SoundID 400 & 510
Sound ID 510 available June 6
Both the SoundID400 & 510 offer UNIQUE functionality: Multi-Point Technology & Environmental Mode. The 510 adds some pizazz with touch sensitive volume controls and a specialty iPhone app (which we have not tested here, at BerryReview central HQ).
- Multi-Point lets users pair the headset to multiple devices at a time.
- Environmental Mode turns the headset into a hearing aid between calls.
- 510: Touch sensitive volume controls.
- 510: iPhone app that should let you find your headset.
SoundID was founded by an ear doctor. Because of that backstory, I was disappointed when the SoundID200 didn’t offer anything that innovative; the SoundID200 was a good but typical Bluetooth headset (http://www.berryreview.com/2009/11/06/review-soundid-200-bluetooth-headset/). The SoundID 400 & 510 finally delivers something more.
Environmental Mode: The overall idea is promising. For those who wear their Bluetooth headsets for extended periods, the time between phone calls leaves them half deaf–blocking the noise from one side almost completely. The SoundID400 solves this problem by capitalizing on it’s founder’s experience; the SoundID400 allows the headset to act as a hearing aid when not facilitating a phone call, freeing up your bluetooth blocked ear and giving you back bi-directional hearing.
Field Test: In my tests with a demo units sent from the company, the 400 & 510 had solid performances and delivered on the promised new functionality. The audio quality is standard on the talking and receiving end, on par with other name brand headset. In Environmental Mode, I was able to hear everything on both my sides. So on my bike ride, it prevented me from getting swiped by something I would otherwise have been unable to hear. But the sound in Environmental Mode is distinctly different from the natural sounds heard with the other naked ear–the pitch was completely different. So while things sounded great to my naked ear, they sounded tingy and manufactured in my bluetoothed year. All in all, some cool functionality, but it will be some time until perfected.
Other Features: Most notable of the other features is the ability to link the headsets up to multiple phones/machines. This is a helpful feature for couples who share tech, or people who use headsets with their computer AND phone. A2DP lets you stream your music to one ear. As mentioned earlier, the 510 has touch sensitive volume controls (which are quite responsive, unlike many other headsets I have tried).
iPhone App: The app supposedly lets you adjust sound settings and gives you a “locate my headset” feature, that makes the headset beep when activated.
Overall: Solid delivery on both standard and innovative features. If you wear headsets for prolonged periods, these headsets offer distinctly unique benefits that differentiate them from their competitors.