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Review – Rock Out Wirelessly With the Kyrocera GSH-300 A2DP Stereo Bluetooth Headphones

Kyocera’s Bluetooth A2DP Stereo Headphones Rock!

I’ve had my Kyocera GSH300 for quite a while now and have never done a review on them. Why? I’m not sure. But I’ve been seeing a lot of posts around the internet lately about different types of Bluetooth A2DP headphones and none of them seem to compare to these.

What is this crazy A2DP thing you keep talking about?

A2DP is a Bluetooth profile that allows compatible devices to stream Stereo high quality sound wirelessly. Both the headset and the transmitting device must support this profile. Most new cell phones that are touted as ‘music phones’ support it – the iPhone unfortunately does not. Also, most computers with Bluetooth devices support it.

What does this mean?

Using your computer as an example, you can stream all of the audio from your computer straight to your wireless headset. No wires getting tangled in your computer chair, no pets trying to eat them, no tripping down and spilling your Appletini when you try to get up and didn’t realize you’ve turned in a circle 10 times in the last hour and your headset cord is now wrapped tightly around your leg and the chair.

Also, many VOIP applications now support bluetooth headset profiles, so your new super cool wireless headset can allow you to chat wirelessly. Some of them even support use of the buttons on these headsets and you can pickup and make calls without even touching your computer. Ventrilo and TeamSpeak also work with these headsets – watch out though, your weekend gaming binge might leave you speechless with a dead battery – they only last 6-10 hours generally between charges, but charge in only a couple hours.

When used with a compatible cell phone you can do much the same, the phone will stream the audio right to your headset. Many A2DP compatible headsets also have microphones built in so if you get a call on your cell phone you can pick it right up and use it like the bluetooth headsets we are accustomed to.

Now that that is out of the way… on with the review!

The style on this headset is a little different from the others I’ve seen and used. The Motorola S9 headset (overhyped and advertised with the likeness of David Beckham) is a rigid behind the head type headset with rubbery earbud style speakers. The Logictech Freepulse are similar to the S9, although the connector between each ear is smaller and the speakers are more like a standard set of headphones. The Kyocera GSH-300 (Part Num TXCKT10161) goes for a different approach: each earpiece is like a normal headphone, but connecting them is only a simple wire. The earpieces sit on your ear much like a standard bluetooth headset you’d use with any cell phone, and between them the wire runs behind your head. The wire has a small bead on it that allows you to adjust the slack so the wire doesn’t get all tangled. The fit is comfortable, but not too loose. They can easily be worn while you do work around the house or the office. Did I mention they come with a cute little case?

The sound quality on these is great. I’d say nearly amazing, particularly for a wireless connection. The highs are reasonably clear, the mids are good (as is the case with most any headset) and the bass is surprisingly full. There is no static at all with these. Effective range will depend a lot on your environment. In my home, with 2 computers, 3 monitors and ~6 wireless networks within range, I can go about 15 feet away before they start to break up – which amounts to being able to go anywhere in the next room, but not 2 rooms away. This will vary greatly based on a number of factors, including the wireless interference in your area and bluetooth transmitter. A phone in your pocket will always provide great signal, but a laptop on your desk in the middle of a ton of electronics (like mine) will get it cut down from the advertised 30 foot bluetooth range.

Battery duration is amazing too. They’re rated at up to 15 hours of talk/listen time or 300 hours of standby, and in my testing I’ve definitely gotten close to that, although its hard to measure exactly because I don’t exactly sit and listen to music for 15 hours at a time generally speaking. Suffice to say with heavy use they can easily go all day and then some. Need to recharge ’em? That’s easy too, they charge via a USB cable from any computer.

They have all of the features possibly available from a bluetooth headset. Right now they’re hooked up to my computer and I’m using them to listen to music. Without changing applications, I can press a button on them and turn the volume up or down or fast forward songs. They’re amazing. When paired with an appropriate cell phone, not only can you stream the music to it, but if a call comes in all you have to do is hit the right button and they will pick up your call and you can converse with the built in mic.

It has an up/down/push toggle on the back, a button on the side for answering and hanging up, and volume up/down buttons on top all easily accessible and attached to the right side earpiece.

If you’ve got a little extra cash, I definitely advise checking these out – but get them soon! Kyocera has discontinued them and looks to no longer be selling any A2DP headsets, only standard bluetooth. You’ll have a hard time finding any used, I think, because honestly I haven’t seen a single bluetooth headset on that market that can replace them. I managed to track some down however, and you can find them right here on eBay starting at ~$58 from what seems to be a reputable US based seller and is a good price for an A2DP stereo headset.

Feel free to leave a comment with any questions you might have about ’em. I love mine and I’m sure you’d love them too. I’ll be posting my thoughts on the other headsets I’ve tried (Moto S9 and Logitech Freepulse), but I can tell ya – they don’t even come close to this Kyocera. Get it now before they’re totally off the market.

For those of you, like me, who end up ordering thise headset and then end up losing the manual.. you can find a PDF version right here.

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TeamSpeak

MMORPG Etiquette – How to Play Nice Online

MMORPGs (also known as Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Games) have become immensely popular in recent years. What used to be a niche hobby has expanded into a mainstream pastime. If you plan to try one of the many MMORPGs available, learn the basics. I am not talking about general movement controls or how items work in the game. I am referring to those basic codes that should exist in all MMORPGs, no matter what genre it falls under or how many people play it. If you want to make friends and build bonds in your MMORPG, know how to play nice.

Conversationally Speaking: Basic MMORPG Interactions

The main draw to an MMORPG is the fact that you are playing with real people. So many different personalities are what make online games dynamic. This can also spell conflict when players do not know the proper ways to communicate.

Never type in all capital letters. Although this rule was instated long ago, when the first chat programs became popular, many people still have no idea it exists. When you speak entirely in caps, people think you are yelling. Unless you greet new acquaintances in real life by screaming in their face, it is recommended you not do it online, either.

Avoid rude or personally insulting comments when meeting new players. You have no idea who that person is or where they come from. In time, you may get to know them and know their personality and what is and is not OK to say around them. However, when communicating with strangers, remember that another human being is on the receiving end of what you say.

Proper MMORPG Grouping

Joining others to complete tasks can make levelling far easier in an MMORPG. Not to mention it provides the opportunity to meet new people and create bonds. If the experience is positive, your group mates will probably be willing to join you on adventures again. However, make sure you start off on the right foot.

Before inviting someone to a group, talk to them. One of the biggest pet peeves people have in MMORPGs is the blind invite. When applied to real life, how do you think a stranger would react if you pulled up beside them in your car and demanded they get in? My guess is the cops would be called and havoc would ensue.

Should someone refuse to group with you, do not take it personally. Calling them names or getting aggressive about it will do you no good. They wouldn’t group with you before and after you spam the word “noob” at them fifty times, they certainly won’t group with you ever. Just let it go. Who knows, they may see your maturity and change their mind about grouping. Besides, you never know when a situation will require you to work together later on.

Need Always Comes before Greed

Another aspect to grouping is the sharing of loot. When there are spoils to be had, think of the others who have assisted in obtaining the gear or items. Do not demand everything of value for yourself, even if you cannot wear or use it. You can always do another dungeon run or task later. Most MMORPGs have instated a need and greed rolling system. This allows people to either pass on things they do not want, or roll need if they need it or greed if they could use it but don’t need it. If you have any questions about who gets priority for various items, ask. It is often best to agree upon any looting rules before you begin so everyone is clear.

Some items sell well in MMORPGs. If an item like this drops, always let someone who can actually use the item take priority. This is exactly what the saying “need before greed” means.

Fun with Voice Chat

Ventrilo, TeamSpeak and other online voice chatting programs can make MMORPGs even more entertaining. They also provide a fast way to communicate in difficult situations, shaving valuable seconds off of response time for heals or assistance. When utilizing a voice chat program, avoid commandeering the conversation. Let others have the floor so everyone gets to participate.

When you join a session in progress, always say hello. Entering without speaking can make others uncomfortable. After all, you are the one who joined, so it is your responsibility to announce yourself rather than the responsibility of those already chatting to acknowledge you. After a friendly greeting, allow a pause to make sure you are not interrupting a conversation or event. Some groups can be very intense and require total concentration. Make sure you are not talking over vital group directions.

Starting Out is Hard to Do

Beginning a new MMORPG, especially one that has been active for a long time, can be frustrating. You must learn how to play and build up your character while other players have already achieved maximum level. Gaining levels can be fun however you will most likely not have much in the way of currency and items. This will come in time. Some people hate waiting and want it all now. Never beg or ask for currency or gear from strangers. If you have a friend who has been playing, they may help you out. Remember, everyone else started at level one just like you did. They worked hard to build up their characters and obtain in game wealth. They will have little sympathy for your cause. Part of the fun of MMORPGs is experiencing various storylines and content as you level up. Unless you would be willing to walk the streets in your neighbourhood, begging for money, do not do so in game.

MMORPGs can be lots of fun! Utilizing these basic rules can get you on the right path to build friendships and enjoy your game time even more. When you treat others respectfully and fairly, they will be more willing to help you later. Play nice and have fun!