2010-03-23

Logitiech FreePulse finally works for me

A few years ago, The GF took note of how annoyed I get with headphone cables.

I lived with them in 80s when I had my Walkman because that was all there was. Still, I went through several pair as I damaged one part of the wire or another.  Eventually my activities took me out of the Walkman world (I stopped listening to so many tapes that played slower and slower as the day wore on).

A couple years after moving into my current apartment building, I got tired of straining to hear the TV at three in the morning. Turning up the volume wasn't an option because some people have this crazy idea that 3:00 AM is sleeping time.  Damn sleepers making life inconvenient...

The solution was a set of wireless headphones.  I picked up a Panasonic set for about $100. They did a pretty good job until once again, my old nemesis, the wires, caused problems.

In 2006, I joined a cult when I got my iPod.  And yet once again I had to contend with headphone cables.  I really hate them.  They get tangled in my pockets.  They get caught on things.  The look messy.  And quite frankly I have none of the natural grace required to look like something besides a complete dork with them.  And I figured it was only a matter of time before I broke them.

This was one solution I found to the part of the problem.  Cool, huh?

So one year for Valentine's Day, The GF decided to surprise me with a set of Logitech FreePulse Wireless headphones for my iPod.  Since they run on Bluetooth, there is no cable to connect them to the MP3 Player which had the potential to be awesome.

They "work" with a transmitter.  The transmitter plugs into the headphone jack on an iPod and transmits the sound to the headphones.

But the headphone demons weren't done with me yet.  When I set the system up, it dropped out an entire class of sound in music.  Those frequency drops made music sound poor but made podcasts inaudible.  It simply didn't work right.

I contacted Logitech and they sent me a replacement.  Again, it didn't work.  I think it was the same problem.  The whole system had great promise, but Logitech seemed unable to execute on it.  I put my two defective sets in a box and drifted on to other projects.

That's where they stayed until this weekend.  I was cleaning up my office and stumbled across the parts.  Even though they didn't work, I couldn't bring myself to get rid of them.  Then I gave it some thought.  It seemed the transmitter part was the problem, so could the headphones be okay? After all, Bluetooth is an industry standard.  Of course, the iPod 60GB doesn't do Bluetooth.

But Droid does.

I plugged in the two headset and let them charge for a day.  The first one wouldn't power on for more than a few seconds, let alone pair with a Droid.  I held my breath while I ran through the setup on the other pair -- and it worked.  It paired right up with my Droid and began playing audio exactly as it should.

I rejoiced in my technological victory and gave it some more testing, and it still works.

Now I can download podcasts directly to my Droid.  The sound quality is fantastic.  It's much better than I expected.  I can even leave my phone in the center of my apartment and the headphones keep their link 20 feet away and even through walls.

So I am thrilled.  I resurrected something from my closet.  I get to use a very thoughtful gift. I can enjoy podcasts without carrying my iPod everywhere.  And I get now listen while I work out on the WiiFit (stop laughing) without nearly strangling myself with a cable.

And I feel just a little better about Logitech.

4 comments:

Jon Clarke said...

Sent this to my boss.

Gary said...

I *JUST* got my FreePulse headphones working with my Droid. I too had mine tucked away in the dark recesses of a closet. I was thinking about getting a bluetooth headset when I remembered I had the FreePulse.

The toughest part was trying to figure out how to get them paired with the Droid. The manual didn't explain it at all. For those who may stumble across this post, here's what you do:

With the headphones off press the power button for about 15 seconds. At first it'll blink red, then fast blink red. It'll then appear to turn off. Keep pressing! After another 7-8 seconds it'll start blinking fast red/blue. Now's the time to have your droid search for devices. Voila! There are the headphones!

Steve said...

Mine pairs fine... but no audio comes out of the headphones ....help!

Cromely said...

@Steve: The volume may be too low. You have to turn the volume up on both the Droid and the headphones. If you pair and connect the headphones to the Droid, try playing an mp3 of other file. Turn the media volume way up. If you hear anything through the phone speaker then the connection isn't good.

If you hear nothing, and the Droid thinks it's still playing audio, then you do have a connection.

To raise the volume on the headphone, press the top half of the flat surface of the outside side of the right speaker. That's the volume rocker. The headphones default to the lowest volume setting.