The latest headset from Southwing is the SH305, which offers up some familiar features to the Southwing Neo-507 that we’ve recently reviwed, like voice dialing,
three different color plates, and a host of in call
features. The SH305 adds, a new "Push4" mutlifunction button, a
smaller design, two attachment options, and Bluetooth
1.2. Will this new
entry be the crown jewel to Southwing’s headset
lineup, or will it leave us wanting more? Read on to
Featuring three different colored face plates
(red, blue, and silver), you have the choice of
colors to suite your mood or your outfit. The SH305 comes with a brand new "Push4"
button to allow for a favorite number to be dialed
from the headset. This new headset is also
impressively small at just 4.2cm x 2.3cm x 2.8cm
(not counting attachments) and just 11 grams. Blended with features like voice
dialing, Bluetooth 1.2, two attachment options, a
talk time of 6 hours and a price at around $60, and you’ve got a serious contender in the Bluetooth headset market.
The front of the box has a window to display the unit.
Box contents: the headset, face plates, manual,
loop attachment, extra ear bud cover, and charger.
Before you can use the headset you need
to charge the battery. A fully charged battery will only take 4
hours and last for 6
hours of talk time or 300 hours of standby time.
Next you will need to pair the headset with your
phone. To set the headset in pairing mode, just
hold the button down for 5 seconds until the LED
indicator flashes. From here you
need to go into the Bluetooth menu on the phone,
have it search for the SH305, and then pair the
device using the passcode "1111". The headset
LED will flash green to indicate the pairing is
complete. You can set the headset as a handsfree
device if it’s supported by your phone.
The SH305 has 4 buttons on the headset;
power and Vol+ along the bottom, Vol- along the top,
and the Push4 button, which also acts as the LED
indicator, on the face. On the back are the ear
bud and a swivel hook. The hook can be rotated
around to use the headset on your left ear or completely removed leaving just a stem. The optional
loop attachment can clip on to the stem to replace the
hook so the headset can be attached to your phone. I
personally don’t have a phone with a place to attach
the loop so I couldn’t show any pictures of it, but
you can get the idea. Call features include:
microphone muting, disconnect from phone, automatic
call pick-up, last number redialing, and
transferring call to phone.
Shown above is the headset with the ear hook folded
in with the extra face plates, extra ear bud cover,
and the loop attachment.
The headset is ready for use. The ear hook is rather small but it’s
flexible so it will fit most ears. What may not fit,
however, is the large ear bud. While I found it
comfortable, others I let try it, especially women,
complained it was uncomfortable. If you’re not used
to ear buds, this will take a while to get used to
but it’s needed to support the headset without the
back of the headset. Here you can see the ear bud
and the swivel stem where the ear hook or loop
attachment goes on, it rotates a full 360 degrees
with a resting groove in line with the headset.
Here’s a shot with the silver faceplate. Here’s the headset in my hand,
it’s not much bigger than my finger.
the headset from the side in my hand. As you can see
the headset quite small, although a bit hefty compared to the miniscule Nextlink Bluespoon 5G. You can also
clearly see the groove the stem rests on.
the ear hook attached, the device is held in place by
the hook and the ear bud. The ear hook doesn’t fit
too well but it’s not uncomfortable.
you remove the ear hook you rest the stem down your
ear like you would a lined headset, this helps to
stabilize it. It feels secure, even in this mode,
which explains the size of the ear bud. In the end, I
preferred this method as it was smaller and more
convenient to take on and off.
side-by-side shot of the Neo-507 and the SH305 from Southwing. The things I liked about the Neo-507
remain in the SH305, and most of my issues
were addressed with the SH305, like a method to carry
the case and the elimination of the jog dial.
Call quality, while improved over the Neo-507, still
needs some work. Some people I talked to complained
that I sounded far away and that there was a faint
buzz in the background. I, on the other hand, could
hear them clearly. I’ve used worse headsets, and
worse phones for that matter, but I’ve also used
comparison between the Motorola HS810, Southwing
Neo-507, and Southwing SH305.
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The headset comes along
with a user manual. It covers the setup and
operation of the headset. At the back of each
language section, there is a section with a
summarized table of all the call features of the
phone and how to perform them.
To use the
SH305, you’ll need a Bluetooth enabled phone, PDA, or computer that can
support a headset. This would be almost all Bluetooth enabled
phones and most PDAs. Any computer with the WIDCOM Bluetooth Stack
or comparable (Window’s own Bluetooth stack is not) should also work.
BUGS AND WISHES
No real bugs with this headset, things work like
they should. I’d wish for a slightly better quality
audio but it is still an improvement over the
Neo-507. The last wish is a minor one. The Vol+ is
on the bottom and the Vol- is on the top; if you wear
this on your right ear, it’s a little counter
intuitive. Volume up should be done by pressing the
up button, not down. It’s minor, but it’s the only
flaw in the interface.
The SH305 is currently available in Europe for