Back at the beginning of the month you got to meet a nifty product from Monoprice called the Over-the-ear Headphone with Built-in Microphone (product #9389). Also in that article you witnessed some very well deserved gushing on my part about how much I love Monoprice, its products, and its superlative customer service, and I still feel the same way despite not being entirely in love with this particular product. Read on to see why.
The 9389, which sells for $29.74, isn’t exactly up to snuff, especially when compared to the long list of gadgets, cables, and cell phone chargers I’ve purchased from them over the years. Based on the immensely popular series of articles about Bluetooth speakers I did back in December and January, I thought it would be a good idea to investigate what is on offer in the world of Bluetooth headphones. Specifically, I was looking to sample what is available for under 100 bucks, and then for comparison’s sake, take a peek at how much more you get for spending over that amount. The results surprised me.
Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing particularly bad to mention about the 9389s, but there isn’t a lot of good to mention, either. For just under $30, you get a pair of lightweight, Bluetooth headphones with some basic features that pair very easily with any of your Bluetooth enabled devices (these were paired to a MacBook Air, an HTC Vivid, and an iPad). The all plastic construction made me wonder about the overall quality of this product, but they have so far proven to be quite robust, however, they do feel a bit cheap. The overall sound quality when listening to music is good, but it could be a bit louder and more crisp, but I wouldn’t go as far as saying that it was bad, just not as loud as I expected.
When it comes to using these headphones as a telephony device, however, the fact that they cost only $30 becomes rather obvious. Yes, they have a built in microphone, and yes, you can place and receive phone calls when they are connected to a cell phone, but since they lack a boom that would help aim the microphone at your talk hole, the person on the other end has a hard time understanding what is being said. Though there is adequate volume being transmitted through the built-in mic, the clarity is just not there.
So there you have it. As an entry-level Bluetooth device, the 9389s are sufficient. They pair easily, charge quickly, and can provide up to ten hours of listening pleasure. With their relatively low volume and limited microphone, these would be great for a kid paired to something like an iPod or laptop. If you’re thinking about using them as a communication device, however, I would look a bit higher up the food chain. For more information or to get a hold of these for your self, all you have to do is click through to the Monoprice website.
**Full Disclosure: These headphones were provided at no cost for the purposes of testing/reviewing, to think otherwise would be unrealistic.