When we first saw the Motorola H9 Miniblue earlier this year, we thought it was the smallest Bluetooth headset we've ever seen. Samsung, however, has recently launched a Bluetooth headset that's just as tiny. Called the Samsung WEP500, this minuscule headset is about the size of a quarter and is even lighter than the Miniblue. But don't let its size fool you, as the WEP500 also packs in advanced noise reduction technology, like automatic volume control, which resulted in excellent audio quality. It even comes with a compact charging case. That said, the WEP500 has somewhat unfortunate button placement, and it will cost you at a hefty $119.99.
Measuring only 0.98 inch by 1.1 inches by 0.3 inch and weighing around 0.3 ounce, the WEP500 is definitely one small headset. It has a nice round shape, and we like that it appears rather inconspicuous when worn. The WEP500 has two microphones, one underneath the multifunction button and one at the bottom of the headset. There's also an indicator light at the bottom. The multifunction button is actually the entire top of the headset, and is really easy to press. It is, however, in a rather unfortunate position. As you attempt to place the headset in the ear or make any fitting adjustments, it is inevitable that you'll press this button since it is on the top. We found that this resulted in several accidental phone calls. Aside from that, the volume rocker on the left works just fine and is easy to press as well.
Behind the headset is a somewhat flat earpiece that sits just inside the ear. There are two styles of earpiece covers to choose from--one with a protruding tip so it sits deeper in the ear, and one with a loop spring for those who prefer not to have the tip. The WEP500 even comes with three different loop-spring sizes for different size ears. While we didn't have a problem fitting the headset in the ear, we do think that it felt a lot less secure than other headsets, like that of the Miniblue. In this case, we would've liked to have had an ear hook as an option for that added security. Otherwise, it did feel pretty comfortable in the ear, and we managed to wear it for long periods of time without any noticeable discomfort.
Features of the WEP500 are fairly standard. They include answering, ending, and rejecting calls, voice dial support, last number redial, call mute, placing a call on hold, answering a second call, and the ability to transfer a call from the phone to the headset and vice versa. You can also choose to turn the indicator light on or off. The WEP500 Bluetooth headset comes with a compact charging case with a plastic swivel lid. You can't charge the headset without the case, so be sure not to lose it.
We paired the Samsung WEP500 with the RIM BlackBerry Pearl. It paired successfully without any problems. Call quality was fantastic--voices sound loud and clear in quiet office environments as well as on noisy city sidewalks. We were impressed with the noise-reduction and echo-cancellation technologies, as well as the automatic volume control that adjusts the volume to make up for changes in background noise. That said, it won't prevent extremely loud background noise from places like a crowded bar or restaurant. For day to day situations though, we found it more than sufficient.
The Samsung WEP500 has a rated talk time of up to 3.5 hours and a rated standby time of 3.3 days.