to be a typical price.)

Kinivo BTH220 (13.99$)

Soundbot SB240 (14.99$)

Jarv Joggerz BT301 (17.99$)

BOTTOM LINE:   the Kinivo headsets 240 are best, mainly because they have a greater range of volume - they can be cranked louder than the Soundbot or the Jarv Joggerz.

The BTH220 differs from the BTH240 mainly in that the 220 uses a mini-USB connector, while the 240 uses a micro-USB connector.  The 220 also has less battery life.

One might think that the Kinivo BTH240 and the SoundBot SB240 would be similar - the common number "240" suggests they use the same silicon.   Physically, I prefer the Soundbot - it is easier to find the buttons to turn volume iup or down, and/or go forward or back on a podcast.   But, more important is that the Kinivo BTH240 can play louder than the Soundbot SB240.

Volume matters to me, because I listen to podscasts played from my phone to these headsets, typically while walking in the woods.  When walking near a moderately loud road, the Kinivo BTH240 volume can be turned up loud enough so that I can hear, while the Soundbot SB240 is drowned out by the road noise.

I do not know if the difference in loudness is due to physical construction, or due to electronics.   I suspect the latter.

The Jarv Joggerz BT301 was a hopeful acquisition:  the Kinivo and SoundBots all have fairly big bars connecting the  earmuffs, which make it difficult to do floor work like stretches and situps.  The Joggerz has a much lighter wire that sits closer to the skin.  Indeed, the Joggerz can be used to do situps: but overall the Joggerz is almost inaudible at my healthclub with its pounding music.  Moreover, the Joggerz controls are much harder to work.

So that's it: the Kinivo BTH240 is my preference, the headset that I try to use in the gym or outside.  The others I keep as backup, at my office, or in my home office.

As for colors: I mainly don't care, but there is some small utility value in having different colors, to make it easier to keep track of which is charged or which belongs in my gymbag.

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