RIM BlackBerry HS-500 Wireless Headset Hands-On Review

BlackBerry-maker RIM's latest smartphone accessory, the BlackBerry HS-500 Bluetooth Headset, delivers decent call quality, comfort and a cool music-over-stereo-Bluetooth feature. But its minimalist design and lack of buttons end up hurting overall performance. Here's why.

Tue, October 20, 2009

CIO — Research In Motion (RIM) makes a whole lot more than just BlackBerry smartphones; the Canadian-company sells BlackBerry Enterprise Servers (BES) and secure smart-card readers to organizations to name a couple examples, along with a bevy of smartphone- and gadget-related accessories like skins, cases, and Bluetooth peripherals for everyday BlackBerry owners.

image of RIM's BlackBerry Wireless Headset HS-500
RIM's BlackBerry Wireless Headset HS-500

In fact, the mobile-market has seen a notable increase in RIM-branded BlackBerry accessories released in the past year or so, and that growth has largely coincided with the company's success moving from the enterprise-smartphone-ranks, which RIM dominated for years, to the vast consumer market. In other words, as RIM builds and expands its customer base, it's also growing its product portfolio accordingly.

The company's latest smartphone accessory? The RIM BlackBerry HS-500 Wireless Headset. Many of RIM's new products are meant to not only bring in additional dollars but also drive up loyalty to the BlackBerry brand. RIM's latest accessory, the BlackBerry Wireless Headset HS-500, falls into this category, with its BlackBerry-smartphone-like design and large, can't-miss "seven-dot" BlackBerry logo.

As such, the BlackBerry Bluetooth HS-500 Headset's target audience is the die-hard BlackBerry purist, the person with everything BlackBerry. But it works with just about any other Bluetooth-enabled devices, as well, so even iPhone-enthusiasts can embrace headset-diversity and employ the HS-500, should they so choose.

BlackBerry Wireless Headset HS-500 Packaging
BlackBerry Wireless Headset HS-500 Packaging

The HS-500 isn't RIM's first Bluetooth headset, but it's certainly the company's best wireless headset to date.

Keep moving through the rest of my review to see whether or not the BlackBerry HS-500 Bluetooth Headset can and/or should replace your existing ear-piece or speakerphone. First up, what RIM did right...

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