Friday, August 28, 2015

Bienna Bluetooth Wireless Sport Headphones Review

Bienna Bluetooth Headphones
Hey there.  I have quite a few headphone reviews under my belt now.  So much so, that I'm constantly being asked by tech companies to try out their product to see how they stack up to the competition.  I'm beginning to feel like a somebody when it comes to headphone reviews!  lol  Anyways, the next set of headphones in queue to be tested out are the Bienna Bluetooth Wireless Sport Headphones.  Our good friends at Bienna were good enough to send me pair for this review.  So let's get right to it, but first let's talk specs!
  • 4.1 Bluetooth Compatibility (works with the majority of Bluetooth enabled devices)
  • Wireless Bluetooth connectivity up to 30 feet
  • CVC 6.0 Noise Reduction Technology
  • Sweat proof
  • Up to 175 hours of standby time and up to 5 hours of usage time
  • Full charge from dead to 100% in about 2 hours
  • Answer phone calls with built in microphone
  • Can connect with up to 2 Bluetooth enabled devices at the same time
  • Optional voice notification
  • Comes in Black, Red, Blue, and Light Green colors
  • 1 Bienna Bluetooth Wireless Sport Headphones
  • 1 USB Charging cable (3 ft. long)
  • 6 Rubber ear hooks
  • 6 Rubber ear pieces
  • 1 Instruction Manual
  • 1 Leather Carrying Case
Ok, now to my first impressions.  The very first thing that I noticed is that these look very, very, VERY similar to the Mpow Bluetooth Wireless Sport Headphones that I reviewed not too long ago.  It's almost like it was a straight up color swap between the two headphone sets.  Actually... the light green Bienna Bluetooth Wireless Sport Headphones looks exactly like the Mpow one.  Hmmmm...  With that being said... I love the black look.  Solid black design is more my style and I'm glad that this is the color that Bienna sent me.  I feel that black seems to go with practically anything where as a green color really stands out.  I'm more of a low key, black/metallic guy so if I can get anything in the silver/black color palette, I'm all for it.  Also, the headphones sport that bigger ear piece that looks to be more and more common.  I was so used to seeing those small "bullet" shaped earpieces that would constantly fall out of my ears, but this bigger design keeps the ear piece in your ear and feel pretty comfortable.  I definitely prefer this ear piece to those bullet designed ones and if you haven't tried them yet, you should.  There are 3 total buttons that you can use.  The power/play/pause/anything other than turn the volume up and down button is on the right ear piece and and volume buttons are on the left.  I thought that the volume buttons were in the perfect position and easily accessible to turn up the music.  If you long press the buttons, you can skip forward and back while listening to music.  The "do it all" button in a more awkward position.  It's located at almost the opposite side of where you insert the earpiece into your ear.  Because of the position of the button, if you press it while wearing it, you are essentially pushing the earpiece into your ear.  This can be more than a little uncomfortable.  I got around this by removing the right ear piece when I need to press the button but it's kind of a shame that I have to do that to get to it.
Bienna Bluetooth Headphones Accessories
The only thing missing from this picture is the instruction manual!
Now on the to accessories.  The USB charging cable that comes with the headset is USB to MicroUSB cable and it is 3 feet long.  That is one long cable for a wireless headset.  I guess that's good since it gives you quite a bit of length but considering that you get a carrying case, the longer cord needs to be wrapped up nice and tight for it to fit well in the carrying case.  As for the carrying case, I love the red leather (could be faux leather but eh... it look goods) case that comes with the Bienna Bluetooth Wireless Headset.  It's not big, or bulky, and it's study enough to keep your headphones and accessories protected.  I really thought that the case was a nice touch.  Typically, you end up with a mesh bag of some sort to carry around your headphones and while the bag is pretty cool too, it does little in the way of protection.  That is absolutely not the case with this leather carry case.  Lastly, you get get 6 rubber ear pieces and 6 ear hooks, both sets coming in small, medium, and large.  Now, the rubber ear pieces are great to have.  Not everyone's ears are the same so having different sizes for comfort is a must.  I get that.  What I still don't get is the ear hooks, though.  I just don't these practical at all.  You get six of them as well, and they also come in three sizes and yet I don't see how they make wearing the headphones any better.  Even the lady in the advertisement above just kind of has the ear hook thing just hanging there and it looks a bit awkward.  Personally, I don't use them.  Maybe you do and if you do, I would like to know how using them makes for a better experience.

Ok, so now that the cosmetic stuff is out of the way, time for the important stuff.  First up is sound quality.  The sound quality is pretty good, actually.  Because the Bienna Bluetooth Wireless Sport Headphones come in at a lower price point, I was expecting there to be a drop in sound quality.  Surprisingly, I didn't notice that much of a difference between these and other, high sound quality headphones.... but I did notice a difference.  First off, the bass is excellent.  Nice, booming sound.  The mids are warm.  That's good.  And lastly, the highs...  I think this is where there is a slight knock on the headphones.  The highs also have a warm sound.  Sound wise, you want booming lows, warm mids, and crisp highs.  The highs here are not crisp.  Being a lover of all things music, this was apparent almost immediately when trying them on.  It's not that big of a deal and I'm sure that not many people will notice but I did.  I listen to a wide range of music and being able to identify all the parts playing is something that I expect from my listening experience but when the highs and the mids are muddled together, you don't get the best sound experience. Again, not horrible, or disastrous in any way, but it is worth knocking a point or two.

The Bienna Bluetooth Wireless Sport Carrying case is
the perfect size for the headphones and accessories
The comfort level is pretty good.  The soft, rubber ear pieces contort to fit snugly into your ear and because you get 3 pairs of them, you can adjust the size to get the best possible fit.  Other than that, there really isn't much more to say about that.  They either feel good or they don't, right?

Now... the connectivity.  Pressing the "do it all" button turns on the Bienna Bluetooth Wireless Sport Headphones and pressing and holding the button will cause it to enter pair mode.  While scanning my device for the headphones, I was expecting to see Bienna Headphones or something of the like.  Instead, I come to discover that the headphones are found under, "QY7"  Weird, no?  Also, I'm so used to having my devices connect automatically after pairing.  This feature seems to be a hit or miss with these headphones.  Sometimes it connects automatically... sometimes it doesn't.  Connecting manually always takes care of the connection but I'm spoiled and I expect my wireless devices to connect automatically each and every time.  Unless there is a very specific way to connect using these Bienna headphones, I don't understand why they don't connect automatically every time.  I would say that I have about a 70% to 75% autoconnect success.

The Bienna headphones also have the feature to answer calls with a press of a button.  I've commented on this before, and though I find it nice to have, I don't see it a necessary function for sports headphones.  The microphone to speak into is located on the left earpiece and it is nothing more than a pin hole that it's barely noticeable.  The problem that I have with this feature on headphones is exactly that... the microphone is located near your ear and nowhere near your mouth.  This makes taking calls a bit weird.  You either need to speak up loudly to be heard, there's no way that you can pick up a call while running since the person on the other end will hear nothing but wind, and most often than not, you end up taking the call directly from your phone anyways.  I found this to be mostly true while testing the call feature.  Though the microphone is away from my mouth, I didn't have to speak to loudly to be heard, but that just meant that other voices and sounds were also picked up.  This made it difficult to talk while at a gym full of noise.  I suggest that if you do use the call feature, it would be at an office or a more quiet setting where outside noise won't interfere.

Overall, the Bienna Bluetooth Wireless Sport Headphones are good set to own.  Perfect for active people that need their tunes while at the gym, hiking trail, or on a run.  Actually, they are pretty good for just about any time.  The sound quality is good, they feel good, and at a price point on the lower end, what is there not to like?  The only real qualm I have with this headphones set is the battery life.  You only get about 5 hours or so while in continuous use and it takes about 2 hours to fully charge.  I would figure that you would get a better usage time than 5 hours, but then again, if you plan on using headphones for at least 5 continuous hours, it wouldn't be a "sport" type headphones set.  Anyways, you won't get the absolute best sound quality from these but they are way better than those $5 headphones can you pick up just about anywhere.  If you are in the market for a respectable headphones set and don't want to shell out more than $20, the Bienna Bluetooth Wireless Sport Headphones are the way to go.  As of this post date, you can pick up a set for under $18 at Amazon, but you better hurry before it goes back to full price.  Later!

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