Bluetrek ST1

The Bluetrek ST1 is the latest gadget I’ve been playing around with and although I’ve never really been a fan of Bluetooth headsets because of how silly they make you look (go on, you have to admit you’ve seen people walk about with them on and it gives you the same reaction as though someone is wearing two different shoes), there’s a few reasons why I think this one may have turned me on to one.

Design

Unlike Bluetooth headsets that exist on the market today consisting mostly of a single piece that hooks around your ear, looking like something out of ’24’, the ST1 has a wrap around design that work like headphones and are in fact similar in design to some of the headphones that exist on the market today.

Built with a flexible design using a combination of plastics and rubber, this durable device is lightweight and comfortable to wear and unobtrusive to travel around with, and they claim it works even if you wear glasses. Being a contact lens and glasses wearer I can confirm it does what it says on the tin having tried it whilst wearing my glasses, these are just like wearing the wrap around headphones.

The unit I’ve been testing was in white but a black version is also available depending on your preference of style.

On both sides of the headset there are two white circular buttons that light up blue when pushed and also change colour according to the status of the battery. One of these buttons is the power and the other is the dial/hang up button. Less discrete to the side are the volume buttons and the usual mp3 playback controls.

Specification

Boasting a massive 19 hours of talk time on the Lithium Polymer battery, this impressive stamina will last even the most keen talkers or how about 9 hours of music streaming and it does all of this in a package weighing no more than 45 grams and has a potential range of 10 metres.

In practice it didn’t really work for that kind of distance and I wouldn’t expect it to unless I lived on the moon, however the ST1 did measure up to other Bluetooth devices giving me a connection indoors at a distance of up to approximately 2.5 metres away, which to be fair is still pretty impressive. Beyond 2 metres, the connection stays alive but the quality of the audio starts to deteriorate rapidly as you move further away until it loses its connection completely. Distance of wireless technologies is so intermittent that there really are a million variables that affect it. I’m happy so long as this device works in the same room that it’s connecting to and the ST1 definitely does that.

With an output of stereo sound quality using A2DP technology, music in stereo can be transmitted via the Bluetooth connection from a music device such as a compatible mp3 player or music enabled mobile phone, allowing you to use the ST1 as a set of wireless headphones. Handsets like my Sony Ericsson K800i (about 12 months old now) supports transfer of stereo music to the ST1 and the quality is remarkably good with a clear and interference free stream of audio allowing me to walk and move about without wires.

Everything you need to get going comes inside so no extra bits or optional accessories to buy with this one. Everything from a carrying case to a travel charger is included as well as the earphone speaker foam.

Verdict

The manual states that the battery has a lifetime of about 500 charging cycles and recommends charging it up only when the battery is low. Not all that great if you want to top it up over night, ready for the next day. Charge time takes about 1.5 hours from flat and has a USB connector as a connection point so can be connected to a computer for trickle charge or by using the supplied mains adapter.

Wearing the ST1 as a Bluetooth handsfree kit or as a set of wireless headphones will make you look a lot less silly than your typical Bluetooth headset does so if you must walk around with one of these attached to you like someone from the Borg ship from Star Trek then this ‘designed’ headset may be an ideal alternative or perhaps the solution you’ve been searching for. Featuring a sporty trendy look that imitates wrap around headphones, the ST1 as a handsfree kit is excellent with very easy to set up plug and play capabilities that instantly picks up your phone (after being paired up with it – which can be easy depending on your phone).

From the perspective of a music listening device, the ST1 isn’t perfect and although it offers stereo sound, it lacks the quality to fulfill my needs and for me, whilst the trade off for having no wires to untangle (something I dream of in my perfect world) is a godsend, the compromise in sound quality for listening to my favourite tracks is a step too far making it only ideal for listening to on the odd occasion or when you have these on anyway.

There are more and more portable devices that come with Bluetooth technology built in and this is great for increased compatibility and improved abilities for devices to talk to each other. Out of curiosity I wanted to see if the the ST1 would pair up with my MacBook Pro and stream iTunes through it and within seconds I had it all set up and working. With a strong backing for the A2DP standard from Samsung in both their mp3 and mobile phone lines it’s worth investigating some of their products if you’re interested in a tangle-free world.

2007-05-18 Onwah Tsang

9 comments - why not add yours

  • CEGreene says:

    The Verizon retailer I work for has just given me a set of these to test last week, and I am pretty disappointed.
    As with every BlueTrek product I’ve tried (we sell more BlueTrek BT devices than any other brand by far), the ST1’s earpiece is too large for my ear, and thus very uncomfortable.
    But, I’m hoping you might have some insight into a specific problem. While the ST1 is working perfectly for making and receiveing calls, when trying to use it for music it will not work. When the music is initiated from the phone, it is not sent to the ST1, rather it plays from the phone’s speakers, and when using the “Play” button to try to start music playback, the ST1 sends my phone (a LG VX8300) into a playback software deathloop, whereby the phone opens the playback software, declares “no music found” via the external display, then closes the application and immediately opens it again until I’m forced to remove the battery to stop this loop.
    Did you experience any such malfunctions , or have any insights into this sort of problem?

    Posted on 7th June 2007
  • Jammydodger_18_1999 says:

    Just signed up especially to leave a comment behind for this.

    I have tried a number of headsets, and so far these are by far the best. I have not experienced any problems in pairing or using the devices with my SE K800i.

    The headset is light & quite comfortable. It is nice and loud with excellent bass levels, which were missing in my last set, the similarly shaped Motorolla ones. And, the Bluetrek ones come with a nifty cover

    I have only good things to say about these headphones. They are nearly perfect. Just a shame the company haven’t come up with a better way of charging the unit; some sort of funky charging station so you can have them on display (as the also look quite cool) – But then that’s just me; I like all my gadgets to have a home to show itself off.

    Buy this headset and then compliment it with the ‘B-TUBE’ bluetooth speakers from Linx.

    Cheers now!

    Posted on 3rd May 2008
  • Jeff says:

    This is truly the WORST PIECE OF JUNK I have ever bough. I bought a pair in September 2008. The next day I had to exchange them because they were broke. That pair lasted until Dec. 2008 when I let a friend who has the same phone, try them trying to decide if he would buy them and they broke. I had to fight with customer care and they finally replaced them. I sent the broke pair to California and they replaced them. Within the first week of having them back, THEY ARE BROKE AGAIN. DO NOT BUY THEM!

    Posted on 3rd February 2009
  • EZ-Rider says:

    I bought my pair May 2009 with plans to use as a wireless stereo headset while riding my Harley. I like them alot. They are easy to pair with my new Nokia ExpressMusic Phone and they sound great and comfortable in my ears and fit easily under my helmet. The controls work nice if I wear fingerless gloves. I haven’t tried them with a phone call yet. My only problem is they tend to cut in and out frequently. I don’t know if I’m loosing bluetooth connection due to EM/radio interference or if it’s something else. They are much more reliable when I’m off the bike. I also got a bluetooth adaptor for my PC and the pairing is easy enough but it takes a fair amount of fiddling in MS Vista with the sound setting in the control panel to switch from the PC soundcard and speakers to the bluetooth and back again. It does work with media players, youtube, online gaming, etc. The mic does not have a -20dB boost selection so it’s too quiet for talking in-game. It would be nice if they had a software control panel to help with the settings.

    Posted on 29th May 2009
  • Sebastian says:

    Hi

    My pair was playing nicely one moment, then I tested it for distance; at about 3 meters it cut out, and now it is stuck in the on mode. No matter which combination of button pushes, or holding of the on / off button seems to work — its simply stays on, or at least has the blue light shining ever so beautifully, without a sound of any kind in the earpieces!

    Could anyone offer advice? Is there perhaps a reset combination of buttons that I missed? Or a hidden reset switch / pinhole button?

    Thanks

    Posted on 5th July 2009
  • Paul says:

    Sebastian,

    Try recharging and this appears to force a reset and blue light goes out.

    Cheers

    Posted on 6th August 2009
  • atine john says:

    i happen to have the same st1 but my little nephew messed it up by entering another password,now i cant crack it…….any way to help me out here?.even the ‘0000’ default doesnt work keeps telling me wrong password…..any tricks? otherwise i love this piece of gadget,worked good on my iphone en made me look slick…lol
    Please someone out there help me out for i dont wanna loose it yet.

    Posted on 3rd August 2010
  • maria says:

    it is waterproof?

    Posted on 26th August 2013

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