Is the Sony HBH-662 Worth It?

Today we look at one of the latest Bluetooth headsets this time offered up by Sony.  This entry has a unique twist ? caller ID!  The Sony Ericsson Akono HBH-662 Headset is a bluetooth 1.2 compatible set with small LCD window on the side that displays caller ID, battery strength, and connection status.  Like any bluetooth headset on the market, it designed to be used with any bluetooth enabled cell phone on the market.  How well does it work?  Is it worth upgrading from your existing headset?  Read on....

Sony HBH-662 Bluetooth Headset

Product Highlights:

The Sony Ericsson Akono HBH-662 has a street price for around ~$70 USD which places it ideally in the upper-middle class of Bluetooth headsets.  We reviewed this set with two mobile phones, the Treo 650 and the Motorola RAZR V3.  In the past the Motorola which is Bluetooth 1.2 enabled has been the easiest to match with any of the headsets reviewed here at Legit.  The Treo 650 (Bluetooth 1.1) on the other hand is one that is very selective and doesn?t play well with all BT enabled headsets.


Sony HBH-622 Outer Side 


Sony HBH-622 Inside

In our review of the Motorola HS-850, we found the set to be incredibly comfortable to wear with a fairly long battery life.  It had quick connections for incoming and outgoing phone calls with the Moto RAZR, but connection time was very poor for the Treo 650 ? we concluded then that the Treo can make life very hard for those who want to use a Bluetooth headset.  Let?s see if the Sony can improve on these results.

Using The Sony HBH-662 Headset

Set Up:

After charging the headset for the first time, we were able to ?pair? the headset to both the Moto and Treo with no problems.  Compared to the somewhat intricate steps it took to pair the Motorola HS-850 to the phones, pairing of the Sony Ericsson was quite simple.  During the initial use, there is no complex button sequence to press on the headset.  Just turn it on by holding down the main button on the side.  Then navigate to the Bluetooth function of the phone and tell the phone to search for new Bluetooth devices. 

The LCD indicator comes in handy at this point to let you know what mode the HBH-662 is in.  There is a nice little animated icon for when the headset is searching for devices. And when its done pairing, it goes back to displaying the battery strength.  If you want to pair the headset to another device, you can simply hold down both volume buttons to put the headset into its ?pairing mode?.  Both phones found the headset as ?HBH-662? with no problem.

Sony Ericcson HBH-663 Bluetooth

Functionality:

Our first test was to find out how well the headset connects to incoming and outgoing phone calls.  When receiving calls on both the Treo and RAZR it took less than 1 complete ring for the headset to ring and visually identify the caller on its LCD.  It was pretty cool to see the caller-ID function working on this headset.  The 7-digit phone number starts to scroll as soon as the headset rings.  Unfortunately, I could not get the headset to display the phonebook entry when calling.  In other words, ?Nate? would not show up on the caller-ID, only his 7-digit phone number would.  I pretty sure this is due to the functionality of the phone and not the headset.  Sony Ericsson has said this phone book function works well on their cell phones.

With the touch of main button on the side, the calls are connected very easily.  For outgoing calls, the user dials the number and the calls are automatically transferred to the headset usually before the end of the first ring. 

I must admit, as a Treo 650 user, I was very excited to see these results for the Sony Ericsson headset and how well it worked with the picky Treo.  Incoming and outgoing calls couldn?t be easier to connect to/from.  The RAZR V3 again showed its ability to work with other manufacturers and functioned well with the Sony Ericsson HBH-662. 

Sound quality on the Akono HBH-662 was very good.  The speaker on the headset doesn?t sit directly in the ear canal but rather a little father back.  I would imagine the size of a person ears could change the way the headset sits though.  The sound quality of the voice as you are talking to other was quite good.  No one ever complained about the quality or strength of my voice when talking and in fact had to be convinced that I was talking on a BT wireless device as opposed to using the phones built in microphone. 

The volume on the HBH-662 is good.  Not great.  You will not find yourself turning down the volume or anything due to the loud speaker, but functions well when driving with the windows up or walking outside with no wind.  You will find some that have modified this headset by removing the earloop and installing a JABRA Eargel to insert the HBH-662 directly into the ear.  It might seem extreme, but one can get an incredible amount of amplification from this headset by implementing this 'hack'?

Final Thoughts

The only time I got static on the phone was when I walked away from the phone while still talking on the headset.  I believe the standard was set with the Motorola HS-850 being able to function 20 feet away.  The Sony Ericsson is at least as good as the HS-850 and maybe even better.  Bluetooth technology is amazing!

The Sony Ericsson Akono HBH-662 is comfortable enough to wear for long period of time without great fatigue on your ear.  While not as light as the Motorola HS-850 ? most likely due to the LCD and slightly longer boom, the fit from the Sony Ericsson is more snug ? which I liked.  I never got the feeling that the headset would fall off at some point.  When the HBH-662 was placed on the ear, it stayed on. 

Sony HBH-662 Battery Display

A typical charge for a depleted HBH-662 battery is around 2 hours.  What is very nice is that there is no more guessing to see how much talk time or battery life you have.  Just look at the battery indicator.  You can easily get a work day?s worth of talk time with the Sony Ericsson.  With light to moderate use, one can go for a couple of days between recharges.

The Sony HBH-662 Being Used

Ken?s Thoughts:

For those looking for the perfect Bluetooth headset for your finicky Treo 650, look no further - the Sony Ericsson Akono HBH-662 is the headset for you.  Working equally as well with either the Treo 650 or Motorola RAZR V3, the HBH-662 picks up and transfers calls very quickly and has a very long range in which it functions.  The caller-ID window is a nice touch and can be quite handy.  Sound volume was nothing spectacular, but for me, the functionality of the set far outweighs the average sound volume.

In terms of pricing the Sony HBH-662 is priced just over $70, which makes it affordable for the majority of Bluetooth headset users.  With a clean simple look and features that make life easier we find it hard not to like!

The Legit Bottom Line:

The Sony Ericsson Akono HBH-662 is an excellent Bluetooth headset that performs great with a variety of cell phones including the picky Treo 650.  The speaker could be louder, but having an LCD with caller-ID and battery strength indication are features that distance this headset from others on the market.