This is a review of Sennheiser EZX 80 wireless mono bluetooth headset. Sennheiser EZX 80 - Bluetooth Headset - Smart Phone / Mobile Phone Headset - Long talk time (10 hours)
I have a feeling a number of you assumed it's going to be some new audiophile wireless headset from Senns after reading the title of my review. Why wouldn't you? The name Sennheiser is synonymous with some of the best audio headsets in the world. So imagine my surprise when I found out they also have a separate line of mono earset typically associated with smartphone users on the go. These type of mono (single ear) headsets used to be very popular back in the days when a law went in effect about using wireless headset when driving. Not too mention, it was always a staple of businessman and lawyers (Better call Saul). Today, most of the new cars have bluetooth integrated into headset but often only for a phone pair up, not always the audio media. Also, when you are driving in a car with other passengers and need to take a private call - holding a phone next to your ear is not the safest option. So with all that in mind, let's take a look at what EZX 80 brings to the table, or should I say - to your ear.
I always pay very close attention to a product packaging. In this case, I actually had to take a few extra pictures for my review because it looked just awesome with headset "floating" inside of the box. You can see a lot of attention was given to presentation of the product, and documenting every detailed feature of it on the packaging box itself. Just think about it, if you are in the store and looking at array of similar products - this will catch your attention on a spot, and without even opening the box you will familiarize yourself with every main feature of it. Once you take it out of the box, you notice right away how light this headset feels, only 11 grams. Despite light weight, it actually feels very solid in your hand and has different options to customize it's fitment. The main headset itself (50mm x 18mm x 8mm) has a very interesting earpiece design where you don't have a typical earphone nozzle with silicone tip going into your ear canal. Instead it looks like a protruding little speaker that will be next to your ear without going deep inside. It took me a minute to get used to it mentally, and then it becomes very natural and feels like you are wearing no headphones at all, although you do need an earhook. That removable/flexible earhook adjusts to right/left ear use, can turn 360 degrees, and has a bendable piece for a final adjustment behind your ear.
In addition to headset itself, Sennheiser guys also included a few useful accessories: a car charger and usb/micro-usb charging cable. Both are very unique in it's own nature. The car charger, rated at 500 mA which is more than enough for this headset, has a very slim top profile which means once plugged in it will be nearly flush with your power socket. Also, led light will be a power indicator. USB charging cable it short and can also serve as a holder due to its rigid bendable nature. You can also charge it from any usb charger source where a full charge from empty takes about 1:20h to give you 10h of talk time and 240h of standby. Furthermore, it also has a rapid boost charge where 10 min will give you 1:30h of talk time and 35 min will give you 5h of talk time. Once charged up, you can get a spoken battery level indicator by pressing and holding volume "+" button for 2s. The headset has minimum number of controls: main multifunction button, volume up/down, and a physical on/off switch which I found to be very important since in some other similar headsets you need to always guess if you turned it off or it went to sleep. Bluetooth pairing was quick, and I tested a distance range of 35ft.
With BT3.0+EDR support, this headset is not only for making calls, but also to listen to your phone audio since it supports A2DP, HSP, and HFP profiles. The switching between audio and picking up the call is seamless, but I do have to mention since earpiece is not sitting inside of your ear canal - the music sound doesn't have too much bass. The multifunction button is used to pick up and hang up the call, as well as to reject the incoming call. Also, you can redial or voice dial, transfer a call, hold the call, and reconnect lost connection - all that using a combination of multiple taps. Volume buttons, beside adjusting the sound level, also used to mute/unmute the sound and as mentioned above to check remaining battery capacity. Music can not be controlled from this headset, it just transmits passively and you can obviously adjust the volume. Actually this dual functionality of being able to stream music in addition to making calls will come very handy in the car where you can't stream audio from your smartphone to a stereo, and instead can use this headset for that functionality. Also, this headset supports multipoint pair up with 2 different sources. Just think about using it to stream audio from your smartphone, while it's paired up to your IP Phone at work where you can switch between two sources while wearing the same headset.
Overall, I was pleased to see that Sennheiser stayed true to their German engineering roots, and delivered a solid product backed by 2 year warranty. The idea of on-ear speaker might be new to some and will require to get used to, but at the end it will feel natural, although if you are serious about listening music you need to go with a quality in-ear sealed headsets and in-line remote. Another thing that might raise a question is a price. Currently being offered for $80, its more expensive than other mono headset in this category. Just keep in mind that you are paying extra for quality, extended warranty, and extra features. It would be the same as comparing headphones where some budget ones might cost half the price of Senns and one might argue they both deliver "sound", but you know which one has a better quality! I can't tell you it's a must have accessory for your phone, but if you are looking for this type of mono headset - add EZX 80 to your comparison since it's selection of features well worth it.
Here are the pictures.