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Technology Review: SuperTooth Melody Bluetooth Headphones

Bluetooth technology has given rise to a range of audio equipment which make full use of this wireless form of play; while speakers have mostly benefited from such convenient connectivity, the quality in bluetooth headphones is much more varied. Respected company Supertooth have given us some very compact bluetooth headphones in the form of Melody, hoping to edge towards the top of the spectrum of similar products available, and they do a pretty respectable job despite some drawbacks.

The packaging is quite chunky given what's inside: a simple black travel pouch, a proprietary USB cable, and the headphones themselves. Small, velvety ear pads are connected via a sleek bridge, cushioned with a rather comfy fabric. The small frame fits very well on the head, with the relatively small earcups laying on the ears perfectly, able to be extended and rotated if need be. For those with a bigger head, these might not be as comfortable; the headphones are designed with a focus on being portable and relatively unassuming.

On the left headphone is a shiny bezel bearing the Supertooth logo, and on the right is where the functional buttons are placed. Buttons are on the outer bezel so you can control the functions easily by raising your hand to your ear. Play/Pause, skip track, and the multipurpose 'power' button are located here, while the volume controls are on the underside of the same headphone. Functions don't seem to register if you don't press the button hard enough.

You can connect the Melody to any bluetooth device by holding down the power button until the tiny light indicator - beneath the controls - begins flashing a bright blue, indicating that the product is searching. Simple and straight forward thanks to Bluetooth 2.1 technology, the devices pair efficiently and auto pair on any subsequent power-on. The problem here is that the technology requires a relatively stable wireless connection to work, I found that walking a bit more briskly led to the an interruption in the connection; songs would skip for a millisecond or two, taking the smooth play out of the equation should you be on the rush. Due to this, Melody under-performs in certain situations such as using the treadmill in the gym - a popular activity for those looking for efficient headphones. Things remain clearer if the connected device is kept near the headphones, but if you are putting the connected device in your pocket then be prepared for a few skips here and there.

Assuming the connection remains smooth, the product's performance is quite good; the sound is reasonably clear and crisp, with delicate attention to the depth of the bass and a nice balance no matter which type of music you are playing. The biggest drawback to the sound is the very poor volume, with Melody remaining fairly conservative at maximum performance. This is ideal for those that know the damage headphones can do at high volumes, but it is frustrating when you want to immerse yourself in your favourite tune; or block out external noise. Fortunately, there's no muddled sound no matter which volume you are at, placing the clarity as one of the strongest points of the Melody.

Battery life is reasonably good, with the headset lasting well over seven hours between charges. Melody doesn't take too long to charge either.

Taking calls on the integrated microphone is a standard touch for bluetooth devices nowadays, and the technology is implemented well here. The power button doubles as a call button, making taking calls a matter of reaching up to your ear and pressing a button. Calls are clear on either end.

At $105.49 online, the Supertooth Melody bluetooth headphones offer enough to justify ownership, but aren't overly impressive given that the price is higher than average for products of similar quality.

Product Score: 7.0 out of 10

Highlights: Great ergonomic design makes headphones ideal for mobility; on-ear controls including volume, press/play, call answer/power on, and tracking; bass deep and clear; great battery life and charging time.

Lowlights: bluetooth connection can be interrupted on the go; sound can be a bit dull and volume very conservative; larger head shapes may find the headset much too small.

The SuperTooth Melody headphones retail online at MobileZap for $105.49 and can be found HERE