[box type=”info”] I have been asked to review these. There’s your disclaimer[/box]
[dropcap type=”square”]W[/dropcap]ith that out of the way, let’s take a good look at the Syllable D900 Mini Bluetooth Headset. I snagged a fair share of the wired headphones before going wireless. Caveats of cycling and mounting your phone on the handlebars I guess. I have to say that the complete wireless solutions were always on my mind. Two years ago I switched to Bluetooth headphones and I never looked back since. My current headset is LG TONE HBS-730 and they sport a neckband and the earpieces connected by wires. Perhaps I’m not 100% wire free just yet. Syllable D900 Mini are my first experience with a totally wireless sound solution.
Overview of Syllable D900 Mini Bluetooth Headset
You get a nice charging box which lasts up to 6 charges (tested positive), 2 spare rubber inserts (I’m able to fit 2 of them) and a charging cable that doubles as a data cable (great, I hate the fake mini USB cables). There is also a pouch, for these people, who keep sharp objects in their pockets.
While the build quality is nice, there are few things I’d like to point out. The box is not pocket-friendly. It will look nice while on a desk, but with the 2h battery life for your buds, you will be carrying it with you a lot. I don’t need anyone to wonder what’s inside my pocket.
Earpieces are profiled for each ear, but the ambiguous design makes it hard to tell which one is left and which one is right. I’m writing this during winter time, so I only have 6h of daylight to tell the difference! I’m being particular about it for two reasons. The box requires you to put the earbuds in correct slots in order to get them charged up and earpieces won’t sit nicely if you put them inside your ears other way around. Something, that could be easily solved by changing the color of one of the logos.
The LED indicators are tiny and very hard to find even in the daylight. I wish they were placed in more obvious place.
All the above are not the deal breaking niggles, and I’m sure given enough time (I used the headphones for 7 days to give it a decent amount of time) you will get used to the layout and shape.
Let’s take the Syllable D900 Mini for a 3km run. During that time I had no issues with the headphone’s fit. If you take your time and put them in correctly, you should be ok for the duration of the exercise. I don’t sweat much, I noticed this was brought up in other earbuds reviews online. So if your ears are getting moist, I can’t be much of assistance.
While there was no interruption in the stream when streaming from my watch (LG Urbane) signal has cut off from the right earpiece when I covered my ears with hands.
Personally, I would not recommend the Syllable D900 Mini for cycling. The grip in the gloves is next to nothing, and something tells me that if you lost one while cycling, you would never find it back. I also found the shape of the buds to cause increased the wind noise in your ears when cycling over 30km/h. This and 2h battery life would proof hard for me to recommend to any cyclist out there. I have tested the earbuds regardless of my fears and I’m glad to report that I still have 2 of them.
Syllable D900 Mini won’t be your bed companion unless you sleep on your back. Earpieces stick out a bit and ‘end’ with a button. Another issue would be losing one of them in the bed sheets. A disadvantage that comes with the cableless design.
Trying to describe the sound with words is like describing a painting to a blind person. I will quote the first thought that got to my mind when I played my favorite playlist.
Oh, they actually sound nice.
I would consider the sound much richer than HSB-730 I’m used to. Neither bottom spectrum or highs are overly pronounced, and the headset maintains the nice balance of the tones at the higher volumes.
I have doubts about the noise cancellation feature. On the train, I was able to hear people talking (it wasn’t loud), I could hear the cars pass by while walking as well. I’d trade this feature for increased battery life.
I’m not sure why, but the call is handled by the single earpiece (left). I heard the caller ok, and they said I came through clear as well, but there was a pronounced loop feedback causing the caller to get confused a little. The volume of the call was set to about 60%. This confirms my findings of low noise canceling capabilities.
Functionality and comfort
I have to admit, that coming from LG TONE to Syllable D900 Mini was a big step down in terms of functionality. Each earpiece has a single underutilized button that is able to turn the headset on, answer or decline the call and play or stop the music. You are unable to bring the voice assistant, skip the track, and there is no volume adjustment. The extended Bluetooth controls are something I always took for granted and I missed these while testing the Syllable D900 Mini. The headphones take a long time to pair. I counted about 20 sec before the Bluetooth link was established. Initially I listed to the sounds, that the headset was making just to discover that the connection isn’t established until a second pair of bleeps 20 seconds later.
With Syllable D900 Mini you will get 2h of playback time. The device does deliver on the promise and it died on me after 119min of the battery test. It took 35 min for the headset to charge in the case. I was able to get the advertised 6 charges out of the battery case. The earbuds will charge only when place in a correct socket and the lid is closed. I believe the case charged within 2h (if not faster). Personally, I don’t think 2h is enough for me. Your needs may be different.
I guess it will all come down to the needs of an individual. If you need a wireless headset for a gym session with a decent sound, this could be for you. I like the charging case, and the music sounds good. The Syllable D900 Mini could use better button controls, and make the left and right earpiece stand out from each other. As I spend most of my time on the bike, I can’t see myself replacing my old headset. At $49.99 it probably caters to the audience who really dislike the wires.
Finally, let’s see what Amazon customers think about this product. Judging by a number of reviews (226 at the time of the writing) there is a market for a completely wireless headphones.
The few issues I had with the earpieces also were reported by other customers. Some of that frustration could come from an improper charging, as you have to be careful and arrange the headphones correctly in the box.
I think a lot of that mixed feedback comes from delayed pairing and the incorrect charging technique. While this is not the customer’s fault, it should be addressed in the next iteration of the headset.
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