Affordable, good call quality, fits securely in the ears.
Noise cancellation could have been better, call quality too could be improved, for music – the bass is a bit weak.
The Whiz Kid Speaks:
Bluefox Extreme BF-401 weighs 1 oz, it is recommended for use with cell phone, PC multimedia and PDA. Additional features include pause/play button and volume control. The device has a binaural behind the neck design. Supported Bluetooth profiles are Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP), Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP).
Transmission range is 30 feet. Bundled accessories are AC and car charger. Rate run time is eight hours and standby time is 140 hours.
Bluefox Extreme BF-401 is around the neck headset. It is 5.32 inches wide, 5.37 inches tall, 2.5 inches thick and weighs 1.08 pounds. On the ends, there is a loop where in the earpieces cuddle nicely on the ears. They are connected to a pair of thick bases and further connected through a slim neckband. The ear pieces are quite small and do not go too deep in to the ear. They just sit at the ear opening. The manufacturer hasn’t bundled custom ear gel fittings along with the product and we still thought it was comfortable around the ear. On the flipside, the neckband is a bit stiff. Be wary of this, if you are wearing a collared garment, the neckband will catch the top of the collar.
The primary advantage of a Bluetooth headset is that you can wear it easily while you work out because they don’t come with any cable clutter. Lots of manufacturers are now giving headsets which have a sports centric design. We have also seen a Sony MP3 player based on the design where in the player is housed between the two ear modules and there is no cable clutter at all. Speaking of the design, Motorola Rokr S9 HD is the most popular in this category. Now it seems that Bluefox is trying to cash in on the popular theme with the BF-401. The headset is lightweight, the audio quality is decent and is now supports multipoint technology. The cost of this headset is $80 but it can be found cheaper online.
On the right earpeice’s base, there is the battery and control of the headset. The latter consists of two rocker button; one for controlling the volume and for power while the one located at the back relates to controls of the music player. You can press both as well. There is a tiny LED indicator on the volume controls front. At the bottom, you have the power port on the right earpeice’s base. The controls are quite small but still we could press them easily because they were raised adequately above the surface.
We used the iPhone 3G for testing the Bluefox Extreme BF-401. The audio quality was up to our expectations but the bass got a bit diluted because the earbuds didn’t seal the ear completely. However, if you are going to use this set for running or working out, you won’t have much problems. You can hear the ambience noise clearly too, since the buds don’t seal the ears completely. This is good since you will be able to hear the ambience noise clearly.
Call quality of the Bluefox Extreme BF-401 was mixed. The audio quality on our side was good and we could hear our callers clear and loud without any static. But our friends, on the other side, said that there was a bit of background noise in spite of the noise canceling capability of the headphone. They heard echo even when we were in quiet office. When we went outside, the people on the other side said that our voice was a bit muffled and our sentences were cut off in the end. This wasn’t observed consistently though and call quality in general is quite good.
Bluefox Extreme BF-401 has multipoint connectivity which means you can connect this device to more than one Bluetooth compatible device. This headset lets you connect just two devices (there are some multipoint devices which supports up to five devices at a time). For this device, you can connect to a cell phone and a music player at the same time. The player will automatically stop playing music when there is an incoming call and the playback will resume when you cut or finish the call.
This headset is A2DP compatible and supports AVRCP which lets you control a music player through its onboard control. Some handsets don’t fully support AVRCP. For instance, iPhone doesn’t le you change the tracks, you can just play/pause music.
Other features on the Bluefox Extreme BF-401 include capability to reject, end and answer calls, last number redial, support for call waiting, and transfer the calls from headset to the phone and vice versa. The rated battery life of this device is seven hours for music, eight hours for talktime and standby time is 5.83 days.
The design will make it clear that this device is made for use while working out in gym. We would recommend this to fitness freaks.