Hands-on with the Sound ID 510

Hands-on with the Sound ID 510
Generally we've come to that point where there is very little innovation surrounding the technology behind Bluetooth headsets. We're at that level where noise cancellation is a must have feature in order to properly compete in this market while the separation between the good and the bad may also be found in quality design. When you look at the current line of high-end Bluetooth headsets out there, the Sound ID 510 stands head above the water due to its implementation of an iPhone app.

At a first glance, the design of the Sound ID 510 is typical of other devices as it's constructed out of a piano black plastic which makes it relatively light weight and unnoticeable when worn. In addition to packaging the usual wall charger and microUSB cable, it also came along with a holster which perfectly seats the headset when it's not being used – plus you can also clip it onto something for quick access. Although it may not sport some kind of futuristic look, the minimalistic look has a lot of 90-degree angles that shape it predominantly. Toward one side you'll find the dedicated power button while the opposite is completely adorned with a grill used to cover the microphone – which actually extends to the whole length of the headset. There's a single well-sized multi-function button on the front surface with an LED indicator found directly next to it. The oval cutout on the front is actually used for the touch sensitive volume control which essentially allows you to slide your finger up or down to change the setting. You'll be able to charge the headset through the microUSB port found on the back side while the earpiece is shaped in a spout with a loop to ensure a proper placement which feels pretty tight.

The true potential with the Sound ID 510 can be found with the useful iPhone app it's integrated with – but it's worth noting that while it currently supports only the iOS platform, it will eventually be made available to others down the road. When you're in a phone call, you can personalize the tone of your caller by running the app and then moving the icon found under the “Personal” menu. Not everyone has the same level of hearing, but that's where the beauty of the Sound ID 510 comes into play as you can move around the icon that's on screen – this will change the tone of the voice by making it sound hollow, muffled, sharp, or even extra clear. In any event, you can always change it to specifically cater to your taste – which is yet something that's not offered by other headsets. The fun doesn't end there as the “Tools” menu tucks away a treasure trove of neat features to further the experience on the Sound ID 510. Sure, you can enable the in-call status indicator, but things get interesting when you turn on the environmental mode that happens to amplify the sounds around you – making you feel like Superman in a way with the increased hearing. Two modes are offered, surround or focus, with the first one essentially boosting the sounds all around you which then freely enter your ear as if you're not even wearing one. The “focus” mode is best employed when you're speaking to someone directly in front of you as it'll hone into the sound and enhance it – making every word uttered from their mouth more than distinct. Finally, you're presented with the “Find My headset” option which is extremely useful if you happen to misplace your headset – the headset will emit a low pulsating tone which will increase over time; thus allowing you to locate it.

All in all, there's a lot to like about the Sound ID 510 Bluetooth headset as it functions decently like any other noise canceling headset. However, the in-depth feature unlocked with the iPhone app is quite revealing as it clearly allows it to be differentiated from the usual pack – making it a standout amongst the competition. Even though it's still early in its life-cycle, it'll be interesting to see what other neat concoctions are planned with this headset as it boasts a bevy of features that'll not only entertain users, but also enable them to continue keeping their headset snug close to their ear at all times.

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