Tag Archives: sony sbh80 bluetooth nfc headset review

Sony Bluetooth NFC Headset SBH80 – review

As much as I like my phones, I also like headphones. I have reviewed several pairs already on here. Go to menu, reviews, accessories, headphones. I have owned far a fairly broad selection of headphones, so feel free to ask for a comparison to another make if necessary.

First up the official specifications –

– Bluetooth 3.0, NFC, Multipoint connectivity
– HD Voice, Noise cancellation
– AptX audio enhancement (must have)

Box Contents

– SBH80 unit
– Sony AI-1000 cicroUSB charging cable
– Earbuds (3 sizes)
– Documentation (useless)

Supported Bluetooth Profiles:

-Handsfree profile (HFP) v1.6 (HD ready)
-Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) v1.2
-Audio Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP) v1.4 – Control and Target role

Speaker type: 5.8 mm dynamic
Ear coupling: In-ear canal
Nominal Impedance: 15 Ohm
Frequency response: 10Hz … 20000Hz, (diffuse field oriented mid-high range).
Max SPL: 100dBA (EN 50332-1)
Total harmonic distortion: <0.5% (100Hz .. 10000Hz @ 100dBSPL)
Microphone: Dual MEMS


-Power key
-Answer/Call end
-Play/Pause music key
-Next/Previous track keys

Connectors: Micro USB charger connector

Battery Capacity:

Standby time: (up to) 400 hours
Talk time: (up to) 8 hours
Stream time: 8 hours
Battery: 115 mAh

First up, the enclosed documentation is rubbish. The manual or quick start pamphlet is all full of meaningless pictures. So head over to the online user guide by Sony. Click here. There is also a link to the PDF manual.

Sony advertise the headset as splash proof, so if it rains there is nothing to worry about. However, there appears to be no official IP rating so I would be a little careful.

Pairing was simple. I fully charged the headset, and pressed the tiny button to switch on. It takes 2.5 hours to charge the band for 8 hours usage. Then using the NFC from the headset and the Note 3 paired the two together. The headset allows for 2 devices to be paired.

So the million dollar question. What are they like to use? And what do they sound like? The band sits on your neck, and once there you won’t know it’s still on your neck. It also takes the strain off the ear buds which is important since the cable from the band to the ear buds is rather thin. This in turn takes the weight off your ears. These in ear buds are so comfy. The band has the flap concealing the micro USB slot and the on / off switch. On the left hand side is the control for the volume up and down and phone. Press the phone button to accept the call. Press and hold to reject call. During the call, pressing the phone button mutes the mic, pressing and holding rejects a call whilst on a call. Whilst on a call, if another call comes in, you can switch back and forth between the calls. The right side has the music controls. Play/Pause. Track rewind and fast forward. Holding down the music controls scrolls forward or back along the track. The band also contains a tiny notification light -:

-Flashing red light: battery level is between 0% and 4%.
-Yellow light: battery level is between 5% and 29%.
-Green light: battery level is between 30% and 100%.
-Flashing cyan-coloured light: headset is in pairing mode.
-Flashing purple light: a call is coming in.

If you have a Sony smartphone like the Xperia Z1 or upcoming Z2 you can set to receive a notification when the headset battery is critically low. The main antenna for the device rests on the right cable, so it’s best to have your phone on the same side to ensure perfect sound without any drop outs in sound. In the time I’ve used the headset I’ve not suffered from this.

Sound and call quality. Making and receiving calls, peoples voices were crystal clear. The sound quality as a music player was very good but not as good as say the Sony XBA-H1 or anything more expensive. There is sub bass attack if the tracks include it, and at sometimes this might feel too much, but it’s a fairly neutral musical sound in the mid and treble. In fact, the overall presentation is fairly neutral with a slight hint of bass at times, although some bass driven tracks will explode with bass and muddle the midrange. It’s an odd experience at times. The soundstage is slightly closed in, but separation is reasonable. The presentation is trying to be too accurate at times, and the the treble is the weakness in this setup. But I am being super analytical. Overall it’s a great all round package. The sound is private so I didn’t get any complaints that the sound was leaking and in the same light I couldn’t hear anyone either. In terms of volume I’ve not had issue with the sound volume not being loud enough.

These are very popular headphones/headset and if you want to know more headover to Amazon’s Deal on the Sony SBH-80 Stereo Bluetooth Headset

If you have any questions, please leave a question in the comments section.