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Epox BT-HS02 Review

Highs

  • Small size
  • large buttons

Rating

Our Score 7
User Score 0

Lows

  • Occasional static on caller's end
  • button usage combinations
The overall look of the BT-HS02 is sharp, with well rounded curves and a smart match of colors

Summary

The Epox BT-HS02 offers up a decent attempt at a Bluetooth headset. Few things hamper it from being one of the better units out there, but those things are enough to keep it from being the best it could be. On the positive side, the BT-HS02 is one of the smaller Bluetooth headsets on the market and also offers a solid battery life between charges. It is also a good value on the dollar. The pluses however are offset by the general problem which plagues most wireless headsets: moments when listening quality, on both the receiving and sending ends, is spotty.

Introduction

Another day, another wireless Bluetooth headset. With a large number of these devices coming from manufacturers all over the globe, it takes something special to distinguish one from the others. Epox International, an American division of Taiwan based Epox Computer Company, feels they have a winner with their latest headset, the BT-HS02. Currently priced just under $75, the BT-HS02 offers a host of features and a maximum talk range which puts it clearly in the middle of the pack of a crowded field of players. What then makes the BT-HS02 worth a swipe of your credit card at the retail counter? Is it the headset’s small size? The potential of an extremely clean wireless conversation? The fact that you want to look like a cyborg with this device attached to your ear?

Bluetooth is clearly a useful technology today, especially for safety reasons when it comes to driving and talking on the cell phone at the same time. Having a headset you don’t have to second guess is a must. 

Features and Design

The Epox BT-HS02 is loaded with just the right amount of features to make most wireless headset users happy. Many of these functions are controlled with two buttons (one big, one little) found on the main body of the headset. The big button handles power control, volume increase, redial, cell phone paring, call end and call rejection through several different press or hold combinations. The smaller button uses a similar activation sequence, handling volume decrease and the transfer of calls between headset and phone. Both buttons also serve to answer calls as they come in. The BT-HS02 offers several alert tones to help in understanding what is going on with it. Options for the tones include incoming calls, power off/on, low battery, charging battery and out of range.

The blue LED, like the alert tones, also serves to keep you informed of the headset’s status. Functions of the LED include indicating whether the BT-HS02 is powered on or off, or if its in search mode trying to find other compatible Bluetooth devices.

In regards to design, the BT-HS02 is one of the smallest headsets out there, weighing a mere 0.7 ounces and measuring only 2.7″ x 2.6″ x 0.8″ in size. The flexible ear hook, which can be adjusted to fit different ear sizes, contains the rechargeable battery which can be removed from the headset. The shape of the main part of the headset is oblong. Besides the two aforementioned buttons on the top portion of the headset, a tiny microphone hole also exists in this space. The underside is where the ear speaker is located. The overall look of the BT-HS02 is sharp, with well rounded curves and a smart match of colors.

Usage and Functionality

 

Getting the BT-HS02 to communicate with a Bluetooth enabled Sony Ericsson T616 was a snap. After going through the Sony’s setup menus and turning on the headset’s paring mode, the two devices were quickly acting like old friends.

Epox’s headset, comfort wise, did okay. The headset, which is so light you hardly notice it, rests on your ear and not in it. This makes careful adjustment of the flexible ear hook necessary in order to get a proper fit. Without a proper fit, it often felt like the BT-HS02 was loose and might fall. With the headset secured, trying to figure out the buttons and how they worked in combination was somewhat frustrating. Multiple attempts to try different functions as addressed in the owner’s manual, such as redial, were met with failure because the proper timing or button sequence was slightly off.

In terms of battery life and charging time, the BT-HS02 met with what the manufacturer provided on the box. Talk time was just around five hours, while it took about two hours to fully recharge the unit.

With regards to communication with others, our tests showed the BT-HS02 to be consistent with other Bluetooth headsets providing mixed results. Situations like dropped calls, spotty cellular coverage and potentially inferior cell phones aside, the BT-HS02 tended to show stronger results for those on the other end. Most listeners said they heard the conversation well, with only one reporting some low level hissing. On the headset user side, listening to others sometimes produced static-like sounds and other times did not. Volume control was useful in situations where there was static, helping to make it easier to hear the person talking. A talk range of 30 feet worked as advertised, with drops in sound quality beginning at approximately 25 feet.

Summary

The Epox BT-HS02 offers up a decent attempt at a Bluetooth headset. Few things hamper it from being one of the better units out there, but those things are enough to keep it from being the best it could be. On the positive side, the BT-HS02 is one of the smaller Bluetooth headsets on the market and also offers a solid battery life between charges. It is also a good value on the dollar. The pluses however are offset by the general problem which plagues most wireless headsets: moments when listening quality, on both the receiving and sending ends, is spotty.

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