SouthWing is clearly doing many things right as a company, and those strategies can be seen in how they have delivered the SH505. They start off with a small, efficient and stylish package that looks smooth and is fairly comfortable on the ear. We found the battery life of the headset to be above average and would last for at least 2 or more days of typical business use. Of course, your mileage may vary, but it is safe to say that you will definitely get at least the advertised 10 hours SouthWing claims.
During the time that we tested the SouthWing SH505, we only used the headset with the ear hook. We could have taken the hook off and just used the friction from the speaker ‘bud’ to wedge it directly in the ear. Since the earbud doesn’t really have any extra padding, this wasn’t exactly appealing to me and I kept using the ear hook. The good news is that while wearing the SH505 over long periods of time, I didn’t experience any irritation or discomfort. It was a headset that you could comfortably wear the entire day.
The Wingman software provided was an original and unique idea from the engineers at SouthWing. We have never before been able to “customize” our Bluetooth headset from our computer so being able to do this was certainly a new experience. After the first 2 times we used the software however, the novelty wore off and we wondered why the designers didn’t make the software and control of the SH505 a bit more robust. We would have liked to have seen fully customizable buttons and even a way you can sequence and string commands together – for instance changing the commands for answering calls or placing calls on hold, or even a way to have more than one of your favorite numbers stored in to be able to speed dial voicemail, home, or the office. Right now, the ability to use the Wingman software is very good, but to get beyond the gimmick phase, SouthWing will have to continue to grow the idea for their customers and show them something that will have their customers use the software more than one or two times.
Overall, the SouthWing SH505 is a very, very good headset for those not constrained by the absolute need for active noise cancellation. The performance of the SH505 was rock solid and compatible each of our test devices (Treos 650/750, MDA Vario, Motorola RAZR V3, and T-Mobile Wing). Battery life and ear comfort were very good as well. The tactile control for volume is very innovative and worked really well. We expect to see more of this kind of technology in mobile devices in the near future. SouthWing has certainly broken rank with the same old boring looking wireless headset devices that have populated the market.
The SouthWing SH505 is a very solid entry into the very competitive and very crowded Bluetooth peripheral market. SouthWing sets this headset apart from the rest by including programmable software and futuristic tactile control. We can’t wait to see what else this company has to offer us in the future.
Legit Bottom Line:
SouthWing enters the North American and US market with a sleek and stylish Bluetooth wireless headset. With a street price of under $60, the SouthWing SH505 is a solid headset that features unique controls, very good sound and voice quality, and only lacks active noise cancellation – a feature that most can live without at this price point.