At Gadget Helpline we’re big into our quirky gadgets, so when we got a chance to review the CH01 headset from Swissvoice, we jumped at the chance. It’s effectively an ‘old-fashioned’ style phone headset that plugs in to your smartphone, PC, or tablet to use, well, instead of your smartphone, PC or tablet.
The CH01 can be used in one of two ways; with or without its base station. The handset itself features the traditional coiled cord which isn’t long and annoying if you put your phone in your pocket, but can also stretch out a fair few feet if needed. Alternatively you can connect the headset to its base unit using the 3.5mm jack connection, and then use the short aux cable to connect your phone or tablet permanently.
While it might seem a slightly pointless exercise to begin with, we can see this type of headset coming in very handy in a number of situations. While you might look like a bit of a plonker using just the headset walking around in the street, its solid base makes for a very useful desktop accompaniment, and we found ourselves comfortably picking it up instead of our smartphone after a few goes.
Build quality is very impressive, especially given the £35 price tag. The base has a good weighted feel to it, which stops it slipping around your desk, and the connection between the handset and base unit is well-fitted and feels almost cushioned.
The headset itself has a switch to distinguish between iOS devices and anything else, a volume up and down rocker, and a call/end call button which is strangely shaped like a D-pad. Setup is a cinch, and when your phone is connected you can use the D-pad button on the headset to make and end calls – unfortunately with Android and other non-iOS devices you’ll need to use your phone to dial a number or contact to start with.
Once you’re in the call however, comfort and call quality are clearly improved. The CH01 totes HD voice functionality, and we noticed a clear difference in quality with several phones we tested, including an iPhone 4S and the Samsung Galaxy SIII. Flick the switch on the side to show orange and the headset is made iOS specific, meaning that a press of the D-pad button brings up either Siri or Voice Control, allowing you to truly make a hands free call. We found ourselves using this feature to tell Siri to send messages and such, as it was easier to quick press a button on the headset than it was to grab our iPhone and long press the home button. We’re lazy, we know.
You can also use the CH01 as a headset for all types of applications on a PC or tablet. We gave it a bash with Skype for Android tablets and it seemed very good indeed, with audio quality much more refined than using headphones or the tablet’s external speaker. What’s more, the HD voice meant that other people could hear us better as well.
We like the ePure CH01, although more in an office-use sense than using it on the go with your smartphone. It’s well built, and if you use your phone for calling a lot while at your desk or at work, it could significantly improve comfort and quality. If you think you’re cool enough, we’re sure you can probably pull off using the headset on its own out in public, just be prepared for some odd looks.
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