The Philips SHB6100 Bluetooth stereo headset is part of the electronic giant’s local 2008, first-quarter product line-up of headsets and multimedia speakers.
The SHB6100 is one of the new over-ear range headsets that doesn’t include any accessories. For $199.99 it comes with just the headset and AC charger, with no adapter for non-Bluetooth devices.
Add another $50, however, and you can buy the SHB6101, which includes a USB Bluetooth adaptor and a CD of software.
The 6102 has a 3.5mm Bluetooth adapter and lycra pouch for storage, while the 6103 gets you an adaptor for your iPod. The in-ear model in the range is the SHB7100 at $149.99, for which an adapter is also available.
The SHB6100 looks stylish with a glossy black finish and performs well in terms of sound quality. It reproduced sound clearly from my music player and cellphone (for both incoming and outgoing calls and the phone’s music player).
The headphones’ diameter is 32mm and it contains a neodymium magnet.
It was quick and simple to pair the headset with each device, by pressing the multi-function (play/pause/call answer) button on the right earphone, turning on your device’s Bluetooth function and searching for the headset.
The SHB6100 will support any A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile)-compliant or AVRCP (audio video remote control profile)-compliant cellphone, PC, music player or Bluetooth adapter. The cellphone must also be HSP (Handset Profile) and HFP (Handsfree Profile)-compliant, as most are.
When you get a call while listening to music, you hear a ringtone through the headset and press the multi-function button to pick it up. The headset will also support voice dial, redial and call transfer if your phone does.
There are four other on-the-earphone controls for track search and volume.
The headset is light at 62gm and not too cumbersome at 14x15x6cm.
The earphones are comfortable due to cushioning, though I’m more a fan of headband sets than the SHB6100’s neckband, which feels less secure. The soft ear loops are designed to keep it in place, however.
The neckband can be slightly adjusted for small, medium and large settings, but there’s only about half a centimetre between each.
Philips says the headset will work within a 10 metre range of the device. However, I found I could be up to 12 metres away in an unobstructed straight line and it would still produce relatively clear sound.
Battery life claims seemed on the high side though – the initial charge required is six hours, and the vendor says you can get up to 10 hours continuous music play or up to 12 hours talk time. Six or seven hours music play seemed more the standard before a recharge was needed.