Pros Angular retro design, more features than you know what to do with, lightweight/comfortable, very strong speaker, decent noise reduction, quick pairng, speed dial
Cons slight hissing noise when in use (common issue with bluetooth devices), wearing device without the earhook feels unsecure
Summary I ordered this device on a whim because I have been disappointed with some of the more common brands out there. I've been looking for a device that has decent noise cancellation as my car is rather loud. Up until very recently, I have never heard of Cardo devices and was basically limiting myself to brands that could be purchased in a store (in case I needed to return them). I went through a Jawbone which had excellent noise suppression, but a horrible fit (and it was too bulky). After that, I tried a Jabra JX10. The 'looks' were there but the noise suppression and sound quality were a joke. Next, a Jabra BT8040. Once again, a very slick and comfortable device. Easily outperformed the JX10 but still lacked the voice and noise cancelling quality I was looking for. The device has pairing issues and outgoing call quality was inconsistent. I gave up on Jabra and moved to a Plantronics 520. This was an excellent device. Decent noise cancellation, the most comfortable (of the 4) to wear, and the best sound quality of the ones I had tested. However, as comfortable as the earhook was, it was rather thick and interfered with my glasses. It has a poor range from the phone; anything over 5 ft causes a snap, crackle, and pop. It is also rather ugly in my opinion – the carbon fiber strip just irks me. For a $90 premium (price+tax), these were issues I could not look past.
This bring me to the s-800. Price wise, $35 online made me skeptical, especially after seeing it's feature set. I was pleasantly surprised after using it for the first time. Incoming call quality is just a hair below the Plantronics 520, and vastly superior to the other models I tested. Outgoing calls are loud and clear. Noise cancelling are on par with the 520 (though it cannot touch the Jawbone). It is smaller and very lightweight. It has a decent range (from the phone) – about 15 feet before it even starts to degraded. Some people have complained that the earhook looks like a coat hanger. It does, but it works very well (and surprisingly comfortable). This unit can be worn without the ear hook, though I would recommend against it being that it isn't the most secure fit. I love the Multi-function wheel on the back side. I wish more devices were setup like this. Aside from the standard functions (Redial, reject, call waiting, conference, transfer), this device also has a plethora of additional options including Hot Dial (you can choose from the first 3 speed dial contacts on your phone), location buzzer (in case you misplace it), auto-answer, button lock, callback. You can even turn that stupid blue blinking light off. All of this for $35?!! The only downside to this device I've already listed. It would have been nice to have different sized ear pads to make a more secure fit (without the hook). And the hissing noise is there, though it isn't too bad. For the price, I can deal with that. Now, what I really want is a bluetooth that has Jawbones noise cancellation, Jabra JX10 styling, BT8040 ear gels, with the Plantronics call quality, and the Cardo's feature set. Is that so much to ask for?
Pros Great Price for the many features, Excellent Sound Quality, Fits very Comfortably with the Earloop, Easy answer call button, Works great with Palm Treo 755p
Cons Very Small Power button which is used with many of the features offered. I would suggest a better design.
Summary This is the first bluetooth that I have owned. After researching many reviews and suggestions to purchase the Cardo Scala for the use with the Palm Treo 755p, I purchashed the Cardo Scala S-800. I purchased the s-800 from Tigerdirect.com for $39.99 which is great that I didn't have to spend a whole lot of money for my first bluetooth. I received it yesterday and the sound quality is great. I can hear callers very clearly and have asked almost everyone I talked to if they could tell I was on a bluetooth or talking talking directly into the phone. 4 out of 5 people said everything sounded clear as if I was talking directly into the phone. One caller said it sounded like I was far away, but I think it was because I was in an empty room with the ceiling fan on. I tested it out while driving and everyone said it was fine.
Being that this my first bluetooth I borrowed a friends Motorola 500 to see the difference. Well I must say the difference is major. The fit with the earloop and sound quality on the s-800 were excellent compared to the Motorola 500 which were the 2 major concerns I had with bluetooth. I do not suggest using the earpiece without the earloop, I couldn't get it to stay in my ear without the earloop. The earloop is adjustable and can be made to fit comfortably to your ear along with the earbud. There are so many different features, I have not had a chance to learn how to use them all. Because there are so many features you have to learn alot of the signals, which involve a combination of sound and led indicator - a little too confusing for me so I will just stick with the basics answer on/off. Since I am new the bluetooth world, this may be normal for most bluetooth headsets. The power on/off button is very tiny, good thing you really dont need to use it often.
All in all I think the S-800 is a great earpiece and I would consider buying any of the Cardo Scala products.
Pros Small size - Excellent quality - Large Feature Set
Cons Small buttons - Access to volume when inserted into ear
Summary I have used the Cardo S-800 for the last month, and I think CNet's review score is a bit low. I agree that when the device is inserted in the ear that the volume button is tricky to manipulate. And that's why the ear loop option comes in the package. (BTW, I have no trouble wearing the S-800 directly in my ear.) As CNet points out, the feature set is incredible (I particularly like the ability to hot switch between 2 devices). The sound quality is excellent, and so is Cardo's tech support. With a street price below $40, this item is a steal.
This is the third Cardo earpiece I've owned (500, 700, 800) and I've been pleased with them all.
Pros Small, light, great sound quality and good accessories.
Cons Button location, button size
Summary This device is an amazing bluetooth if you are a heavy user and you just care about the calls. It does have other features, but I honestly dont use them. The one single problem that I have is that the keys are too small, but I always use my phone to answer, dial or deny calls anyways;
Pros compact, inexpensive,light weight, stylish, good sound quality for those on the other end under most normal situations, relatively comfortable for long wearing periods.
Cons very short range between head set and phone, audio quality average to poor
Summary I purchased a Cardio-800 three days ago and put it through its paces. In short I would call it average.
Comfort- Unlike some I did not have a problem with in ear fit and even with shaking my head it did not fall out of my ear. That said I did find the in ear position a bit uncomfortable after about 40 minutes of wearing. Using the ear loop and allowing the speaker to rest just inside the ear canal was quite comfortable even after wearing for 5 hours
Sound Quality - to test sound quality for those I call I called my home and left a voice mail message on a digital recorder. This was done while driving in my truck. At 40 mph with the window up the recorded voice quality was very good and road noise barely noticeable. With the window open road noise was more pronounce but voice quality was still quite good. I also tested the sound quality by recording a call made while standing next to a running tile saw. When the saw was engaged audio quality ceased completely. Based on this I would say that any comparison between the Jawbone and the Cardio as being comparable in noise canceling technology is unfounded.
While audio for the person you call is good, audio on the head set leave a good bit to be desired. There is ample volume in fact I found the headset loud even on medium setting. Audio quality was less stellar' often scratchy or broken. If the phone was more than 2 feet from the head set back round static became noticeable. at 3 ft it became problematic and at 6 feet communication becomes impossible. This occurred with both test phones.
Paring - I had no problems paring the Cardio with a LG C500 and an ATT Tilt running WM6.1.
Wind- Wind is devastating to this device. Just standing on my porch on a windy day communication became impossible, even when not standing directly in the wind.
Features and functioning- This head set is feature rich. I found the volume dial easy to use and the button, although small , were not a problem. It did take a bit of getting use to how long to press the tinny on-off button for pairing and turning the unit on and off.
Battery- I found the battery life to be good using and keeping the head set on for 12 hrs per day for two days before charging.
Summary: If you are planning to use this head set while sitting at a desk or in a generally quite condition such as a closed car, and you keep the phone close at hand such as in a top pocket, the Cardio 800 is a good value at $17-$24 (current internet pricing). If you require more flexibility in your use other devices will probably be a better choice. I will be returning mine to try the jawbone II or one of the other more highly rated headsets.