Nobody likes being that guy on the bus or train who people look at because they can hear you listening to music or playing games with the sound out loud. So the more sensible of us will use a headset to prevent us from looking like a bit of a prick. The problem is some people don’t like having an over-the-ear set because they can often be bulky, and when not in use (if you don’t have a bag) wearing a pair of Beats around your neck makes you look a bit like a pretentious knob. GRDE are a new company to me but were nice enough to send me a sample of their Sport Stereo headset for review and well they certainly impressed more than the last bluetooth sport earphones I tested.
As stated these aren’t going to be the ideal ones for gaming as they are sport earphones, although I have to say they do the job well; they are infact more for the sportier of us who like to go the gym or maybe have a jog around the local park whilst listening to music. Upon first glimpse of them they came nicely packaged in a secure box which had everything packed in tightly. Bringing the headset out it looked a little different from what I saw on Amazon; I was really expecting them to be a little more glossy looking and for the cable joining the ear pieces together to be a little longer. Still it did look stylish and professional, and the sweat proof and splash proof coating make it perfect for jogging, even in the rain. There are also small LEDs which indicate that it is on but not connected (Red) or whether it is on and connected to a device (Blue), these are nice but nothing special. However the flaw in the design for me is the fact you couldn’t disconnect and reconnect the two ear pieces like with the Solememo S530 did leave me a little disappointed as it was one of the best features I have seen of any sport headset.
That said the GRDE headset is the first device I’ve actually used which supported NFC, and I am so grateful it did because it makes connecting your device a lot easier. Now it isn’t hard to switch on your bluetooth, search for devices and pair what you want; but being able to swipe the back of the ear piece across the back of your phone to have the device connect is just brilliant. It’s one of those things that you wouldn’t care about if you never used it, but once you have then you use it all the time, just like when I was introduced to cruise control in my BMW 318i. If you don’t have NFC supported on your device though then don’t worry as my phone and the tablets I tested seemed to pick the headset up pretty quickly and had a strong connection thanks to the CSR 4.0 chip it uses.
When it comes to using the controls the headset is pretty simple to suss out, even without instructions; the left has volume controls whilst the right controls tracks, answers phone calls, powers on, pretty much everything you need it to do which the left doesn’t. But for me the buttons are unbelievably small and I’d have like to see bigger buttons on the main face of the earpiece rather than really thin ones around the edge of it. Still they fit in well with the design and give them a nice silver lining which gives it a nice defining edge along the top of the earpiece. The only issue I had was I didn’t find them a very good fit, so when I went to press buttons the earpiece would fall out unless I held it firmly. I mean it looks a perfect design for the cable to wrap around your ear, and for the most part in use they did the job but it never truly felt secure, although the fear of them falling out wasn’t high as they look pretty durable and could probably take a good knock.
As for the battery, well considering the size of the headset they do a good job. GRDE say that “in standby mode, it can last for 200 hours, 6 hours for music, 8 hours for talking.” I would say this is pretty accurate as a rough guess, although having given the headset to my brother to test while he was out at work, it did last a little longer than 6 hours whilst he was listening to music but died shortly after and needed to be put on a full charge again, which can be done through any USB port thanks to the charge cable it comes with. The full charge time was about a third of it’s battery life, if not just under it, which was quite impressive.
As for the important bit though, the sound quality. It was pretty fantastic when you look at the price range of this headset, it was clear and the transfer of music from phone to headset was smooth and without little disruption or delay. The bass was also quite good but like many smaller earpieces could be a little stronger, nevertheless the impressive bit was sound quality never went tinny and crackled like some cheap headsets do if you listen to it at the highest volume possible. I was impressed with the audio quality of the microphone as well, which apparently had echo cancellation and noise reduction to make it easier for people to hear you. I don’t know the science behind this myself but I do know I never had any complaint from anyone that the background noise was too loud when speaking to them.
Overall for the price you pay this isn’t a bad headset at all. It does the job you need it to do and unlike some of its competitors it never crackled at higher volumes, although I avoid recommending trying it because it can damage your hearing. The hands free feature was great as it was easy to operate, picked up my voice well for others to hear and managed to switch from music to call seamlessly. The design could do with a little rework for me though as I liked the Solememo S530 feature of both earpieces disconnecting which this never had, and I would also like to see some bigger buttons. There was also the case that the wire which is meant to wrap around your ears, didn’t feel secure as it was a bad fit; I may just have an abnormally large head though but I do think it could be a little longer. You can probably grab better for more money but this is worth noticing if you are looking for a headset without splashing out big cash.
Bluetooth Headset Specification:
- 1.Bluetooth Version 4.0
- 2.Support profile: HSP, HFP, A2DP, AVRCP
- 3.MFB(Power on/Power off/Play/Pause); Vol+, Vol-, Previous song, Next song
- 4.Transmission Range(HZ): 2.4GHZ-2.48GHZ
- 5.Transmission distance: 10M
- 7.Charger output : 5V/ 0.5-1.0A
- 8.Charging/ charge completed : LED red/LED blue
- 9.Standby time : 200 hours
- 10.Music time : 6 hours
- 11.Talking time : 8 hours
- 12.Charging time : 2 hours
- Package size: 5.7*4.5*2.0 in
- Package weight：5.4 oz
- Headset size: 1.2*1.1*0.3 in
- Headset weight：0.6 oz
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.