Listening to music, especially on the go, has always been very popular. The recent introduction of portable MP3 players has lead many people to look for the perfect set of headphones. Having a good set of headphones can really improve your listening experience. Normally when you have headphones you are constrained by a cord which can keep you from moving freely. Saitek’s new headphones, the A-350, are great for just this situation. Because they are wireless you don’t have to worry about a cord getting in your way..
- Soft-molded over-ear style for comfort and stability
- Reliable wireless solution provides up to10m range
- Lightweight Neodymium speaker drivers
- Ultra-lightweight rechargeable LiPol battery gives 6 hours play (for both headphones and transmitter)
- Compatible with any 3.5mm line-out audio source
The A-350 has a couple of features that make it very useful. The one that I use the most is the built-in volume control. There is a button on the right ear for turning the volume up and one on the left ear for turning the volume down.
The adjustable neck band is also a nice feature. This allows you to customize the size of the headphones so that if you have a big or small head it will fit you comfortably.
The transmitter is small and could easily fit in your pocket with your MP3 player, or next to your computer.
Like all of Saitek’s audio products the headphones are a nice blend of Black, Red and Gold colors. They are very shiny and look good. The headphones themselves are light weight, but not as light as a small pair of wired headphones. If you are only used to wearing the really light headphones it may take some time for you to adjust to the extra weight. The headphones are designed to loop over the ear.
On the top of the headphones is an on/off switch. You need to have this in the on position for both wired and wireless use.
On the bottom is the DC plug for charging the headphones and also a line-in for using like standard headphones with a wired.
Each side of the headphones has a volume button. The right side has the volume up and the left side has the volume down.
The transmitter also has a power switch on the front. In addition, there is also an indicator light that changes colors based on the status of the signal. If there is a good signal then the light is blue. If the signal is bad or the battery is going out then the light will flash red. Above the light is a small reset button. If you ever find that the headphones cannot find the transmitter you can press this to have the transmitter reset. There is a small hole in the bottom of the transmitter for plugging in the charger.
These headphones also come with several other parts that you may find useful. The case is large enough to fit all the pieces — if you pack them in, but also small enough to tuck away in a bag. There are also an extra set of ear cushions and a set of pads that you can attach to the inside of the headphones to prevent them from rubbing the side of your head.
When you first turn on the headphones and transmitter you will notice they each have a light that flashes red and blue. This indicates that they are trying to make a connection. When a connection is made they both flash blue quickly, and then the transmitter slows down to about once every 5 seconds. If the transmitter or the headphone starts to run out of batteries, then you will hear a short ping sound and the light on the device will flash red.
I normally wear very small headphones that almost have no weight. So when I put these on I immediately noticed how heavy they are. In reality they are actually very light. They are much lighter than a set of big headphones, like the ones from Bose, but they are slightly heavier than the cheap headphones you can pick up for a couple dollars.
I tested these headphones both while connected to a radio and while connected to my computer. In both situations I was able to receive a good signal when I was close and when I walked away. When I was in an office environment I only got about 25 feet away when they cut out. The signal did not degrade much it just stopped. When the signal stops you hear a short ping sound just like the one you heard when you turned them on. When I was in a home environment I got a bit more distance from the headphones, it was more like 30 feet. While this was not enough to provide free reign of my home it did give me enough room to get up and get a drink and come back to my computer without interruption.
When I had a good connection, the headphones sounded great. If I turned the volume up too high the sound would crack, but it was usually too high to be comfortable so I quickly turned it down. I found that the built-in volume on the headphones worked really well. I did not notice much distortion in the sound I heard when I used that versus the volume on the radio or computer.
To test the battery life I had to test the transmitter and headphones separately because they did not last the same amount of time. This made it difficult because the base had to be charged multiple times before the headphones would run out. The base lasted about 3 hours on a full charge. A full charge for the base was about 1 hour 30 minutes. The headphones lasted quite a bit longer. I got a full 7 hours of use out of them before the batteries died. That is 3 full charges of the base. The headphones seemed to take a bit longer on the charging also, it took closer to 2 hours for the headphones to fully charge.
After the battery on the headphones died, I hoped that I could continue to listen to my radio by using the plug to connect it directly to the radio. Unfortunately, even with it plugged directly into the radio it still needed to use the battery to run. Also, another odd thing is that you cannot leave these plugged into the power and have them last longer. When I discovered that the transmitter would not last as long as the headphones I tried leaving it plugged in to the power, but it did not last any longer.
In order to charge the headphones and base you need to first attach a splitter to the power plug and then attach each end of the splitter to the headphones and transmitter. This is very helpful because you can charge both on the same plug. I wonder why Saitek choose to make the splitter separate and not a permanent part of the power plug. With it being separate it is possible that you might lose it. If it is lost you cannot charge either device because the plug that is part of the power plug is too big to fit the headphones or base.
The warranty for the headphones is just like the other Saitek Audio products that I have received. It is a paltry 1 year. I can understand not wanting to cover the battery or the ear cushions for very long, but the rest of the headphones have few moving parts and should have a much longer warranty.
I was very impressed with these headphones. These are the only wireless headphones that I have reviewed, but I think they do a good job for what they are designed for. They are also not that expensive either. For $99 you can pick up a pair and try them out. I can recommend these headphones for listening to music and movies. If you are doing sound editing where you need to be able to hear every last nuance, then you may want to check out the Bose headphones I mentioned earlier. If Saitek could make it so that the batteries were more equal and even make it so the transmitter could be left plugged in then this would improve the usefulness of the headphones.
|JusTech'n editors' rating|