SoundID SID Six (Black/Silver)
CNET Editors' Rating: 3.0 / 5
The good: The Sound ID Six has a clean design and comes with three ear loop sizes and an app for easy customization and setup.
The bad: The Six's sound quality is disappointing, the mute function takes too long to activate, and I kept hearing a tapping noise in the background.
The bottom line: Though the Sound ID Six comes with a few interesting customization options, its $99.99 price tag is too high for its underwhelming performance.
Design, Features & Performance (out of 10)
Sometimes, you just need to go hands-free. And with the infinite list of Bluetooth headsets out there, choosing the right device may get tricky. Sound ID's Six is a $99.99 headset with three microphones. In addition to offering voice dialing and three ear loop sizes, it also comes with an app called EarPrint. And while I did enjoy the number of customizable options included in the app, I was unimpressed with the headset's call quality.
The Sound ID Six has a sleek and modern design. Its subtle black-and-gray checkered pattern was more noticeable in the light, and its rectangular shape wasn't obtrusive when I wore it in my ear. The device measures 1.88 inches wide, 0.6 inch tall, and 0.37 inch thick. It's lightweight, weighing only 0.3 ounce, and my ear did not get sore or feel bogged down while I wore it.
The headset comes with an earphone foam cover and three ear loops for large, medium, and small ears. The small size suited me well, and it stayed firmly and comfortably planted inside my ear.
Held horizontally, the Six features an LED indicator light on the left, which signals when it's on, when it's done charging, or when it's paired with a device. On the left edge is a Micro-USB port for charging, and the bottom edge hosts an on/off switch.
To adjust the volume, simply slide your finger across the device. Sliding toward your ear will increase the volume, while sliding toward your mouth will decrease it. To answer and end calls, press onto the device directly until you hear a click. You can also quickly press it twice to listen to the VoiceMenu, which includes a slew of customizable commands (more on that later). Though it's comfortable overall, pressing against it for the click was a little bothersome since it pushes the device deeper into your ear.
The headset works in conjunction with an app called EarPrint. With the app you can adjust the incoming sound quality (how heavy the bass or treble are) and the sound level. There are also toggle switches that will turn on and off the noise reducer (which decreases background noise) and Pass Thru mode (which allows you to hear surrounding noises).
If you lose your Six, you can enable the Find My Headset feature that makes it emit a loud beeping sound for 20 seconds. In addition, you can customize VoiceMenu settings and choose the order of commands: dialing voice mail, redialing, activating voice dial, checking battery status, turning Pass Thru on and off, and dialing Sound ID's hotline.
You can also set caller ID numbers for your voice dial, meaning you can assign certain contacts to a list of verbal presets. For example, one caller ID category is "spouse." Using the app, enter the number you'd like to use for this label so that when you say "Spouse," into the device, your phone will dial the number you set. Lastly, you can set the speed at which these VoiceMenu commands are said to you: slow, medium, or fast if you're more of the impatient type.
When I tested out the Sound ID Six, voice quality was disappointing. My friends sounded very muffled, voices were overlaid with a soft static noise, and I kept hearing a distant but constant tapping in the background. At first I thought my friend was typing, but I learned later it was just the headset.
Furthermore, despite it having three microphones, I was told I sounded like I was talking on a smartphone's speakerphone in a car (in actuality, I was pacing around in an empty room). When I spoke to another friend outside, she too said I sounded "far away," but on the upside, she didn't pick up the noise of passing cars in the background.
The connection also managed to drop once during my testing. During a conversation, my friend abruptly stopped talking and all I heard was the tapping. The call was never dropped, but when I hung up and called my friend back, he told me that he was able to hear me the whole time.
Though the app includes a lot of customizable features, many of its setting labels were unclear or unintuitive. The lack of included directions meant I had to figure out how to use VoiceMenu through trial and error.
I did, however, like how responsive the volume up and down functions were. When I simply brushed my finger across the headset, the sound immediately adjusted and there was little lag time. If you want to mute yourself during a call, you have to hold down two fingers for 2 seconds. Though this too worked reliably, 2 seconds felt too long if you wanted to immediately mute your end of the line. I'd prefer a dedicated shortcut button, or perhaps clicking the device three times, in order to activate the mute function.
The Six is a comfortable and lightweight Bluetooth headset that comes with an app for easy setup. However, its mediocre performance does not justify its steep price. With its poor call quality, it may be best to look elsewhere. The Platronics M55, for example, costs only half the price and you get much the same call experience.
Average User Rating: 3.0 / 5
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Rating: / 5
on December 31, 1969
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