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Wiring is the bane of modern technology. Each new shining piece of equipment brings forth cables and wires that clutter rooms, tables, homes and offices. The 100% wireless future is still a utopia but at least you can try to get rid of a common wire: the headphone cable. There are several wireless headphones on the market and Logitech has just released one that’s not only good for iPod owners but also for any sound system with a stereo minijack. The FreePulse Wireless Headphones use a small 33 ft. range Bluetooth transmitter that makes you say goodbye to one of the many cables that plague modern life. Plus, it also delivers quality sound and a comfortable listening experience.
[nextpage title=”The phone and its accessories “]
The package comes with the headphone set, a 1.5-inches across and 0.5-inch deep Bluetooth transmitter, adapters for several iPod models and a dual cable charger unit for both the transmitter and the headphone set. The neckband is made from a flexible spring-steel wire wrapped in silicone which prevents breaking – a common issue to plastic neckbands and headbands in normal headphones. Transparent silicone bands also attach the headphone to the user’s ears.
Logitech provides eight adapters – for 5th Gen (30/60 GB models), 4th Gen (20/40 GB models), mini and nano iPods, plus Microsoft Zune and a generic MP3 player – to ensure a better fit for the Bluetooth transmitter. The adapter is not required but it does provide a snug fit making the unit and the iPod a single gadget. We tested it with our battle-weary iPod mini and fit perfectly. Logitech deserves praise to support an iPod model Apple has long since abandoned. Unfortunately, due to its size, our 2nd Gen iPod shuffle didn’t get an adapter. Even though it was not a perfect match, we’ve got no problem connecting the transmitter to such a tiny MP3 player.
Non-removable rechargeable lithium-ion batteries power the headphones and the transmitter. The dual cable charger gets the job done for both of them in 2.5 hours. We tested the FreePulse for several days, listening to music while commuting, going to the supermarket and hanging around malls without ever considering a recharge. The manual says the batteries are good for six hours of continuous play.
[nextpage title=”Using the FreePulse”]
Ok, it’s not exactly rocket science to figure out a headphone. Just plug the Bluetooth transmitter in any sound system equipped with a minijack – an iPod or even your old stereo TV set – and put on the neckband. The headphone cushions are very comfortable and they come with a spare pair. Bass is strong and the whole listening experience is very pleasant – way better then with regular iPod earbuds.
The listening experience maybe pleasant but getting there goes through a rocky road. In theory all you have to do is press the turn on button in both units – the headphone and the transmitter – and… presto! But no rabbit come out of the top hat. No magic happened. The blue led indicating connection took forever to light up. Since the units are turned on by pressing a (very) small button that takes some time lighting up we got unsure if the procedure was done correctly. If it was a small switch there would be no doubt. Several times we walked down a few blocks hearing “the sound of silence” – no, it was not the Simon & Garfunkel hit, but alas the annoying wait for the FreePulse to work. Sometimes we even wondered if our iPod Shuffle was properly turned on (it has no display) but after a few minutes the whole setup started working. Turning off was also a hassle as it takes several minutes – and much button pressing and swearing – to happen.
We tested the range using the transmitter plugged in the iPod attached to our belt and plugged in the bedroom PC while cooking in the kitchen. No need for a range wider than that, if you ask us. The FreePulse has volume controls located in the left ear phone where the on/off and mute buttons are also found. Unfortunately there are no iPod-integrated playback controls on these headphones.
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
Logitech FreePulse wireless heaphones main features include:
- Connection: 3.5 mm minijack
- Protocol: Bluetooth 2.0 with Enhanced Data Rate (EDR)
- Frequency: 2.4 GHz
- Range: 33 feet maximum (10 m)
- Weight: 2 oz (56 g)
- Charger: International voltage AC (100–240 V)
- More information: https://www.logitech.com
- Average price in the US*: USD 98.00
* Researched on https://www.shopping.com on the day we published this review.
- More comfortable than iPod earbuds.
- Flexible neckband doesn’t break.
- Strong bass and good sound performance.
- Suited for any sound system and even a PC.
- iPod adapters ensure a snug fit for the Bluetooth transmitter.
- Turning on/off is a slow and hassle prone process.
- No playback controls.