Joining the growing list of multifunctional stereo Bluetooth headsets is the BlueBAND R from i.Tech, a product that strives to empower users with wireless audio enjoyment amidst an increasing number of Bluetooth enabled mobile phones with MP3 playback functionality.
The first thing that’s right with the unit is its black glossy finishing that’s coupled with grey accents. This visible cue not only gives the BlueBAND R a very sleek and classy appearance but also hints of a quality and expensive product. Controls of the headset are clustered together on the right earpiece for quick, one point access. At the centre is a big play/pause button and this is accompanied by a volume control and a multifunction button. A cleverly engineered ring replaces conventional forward and backward buttons for easier track navigation. Although the bridge that connects the left and right cans cannot be adjusted lengthwise, the angle can be adjusted, allowing for a snug fit. Along with the thick padding on the cans, the BlueBAND R can be worn comfortably for a long period of time.
Bluetooth paring is easy enough, requiring nothing more than just pressing and holding the multifunction button until the LED blinks into life in red and blue. Subsequently, the headset should be visible for which entering the correct passkey should conclude and confirm the wireless pairing. Despite having just three buttons, a fair bit of familiarization is still needed to prevent accidental rejection of incoming calls, but once the learning phase is over, the BlueBAND R is a joyfully easy headset to use.
A few minutes with the BlueBAND R is all you need to identify its audio quality that’s clearly more superior to older and cheaper models. Highs of voices were reproduced clearly with very minimal tradeoff on lower frequencies for enjoying bassy dance tracks. Volume range is also good, which should suit those with strong inclination towards rock music. Where conversation quality is concerned, the BlueBAND R has CVC echo cancellation and noise suppression technologies that work in unison to stamp out ambient noise for more engaging conversations.
Needless to say, the BlueBAND R works best when paired to a mobile phone, MP3 player or computer that supports A2DP (Advanced Audio Bluetooth Profile) technology as it’s only with this profile that stereo music can be streamed across the air through Bluetooth connection. Without A2DP, audio quality will be significantly inferior, so much so that we do not even recommend it for telephony conversation as the amount of static will simply be too much to bear.
There’s no doubt in our mind that the i.Tech BlueBAND R is one of the better Bluetooth stereo headphone sets for pairing with a device with A2DP profile. A smooth transmission and rich audio quality is what the product offers and what you can expect if you are already holding onto a mobile phone with built-in A2DP profile. However, if you're unsure whether your arsenal of Bluetooth gadgets has support for A2DP technology, we strongly advise that you give this product a miss (and other similar products for that matter) to avoid disappointment and wrongly blaming the BlueBAND R for muffled audio quality.