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EHEAR E2 – a Bluetooth wireless headset and action camera in one [Review]

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Just when you think you’ve seen it all, along comes a product that makes you go, hmmm. This new EHEAR E2 Bluetooth Headset & Action Camera is one such product. It’s actually a very clever idea. Take a standard wireless headset which you can use with your phone to pick up and make calls, and integrate a camera so you can also take videos as you travel around. Makes sense.

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First impressions
In practice however, we found some limitations with the product, which we’ll come to later. The product comes in a fairly nondescript box, with a good sized user manual, a microUSB charge cable and some spare accessories for the headset attachment.

The unit itself features a video Record button, a hands-free call answer/hang up button, on/off switch and a microSD slot for storage which accepts cards up to 64GB. The camera resolution is not great, at just 320p or 480p, but it’s not really trying to compete with the GoPro franchise. Check our our video below to see our overview of the product. Video samples from the camera are at http://youtu.be/R5pZfX7RXOs

In use
The set up of the device is pretty standard. Pair it with your phone via Bluetooth as you would do with any headset, and then install the free app, called Vido, and you’re set. Unfortunately the firmware on the device is not fully finished, since it can take quite a while (actually sometimes it just fails completely) to connect the phone app and the headset together, but once they’re linked you get some neat touches.

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For instance you get a live reading of the battery life of the headset and the memory remaining for video, and you can also control the camera remotely from your phone, without having to use the Record button on the headset itself. You can also record audio from the app, although the quality is pretty average.

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Strange design choices
The headset can only work in one mode or another, not both together. So you can either use the app to control the camera for remote recording and monitoring, at which point the headset will not be usable as a hands-free unit with the phone, or you can connect the headset as a hands-free, and the phone app will not connect up at all.

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It’s strange but there is a workaround, since you can connect the hands-free function and then manually grab video with the Record button on the unit, but it seems strange not to offer simultaneous operation. It may be something to do with the Bluetooth technology though, or bandwidth constraints or something.

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Conclusion
As you can see from the video samples, the resolution of the camera is not glorious, but at least it copes with most general outdoor needs. Which means it’s good enough to capture general video when you’re out and about, but we wouldn’t rely on it for anything more serious, especially without adequate lighting. And although we thought there was no audio capture with the video, what we actually experienced was highly compressed audio which was almost inaudible.

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We couldn’t really run detailed tests on the hands-free audio part of the operation simply because we had so much trouble trying to connect the device with the phone, but judging by the overall audio recording quality we suspect that it will be no more than average. Overall we would say that this is a pretty average V 1.0 product, which desperately needs a version 2 or 3 to get up to scratch in many important areas. The price of the product is OK, but we’d prefer to see a higher price and specification, because at the end of the day we think the concept of combining the two functions is a really good one. It just needs a better implementation.

Price: $56.14
Red Ferret readers can get a discounted price of $50.99 using the GearBest code of E2HF.

Specifications
Connectivity : Wireless
Connecting interface : USB
Compatibility: Android
Application : Portable Media Player, Mobile Phone
Cable length : 21cm
Power supply: 1 X Fast-charging 200mAh Lithium Polymer Battery (Not User Replaceable)
Working voltage: 3.5V
Working time: 5+ Hours Talk Time, 1.5 Hours in 320p, 1 Hours in 480p

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


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