Review: Set Yourself Free With Wireless iPod Headset

The new Logitech Wireless Headphones for iPod are easy to set up, let you range widely, and--surprise!--sound really great! Although they could have been designed more for comfort, we still recommend them.
With the increasing number of Bluetooth devices entering the market, you have to wonder if we're in the same situation as we were in half a century ago when most people thought that smoking was fun, safe and cool.

Now, I have images in my head of, forty years down the road, my grandkids asking me about the golf-ball sized tumor behind my ears, prompting me to start waxing historic about how things were in the good ol' days before wireless IP chip implants on the less toxic 300MHz frequency became widely available.

Meanwhile, I'm happy to be using the new Logitech Wireless Headphones for iPod, even if they make me look a bit like a Star-Trek convention geek. After all, all of those scientific studies haven't proved that they cause any real harm. Plus, the ego value of having the latest toys before the rest of my friends far outweighs any potential health risks. After all, Bluetooth and iPod in the same product? Hello.

Plugging In

The headphones come packaged as two components; a Bluetooth transmitter, and the headphones themselves. The transmitter plugs into the iPod through both the headphone and remote control jacks and is designed to fit both a standard-size iPod as well as the iPod Mini. The headphones wrap-around form-factor and contain controls to adjust the volume, pause and play your music, as well as skip forward and backward through your playlists. The package also includes a charger that can charge both the headphones and transmitter simultaneously.

Getting set up is pretty easy. Once you plug in the transmitter, a red LED lights up; press and hold the button on the headphones for a few seconds until the LED turns blue, and you're ready to go. Once bonded, I did not have any problems with disruptions or a weakening signal. The connection stayed strong to the advertised 30 feet.

Sounds Good, Too

I have to admit, when I first heard about these I was skeptical about the sound quality of anything Bluetooth. While Bluetooth headsets for cell phones are useful, they aren't known for transmitting great sound.

Surprisingly, the Logitech Wireless Headphones for iPod actually has pretty good sound quality that is noticeably better than the stock iPod earbuds. The spec sheet says "full-range" audio drivers, which I take to mean can handle the same 20-20,000 Hz frequency range as the standard earbuds. The sheet also mentions "enhanced bass performance," but I could not find any technical specifics on what that meant.

Besides sounding good, the battery-life isn't bad either. It seems to last longer than my ability to physically wear the headphones (more on that later). The charge lasted over a couple of 2-3 hour sessions before signs of a weakening signal were apparent. Both units charged back up to full within a few hours.

Pain In The Neck

While not horrible, the ergonomics of the Logitech Wireless Headphones for iPod are its most glaring drawback. In fact, the first thing you notice when you pick them up is how heavy they are. The headphones alone weigh in at a "mere" 3.2 ounces, versus the average wrap-around style headphones which, on average, come in between 2 and 2.2 ounces.

That may not seem like much of a difference, but remember that it's literally your ears holding them up and your ears are unlikely to be a highly-exercised area of the body. After a few hours, I could really feel it. The hard plastic used to hold it all together is also less flexible than most other wraparound headphones which also goes a long way to adding to the fatigue.

Still, my experience with the Logitech Wireless Headphones for iPod was positive. It's nice to be able to leave my iPod on my desk while I walk around the office. Having controls on the headphones is nice, too, as it saves me from the arduous task of reaching over to my iPod to turn up the volume.

Most importantly however, I now have the temporary cachet of owning a new device that converges two fashionable technologies. I'm looking forward to the day in the near future when Bluetooth headphones are commonplace so I have the opportunity to brag to anyone who will feign interest about how I had the first ones on the market. And when the tumors start to appear, I can look back, remember the fun and know it was all worth it.

Editor's Choice
Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Terry White, Associate Chief Analyst, Omdia
John Abel, Technical Director, Google Cloud
Richard Pallardy, Freelance Writer
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Pam Baker, Contributing Writer