Simply Scosche: Bluelife IBHPK

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Like Parrot, Scosche Industries hopes to take over your life with their Bluetooth products. Selling Bluetooth accessories, their line is not as expensive as Parrot’s or other high end manufacturers, but is positioned just above ANYCOM’s line.

At CTIA, we stopped by the Scosche booth for a bit, and looked at their Bluetooth product line, which encompasses car kits, home stereo adapters, and headphones. Scosche says that their “Bluelife product line is the first complete line of products to incorporate home, car and sport applications in one fully compatible systemâ€.

The Scosche Bluetooth IBHPK (iPod Bluetooth Headphone Kit) is an incredibly versatile unit that does more than any other BT set of stereo headphones that we looked at. Obviously, it is a stereo Bluetooth headset, playing music from any A2DP source. It is a headset as well, and should be compatible with any handset that supports the HFP (Hands-Free Profile). Unfortunately, in our tests, it did not pair with a Nokia N75 (which is HFP only- not A2DP), which we found odd. All other units we paired worked fine, and the AVRCP (Audio Video Remote Control Profile) worked as well, allowing basic remote control functionality (Play/Pause, Next Track, Previous Track).
Other useful features include a 2.5mm input for using a wired headset, and a 3.5mm converter to use standard MP3 players (the 3.5 input is designed to allow you to plug the headphones in and listen while wired in case they run out of battery). Another unique feature is the ability to use the set as a Bluetooth output- that is, you can use the audio jack as a line out (with an included cable) to stereos or speakers, thus making it a cute way of directing your Bluetooth phone or MP3 player’s sound to an external speaker system.

The package also included a Bluetooth iPod adapter, which allows the seamless pairing of the headphones with the iPod to enable wireless music streaming. The adapter unit is thoughtfully fitted with a charging port- so you can charge the iPod while playing- most other adapters don’t have this feature. Unfortunately, the charging jack isn’t miniUSB or the iPod jack, so you’ll have to schlep around the Scosche charger.

Sound quality was good, although not excellent, and a very faint hissing sound was noticed when music wasn’t playing or when at a low volume (this problem is common to many BT headphones).

An interesting point about the IBHPK; it was very comfortable due to its rubber flaps, and I was able to use the set for quite a while without noticing any uncomfortable feeling, something that happens on most BT headphones.

Scosche also seems to have a competing model on their site, which is the UBHPK (Universal Bluetooth Headphone Kit). This headphone kit comes with a universal Bluetooth transmitter that plugs into the 3.5mm headphone jack of any audio device allowing you to wirelessly stream your music to the headphones.

Pricing is $199.95 (a little on the steep side) and the IBHPK is available at www.scosche.com now. Third party online sites seem to be selling it for a little cheaper as well.

No Bottom Line Score is being given at the moment- look for a Bluetooth headphones round-up of a number of units in the coming weeks on this blog that will feature final notes and scores…
Scosche with adapter

Disclaimer: Many of the units/applications I review are sent to me at no charge. Sometimes I keep these, and sometimes they are loaner unit/trial applications. Whatever the case, I do my level best to remain impartial- however, we are all only human- me included:).

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