Some time ago, I did a review of the Motorola ROKR bluetooth headset. If you read that, you’d see that I wasn’t too impressed with them. For expensive, name-brand equipment, I expected better. Instead, I ended up with a drawer full of non-working headsets (that eventually ended in a garbage can full of non-working headsets).
So, I thought I’d go to the other extreme and find a cheap bluetooth stereo headset to see if I had any better luck. After a quick search on Amazon, I came across a headset made by the folks at Patuoxun. Yep! You read that right – Patuoxun (I had to look at my email to remember the name – and how to spell it).
I never heard of the company before – but the design of the headset online closely mirrored the look of the original ROKR headset that I had originally liked. No wire across the back of the head with just big, goofy ear headphones (that liked to easily fall off – a la the newer version of the ROKR headset). For $11.00, I figured that I couldn’t really go wrong (and, if I did, I spent that much money for a typical lunch. I was willing to take the risk!).
The headset was shipped pretty quickly. I was so excited to get these in the mail – since I missed having the freedom to run (or ride indoors) without pesky wires. At first chance, I opened up the padded envelope for my first look at this new, cheap pair of bluetooth speaker headphones.
Immediately, I was unimpressed. Now, I can’t tell you that it was because of the product itself. Honestly, it was the packaging. Well, more specifically, the writing on the packaging. The large print on the front of the packaging proudly touted: “Steroe Bluetooth Headset.” That’s not a typo (on my part). That’s how they spelled it on the packaging.
I giggled a little bit – thinking that I’ve found a “high quality” company. “I guess that’s what $11.00 buys,” I thought to myself. So, I turned the card over to the backside – to look at the instructions. They weren’t much better.
Typos and sentences that didn’t make much sense were all over the instructions. Maybe, for $12.00/pair, they could afford a better translator. By the time I got to the end of the instructions, I couldn’t even figure out how to turn the headset on!
I could only see three buttons on the headset. They looked like:
- Fast Forward
That was it! A small indicator light said On/Off – and there was a place to plug the headset in (through USB only – no wall jack).
I tried to follow the instructions to pair the headset to my phone. They specifically told me to “Press Bluetooth key for three seconds…” As far as I could tell, there was no Bluetooth button. I couldn’t even find a Power button.
At this point, I was a bit disturbed. I could have used that $11.00 to get a pretty darn good burger. With the poor translation and the lack of necessary buttons, I abandoned my attempt to pair my phone with the “eyewear” (as the translator called this piece of equipment to go in my ears). I figured I was out my $11.00.
But that’s not where this story ends!
I received an email from the Patuoxun customer service representative, Irene. She inquired what I thought about the headset – and, if I was happy with their service, she’d appreciate a great review on Amazon.com. Maybe Irene was the translator – because, while better than the wording on the packaging, it was still rough around the edges (cut and paste right from my email):Thank you for your order. This is Irene, Customer Service Representative from Patuoxun. We want to make sure that you enjoy our products to the most, so, should you have any difficulties using the product or suggestions regarding the item, please kindly reply to this email and let us know, we will try our best to help. We offer 45-day money back and 1 year manufactured warranty on all products. As long as you give us a chance to have a communication with you, we promise that you will enjoy the best customer service on Amazon for fast solving the problem with you. We wont let you lose even one cent. There is nothing more effective than communication and everything could be sovled with a happy ending through communication.
Hmmm….. A 45-day money back guarantee, huh? Well, I quickly emailed Irene and told her I’d be returning the headset for my money back – detailing the fact that their instructions were terrible – and there was no Bluetooth button evident.
I honestly didn’t expect a response from Irene (and I pictured Irene to be just like “Peggy” from those Capital One commercials). I figured wrong, though. Irene kept in contact with me – and helped me figure out which button was the correct one to use. The instructions weren’t super-clear, but in the end, I did get it paired.
And they didn’t sound too dang bad in my 10-second test. The headset isn’t as comfortable as the original Motorola ROKR that I liked so much (before they conked out), but it is wearable. The Patuoxun pair is lighter – and light is good.
There were no extra earphone rubber covers in different sizes like Motorola offered. Again, though, for $11.00 – what should I expect. If a few extra rubber covers jacks the price up by $80 +/-, my ears will get over it.
I don’t like the fact that the little On/Off light doesn’t light up while charging. Standard practice should be that the light is red until charged – at which time it changes to green. This light blinks upon first hook-up – then goes out. No way to tell if it’s charging OR charged. Guess I’ll just hope for the best.
I’ll be trying these out today on a real run. The weather is too beautiful to pass up on this. Hopefully, these will last longer than the Motorola ones – but it’ll be a bit until I can say that.
Got $11.00 +/- that you’re willing to part with? Here’s a link to the pair I just reviewed.
Here’s the PDF of the email exchange with Irene on how to pair (and which button was the bluetooth one):