Sony SBH50 - superior BT headset

Sony SBH50 quick review

Hammer... Gadget time. I have always admired Sony products and this is no exception: Sony SBH50 is superior in built & software quality. This gadget comes packed with few tricks up the sleeve:
  • NFC, more about this excellent feature later
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • FM radio with RDS(!). This is really good feature as not all phones come with built-in radio nowadays
  • supports multiple devices aka multipoint connectivity
  • OLED display 128 x 36 pixels; very informative and usefull
  • 15,8 grams (58 x 24 x 8 mm excluding clip & keys)




Black version of Sony SBH50 (also available in white) and white Google (LG) Nexus 4 16Gb. Very stylish and capable couple.



Sony SBH50 package

Comes with:

  • a small 850mA GreenHeart USB travel charger (still has Sony Ericsson stamp on the side)
  • the control/center piece
  • actual headset; please notice that you can use any headset with this as the mic is located in the center piece
  • extra rubber plugs
  • very small user manual. Sony has excellent documentation available on their website (support section)


Volume rocker on one side (this is better solution than the touch(less) rocker on the Sony MW600 BT headset)

Micro USB for charging with rubber protection and power button on the bottom. Yet again it is nice to see gadget that do not require any special connectors (pun intended Apple)

Next, Play/Pause, Previous and back keys

SBH50 compared to my old MW600 (which is still functional and goes to my kid). SBH50 answer button is iPhone like home button on the front facade (you can also reject a call by pressing the button for longer period).

Connectivity works like charm. SBH50 screen is informative on every situation.

Now to the software provided by Sony on Google Play (sorry about the Finnish): Smart Connect and Bluetooth Headset SBH50.


Immediately after launching the Sony Smart Connect it updated the headset software (neat).

Informative display yet again. Update took like 15 seconds.

Ready to rock.
Please notice that the display can show many notifications: emails, SMS, etc - see Sony Support webpages for more information.

Now to the best parts (NFC)

The Smart Connect and NFC in this gadget make a world of a difference. Without reading the manual I was immediately able to program following travel setup:
  • show the Headset to the phone (Nexus 4) and NFC is immediately recognized
  • do following steps automatically:
    • enable bluetooth and connect to SBH50
    • enable WLAN hotspot (when on the road I use the phone as a WLAN hotspot for the laptop / Nexus 10 tablet)
    • launch Spotify music streaming app. UPDATE: also works like charm on Google All Music player
    • start to play (works on Spotify, All music, etc... on everything)
Now that is something you can't do with many headsets and with an iPhone5s :-) (NFC has its moments).

Conclusion

Solid Sony quality: definitely recommended - just go and grab one... or even better... wait for the SBH52 which is coming soon
Sony is not Samsung and their peripherals support all Android gadgets (pun intended Samsung for the Smartwatch (Gear) and AllShare goof-up) - this said please check the compatibility of the software from the Google Play.


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