- Wireless works well, flexible design makes for easy transport
- Sound quality disappointing
The Samsung SBH170s are a decent but not outstanding pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones. They suffer the same audio quality issues as most other wireless headphones we've tested, however if you're after a wireless and portable solution they should satisfy your needs.
Price$ 179.00 (AUD)
Samsung's SBH170 is a wireless Bluetooth headset designed to operate primarily with mobile phones that can broadcast Bluetooth stereo signals using the A2DP profile. While the growing number of products in this category is promising for those of us who prefer unwired freedom, the fact remains the majority of them could use a lot of work when it comes to sound quality and this model is no exception.
Wireless headphones almost universally sound inferior to their wired compatriots. We have yet to hear a pair of them, Bluetooth or otherwise, that we'd elect to use over a regular pair of Hi-Fi headphones. The SBH170s don't do a terrible job, but their sound quality is still slightly below average.
The biggest issue we have with the audio was how booming it is. Every element of the music is overblown and lacking control. This is most noticeable in the bass, which is extremely bloated with almost no definition. The mid range is the same, exhibiting some noticeable distortion and a lack of clarity. If everything was a little tighter we could have been satisfied with how bombastic it sounds, but as it stands the overall tone is too muddy for our tastes.
The bass is the strongest element, with a lot of extension and slow decay. It is far too prominent, overshadowing the other elements of the music and it made several of our test tracks sound rather inaccurate. Meanwhile the mid-range is quite laid back, with a gritty tone that is a little harsh. We found the vocals to be extremely prominent, pushed forward from the rest of the range, but aside from that the separation is quite poor, with minimal distinction between individual instruments and notes. The highs are decent, but not outstanding. They are a little flat and lack sparkle, but their slightly recessed sound combined with the overpowering lower register notes mean they are the best, if weakest sounding part of the music. The soundstage is fairly flat with a fairly two dimensional presentation, however this isn't unexpected from a pair of wireless headphones in this price bracket.
One noteworthy element of these headphones is their design. The two ear-cups are connected via a flexible rubber strap, which gives them the ability to change shape and angle easily. While this is a good idea for the majority of people, as it will help achieve a better fit than many over-the-ear models, it doesn't have the ability to extend at all, meaning those with larger heads may find them too small or rather tight. For the rest of you, the design is relatively comfortable, although the headphones do have a tendency to move around too much which can be disruptive.
The other cool element of the construction is that the SBH170s are easy to fold up and take on the road with you, thanks to the provided carry case. Most over-the-ear models have the downside of being bulky and difficult to transport when you aren't wearing them, so this is a big bonus for those who want portability but aren't fans of earbuds or IEMs.
The SBH170s also come with a few controls for music playback. These run along the top of the left-hand cup and are comprised of volume, track skip and play/pause. While their functionality can save you pulling your digital media player form your pocket, we found their close proximity to one another a little irritating. Once you learn which control is which it isn't so bad, but every so often we did find ourselves doing the wrong thing accidentally.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Lexar® Portable SSD
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Acer Swift 7
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Google Daydream VR headset
Huawei Mate 9
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Surface Pro 4
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 3 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 4 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 5 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
Latest News Articles
- Apple's AirPods could deliver audio with multiple wireless protocols
- First look: Nuheara IQbuds smart Bluetooth ear buds do more than just music
- Convoy International restructures business focus
- Beats Solo2 headphones go wireless for $399
- Astro A38 review: A staggering price to pay for convenience
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- Subaru XV 2017 review
- LG G6: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTTechnical Consultant - SQL Server programming skillsACT
- FTService Delivery ManagerWA
- CCSAP BPC SME/Consultant - BRISBANE BASEDQLD
- FTAGILE Implementation Manager ContractNSW
- FTSenior Network Security EngineerACT
- TPWintel EngineerVIC
- CCMigration EngineerACT
- TPProject Manager - General InsuranceNSW
- FTWeb DeveloperACT
- FTSolution ArchitectVIC
- FTPMO CoordinatorNSW
- CCSolution Designer (Teradata) - Finance - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- CCOrganisational Change Analyst - Banking/Financial ServicesNSW
- FTSalesforce Senior Developer | Solution DesignerQLD
- CCChange LeadNSW
- TPJunior Software DeveloperQLD
- FTService Desk OperatorsSA
- CCA/V OfficerNSW
- CCIT Project Scheduler- Port MacquarieNSW
- CCProjects Governance Risk SpecialistSA
- FTField Services EngineerWA
- FTICT Security AnalystQLD
- FTSOE Team LeaderNSW
- FTFunctional Consultant - CommercialsQLD