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Summary:

I just can’t help it. When I put the Altec Lansing BackBeat 903 wireless stereo headset on, I have to dance. (Notice, I didn’t say “I have to dance well.”) The sound from this review unit sent by the Altec Lansing is quite good — better […]

I just can’t help it. When I put the Altec Lansing BackBeat 903 wireless stereo headset on, I have to dance. (Notice, I didn’t say “I have to dance well.”) The sound from this review unit sent by the Altec Lansing is quite good — better than I expected, actually. I can wirelessly control music playback, volume, and even use these to take phone calls. Yesterday, I used these with my Palm Pre to participate in a 2.5-hour conference call, and they worked out very well. The only issue I had was the tiny mute button, which I think needs a little improvement. Bass isn’t the deepest, but holding the Play/Pause button for two seconds gives a bit of a boost to assist in that area.

For $99, I think these offer an excellent value. The sound won’t be quite as good as a high-end wired headset that costs far more, but unless you’re a true audiophile, these should work out nicely. Plus, you gain the convenience of wireless connectivity. As in all things mobile tech, it’s a trade-off.

Got questions I didn’t cover in the video review or here? Just post ‘em in the comments, and I’ll do my best to answer ‘em.

  1. Hello Kevin,

    great dance! Did you try those headphones with the iPhone (3.0 FW)? Just wondering about controlling playback on the phone via the headphones (I have a SE HHBH-DS980 and playback control doesn’t seem to work…

    Thanks!

    Tariq (@ Paris)

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    1. Tariq, I still have the first-gen iPhone, so even though it has the 3.0 software, it doesn’t support Bluetooth for anything other than phone calls. Tomorrow I should have my iPhone 3G S and can test. I’ll post the results here for you.

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    2. Thanks Kevin.

      Two more things…actually three (!)
      – Now I am expecting James K to dance as well
      – …and I want YOU to post the video online ;)
      – Whenever you come to Paris, you HAVE to perform that dance in person!

      :)

      Tariq

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    3. I’ve tried the Motorola S9 Motorokr stereo bluetooth, and I had a couple of problems: The music playback would frequently cut off for 1-2 seconds. Also, when taking calls, the caller on the other end complained of hearing his own voice echoing back (like feedback). Did you encounter either of these problems with the A.L. 903? (BTW, is this the same device as the Samsung 903 that Sprint offers?)

      I’m looking for a decent Bluetooth headset for use under a motorcycle helmet. Noise cancellation is a big factor. If not for the above issues, the S9 would have worked well.

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  2. GO DAD!

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    1. Now you saw me dance at the wedding bud, so no funny comments. You know that even though I can’t breakdance like you can, I can still bust a move! ;)

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  3. Can you replace the battery?

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  4. I had a very similar reaction with my Sony XB700 cans a few weeks ago as you Kevin. No video camera around to document it though…

    Way to bust a move!

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    1. Pics or it didn’t happen! :)

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  5. I wonder how it compares with the Plantronics Voyager 855 Stereo Bluetooth Headset. What I like about the Plantronics is that you can switch from mono to stereo by plugging in the other piece.

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  6. I am tempted by the Plantronics 855 for the reason rodfather points out and also as Amazon are selling them for $31.

    I would love to get by paws on the Sony is800 though.

    Very sweet looking, but $135.

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    1. …indeed I am looking at the Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 as well…

      :)

      Tariq

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  7. Loved the dancing. If you can’t have fun at work (and home, as it were), you’re screwed. :)

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  8. You mention the convenience of wireless connectivity, but one thing you neglect to mention is the inconvenience of another device to have to charge at all times.

    To me, the two cancel each other out, so I go for the better sound quality of a wired headset, like my Etymotic hf2 headset, which is working perfectly with my Pre.

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  9. The band seems nice and wobbly enough to put in a front pocket. Is it possible?

    Also, are these lie-in-bed friendly?

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  10. They actually look really comfortable and functional, especially if you are going to go running, or some other form of exercise.

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