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Bluetooth Headphones, Alpatronix [HX101] Universal HD Noise Isolating Wireless Stereo Headset with Built-in Mic, Volume/Playback Controls, AptX, CVC 6.0, BT 4.1 [30+ Hrs. of Playback Time] - (Black)
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- LATEST BLUETOOTH 4.1 TECHNOLOGY: Quickly pairs for the first time and instantly connects to a wide range of Bluetooth-enabled devices. Fast, solid and long-range connection up to 30 feet. Compatible with NEW Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, Apple iPhone 7 & iPhone 7 Plus.
- 30+ HOURS OF PLAYBACK TIME: Functions both as a wireless streaming headphones and hands free smartphone communication device. The built-in rechargeable battery provides up to a whopping 30+ hours of playback and talk time. Long lasting charge lets you listen to your favorite shows, podcasts and music throughtout the entire day without charging. Up to 900+ Hours of Standby Time!
- APTX & CVC 6.0: APT-X Audio decode technology provides exceptional, stereo sound quality. CVC 6.0 digital noise reduction technology, filters ambient noise that enhances the sound further when answering phone calls or while listening to music. Both features are a must for a high definition surround sound experience.
- INTUITIVE CONTROLS: Ultra portable, soft and cushioned earphones offers a highly comfortable and secure fit for noise isolation and reduction. Easily control your device with the on ear playback controls to quickly skip forward/back, pause/play, answer and hang up phone calls. Save battery by connecting your headphones directly with the 3.5 AUX cable included in the package.
- 100% SATISFACTION: 2-YEAR exclusive warranty ensures you are protected for 2 years of this product and 30-DAY MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE offers peace of mind, enabling you to return the product in case you don’t like your purchase for any reason.
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This item Bluetooth Headphones, Alpatronix [HX101] Universal HD Noise Isolating Wireless Stereo Headset with Built-in Mic, Volume/Playback Controls, AptX, CVC 6.0, BT 4.1 [30+ Hrs. of Playback Time] - (Black)
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|Item Dimensions||7.9 x 8.9 x 4.3 in||7.9 x 9.7 x 2.9 in||3.1 x 7 x 7.9 in||2 x 7.12 x 6.54 in||7.9 x 9.5 x 2.3 in||2.6 x 1.5 x 4 in|
|Item Weight||1.75 lbs||0.8 lb||0.8 lb||1 lb||6.88 ounces||0.49 ounces|
Functions both as audio streaming headphones and hands-free telephone communication device, this headset allows the user to perform most of the audio functions related to the smartphone directly from the headset. The Alpatronix HX101 is packed with technology to deliver astonishing sound! It comes with Bluetooth 4.1, as well as an auxiliary connection so you can connect it however you like. It’s versatile and comes with a hard carrying case so it can be used in just about anywhere. Once you turn on the headset, it automatically enters pairing mode so you can pair with your phone, tablet, or computer. The auxiliary cord is especially convenient for those long flights where you need to connect to the airplane’s entertainment system.
- Pairs within seconds
- LED Indicator
- AUX Input & USB Charging Interface
- Exceptional High-Definition Sound
- Built-In Microphone for Hands Free Control (Answer or Hang Up Phone Calls)
- Playback Controls (Play, Pause, Skip Forward, Skip Back)
- Volume Control (Increase + or Decrease -)
- Highly Comfortable Cushioned Ear Pillows
- Frequency Range: 20Hz - 20KHz
- Bluetooth 4.1 + AptX
- CVC 6.0 Noise Cancellation
- Transmit Range: 30 Ft. (10m)
- Continuous Playback or Talktime: 30+ Hrs.
- Charging Time: 2-3 Hrs.
- Standby Time: 900+ Hrs.
- Protocols: HSP, HFP, A2DP, AVRCP
CAPABLE, COMFORT & CONTROL
Control your music and any incoming/outgoing calls directly from the HX101, by pressing the skip forward/back buttons, volume up/down buttons, or the multifunction play/pause/answer/hang up button, without having to whip out your phone.
EXCEPTIONAL BATTERY LIFE
The battery is very powerful and lasts a whopping 30+ hours. Even better, you don’t have to use the battery when using the auxiliary cable. That’s right, even if the battery is completely dead, you can plug in the aux cord and play like a normal wired headset.
SHARE YOUR MUSIC
Connect the HX101 via Bluetooth, then have someone else connect their headphones or earbuds to the aux jack and you can both listen to the same music, podcasts, tv shows or movies at the same time. Perfect for long flights and road trips.
Top customer reviews
That said, these are my new favorite headphones. They take everything that I love about music, distill it, and dispense in a concentrated resonance so rich my eardrums are now paying taxes. The high tones are so precise, you will hear every crack and pop of your favorite LP. Every hiss of a bow slipping across the strings in every symphonic soundtrack will be yours to treasure. This headset features an enhanced bass that thunders more than Odin’s favorite son after a bean eating contest in Valhalla. The deep roar is what every Dubstep enthusiast dreams of. The bass is so tremendous, it sometimes bleeds into the midrange, and yet, the midrange sounds richer for it. I may be a little biased, since I set up all my sound systems to get this kind of sound, but as the disclaimer says, these are MY new favorite headphones.
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty.
First off, the instructions for this headset mention nothing about the audio cues that this device uses.
• Hold the Play until it turns on, you get one beep.
• Hold the Play until it boots into pairing mode, you get two beeps.
• Turn on multi device pairing, you get three musical beeps.
• Hold the Play until it powers down, you get two descending beeps.
What other wonders does the manual not mention? How about a memory better than a pachyderm packed in a peanut? This device auto pairs. What’s more, it automatically pairs with up to two devices, and better still, it remembers your last volume setting. Also, if you can get the headset to pair with multiple devices, akin to summon a math demon to help you ace your next exam (or to do your taxes), the headset will remember this and boot into multi pairing mode every time.
First off, let me state that multi pairing does not mean you listen to two audio streams at once. The other device is treated as a backup, in case a call comes in, then it becomes primary. So, how does one get this mysterious machine to double down on the Bluetooth connection? Boot into connect mode, and pair it with your backup device. Turn it off. Boot it into connect mode and pair it with your primary device. Turn it off. Turn it on. After booting, press both volume buttons at the same time. You’ll hear the three musical beeps. Well done.
The headset delivers on comfort, too. It is like a set of vertical pillows complete with lullaby action. It does not twist, however, each earpiece reels out an inch of stainless steel and plastic lined extensions for those with lower ears. I can wear it all day with glasses and without pain.
The headphones work well for call volume and clarity, but the built in microphone is a tad quieter than the one on my phone. Since they position it under your right ear, it is not a stunning revelation. Fear not, both parties can still interpret the conversation without struggle.
So what are the downsides to this extravagant electronic?
If you want noise canceling, this is not it. It has more of a noise muffling feature. This means it also leaks sound, broadcasting your musical tastes at any volume above five. When the headphones are silent, there is a slight background static that eventually shuts off quite a bit before the headset goes into sleep mode. If it does go to sleep, you have to click the play button and it will repair. The buttons have a firm, crisp click that can be heard even at the higher volumes. Also, this headset can be a Bluetooth bandwidth hog that will usurp any other Bluetooth connected device. It has made my Bluetooth mouse slow and stutter around a computer screen like a drunk puppy with an improbable imaginary ball. In a crowded office amidst 11 other Bluetooth transmitting devices, my audio has briefly lost connection and faded for a brief millisecond twice in eight hours. Also worth noting that the high notes (above high C) do jitter a bit when listening to music on the deafeningly loud volumes (Approximately seven or more clicks above the lowest volume), and the lowest volume setting is not mute.
• Pillows for your ears
• Built in bass cannon.
• Crisp highs (at regular listening volumes).
• Remembers volume settings.
• Automatically pairs with Bluetooth devices using last settings.
• Audible and visual cues for all major functions.
• Bluetooth bandwidth leech.
• Sound spills out, polluting the environment, at volume 5 and above.
• Extra clicky buttons.
• Slightly quiet microphone.
So here it is: these are great, especially considering the modest price. I had no problem connecting to my android phone, IPad and Amazon Fire. The sound is excellent for music and the spoken word. The mid range is excellent and highs are very good; the base is a bit strong for me, but this is a matter of taste. These are comparable to my sennheissers which are much more expensive. The phone worked great-could hear everything nicely.
They are very comfortable and while not entirely over my ears they are close, cups are soft, padding on the top could be a bit heavier.
The controls are among the best I have used on earphones: on the right side and spaced nicely. The one negative is that the on/off
button is difficult to press in because it is so small. It charged quickly and will work for hours. So even with a few minor negatives, I give this a strong 5 stars.
1. My other two, no one could clearly hear me using the headset mic. While I do come in a bit lower as opposed to using my Bluetooth for conversation, I am still audible and not muffled as my two other headphones were (according to the other side).
2. Audio: Wow, I thought I had two good headphones but the audio on these are actually pretty good.
3. Controls: All on one side, all on the side of the earbud, not underneath. This makes things so much easier and understandable.
UPDATE 3/18/2017: This is a performance tip - keep the total number of Bluetooth connections, including these headphones, at 4 or fewer. I was having trouble with choppy sound, and could not remedy by resetting the pairing with my iMac, as recommended by Alpatronix Tech Support. Then I thought about the shared bandwidth with five items on at the same time: keyboard, mouse, trackpad, numeric keypad, and headset. Web search for "too many Bluetooth connections" led to Apple support that advises that the official Bluetooth limit is seven devices, but noted that performance will degrade. I turned off two devices, so only had keyboard, trackpad, and headset connected. Instant fix!
As mentioned in several other reviews, the packaging says a lot about the company's attitude toward a quality product. A plus for thepackage.
I really appreciate the hard travel case included. On-the-go folding headphones are more likely to be damaged when loose in a briefcase or backpack, and this case will help preserve the headphones over time. Most low- and mid-priced competitors either include no case, or only a soft bag, neither of which protects from bumps and twists. A plus for the travel case.
The user manual is complete and helpful, but has a couple of shortcomings. Apparently written by a native U.S. English-speaker, rather than poorly translated from Chinese or other original language. The manual is easy to understand and informative. A plus for the content and writing. However, the manual is physically difficult to read for us with over-middle-aged and bi-focal enhanced non-Lasicked eyes. The use of grey ink on off-white paper makes for reduced contrast. The use of tiny type to fit all the content on 4x6 inch pages made me search for my magnifying glass to be able to read the manual. If reminds me of the many 5 inch CD case labels which simply reduced the size of the original 12 inch LP record album covers.
Recommendation to Alpatronix: Print the manual as a 6x8 inch or larger booklet, with exactly the same page layout and content per page proportionately enlarged, using black ink on white paper. Using the larger format will take the typeface to a larger size (higher point-size) and the black on white instead of grey on beige ink and paper will increase the contrast.
Now, on to the core review, the headphones themselves.
Pairing the headphones to one device is straightforward. Getting them paired to two devices at the same time is a little tricky, but doable. Alpatronix might want to test alternate instructions for the steps on dual pairing. It too me several tries to get it done. It is a neat idea to have them paired to the computer and phone at the same time. Being able to listen to a webinar, video, music, Facetime, or Skype on the computer then answer a phone call is very handy.
Once paired, the sound is very good. The over-the-ear earcups are more comfortable than on-the-ear, and provide significant noise isolation, as opposed to active noise cancellation (ANC) from surrounding sounds. With some online research I learned that AptX is a sound quality enhancing algorithm that must be on both the device and the headset, and is found in only some products, mostly many (not all) Android phones, but not by any Apple product. CVC 6.0 is a form of digital noise cancellation based on the sounds picked up by the microphone, which does help, but does not subtract external noises the way ANC headsets work. See UPDATE #2, below, for more about use on airliners.
The sound is clean and clear when paired with my iPhone 6, iPod Touch 5th Gen, or Samsung Chromebook. Bass is strong, which I like. When paired with my late 2013 iMac the sound is good when the signal is steady. However, occasionally the sound is choppy and interrupted, even sitting right in front of the computer. I am still trying to figure out what is different about the iMac relative to the other sources. When the connection stream is uninterrupted the sound is very good, just as on other devices. I have to downgrade a but based on the use with the iMac, but I really cannot tell whether the iMac or the headphones are the cause of the problem.
UPDATE #1- 2 days later: Right after posting this initial review, I asked Alpatronix for help on the sound quality issue, using their web site Contact Us page. Even though on a weekend, within a few hours I received a personal e-mail response asking several questions with suggestions for actions to try to correct the problem. One suggestion that seems to have impact was to completely un-pair the HX101 from the iMac (not just disconnect), and then re-pair the headset to the computer. The result is an improvement. I will post another update after some time to really test the performance.
UPDATE #2 - Airline test. Based on two 3-hour flights in a Boeing 737. constant noise in an airline has two constant components. There is a mid-to-high frequency whoosh sound from the ventilation blowers, and there is a lower frequency rumble from the engines. These earphones block the air vent whoosh quite well, but have minimal affect on the low rumble. I also performed A-B tests against Apple earpods (reglular wired type). The Apple pods were a bit brighter (cleaner and stronger high frequencies) but the comparison showed that the HX101 has very nice acoustics overall. Another test, suggested by another reviewer: plugging the ear pods into the wired port on the HX101 allows sharing, with full quality sound going to the pods, too.
BONUS TRICK: If you plug in the earpods to the HX101and wear them under the HX101 to get sound from both, the result is better than either alone! Better isolation, cleaner highs, and more profound bass. Really a cool trick.
Bottom line: If you plan to use the headset a lot when flying, go for a true Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) set instead of the HX101. However, if you only occasionally need to fly, the HX101 remains a great buy. And be sure to test the double-up of ear buds or pods combined with the HX101.
Overall, I call this very good buy for an under $100.00 stereo headset.