I posted a quick and random note regarding to my PS3 headset two days ago when I first got it. The fact that I ordered it from Amazon.com at 9PM on Thanksgiving Day and received it in less than 48 hours via free shipping has given me so much joy that I could hardly contain myself then. Given the fact that my mind was mainly focused on playing Resistance 2 with the remainder of my weekend with friends. I owe it to my readers to provide a thorough review of this headset, so here it is.
Cost and packaging variations:
* Official Sony Playstation 3 Bluetooth Headset sells for $49.99 stand alone from Amazon
* It also comes with Socom: Confrontation bundle selling for $59.99
I purchased the SOCOM bundle because the standalone for both items add up to $90 ($39.99+$49.99). I intend to sell the game for $20-$30 so it can bring my cost of the headset down to $30. Just a little inner eBay business man in me :) I would have kept the game if it received a higher rating, most say it was incompletely designed.
Hardware Design and Quality:
My rule of thumb with brands like Sony, Microsoft and Apple hardware are, if you can afford the little extra price they ask for, get it. Third party maker could come up with similar items but often falls a little short in terms of the intended feature. Same rule applies to this headset. For starter, it comes with a cradle for charging; it also turns your headset into a desktop mic while charging (in the event you ran out of power). This headset is the only one I know which has a large mute button on the side incase you want to carry on a conversation with others during a game. As far as fitment goes, I find it a little lose. I was hoping it would have a in-ear design so it can also filter out ambient noise for me. Sony designed this headset with clarity in mind. I was told it has two mics in it and some type of noise cancellation technology. When surveyed, most players I met online say my headset is crystal clear, similar to USB type headset. This could also because Sony has a HQ (high quality mode) that can be engaged if you paired your headphone via the mini USB cable at the back of the head set. There were no instructions in the SOCOM bundle, so you can pickup a PDF manual here. Overall, I am very pleased with this headphone's built quality along with its cradle.
Pairing this headset could get much easier. So long as you hookup the mini USB cable to the back of the headset itself (not the cradle, I missed this point in the beginning). With this method, your PS3 will recognize the headset and engage in the previously mentioned HQ mode. It also will show User Action Indicator alert onscreen (aka UAI) whenever you do something to your headset. This, to me, is the best part of the headset, with UAI, you always know the status of your connection, volume, charging state, etc. The headset can otherwise be paired as any other bluetooth device, by holding down the power button for more than 10 seconds, the green and red led will flash alternatively to get into discovery mode. It can be used with any other device such as your mobile phone.
Wearing the headset is easy, you just have to rotate the hook to swing around your ear lobe. I noticed if I rotate it snug, I would feel a little cramp over a short period of time. I think it was intended to be losely hung over your ear so no large movements while wearing this thing. I probably would find it unacceptable if I am always using this on the go as I would look for something more snug and comfortable, but then I'd be looking at something else, like this Plantronic 925.
Conclusion: I am very pleased with this headset and glad I decided to go with this one for my PS3. It is designed by Sony with gaming and quality in mind. If only the ear piece has an in ear design like my normal headphones, we'd have perfection.
UPDATE on charging: I always find PS3 accesories charging solution quite annoying. It assumes you charge your USB devices (controller, headset) while playing which is an oxy-moron. Since I know this headset can be charged via Desktop USB, I dusted off a couple of USB chargers for my BlackBerry and G1 phone and both seems to be working. The BlackBerry charger is my favorite since the output rating is 5V DC @ 0.5A which from my gathering, is what a default computer USB's power rating goes. The G1 USB charger is rated at 5V DC @ 0.75A, this worked as well but I am not sure if its a good or bad thing. Since I am no electrical engineer, I can't explain if either one is a good thing, what I do know is if I tried connecting my PS3 controller to either charger, nothing happens, so electronic devices with mini-USB ports probably have some kind of circuit inside to regulate and prevent wrong charging input rating. Again, this is just what I have been using as a charging solution, do so at your own risk.