One of the greatest things about having a smartphone or other easily portable electronic device is being able to listen to music and other audio with a headphones. Many people prefer earbud-style headphones and as technology advanced, wireless earbuds became quite popular. Bluetooth allowed for easy connection from earbuds to phones and continues to be the best option.
Samsung has been right on track with these types of advancements so it’s no surprise they produce Bluetooth earbuds. However, they took it a step further with their Gear Circle headset. If looks are important to you and you’ve been looking for a quality Bluetooth earbud experience, the Gear Circle is definitely worth consideration.
Specs and Features of the Gear Circle Headset
Here are the basics you need to know about the Gear Circle:
- Color options – Black, Silver, Red, Royal Blue, Blue or Magenta Pink
- Compatible with Android and Apple, including the newest iPhones and Galaxies
- Be alerted to notifications
- Receive and make calls
- Reply to text messages
- Touch controls for sound and device management
- Listen to music and other audio media
- Retails for $99 (check this listing for lower)
Advantages of the Gear Circle Headset
Major advantages of this device include:
- Excellent Sound Quality
Bluetooth speaker systems have certainly come a long way and Samsung really impressed with the Gear Circle. The sound quality is excellent all-around, particularly with music. The bass isn’t jarring, and those who love bass notes will enjoy being able to clearly hear it in their music. Low tones aren’t muddied and won’t override higher notes. Mid notes could be a bit better but definitely aren’t poor quality by any means. High notes sound great, without venturing into being too tinny or sounding too high in treble.
Overall, for being Bluetooth speakers the sound quality is very good. These aren’t going to be the same quality as high end earbuds or headphones, but that is a given based on the price. For selling for about $100, the quality is definitely on par with price.
The only serious downside to the Samsung Gear Circle is the way the earbuds fit. It seems to be a combination of the actual shape of the earbuds and the way the Circle sits on the neck. The neck guides certainly help but some customers have found that the earbuds still fall out, even while walking. There really isn’t any way to know if you will have this problem until you try them on yourself. If you tend to find earbuds in general difficult, it would be wise to purchase your Gear Circle from a retailer that accepts returns.
- Really Useful and Beautiful Design
At first the idea of magnetic ear buds seems a little too gimmicky but the design actually works surprisingly well. And it comes in handy more than you might think.
When you receive your Samsung Gear Circle box you’ll find everything you need to get started. Aside from the headphones themselves, you’ll also get two pairs of extra earbud tips, the micro USB charger and three neck guides (more on those later). The additional earbud tips aren’t just extras but a small and large pair, in case you find that the ones on the headphones aren’t the right size. The neck guides are also in three varying sizes.
Despite being a plastic device, the Gear Circle is surprisingly durable and isn’t at all cheap looking. All 6 colors looks wonderful and have a bit of a metallic sheen, making them look like they may be metal. Staying with plastic allowed Samsung to save money and was practically necessary for being light enough to be comfortable for the neck.
The first thing you’ll notice about this product is its design. When you are using them with earbuds in they almost have a look reminiscent of eyeglass chains, but definitely far more high tech. They overall look very sleek, and not having to deal with earbud cords hanging down the front is a great improvement. Not to mention this design is ideal for those whose work or activities prevents them from using normal earbuds due to fear of entanglements.
When the earbuds aren’t in use they connect together via magnets, which turns the device into a bit of a “techy” looking necklace. The magnets are strong enough that this device isn’t going to come apart when connected, even if you’re running.
Samsung gave a few really nice features to this magnetic connection. For example, if there is music playing it will automatically pause when the magnets are connected. This feature really comes in handy. If you quickly need to take out your earbuds and connect them together, when you put them back in the music will pick right back up where it left off. Those who plan to use this device at work will really enjoy this feature.
- Easy to Setup and Use
Essentially if your device is Bluetooth compatible, it will work with the Gear Circle. Like most Bluetooth devices, connecting is also a breeze. It only takes moments to have your Gear Circle ready to go. When you first get your device you can plug it into the charger to ensure you have a full charge. Then simply turn it on and activate Bluetooth on your phone. Depending on your phone it should pair up immediately. Again, similarly to most Bluetooth device, there is about a 25-30 foot range of connectivity. Most people will likely keep their phone in their pocket while using these earbuds but the range comes in handy at home or at work. As long as you are within range you can leave your phone on a table or desk and move around without losing connection.
This headset is very user-friendly and simple, allowing you to completely control audio without having to take out your phone. The right earbud has touch sensitivity for volume control. Simply swipe up or down to lower and increase volume. There is only a single button on this device, with it located right above this touch sensitive volume control. This button is used to pause or play music as well as answer an incoming call. You can also answer a call if the the device is off and hanging around your neck. As soon as disconnect the magnetic earbuds from each other, the device automatically answer. This is a nice feature but also can be annoying since you may accidently answer a call you meant to ignore.
If you are using the earbuds and a call comes in, you can ignore it by holding down the button on the right earbud for a second. Press the button twice consecutively and it will skip the song you are listening to. Press it and hold for three seconds to disconnect your connection if you want to pair with a new device.
The Gear Circle has battery life of about 9 hours, with constant use. If you are primarily using this device to play music and make the occasional phone calls, expect a solid 8 to 9 hours before you need to recharge. Depending on how much you use the headphones this could easily be a few days of use if you only use them for a couple hours through the day.
Disadvantages of the Gear Circle Headset
The downside to this product is:
Requires Unadvertised Use of Plastic Neck Guides to Keep Earbuds In
One disappointing thing about the Gear Circle is that Samsung seemed to have left out how you need to use one of the included neck guides. This extra accessory wasn’t really shown or mentioned in any advertising, so it caught many customers by surprise.
The neck guides are clear ergonomically-shaped pieces of plastic that attach on the inside of the back of the Gear Circle. It fits the neck and iis used to hold the device in place, otherwise motion would cause the earbuds to fall out from the weight of the device falling back. Ideally this neck guide would be the answer to a bad earbud fit and should allow you to jog/run or even workout while wearing the Gear Circle.
Some customers find this to be true while others still have a tricky time getting the buds to stay in. The earbuds aren’t really unusually shaped, but the added weight of the device and the movement mean an ill fit is much more noticeable than it would be with normal earbud headphones.
Overall the Samsung Gear Circle is definitely worth considering as a wearable solution, if you can get them to fit your ears properly
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