Ever since the first Bluetooth headset for cell phones came out, plenty of folks have been eager to see the day when Bluetooth audio made the transition to stereo sound, so you could ditch that wire connected to your iPod–or other portable music device–and feel, well, a bit more liberated. That finally happened last year, and now several new Bluetooth stereo headphones are trickling their way onto the market. The only problem is, most of them don’t sound all that good, which is why we were pretty excited to hear that Etymotic, which is known for its high-performance wired earbuds, was getting into the wireless game.
With a rather hefty price tag of $300, the company’s Ety8s can only be described as premium Bluetooth headphones. They come in two models: the model reviewed here comes with a Bluetooth transmitter/dongle that attaches to the bottom of your iPod, while a second package contains only the wireless ‘buds themselves (if you already have a device with built-in Bluetooth) for $100 less. Etymotic says the Ety8s are compatible with devices “supporting Bluetooth specification 1.1 and higher, as well as A2DP and AVRCP for profiles for stereo listening,” and have a wireless range of about 30 feet. They come with a leather storage case and custom USB cable to juice up the headphones’ internal rechargeable battery, which delivers about seven hours of power. (link)