Over the last few weeks I have had the pleasure of using and getting to know the Avantree Hive Bluetooth Stereo Headphones, and I have to say the experience has been nothing but a joy.
The simple looking box that the Headphones arrived in gave nothing away, about the slick and intelligent product hidden inside.
The Headphones look much like any other apart from the obvious missing leads, which are standard with the majority of sets on the market. The earpieces are fitted on adjustable metal sliders and are comfy on the ear thanks to the amply padded foam cushioning.
Charged via USB connection, the Avantree has a working time of up to 18 hours following a full charge of 3 hours and the USB lead can also be used to connect to and enjoy non-Bluetooth enabled media devices.
The Bluetooth connection is extremely simple, after enabling Bluetooth on the parent device; power on the headphones and the connection is automatically made, without the need of any codes or passwords.
The Headphones have a range of up to 10 metres and during the time I have spent with them have had no issues with broken or dropped connection. It is worth noting the Headphones can only connect to one device at a time and when swapping between gadgets you will have to turn off the BT connection on the original device to allow connection to the new player.
Although over the course of my review I connected to an iMac and iPhone, but for the purpose of this hands on report I used the iPad mini. As above connection is simply made by turning on the Headphones and searching for compatible devices with the iPad. Once connected the Headphones ingeniously adopt control over the iPad and with the touch of a button, tracks can be skipped, volume altered and Siri called up like a Genie from a bottle.
The left Headphone houses the necessary controls, there are 2 push buttons on the body of the earpiece, the left button plays and pauses tracks and the right button can answer calls or summon Siri. On the underneath of the earpiece is the main on and off switch and the toggle volume control. The volume control can also be used to skip forward and backwards through your tracks on the iPad. This however is a little fiddly and it takes a while to develop a finesse that allows smooth operation, initially I found myself annoyingly skipping tracks all over the place as I tried to adjust the volume.
So we have established the Avantree Hive not only looks good and is easy to use but what do they actually sound like? Well I have used them in a variety of situations from painting a ceiling, on the commute to work and during the course of a days work sat at the desk and in every situation the Headphones have delivered the goods. The sound is rich, with a good balance of bass and mid tones and the music has been clear and crisp until the volume has been pushed to the max, and then there is some definite distortion. However when used at a sensible level, the volume is plenty and is it very easy to become lost in your own little world as you go about your business cable free.
If you are looking for a set of headphones that allow you the freedom of Bluetooth connection and sound great for a reasonable price then the Avantree Hive Bluetooth Stereo Headphones could be just what you are looking for. They would make a perfect pairing with any number of devices including the iPhone, iPad and the Galaxy S4. For more information take a look at MobileFun where the Avantree Hive Bluetooth Headphones are currently retailing for $37.99
Also See: iOS 9.1 beta 4 release notes live