I received a box that I wasn't expecting from Amazon this morning, and opened it to find three new Bluetooth headsets inside. One of them, the Mini from Rowkin I have been wanting to check out since it was announced, but the other two I had never heard of before.
The Rowkin Mini is a beautiful piece of engineering, self contained and gold plated. It charges via magnetic induction when placed into its charging capsule. . At around $70.00 it is expensive, but build quality is impressive. Let's see how it performs.
The downside of the Mini is range. Leaving my phone on the counter and moving just 8 feet away to the fridge it dropped signal. For a technology that should work for around a 30 foot range that is unacceptable. Sound quality when in range was good but not great, and microphone quality was above average.
The second earpiece I received is the Grandbeing® Mini Bluetooth Earbud. The earpiece fits into the ear, with just the receiver (just a little larger than a nickel in diameter) protruding. Sound quality is decent but anemic, with good volume and a moderate quality microphone. It includes a second Earbud for the other ear that connects via the micro USB port that is also used to charge the unit. Not bad for the $17.99 price tag, but there are better Bluetooth units on the market.
The final product to arrive was the Trond Dash Pro Bluetooth wireless earbuds, These are larger than the other products, but build quality is somewhere between the Rowkin and the Grandbeing. Sound quality is great for a product that sells for $37, and the APT-X codec support makes them great when paired with my iPhone. Even paired with my Amazon FIRETV while watching Netflix from across the room sound quality is great and range isn't an issue as it was with the smaller units. With the microphone on the control cable sound quality is good for recording and phone conversations.
In all, the product from Trond is the one that I will have the most use for, but the Rowkin Mini is the flashier of the three. The Grandbeing will get given away or sold to someone looking for an inexpensive earpiece shortly.