This review of the Avantree Hive bluetooth stereo headset/headphones will cover three main topics: design and comfort, sound quality, and usability and features. Links to the Avantree store and Amazon store and images of the product can be found at the end of this article.
Here are some quick specs
– $49.99 (on Avantree’s website)
– Bluetooth 2.1
– Charge time 3hrs (according to Avantree)
– Playback time up to 8hrs (according to Avantree)
– Standby time up to 8 days (according to Avantree)
What’s in the box
– Charging cable (usb to 3.5mm cable)
– Detachable 3.5mm headphone cable
– Informational papers
Design and Comfort
The Avantree Hive is made of durable materials that should hold up against everyday use without any issues. The headband is covered with faux stitched leather that gives the product a very conservative and professional look. The headband itself is very thin, but because the Avantree Hive is so lightweight, this is not a problem that interferes with usability. The earpieces themselves are covered on the outside with a soft-touch rubber/plastic material that feels very smooth and looks quite good. On the inside of the earpieces, the earpieces are made of a soft faux leather and are large enough to fit on someone’s ears comfortably (however, like most on-ear headphones, the earpieces can get uncomfortable after extended use). Please note that the Avantree Hive earpieces are large enough to rest “on” the ears, but not large enough to fit “over” the ears, so they are not full-sized over-the-ear headphones.The left side earpiece also features an Avantree logo that glows blue during use and red while charging.
Between the earpieces and the headband, a small bit of the headphone wire is exposed between the gap. Fortunately, the exposed headphone wires are covered with a durable braided cloth-like material. All of the controls, buttons, and switches are located on the left-side earpiece and provide easy ways to play/pause music, accept phone calls, control the volume, skip back and forward between songs, and of course turn the device on and off. The mic is also located on the left side alongside the 3.5mm port. The Avantree Hive uses a unique charging cable that connects to the headphones through the 3.5mm headphone jack (and into a USB port on the other end). Possibly the most helpful feature of this product is that it comes with a high-quality flat 3.5mm headphone cable for someone to use if they do not want to connect with Bluetooth or if the battery has lost its charge. This added cable is not present in many other bluetooth devices, especially in the $49.99 price range.
As with other bluetooth headphones, the sound quality is much better when using a wired connection as opposed to using bluetooth technology. When using bluetooth, the Hive headset provides great high and mid-range sound, and the low-end bass quality is good, but not great. However, when using the provided 3.5mm wired headphone cable, the sound quality improves quite a bit. Not only do the high and mid-ranges sound great, but the low-end bass is great and of a quality that is well worth $49.99 or even a little more. The mic picks up sound well, but sometimes the person on the other end will hear an echo from the Avantree Hive mic. This problem could possibly be one that only presents itself in certain situations and not all the time, but extended use of the mic would be required to gather a good consensus. Along with the sound quality, it is worth noting that the Avantree Hive is not advertised as a noise-canceling headset, but the earpieces provide a good balance of keeping out external sounds while also not entirely blocking every sound.
Usability and Features
The Avantree Hive is incredibly easy to pair with bluetooth devices. After turning the headset on, simply hold the play/pause button until it the Avantree logo starts quickly flashing blue and red. Once the logo starts flashing, the Avantree Hive is discoverable on bluetooth devices. The volume rocker also doubles as the “skip to next or previous song” button. Quickly tapping the switch in either direction skips songs, and holding the button changes the volume. When the volume reaches 100%, a beeping noise will signal that the volume can no longer be increased. Users should note that these headphones can be very loud, so always listening at maximum volume is a bad idea. Clicking the “play/pause” button when no media is playing will open a voice search menu on certain phones. The battery, once fully charged, lasts for days under average use, but a way to see when the battery is low does not seem to exist. Users should note that the built-in buttons and controls only work when using a bluetooth connection. Using a wired connection when the headset has been switched off will only allow the Avantree Hive to be used like a normal pair of headphones.
The Avantree Hive feels like a quality product, looks professional, offers many features and controls, and fits into an affordable price range when compared to similar products. Overall, the Avantree Hive bluetooth stereo headset is well worth $49.99.
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