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Tuneups Skullcandy vs Jabra Clipper - Bluetooth Helmet Audio Review

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Below is my reply to a thread originating on androidforums.com that may serve as a review/comparison of these two products.

 

I've just installed the latest version to date of Skullcandy's Bluetooth Tuneups for my Giro g10 helmet. I find the device to be lacking in function, overpriced and poorly designed. Bluetooth functionality is handicapped and the device is not designed for outdoor winter use. The retention clip is flimsy and will for sure become dislodged while skiing.



Regarding bluetooth functionality, the only audio that routes via bluetooth is that generated via your telephone. Any other audio (system, browser, you tube, media player, etc.) requires you to route an additional cable to the tuneup bluetooth adaptor.


The intention of my purchasing these wireless Tuneups was to have my EVO 4G tucked away while skiing; cable free via bluetooth. Such intentions will only be met should you use these bluetooth Tuneups solely for telephony. Again, any other source of audio requires a cable be ran from your hand held device to Skullcandy's bluetooth adapter.


There is however a superior alternative. I stumbled upon Jabra's Clipper and it has exceeded my needs. The device is marketed as military grade being shock and water resistant and it does appear to be so ruggedly designed. The device is built so that there is enough force in the retention clip that the audio cable would unplug before the device could become unclipped.

Also, I am able to plug Skullcandy's speakers into Jabra's Clipper and control ALL audio (includind mixzing, subsonic, pandora) on my EVO 4G (rom: Myn's warm two point two RLS3). Via the Clippers control surface, I can answer/ignore calls, raise/lower volume (of the Clipper, not hand held device), pause/play and skip tracks (forward & back).



The volume/sound quality sounds to exceed Skullcandy's bluetooth adaptor. There is also a microphone built into the Clipper which seems to work fine with Android and can also be muted. I cannot however vouch for the Clippers battery life as I've yet tested it's duration. This could be a show stopper but the box says 6 hours talk time, so if I can get 4 listening to music I'll be happy.

I will be returning Skullcandy's junkcheap to the store and instead will dismantle a pair of quality headphones, drop the speakers into the Giro and terminate w/ Jabra's clipper.

Hope this helps someone!

post #2 of 11

I rode a chairlift once with a lady who works doing, 'reviews' like this. Some positive and some negative, depending on what her employer asked. She was always joining and posting on multiple forums, blogs, and websites.

 

She was paid by the word and per published site, (her reviews were checked by copy editors) and she evidently made a good living at it.

post #3 of 11

Why use bluetooth at all?  Just get a pair a of Zagg earbuds with the inline microphone and you can do all that stuff.   Then you won't have to worry about bluetooth running down your EVO battery or the bluetooth units battery.  You can still tuck the phone away and control all that stuff with the buttons on the inline noise cancelling microphone.  The only thing you lose is some of the voice activated bluetooth dialing features  built into the phone which basically suck and are useless on the EVO anyway.

post #4 of 11
I'm on my third season with a Burton Red helmet with the motorola S805 bluetooth headphones. They are awesome, great sound and very easy to use with gloves on. They're also detachable for mounting in a frame for use as standalone headphones. They've never run out on me unless I forgot to charge them. I've used them with several brands of phones, an older iPod with a plugin bluetooth adapter, and an iPod touch.

I believe that the same headphones are also available on a Giro helmet.

They are absolutely worth the investment for the ease of use, sound quality, convenience, and getting rid of that pain in the ass cable. No fumbling for controls when I want to pause the music and be sociable on the lifts.

Regards, Mick
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwoof2 View Post

I rode a chairlift once with a lady who works doing, 'reviews' like this. Some positive and some negative, depending on what her employer asked. She was always joining and posting on multiple forums, blogs, and websites.

 

She was paid by the word and per published site, (her reviews were checked by copy editors) and she evidently made a good living at it.


These Tuneups are advertised as being bluetooth capable. Neither the website or packaging disclose that you will be unable to listen to music via bluetooth; a feature that I believe most would expect to function. My motivation in writing the comparison was to bring this to attention of those interested in this product. I'm not certain why you would try and debase the thread and write of the issue I raised as a paid-for-by-Review. The handicapped bluetooth is a legitimate concern and its disclosure could save someone time and money.

post #6 of 11

I want to post a big THANK YOU to dk0r. Though I have never owned a cellular phone I wanted to drop off a chair lift, I REALLY don't want to drop my 2 month old iPhone 4 into some bottomless pow pow. I ran across this thread Sun night and with free overnight shipping from Verizon's web site, I got my Jabra Clipper today. I can vouch for everything dk0r has said above about the Clipper. I will be skiing with it clipped to my over-ear strap and don't see any kind of normal maneuver or fall dislodging it. I can also vouch for the fidelity of its Blue Tooth musical ability: My other monomania in this life is audiophilia. I just now plugged the Clipper into my living room rig, whose sound quality can only be described here as esoteric. (I'm one of those audiophiles who never really let go of analog and am thoroughly enjoying vinyl's current resurgence) Being fed Apple Lossless files from the iPhone, I can say that the little Clipper's sound quality is at least as good as an entry level CD/DVD player. It won't do any serious time in my system as a primary music source, of course, but you get the idea. As for the earbuds that came in the package, they are quite passable. If I wanted to, I could plug my Etymotic ER4-Cs into the Clipper, but those really do require an external headphone amplifier to sound their best. I've never really been much for listening to tunes on the slopes anyway, enjoying the beauty of nature and all that, but the included earbuds will certainly be more than adequate for the occasional tune on the gondola and they will be ideal for staying in phone contact. More and more these days, the folks I ski with want to coordinate meeting/eating via phone and this will be a huge step up from screeching to a halt, pulling off a glove, digging my phone out of an interior pocket, and then standing there while those fingers freeze, if I didn't miss the call altogether. BTW, I am very impressed with all the functions that can be controlled with the three buttons on the Clipper's face.

 

So, once again: Thank you, dk0r, for your post. Now I just need to figure out the best way to route the right earbud to the appropriate ear...


Edited by cosmoliu - 12/7/10 at 10:31pm
post #7 of 11

Quote:

Originally Posted by dk0r View Post

These Tuneups are advertised as being bluetooth capable. Neither the website or packaging disclose that you will be unable to listen to music via bluetooth; a feature that I believe most would expect to function. My motivation in writing the comparison was to bring this to attention of those interested in this product. I'm not certain why you would try and debase the thread and write of the issue I raised as a paid-for-by-Review. The handicapped bluetooth is a legitimate concern and its disclosure could save someone time and money.

 

 

 

Very helpful review dk0r; I was contemplating getting the Tune Ups with the Bluetooth

 

As for the Jabra Clipper, do you also have the option of hardwiring the music portion to your device as well? I'm a bit concerned about the battery drain on my phone if I let the music run all day while I'm skiing. There's always potential for the boneheaded move of forgetting the charge my phone full the night before.

 

Also, does anyone have any suggestions for headphones that can slip into the helmet pads aside from the SkullCandy ones? I haven't seen much in terms of reviews on sound quality for the SkullCandy ones and I'd certainly like to purchase something solid sound quality.

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by schmx View Post

As for the Jabra Clipper, do you also have the option of hardwiring the music portion to your device as well? I'm a bit concerned about the battery drain on my phone if I let the music run all day while I'm skiing.

 

I'm not certain if doing this would reduce power draw ( Is amplification < (no amplificiation + bluetooth) ?? I don't know..) or why you would want to bypass the Clipper less you're trying to use it simply as a remote control, but this is what I've found:

 

When I plug headphones directly into my EVO 4G (Myn's warm two point two rls3 ROM) all audio output is routed through the EVO. In this configuration Jabra's clipper serves as bluetooth remote control for music as no audio output is routed to the clipper. The problem with this configuration however is that when a phone called is placed/received the audio (output and microphone) is temporarily routed to the clipper despite headphones only being plugged directly into the EVO. When the call (which you cannot hear) is ended the audio output reverts to the headphones directly connected to the EVO and your music will resume if you had it playing. To resolve this you would need a male-male-female Y-splitter to hardwire the headphones to both the EVO and the Clipper.

 

Also, with headphones plugged directly into the EVO do not expect to hear phone audio as it will be routed through the clipper. If you plug headphones into the Clipper then both music and telephone audio works properly through the Clipper.

 

Originally Posted by schmx View PostAlso, does anyone have any suggestions for headphones that can slip into the helmet pads aside from the SkullCandy ones? I haven't seen much in terms of reviews on sound quality for the SkullCandy ones and I'd certainly like to purchase something solid sound quality.


The headphones included with the bluetooth and non-bluetooth Tuneups are different. The non-bluetooth bundled headphones have a larger radius, are thinner and lighter than the headphones included with the bluetooth bundle. The headphones from the bluetooth bundle sounded better to me; they seemed to have a greater range and I noticed much improved bass response.

 

You could also purchase a pair of headphones then remove the speakers from the headband/frame and fit just the speakers with wires to your helmet. The model below even has a music/phone controller w/ microphone that I've heard is Android compatible. I however am just using the speakers from the Tuneups bluetooth bundle with Jabra's Clipper.

PX_100_II_ProductImage_black.jpg


Edited by dk0r - 12/9/10 at 1:34pm
post #9 of 11

Quote:

Originally Posted by dk0r View Post

I'm not certain if doing this would reduce power draw ( Is amplification < (no amplificiation + bluetooth) ?? I don't know..) or why you would want to bypass the Clipper less you're trying to use it simply as a remote control, but this is what I've found:

 

 

My [potentially flawed] thought process was that power consumption would be less if you were to use the Clipper as only the phone and remote component like in the SkullCandy solution rather than have the music pushed through the whole time. I'm no engineer though.

 

Either way, the information is appreciated. Thanks. I'll post back when I'll eventually post back when I configure something for myself.

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by schmx View Post

 

My [potentially flawed] thought process was that power consumption would be less if you were to use the Clipper as only the phone and remote component like in the SkullCandy solution rather than have the music pushed through the whole time.

 

I understand then that you are trying to combine the skullcandy bluetooths ability to route phone via bluetooth and music via direct connection with the jabra clipper's ability to provide music/phone controls.

 

I used a male-male-female 1/8" (3.5mm) Y splitter pictured below to test functionality. With this cable I have the EVO 4G, Jabra's Clipper and headphones all hard wired together.

I was able to have phone (audio & microphone) routed to the clipper and music routed to the hardwired headphones.

 

Despite the headphones being directly connected to the EVO I was able to control all phone and music functions EXCEPT music volume. In this configuration the only way I was able to control music volume was from the EVOs integrated volume controls.  Do to the lack of volume control I will not adapt this config.

 

Note also that in Android you may select the type of audio to be output through a specific bluetooth device.

Settings > Wireless & Networks > Bluetooth Settings > Long Press bluetooth device of interest > Options > Select the type of audio you want routed through the bluetooth device.

I obtained the results above having both phone and media enabled on the Clipper.

pRS1C-2265305w345.jpg

post #11 of 11

Tuneup by Skullcandy is a total piece of crap, advertised as being blue tooth but you need to connect it wit5h a wire..   you can connect it to your IPod with the wire directly and eliminate the useless Tuneup
 

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