Living in North Central Florida heat and humidity are always abundant. Rain showers from April to September are the norm. So, moisture is always present in one form or another for eight months of the year. But, these kinds of weather conditions also enable me to stay 'active' outdoors most every day. So, I eagerly jumped at the opportunity to receive the Sony, MBR-XB80BS Sports Wireless Headset in exchange for an honest and comprehensive review.
I love listening to music whether indoors or out, and have done so all my 73 years. Surrounding myself with music indoors is never a problem. However, trying to listen to music outdoors while doing my early AM, five-mile walk, and while working in my garden and yard has been disappointing. Playing music on a portable radio was tolerable as long as I wasn't too far from the radio. Then the issue of my neighbors to consider regarding volume. So, I tried the 'water-resistant 'Walkman' style sports radios, but you had to strap the radio to your arm and wear an 'over-the-head' plastic strap from ear to ear, which just did not stay on with any of my outdoor activities. I even tried an inexpensive pair of ear buds, which plugged right into my Apple 5s. They also would not stay plugged into my ears with any physical activity. Then, Apple and most phones eliminated the 3.5mm auxiliary plug. So, after upgrading my phone there was no 3.5mm outlet to plug in to. Yuk!
With all of my non-successes of trying to listen to music outdoors, I never gave 'wireless' a second thought. I thought the construction of outdoor headphones/ear buds was still the same old, same old. What a pleasant surprise this Sony Sports Wireless Headset turned out to be. YooHoo! For the past nine days I have worn this headset during my five-mile, morning walk exercise, and, while working in my yard and garden. Since they have a 'water resistance' feature, I even wore them while washing my car. However, like any new personal device it took me several days to get used too, especially the controls. But, they are designed and constructed with wear-ability and fit as the main features. Sure, the extra bass is good, but if the headset doesn't fit and stay on and in your ear during your physical activities, you can't enjoy it. In my opinion the design of these ear clips is most impressive. They are constructed with non-slip, engraved grooves, so as to keep firmly in place on/in your ears while you actively move your head and bounce your body from side to side and, or, up and down. Additionally, the clips are constructed with a camber like spring action. In other words when you place the clip behind your ear there is an opposite 'springy' action effect to keep the ear bud firmly, but gently in your ear (much like a paper clip). The sound is totally awesome, especially the bass, particularly after I learned to fit them into my ears correctly. WooHoo!
The Bluetooth, wireless connection to my mobile phone allows me to play music, receive, and send phone calls. I must admit the controls on the right ear clip takes a little getting used to, and could use a more 'user-friendly' design. However, as a Senior, the feather-weight of this unit, approximately one ounce total (27g), is outstanding. The voice guidance feature is another impressive feature. She lets you know when the unit is 'ON/OFF', needs charging, low-battery level, and Bluetooth connection 'ON/OFF'. The multi-function controls on the right hand ear clip are simple, but tricky to use. Takes some practice using.
TIP: If you use a Windows computer' USB plug to charge your unit make sure your settings enable the USB power even when your unit goes to sleep. In Windows 10 you can go to Control Panel, System & Security, to Power Options – then in Preferred Plans change your plan settings to enable the USB connections while the computer goes 'to sleep' for at least two hours, the time it takes to charge your Sony Wireless Headset completely. If you don't change these setting your USB plug will stop functioning when the computer goes 'to sleep' and won't fully charge your unit.
I love using this Sony Wireless Headset for exercise and all sorts of outdoor chores. I wind up charging this unit pretty much daily, and, at night for convenience. Because of the heat and moisture here when I am done for the day I wipe the ear clips and buds down gently with a mild-disinfecting wipe since the clip is mostly plastic and impervious to moisture. Although, the operating instructions only specify a dry cloth to clean them. Keep in mind this unit is water resistant not water proof. You cant use them in pools, hot tubs, bath or shower. But, they have performed well in the high humidity and damp conditions of North Florida.
I highly recommend this Sony Wireless Sports Headset for young or old for any kind of physical activities. I bought my sister one for Christmas because she is also an active 'walker' and gardener, who loves 'Easy-Listening' music from her mobile phone . . . . For you personally, or as a Holiday gift, friend's, relatives, or birthday present. Don't forget the Seniors on your list. You won't be disappointed.