Imagine coming home after a long walk with your Bluetooth headphones on and slipping them off when you get home. With most Bluetooth headsets, that’s the end of the story – the music stops, and if you want to continue hearing whatever it was you were listening to, you have to listen through your phone’s soft, tinny speakers or connect your phone to something else.
Now imagine this: Instead of just setting your headphones down somewhere, you put them in a special dock that’s already connected to your home stereo system, and the music continues on seamlessly. While the music plays, your headphones start charging, so they’re ready for the next time you need them.
It’s a relatively simply idea, but it’s still pretty cool, right? That’s exactly what the BeeWi BBH300 Bluetooth headphones with HiFi docking station can do. But before we talk about what I think, let’s take a look at the specs.
- Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
- Class 2, 10 meter range (33 feet)
- HSP, HFP, A2DP, AVRCP, SPP/iAP profiles
- Up to 17 hours of music streaming or hands-free calling
- Micro USB charge compliant, maximum 2H30 charge
- Weight: 148 grams
- Dimensions: 59 x 168 x 153mm
- Frequency range: 20Hz to 20,000Hz
- S/N > 90dB SPL max
- Driver diameter: 36mm
- Impedance: 32Ohm
- Max input power: 10mW
Charging / HiFi docking station:
- Micro USB connection
- 3.5mm stereo jack audio out
The box contains the BBH300 Bluetooth stereo headphones, the docking station, a protective hard case, an airline jack plug adapter, a mini jack to jack 6.35mm adapter, a 60cm audio cable RCA to 3.5 mm female jack, a USB to micro USB cable (120cm in length), an 80cm stereo audio cable (3.5mm with microphone), a multi-plug EU/UK/US wall charger (5V / 500mAH), and a mini user guide.
In other words, the box contains practically everything you’ll need to connect this to a home stereo system – and that’s really nice.
Performance and Use
While I’m not an audiophile by any stretch of the imagination, these seem to perform well. I’ve been using them for several weeks now, and am continually impressed by the quality I’m hearing out of such a lightweight pair of headphones. It doesn’t really matter what I’m listening to, either – from podcasts to classical to hip hop, it all sounds great. Bass is deep, high notes sound nice and crisp, and you can really crank these up without getting the distortion that some cheaper sets might give you. (Not that I do that very often – I’m starting to get too old for that.)
I do have a big head, and these just barely fit. If my head were any larger, I might have a problem – even with these stretched out as far as they can go. Also, due to the somewhat odd square shape of the headphones themselves, it seems like they’re not quite as effective at noise cancellation as they could be.
That said, call quality is superb – this is one of the better Bluetooth headsets I’ve used for phone calls.
The real genius here comes from the creative form factor that allows for an almost seamless transition from private to public listening. It’s so creative, in fact, that BeeWi won a CES 2014 Innovation Award.
BeeWi describes the concept as a unique 3-in-1 design that no one else has been able to duplicate in such a slick way:
- First, the headphones can run in traditional wireless mode, just like any other Bluetooth headset. And they’re pretty darn good at that, too. This is “wireless mode.”
- Second, you can connect the headphones to any non-Bluetooth enabled speakers to turn those speakers into a Bluetooth-compatible device using the included audio adapter with microphone. This is “wired mode.”
- Finally, BeeWi inclues a HiFi docking station that allows you to simultaneously charge your headphones and listen to music via Bluetooth at the same time. You can connect the dock to practically any stereo system with the included cables, and this is where the product really shines and sets itself apart.
I like these headphones, for several reasons:
- They really seem to come close to 17 hours of use before needing a charge, and it only takes a couple hours to full charge.
- The form factor, with the HiFi charging dock, is truly unique and is implemented well. This has the potential to be really buggy, but in my experience it’s not.
- The sound is really good, at least to my untrained ears.
- The box literally includes everything you could possibly need – there is no need to go searching for cables or chargers of your own.
However, it’s not all sunshine. I have just a few gripes:
- The range seems to be closer to 18-20 feet, not the advertised 33. Your mileage may vary, depending on what gets in the way between your phone and your headset.
- These are only Bluetooth 2.1 compatible. At this price, and in 2014, they should be Bluetooth 4.0.
- The square design seems a little bulky, and possibly lets some noise in that round headphones do not.
Even so, I’d definitely recommend these if you’re looking for a headset that is just a little different from the rest. Sure, you can get ones that perform just a bit better, with just slightly higher sound quality, but will they do everything that these do?