A stapled premium in price is usually associated with Bluetooth headsets and headphones. However this pair, the Wintech WHB-15 flips this assumption on its head, with a low price of £38.90 but are they worthy of even this?
The design of the Wintech WHB-15 headset isn't unfamiliar, we've previously reviewed the Jabra Halo2 Headset and the BBP Mobiband Bluetooth Headphones which share very similar characteristics of a rounded thin headband. This rounded shape and flexibility makes the headset remarkably efficient to whisk on and off our heads. The adjustable headband is tight on even smaller heads and makes sure the moveable ear cushions on an axis are firmly pressed against our ears, in order to prevent sound leakage. In terms of sound pollution a very low key amount of audio is heard from the headset when volume is turned up quite high. The tightness of the band isn't uncomfortable though and is ideal for runners. Silicone coats the underneath of the headband and is spongy and light against the head. However we've noticed that the silicone in areas has peeled away from the plastic exterior of the headband and gets worse the more frequently they're taken on and off our heads, highlighting an area where Wintech have cut corners, to keep the headsets price low. This is the only major design fault we noticed but is a serious hole in the barrel for the WHB-15 headset.
This headset is unable to be folded up for storing within a bag, etc and this may be a little off putting for sports and workout persons who want an ultra compact headset, this is an ability the Jabra Halo2 features and we made us of it frequently. When storing the WHB-15's within a bag or just generally leaving them on a desk etc., they didn't get dirty. The exterior plastic is a soft matte and stares off dust and general debris. We have the white (also available in red and black) variant, the most dissectible to displaying any dirt.
The right hand side of the Wintech WHB-15 Headset sits a control panel. It's made up of four silicone buttons in a grid. The top two skip and go back on tracks, the bottom two adjust the volume. In the middle of this grids sits a rounded button which turns the headset on and off when held down and also pauses/plays audio & answers incoming phone calls when quickly pressed. As the headset can answer calls it has an inbuilt microphone, the quality of which is firmly ok. It picks up the audio from the mouth quite clearly and this is notable when you take into account that the microphone is somewhere on your head, but is very dissectible to wind.
Wintech haven't put together a bad sounding headset here, granted they won't make you fall out of your chair when you first pop them on. They deliver a brilliant all-round easy listening style. The bass at times can sound tinny and tired but for the most part it's fairly balanced. Acoustically sometimes these can sound like a small empty clothes closet, but again, generally they strike it right. The low to mid ranges are fluffy and light, underpinned well with the bass. Volume isn't overwhelmingly loud when fully cranked and the sound stage and distinction of different elements within songs is adequate. They deliver a sound quality from a Bluetooth headset that seems just about worthy of £38.90, but if you're willing to pay £20 more, the Bluetooth MEELectronics Air-Fi AF32 Headphones offer much better audio performance and are an overall better package.
Now everything seemed quite acceptable from the Wintech WHB-15's, that was until we tested the Bluetooth 2.1 EDR range. Our experiences with the range are very mixed. On good occasions the Bluetooth range within an open area is around 10 meters, but sometimes we could hardly achieve a meter of range without audio drop-outs. The solution to regain more range when this happened was to switch the headset on and off. This intermittent aspect of this headset is concerning, generally the audio transfer rate over Bluetooth is fine, but is unreliable due to this.
Battery life is quite good, with Wintech claiming a standby time of up to 250 hours. The working time was around the eight hour mark from our tests, which is a reliable amount to get most through a day and those who listen for a few hours every day may find there's enough battery life to get them through the average work week.
What the Wintech WHB-15 Headset delivers is a cheap and cheerful package. If you're not looking for a brilliant build, construction and audio performance. And simply want to loose the wires on the cheap, this is an acceptable route to take.