As our BlackBerrys get more functionality we can do just about anything with them. As the bar is raised and raised we begin to demand more, not just from the BlackBerry, but from the accessories we purchase for it.
Since many of us now use our BlackBerry to listen to our music library as well as watch videos, we are looking for a good combination headset/microphone to enhance the experience. While there are certainly some Bluetooth options out there (check out our reviews) the reality is that the combination of very large size and limited battery life makes Bluetooth stereo headsets still a work in progress.
The Maximo HS2 offers a nice solution for quality listening of music and videos with the practicality of having a microphone built in when you need to interrupt your relaxation time with a phone call. The combination of features, price and style might just make this a “winning” combination for us all.
About Maximo: (from the Maximo Web site)
Maximo Products LLC, headquartered in Vancouver Washington, is a developer and marketer of consumer-electronic products and accessories. Maximo Products leverages its strength in innovative product marketing and its commitment to quality services.
Maximo Products’ vision is to provide the smartest and most sensible solutions through its continuous product innovation, limitless imagination, and obsession to become the most effective marketer in the world of consumer electronics.
The Maximo in the Package
Stats and Specs on the HS2
iP-HS2 iMetal® Isolation Headset For iPhone® and Multimedia Phone with 3.5mm connection. The iP-HS2 iMetal Isolation Headset is an iPhone®-compatible headset designed to provide premium quality with style. A perfect headset upgrade for your iPhone® or multimedia phone using a 3.5mm headset jack. Featuring lightweight alloy metal body, high-fidelity isolation earphones, high-definition condenser mic, and soft-touch button for phone call and music controls. MSRP $69.99.
Lightweight aluminum alloy body
High-fidelity isolation earphones
High-definition condenser mic
Soft-touch button for call answer/end and song pause/skip
3 pairs/sizes (L,M,S) of eartips
iPhone-compatible stereo headset plug
2-ft extension cable
Earphone drivers: 9mm neodymium
Frequency response: 18Hz-22KHz
Sensitivity (1KHz, 0.1V): >100dB
Maximum SPL output :>120dB
Microphone sensitivity: 44dB +/-3 dB@1KHz
Microphone Frequency response: 20Hz-16KHz
Microphone impedance: 2.2K Ohm
Signal-to-noise ratio: > 58dB
Headset cable length: 4 feet
Extension cable length: 2 feet
Connection: 3.5mm with stereo audio & mono mic
The Maximo headset is a very sleek design. It is called “iMetal” for a reason; the housing is all metal (think V-Moda Vibe.) My test unit was a polished silver metal color with a brushed finish close to the earpiece.
The Maximo is a simple ear bud style that is very easy to insert and take out of the ear without going horribly deep into the ear canal. Several different sizes of ear tips are included to give the user a comfortable fit. I used the “medium” sized tips that were already on the earphones and it fit fine.
Attached to the “left ear” cable is a small silver ball that is actually the microphone. I found that it hangs perfectly - close enough to mouth level to pick up the user’s voice.
Following the cable down we find the “answer/end” button that has the Maximo logo in the middle and fits into the design of the headset quite nicely. A simple push of the button when the call comes in answers the call. What’s nice about this is that you can leave your BlackBerry in the holster pretty much all the time when you use the Maximo headset.
One nice feature is that when listening to music, the same button can pause the music, resume play and skip to the next song.
The Maximo Unboxed
Ease of Use
This is pretty much of an “idiot-proof” design – which is a good thing. If you are listening to music and a call comes in – just push the function button, talk and then push it again to end the call. The music automatically picks up where you left off before the call.
There is no fumbling to put these things in, no winding around the top of your ear – just insert the ear buds and start listening.
It should also be noted that callers on the other end said I sounded very clear when using the microphone. There is no built in noise cancellation - but the Mic is close enough to the mouth that it picked up pretty much everything.
While these are not $250.00 earphones (which I tend to use when listening to my BlackBerry) I was pretty amazed by the overall sound quality. The closest comparison I can make is to the V-Moda Vibe.
I found the sound quality to be overall, very pleasant. There was a definite pronounced low end on these – not quite as over powering as the Vibe – but strong and solid. As I would expect, when the bass is that strong, the midrange is not quite as clear and pronounced as in a $200 + earphone – but the mids were still discernible. Highs were clear and crisp – not brilliant – but very pleasing to listen to.
One added plus is that these earphones are incredibly efficient, so I could listen at lower levels (which reduces distortion and saves my ears) and get full, loud sound.
The Maximo iP-HS2 iMetal Isolation Headset is a great headset/earphone combination. If you are looking for good sound quality, strong bass, a nice design and a built in microphone this is a great way to go. This headset also give you a tremendous amount of “bang for the buck” – at $69.95 these are really a great buy.
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