I’ve always wondered if Bluetooth headphones were comfortable, because I’d never had the chance to try them.
When I was asked to review the Samsung Level U Bluetooth Wireless In-ear Headphones, I was excited to give them a go.
The Samsung Level U ($69.99, samsung.com) is the latest addition in the Level line of higher-end headphones.
The “around the neck” design is not new, even to Samsung, but the Level U is a bit different from other models.
The plastic body of the Level U houses the battery around the back of your neck, with the protruding arms tapering to a comfortable diameter. Each arm has a flexible urethane elbow-type joint so you can spread them apart as you put them on.
The Level U felt balanced when it was around my neck. Samsung really put some thought into the design, including adding magnets to the earpieces, so they don’t just dangle and flop around when you’re not listening.
The earpieces look much like those of Apple’s latest earbud. They sit comfortably in your ear, but they don’t make a seal. You’re still able to hear outside sounds, which I like for safety.
Samsung includes three sets of ear gels, including one with stabilizing wings, which work really well for keeping the Level U comfortably in your ear during exercise.
Inside each earpiece is a 12 mm speaker that gives clean sound without too much low end.
On the right arm are buttons for play/pause and volume up/down. Tapping the volume buttons adjusts the volume, while holding them down for a second takes you to the next or previous track in your playlist.
The buttons are raised and easy to find and press.
The battery sits unobtrusively behind your neck and can power the Level U for 11 hours of music or talk. You charge the battery with a micro USB cable.
Let’s not forget that the Level U is also a Bluetooth headset for your cellphone. The play/pause button also works to pick up or disconnect incoming calls. When the phone rings, the Level U gently vibrates to notify you of the call.
I have to say I’m not impressed with the quality of my own voice when talking on the Level U. My voice seemed not very clear in some voicemail messages I left for myself.
Samsung has placed two microphones on the Level U – they serve to reduce noise and cancel echoes during calls, but there is not any active noise canceling here.
Overall, I’m pleased with the Level U headphones. I’d recommend them as a comfortable and easy-to-use Bluetooth headset for listening to music.
The price is right and the sound is good. They do a decent job with phone calls, but the party on the other end will certainly know you’re using a headset.
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Pros: Comfortable, easy to pair, good sound
Cons: Your voice will sound less than clear during calls.
Bottom line: Great for music, not so great for phone calls.