December 7, 2008

Review: Griffin SmartTalk (New w/ Record Function)

With new iPods and iPhone now capable of voice recording, the folks at Griffin Technology revised their SmartTalk product to support it as well. I haven't done a review of this product in the past so I figured I bust it out for my readers over this weekend.

The SmartTalk, first and foremost is a mic solution. It does two things well: 1). For original iPhone and iPod Touch users, the plug from SmartTalk acts as an adaptor for people with tradition headphones (which can not fit into the recessed port). This caused a lot of problems since I really prefer using a Sony MDR-EX51 over the crappy standard iPod/iPhone headphones. This is very important to people who have invested in far more expensive alternatives. 2). It provides a microphone to, again, those with superior headsets and do not want to step down to the default iPhone headphones.

The SmartTalk has one more functionality that is to add a remote like feature; the smart design is that it is not bulky. With just one button, it uses different click patterns to control (one click is pause, two clicks is forward and three clicks is backward for track selection).

When I tested my old headphone with SmartTalk, the sound is nice and clear, no hissing or static can be heard. On a test call, I talked with very low volume and the recipent has no problem hearing me with clarity. The only challenge I have is cord management. Considering SmarTalk comes with roughly 3' of cord (which is made out of a linen like material, like the Tune Buds Mobile) plus my Sony headset adds another 3' making me walk with roughly 6' of cord which can be quite a handful. Although the external mic includes a clip, its still a lot of cords to mingle with especially around this time of the year with sweaters, coats, scarfs, beanie, etc... I think this product would be perfect for headsets that come in two pieces, ie. Sony MDR-EX71 series where you can detach a short headset and plug into SmartTalk for a good distance.

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