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Bluetake BT420Rx i-Phono Plus Bluetooth Stereo Headphones + Transmitter
Posted on 16-Jun-2006 14:53 by Tony Hughes | Tags Filed under: Reviews

The concept is simple – stereo Bluetooth headphones for your iPod or PC, that also auto-switches to your cellphone when a call comes in. This is what the Bluetake BT420Rx i-Phono Plus Bluetooth stereo headphones promise.

Listen to music, phone rings, it pauses the music, rings softly in the earphones, you press the answer button on the headphones, flip the integrated mic down, and start talking.

I used these for about 4 days when I first got them, then with other things happening, and some other new pieces of technology in the house, I neglected them for a long time. About six weeks ago, I started using them again, and haven’t looked back since.

Is this the best concept in music technology since yodeling, dude? Probably. (Second only to Tenacious D’s Inward Singing).

  • Bluetooth Stereo Headphones
  • USB Power Cable
  • Y-Splitter Power Cable (for headphones + transmitter)
  • User manual (35 English pages)
  • Utility CD

  • Bluetooth Stereo Transmitter
  • USB Power Cable
  • Quick Setup Guide (3 English pages)

    It works really well, and the headphones for me are quite comfortable for about two hours, then they start to feel a little heavy, as the weight rests entirely on your ears. I have a large head (puns and insinuations to /dev/null), and after a while, this sort of thing never quite sits perfectly, but still, it is good for a couple of hours continuous use.

    The transmitter is designed for 4th Generation iPods / iPod Mini, with a headphone+remote port setup, to sit nicely on top, draw power from the iPod if needed, and possibly to pause iPod playback on incoming call (instead of just muting it) – I could not test the pause feature, as I have a 5th Generation iPod Video, which no long has the remote port.

    Fortunately, the transmitter also includes a short adapter cable that converts it to a simple 3.5mm plug only, to enable use with the headphone output on any 3.5mm device including PC, iPod Shuffle/Video/Nano, home stereo, TV and more.

    The transmitter and headphones both came with a slim cellphone style (Kyo/LG/Sanyo etc) USB charging cord, and the headphones also came with a separate double adapter version to charge both units at once, using only one USB port. (Shown charging from the utterly brilliant Socket Mobile Power Pack).

    Headphones are shown folded up in this photo, and the Y-cable is connected to a single charging cable.

    Setup was easy once I decided to follow the instructions, although not intuitive (for the transmitter anyway), and both units have meaningful two-colour status lights to indicate charging, pairing mode, & just ‘on’.

    The headphones have a decent size answer/hangup button, as well as slightly smaller volume up and down buttons. All buttons are shaped well with intentional raised points and hollows to indicate ‘up’ and ‘down’ by touch only.

    The mic boom tucks neatly away when not in use, and is easily flipped down when an incoming call comes in, using only one hand.

    Call testing proved audio quality to range from average to excellent at all times, although having a cellphone call on a stereo headset is a little disconcerting at first (unless you are used to stereo headsets while gaming or VoIPing).

    Bluetooth range on the headphones was good, with a full 10 metres range whilst connected to a Nokia 6255i CDMA mobile phone. Range on the stereo transmitter was somewhat less, at around 5 metres before signal started to chop in and out.

    Once a mobile call is finished, simply wait for the caller to hang up, or you can press the answer/end button, and flip the mic up, and the previous Bluetooth audio source will automatically resume.

    Wicked concept, works well, and the audio quality is acceptable (though not stunning). Extremely portable, with the headphones folding to a compact size.

  • USB charging
  • Good battery life
  • Voice call auto muting
  • Stylish

  • Uncomfortable for long periods
  • Transmitter ‘hangs around’ on anything other than 4G/Mini iPods
  • Hair sometimes catches in headband folding hinge (ouch)
  • Minor build quality issues on transmitter casing

    Final Word
    I would love to have an over-the-noggin version though – they would be far more comfortable to wear for long periods (such as the quoted 7 hour battery life).

    Very convenient, very cool. You will wow your friends, convince your co-workers you are smarter than them, and generally become more attractive to the opposite sex. Buy these today, and be a better person.

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