Sony’s Smart Wireless Headset pro combines MP3 player and wireless headset dongle

Smart Wireless Headset pro Sonys Smart Wireless Headset pro combines MP3 player and wireless headset dongle

Sony is one of the few companies still in the MP3 player game, and it’s trying its best to keep that part of the business afloat. With smartphones and tablets becoming more and more popular, making MP3 players into mobile device accessories might be the only way to save the product category in the years to come. That’s the idea behind the Smart Wireless Headset pro as well, and it bridges the two categories in a new and at least somewhat interesting way.

The Smart Wireless Headset pro is essentially an advanced Bluetooth A2DP adapter merged with an MP3 player. On its own it’s an 18 gram MP3 player that plays music off a microSDHC card for about 12 hours before the black and white OLED display goes dark. When connected to a Bluetooth device it’s a wireless dongle that allows you to cut at least part of the cord between your device and headphones. When connected to an Android device, it also gains a nifty SMS/email notification system on the built-in display and via text-to-speech. Finally, there’s an FM radio.

This is definitely a hybrid device, and by that I mean that its selling point is its ability to do several things, rather than do one thing well. There’s no mention of aptX codec support for the Bluetooth stream, which means it falls short of some other Bluetooth adapters for that functionality. MP3 and Wav as the only supported music formats, along with a ton of other missing MP3 player features, also makes this a poor straight out substitute for something like the Sansa Clip line. Finally, SMS and email notifications in the age of smart watches like the Pebble is a novelty at best.

Perhaps the biggest nail in this device’s coffin however is the price. $129 for a hybrid device really stretches things when you can get a Clip Zip, Jabra Clipper, and $56 towards a Pebble for the price of this jack of all trades, master of none. I think $59 or $69 is the absolute max that Sony should charge for something like this, and instead it’s charging those two prices combined. That’s Sony for your though, constantly coming up with at least half decent ideas whose obvious shortcomings are less of an issue than the Apple-esque price.

[Sony via Engadget]




6 Comments

tds101 on June 30, 2012 5:32 PM

I’d kill for a Sony mp3 Walkman like this. A micro sd card slot, FM tuner, and decent battery life. This would be great,…if it wasn’t lacking in so many areas & so damn cost ineffective.

Mordalo on July 1, 2012 3:06 AM

And that’s Sony’s downfall.

I’ve long been a Sony fan. My S-Series Walkman is used day in and day out. They make good tech, but they
a) Always seem a step behind the times,
b) Must play by their own, proprietary rules and
c) Charge more than they should.

Sigh.

Just Some Guy on July 1, 2012 3:25 AM

What I find interesting is that is uses microSDHC card, and not Sony’s own Memory Stick cards.

Are they FINALLY seeing that one likes those damn things, and are switching to the universal standard after all these years?

Martin Sägmüller on July 1, 2012 10:56 AM

A2DP instead of APT-X is a serious letdown.

Bruce on July 6, 2012 11:25 PM

^^ Yup. Pass.

Zathras on July 13, 2012 4:20 PM

I think you’re all miss the point here, including the reviewer.

If you look around for a BT streaming device and actually play with them, my experience is they are ALL rubbish – especially in the all-important sound quality department. The Jabra Street 2 being a case in point.

I’ve now have one of these Sony devices (its the only Sony product I own) and it delivers great sound with the included buds and my Shures! If you want just a stand alone MP3 player, then you can do better for the money.

If you want great audio from a tiny MP3 Player, Radio AND BT connectivity to your phone(s) for calls and music streaming then this is your baby.

The Android extras are a good bonus if you have one of those handsets.

If you can find something with better audio and the same features then I’d like to know!

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