Gear4 BluPhones

Built for wireless music (and hands-free phone calls to boot), the BluPhones are ultra-light Bluetooth headphones that allow you to cut the cord of any A2DP-compatible device.


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In the past year, we've seen a bunch of Bluetooth headsets for mobile phones, along with a handful of wireless headphones that use the A2DP Bluetooth protocol to stream music from an MP3 player. Gear4's BluPhones combine these two products in a surprisingly small package that's compatible with phones, laptops and portable music devices.

Upside
The main thing that impressed us about the BluPhones was the ultra-flexible design. Unlike previous behind-the-head models, the 26-gram BluPhones can be squished into pocket-friendly proportions without the risk of any parts snapping in half. The wire connecting the earpieces is springy and flexible, which also adds to the comfort factor. The headphones also come with two sets of silicone earbuds -- one set burrows right into your ear canal, and the other (for those not fond of close encounters with their own earwax) doesn't delve quite so deeply.

Two tiny silver buttons on one earpiece control volume, while matching keys on the other side allow track skipping and reversal. There is also a microphone built into one side for hands-free phone calls.

The recent proliferation of music-focused, A2DP-enabled mobile phones (such as Nokia's N-series and Sony Ericsson's Walkman line) means it's an optimum time for lightweight Bluetooth headphones to be hitting the market. Until now, there has been little point in investing in wireless stereo headphones for your mobile, due to their high cost, often bulky design, and brief battery life. The flexible, squishable BluPhones, however, are very different from the chunky models that landed on our review desks in 2006, and the price is right at $129.95.

Another recent development that should contribute to the BluPhones' success is the increase in the amount of on-board memory in phones. The updated, music-focused version of Nokia's N91, for example, boasts an 8GB storage capacity -- equivalent to the highest priced iPod Nano. While we are yet to see a battalion of users ditching their MP3 players in favour of music-focused phones, the increased space for tune storage does make defection a more enticing prospect. The main issues are battery drain and interface issues, but these factors have also improved of late.

Downside
If you want to use the BluPhones with your iPod or other non-Bluetooth MP3 player, you'll need to invest in a dongle or transmitter. Depending on the model, this could double your cash outlay, meaning the cost of wireless headphones may approach the cost of the MP3 player you'll be using them with.

Battery life isn't too shabby at around five hours of music or talk time, but there are Bluetooth headphones from Sony that will last 11 hours (according to Sony's own specs, that is).

Outlook
Gear4 is having a bet each way by pitching the BluPhones to both the portable audio and mobile phone markets, and it will be interesting to see whether it pays off. The headphones are certainly good-looking, and the price is much more acceptable than the AU$250 RRPs of previous wireless models.

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Post comment as
 

Jose posted a comment   

While i tried to connect it using kitdata USB adapter the mic is not working but stereo part is ok can u please advice BT adapter supports stereo streaming

michael
7
Rating
 

michael posted a review   

The Good:nice device

The Bad:Little painfull for ears as little things are pretty hard.

Problems using Bluphones with Windows XP?
Michael (12:45:40) : Your comment is awaiting moderation

I got it working after 20 hours.
My Bluphones are now working now on my Leopard System (macbook pro) and on my win XP sp2 as I am using two systems on one machine.
My Bluetooth USB dongle called "Tevion"-USB Dongle ( bought in Ireland in supermarket for 9.99EUR ), Drivers I downloaded using utorrent from google ( WIDCOMM )
Process was a little complicated but got it working. I guess that the reason is that there are no ”universal” drivers available for different BT devices and Windows BT does’t seem to work with A2DP. There is no easy way to get a proper drivers.
-But:
-from the beggining:
-I did :
Go to start > All programs > Control Panel > System > Hardware > Device Manager now get to Bluetooth Devices or Bluetooth Radios ( depence on your system )
and disable Microsoft Bluetooth ( do not uninstall it, just disable it)
Ok,
Now I did downloaded an application called Utorrent ( this application make possible for me to download source of drivers, yes drivers as I still needed to find out which driver will support my Bluetooth Dongle ( but that is not big problem )
There is a package of Drivers called WIDCOMM BLUESOIL COLLECTION 407MB of different versions drivers for BT.
you can get it on google or,

http://tpb.tracker.thepiratebay.org:80/announce

I did try all around 12 different drivers (incl prevoius searching) and no one seems to work ( ok one did see my BT device that was it. Driver kept saying that there is something missing … )

Finally driver: Widcomm 5.0.1.801 start working perfectly.

Just after download all package unzip/unrar a file ( copy it to your desktop - or your location ) and install it. This driver is working with my TEVION Bluetooth Dongle and Bluphones ( on WIN XP SP2 )-over my built in BT ( previously disconnected as Microsoft doesnt seem to work with A2DP) to use my Bluphones on Mac I did not need to use BT Dongle as Mac found Bluphones pretty quickly - Mac .. )

Ok, now after all process you should see a blue icon on your right hand corner bar.
You should also have new Bluetooth location on your system.
Location called My Bluetooth Places.
Anyway this righthand corner BT icon is white until you get your headset paired.

(Pair headset) To do that: you will need follow instructions from headset manuals.

Now you can go to Start > All Programs > Control Panel >Sounds and Audio Devices and you should have a choice under Audio ( it is a field in Sound and Audio Devices Properties )
you choose bluetooth audio.
At this stage you should be able to test your hardware (microphone only for now ) under Voice > Test Hardware
( fields in Sound and Audio Devices Properties )
ok you changed devices to Bluetooth audio simlpy hit apply.

Now you can simply right click on Bluetooth icon in right hand corner and hit “Quick Connect>Headset..”
Alternatively Go to Start>All programs>My Computer> (under Other) right click “My Bluetooth Places” >Gear… (again right click) Connect .

After pairing Bluetooth icon in right corner should change color to green (inside BT logo )

now you should be able to start playing around with your Bluphones and your audio,VOIP.

Good luck.

michael
7
Rating
 

michael posted a review   

The Good:nice device

The Bad:Little painfull for ears as little things are pretty hard.

Problems using Bluphones with Windows XP?
Michael (12:45:40) : Your comment is awaiting moderation

I got it working after 20 hours.
My Bluphones are now working now on my Leopard System (macbook pro) and on my win XP sp2 as I am using two systems on one machine.
My Bluetooth USB dongle called "Tevion"-USB Dongle ( bought in Ireland in supermarket for 9.99EUR ), Drivers I downloaded using utorrent from google ( WIDCOMM )
Process was a little complicated but got it working. I guess that the reason is that there are no ”universal” drivers available for different BT devices and Windows BT does’t seem to work with A2DP. There is no easy way to get a proper drivers.
-But:
-from the beggining:
-I did :
Go to start > All programs > Control Panel > System > Hardware > Device Manager now get to Bluetooth Devices or Bluetooth Radios ( depence on your system )
and disable Microsoft Bluetooth ( do not uninstall it, just disable it)
Ok,
Now I did downloaded an application called Utorrent ( this application make possible for me to download source of drivers, yes drivers as I still needed to find out which driver will support my Bluetooth Dongle ( but that is not big problem )
There is a package of Drivers called WIDCOMM BLUESOIL COLLECTION 407MB of different versions drivers for BT.
you can get it on google or,

http://tpb.tracker.thepiratebay.org:80/announce

I did try all around 12 different drivers (incl prevoius searching) and no one seems to work ( ok one did see my BT device that was it. Driver kept saying that there is something missing … )

Finally driver: Widcomm 5.0.1.801 start working perfectly.

Just after download all package unzip/unrar a file ( copy it to your desktop - or your location ) and install it. This driver is working with my TEVION Bluetooth Dongle and Bluphones ( on WIN XP SP2 )-over my built in BT ( previously disconnected as Microsoft doesnt seem to work with A2DP) to use my Bluphones on Mac I did not need to use BT Dongle as Mac found Bluphones pretty quickly - Mac .. )

Ok, now after all process you should see a blue icon on your right hand corner bar.
You should also have new Bluetooth location on your system.
Location called My Bluetooth Places.
Anyway this righthand corner BT icon is white until you get your headset paired.

(Pair headset) To do that: you will need follow instructions from headset manuals.

Now you can go to Start > All Programs > Control Panel >Sounds and Audio Devices and you should have a choice under Audio ( it is a field in Sound and Audio Devices Properties )
you choose bluetooth audio.
At this stage you should be able to test your hardware (microphone only for now ) under Voice > Test Hardware
( fields in Sound and Audio Devices Properties )
ok you changed devices to Bluetooth audio simlpy hit apply.

Now you can simply right click on Bluetooth icon in right hand corner and hit “Quick Connect>Headset..”
Alternatively Go to Start>All programs>My Computer> (under Other) right click “My Bluetooth Places” >Gear… (again right click) Connect .

After pairing Bluetooth icon in right corner should change color to green (inside BT logo )

now you should be able to start playing around with your Bluphones and your audio,VOIP.

Good luck.

BluPhone
8
Rating
 

BluPhone posted a review   

Awesome headphones, expecially when you can get the from Amazon for £12!

rusty
4
Rating
 

rusty posted a review   

I like the design and i like how it looks. and they feel really hot....




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User Reviews / Comments  Gear4 BluPhones

  • Jose

    Jose

    "While i tried to connect it using kitdata USB adapter the mic is not working but stereo part is ok can u please advice BT adapter supports stereo streaming"

  • michael

    michael

    Rating7

    "Problems using Bluphones with Windows XP?
    Michael (12:45:40) : Your comment is awaiting moderation

    I got it working after 20 hours.
    My Bluphones are now working now o..."

  • michael

    michael

    Rating7

    "Problems using Bluphones with Windows XP?
    Michael (12:45:40) : Your comment is awaiting moderation

    I got it working after 20 hours.
    My Bluphones are now working now o..."

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