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The BlackBerry HS-700 Bluetooth headset makes a Bold statement

HS700
By Ryan Blundell on 25 Mar 2012 03:21 pm EDT
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"The BlackBerry HS700 masters voice commands and premium design "

In Short:
"Lets you know who's calling without looking at your screen"

Should I Buy?
"Easily manages incoming calls and your music without skipping a beat."
BUY NOW

Besides the vast line of BlackBerry smartphones, and the PlayBook, RIM makes some powerful accessories, as well. Of course we always hear about protective cases, rapid chargers and such, but there’s one type of accessory we don’t always hear about- RIM has a great line of Bluetooth headsets. We’ve looked at a few of them over the years; the economic HS-300, the powerful HS-500, but of course we want to move up the scale and see how much they can pack into a headset. For this very reason, we’re looking at the BlackBerry HS-700 Bluetooth headset. This Bluetooth headset not only lets you talk to your friends, family and colleagues, but you can also interact with it as well. The voice commands/interactions are unlike anything that earlier Bluetooth headsets from RIM could provide. It does all this while looking oh so sexy.

The Review

Now I know I should get into the audio quality and vocal interaction, but I do want to take a minute to discuss the design, as HS-700 is simply beautiful. It’s sleek and simplistic, with only two buttons; one to access voice commands and the other to manage call control. The micro USB charging port is located at the back, and is compatible with all micro USB chargers, including the standard PlayBook charger. The power button is built into the ear piece and is activated with an effortless twist. The HS-700 seems to be designed with the Bold line of smartphones in mind, as it has soft leather running the length of the headset that also covers the call control button. To cap it off, a bezel similar to the one on the Bold 9900 is used. It just screams quality. An LED is found on the underside/ face side of the headset. The green colour, and number of flashes indicates the power level, whereas the blue will indicate if a call is connected, if you have an incoming call or if it is reconnecting to a device. The red colour tells you if the mic is muted, if the headset lost connection with a device, or if the power is low.

HS700 front

Within the package, you will also find 4 ear gels, 2 ear hooks of different sizes, a travel charger and a user guide. The USB cord is short than the ones that come with BlackBerry smartphones, but can be used to charge your smartphone in a pinch.

HS700 package contents

When you power on the HS-700 for the first time, you will be greeted by a friendly female voice which walks you through the pairing process. The voice commands do offer a fair amount of options, without becoming too complicated. During voice calls, you can say things like answer, ignore, swap (between calls), “mute or unmute”. When not on a call, you can say “redial”, “call last” or “battery (to check how much power is remaining). I liked being able to manage my music through the headset, as you can also use voice commands. Your music is easily accessible- all you have to do is say “Play”. Other commands allow you to adjust the volume, pause the music or ability to skip ahead or back. If a call comes in, the music is paused and will automatically resume once you disconnect. Speaking of incoming calls, the HS-700 will announce the call coming in. If the number can be found in your BlackBerry address book, the headset will say the name. If not, it will say the number aloud. The voice quality of the “voice” falters here, making it difficult to hear the numbers. On the plus side, it did pronounce my last name correctly.

Now the call quality with the HS-700 was excellent in my opinion. While you may adjust the volume using your smartphone, the Bluetooth headset will automatically make adjustments – depending on the background noise level. When travelling in a car, noises like the wind, rain and windshield wipers are minimized. Of course, you will need to keep your windows up in order to hear. The HS-700 also lets you tap into GPS provided driving directions. So if you use an app that gives you directions, you can use the headset to fill you in on the details.

HS700 back

HS700 charging port

BlackBerry HS-700 Bluetooth headset
by RIM

The Good

The HS-700 has a solid build and decent voice command options. The power button is a straight forward design, which is easy to use and reduces the time needed to turn on or off.

The Bad

The voice quality of the vocal assistant loses its lustre when it announces the name of the caller or the number that is calling in. This makes the numbers difficult to hear. The headset will also not work with your BlackBerry PlayBook.

Conclusion

Overall, the BlackBerry HS-700 Bluetooth headset is one of the best companions you can get for your BlackBerry smartphone. Having access to your address book makes it easy to decide if you want to answer or ignore calls. The aesthetics alone compliment your smartphone perfectly.


More BlackBerry Bluetooth options

GREAT AUDIO QUALITY ECONOMICAL
SPEAKERPHONE
HS-500 HS-300 BlackBerry Visor Mount Speakerphone VM-605
BlackBerry HS-500 Bluetooth headset
"Decent audio quality to get you through the day."
BlackBerry HS-300 Bluetooth headset
"Basic voice prompts keep you in the know."
BlackBerry Visor Mount Speakerphone VM-605
"A comfortable headset with excellent Bluetooth range and battery life"
17 comments

Reader comments

The BlackBerry HS-700 Bluetooth headset makes a Bold statement

17 Comments
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not a bad device based upon your review what about battery life. secondly why doesnt it work with the play book ??caller id is a must i hope the quality of the voice announcing the call isnt as bad as u make it out to be that along witht he fact that it doesnt work with the playbook is almost a deal breaker .

It DOES work with the PlayBook. I use it all the time. What doesn't work is changing the volume with the PlayBook which I find anoying.

KOOL, if i were looking for a bluetooth earpiece I would definitely look into this, but I'm happy with my Jawbone

I got mine from newegg a few months ago for $19.99. It pairs very easily with my 9780 and pairs very fast when turning on before or during a call. The sound quality on both ends of the call is great. I have had a few issues where my voice command to call someone calls the wrong person. I think that similar sounding names is the issue. I really like the voice command "answer/ignore" when there is an incoming call. The styling matches the 9000 and 9900 perfectly. The feel and look is of high-quality. I recommend this headset.

I have had his for a couple months. I have to say the sound quality is the best I have use. Though the voice activation feature is awesome. The HS700 isn't the best. I tell it commands and it does the wrong thing. So I do most things manually and enjoy it only for the sound quality. I have it hooked up to both my PN and Torch.

I have had this for several months. The sound quality is great. I love the ease of turning it on & off, why others make it so complicted I'll never know. The battery life is great for me. I am not a power user, I only use it when I'm in the car. One battery charge will last me for weeks. It also charges very quickly. I also love that it will tell you when the battery is low.
The voice command feature is not so great, it does not work for me. It never does what I say. I've tried high pitch, low pitch, radio on, radio off, windows down, windows up, high volume, low volume. It has never worked for me.
I use it with my BB9900.

I have the same issue with voice commands..it doesn't understand me...and i managed to break the earhook and can't find a replacement anywhere..but other than that, it certainly is cool, and the sound quality is fantastic! I've been using it for several months, and it nicely matches my 9900..does work with the playbook other than volume control

I have been using the HS-700 for almost a year now. Recently connected to the 9810 and 9900 (yes, it can connect to two phones at the same time). Have been happy with its features and performance. Even dropped into water twice, just pick it up, wiped dry, recharge it overnight (to warm the headset and evaporate the moisture) and the headset continue to function as if nothing happened. The sound is crisp clear and the battery last long enough for my daily use. The voice command may have some issue, The most frequent function I use is to check the battery level. The call button handle like other BT headset. Great accessories to have with your BB

These reviews are too slanted. This headset is awful. Just because it's branded with the Blackbery name doesn't mean it should be praised on here. This thing isn't worth $10. The voice quality is bad, volume is weak, and battery is pathetic. Come on Crackberry, get real with some of these reviews.

I wish this headset had physical buttons for Volume-Up and Volume-Down, to me this is a *must*.

A lot of times I'm driving or in a train, accessing the volume button on my BlackBerry is inconvenient (does RIM notice that some folks putting smartphones in are no longer putting their phone on their belt holsters anymore?).

t-mobile currently in the states has em for 39.99....and if you buy 2 you get the third one freee!!!!

I love the Motorola H720 and H730 equally. There are buttons for volume control, making a call and calling the last number called on the units. Their battery life is excellent and they are not the type where the earpiece HAS to fit in your ear (that just doesn't work for me). Very comfortable and after you have them on for a couple of minutes, you don't even feel them there. They are usually found for less than $50.00 in stores.

Well, it talks to me, and it looks stylish.
But what is all that good for, if I can't wear it properly? It pops out of my ear or dangles from it, regardless of which gel size I use and regardless of wearing it with ear hook or not.
There are sevral headsets out ther, that behave like that, unfortunately the 700 is one of these.
Simply a faulty design. And yes, there are many other headsets that fit me perfectly well. So its not my ears that are totally out of shape.

Replace your ear...the two different sized hooks and several different ear gels should work for most Humans just fine.

You didn'tread the last 2 lines of my post, right?
I can easily work with certain Plantronics, Nokia, Sennheiser, Jabra etc. headsets. They don't fall off, don't pop out etc. The BB 700 does all that. So I rather replace this headset than my ears - they are just fine.

I have had my new HS700 for a week and do like it alot. My last ear piece was a plantronics model which I had for a long time. So this newer ear piece has new tecnology which i am totaly impressed. I chose this ear piece becuase I like using original hardware meant for my device which is a Bold 9930 and it matches the style as well. My ear still tires and get sore after wearing for a long time which for me will prbably happen no matter what earpiece I use. A few times it has disconnected from my device and connects right away even when it is a few feet away. I like the way it automaticaly connects quickly when I turn the earpiece on.