As I sit here in my Baguio hotel room, relishing the 17 degree ambient temperature and nursing my highly satisfied tummy, I recall my experience with a Bluetooth headset, namely the Playground BH200. I remember being told by a number of friends about this Philippine-brand BT headset as it offers a far bang for the buck appeal as compared with big name competitors. Other friends in the office allowed me to try it, brandishing the collective goodies that come with it while enjoying its deep and highly responsive qualities. In just a short time, I giddily ordered one after being tempted (and pestered) by my colleagues. I write this article to share with you guys my rollercoaster experience with the aforementioned headset. It is one with ups and downs, trials and tribulations, heartaches and pain, but one that satisfies in the end.

Looks

I got the device on a rainy Tuesday. Classes were suspended yet work was not. I opened it up from it pristine white packaging, bought from an online site a week before. The box is not stellar and one can mistake it for being a device pulled out from a sidestreet thrift store.

Though not as revolutionary as having wheels installed, the Playground BH200 packs features that can make the more known brands a run for their money.

As a wireless Bluetooth 4.0 earphone, the Playground BH200 comes in two different colors, yellow and green. If on the “plus” button cycles the next track, and so on. The mic is also located on the controller and can be used to issue commands to the phone (given that the phone supports them).

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A trivial but cool feature is the BH200’s magnetized sides. If you’re not using them, you can inconspicuously put them together and tuck them underneath your shirt. I found this feature convenient since it does not require me to repocket the set or unceremoniously shove them in my pocket.

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The top part of the right plug can be popped open to reveal a Micro USB port for charging.

User Experience

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I found it especially appealing, both in performance and looks, as compared with other widely available BT earphones. In terms of audio performance, it has an acceptable bass and is capable of blurting out loud tunes. On the otherhand, it takes special care of providing privacy for the user.

The additional stuff included in the package is a treat on its own. The plugs and plastic earpieces tailor fit the device to our varying ear sizes and forms. There’s also an included pouch for mobile safekeeping and a USB cable for charging, though a charging adaptor is absent in the package as Playground assumes that the user will just use their USB phone charger. In a way, Playground communicates special concern for the user’s convenience and comfort.

Next is privacy. The Playground BH200 blocks out noise from the outside thanks to its design and plugs. Also, people can’t hear what you’re listening to, saving you the trouble of embarrassment or disturbing people beside you.

 My Major Minor Setback

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That feeling when your newly bought gadget malfunctions…

As cloud nine as my piece would sound, not everything went according to plan. My newly bought BH200 malfunctioned during my workout and it just stalled on me. It initially disconnected from my phone and from then on, I was unable to tether it back. I also tested it other Bluetooth devices but to no avail. The problem worsened as it completely showed a white light, an indicator of it being on, but it wasn’t working. In short, it hanged.

Lamentably, devices such as this one don’t have ‘hard resets’ wherein you just push a button and voila! Everything’s back to stone age for a new beginning. With that solution absent, I decided to wait it out. The BH200 discharged the following morning and I was able to charge it. Lo and behold, the device worked out pretty well and has been working without any problems.

Conclusion

My musings with the BH200 is not without any thorns. But that frustration was thoroughly forgotten by how the device delivers. Playground really did a great job with the BH200. It’s equipped with the latest Bluetooth technology, a truly hands-free device, and it packs a boatload of goodies to boot. To note, other branded ones offer a lesser solution at double (even triple!) the price.

To end, I’m one with my friends and colleagues that recommend this to users. Especially those who wish to hear their favorite tunes during their travels, adventurers, and those requiring a decent device to accompany them in their workouts.

You can buy the Playground BH200 in the stores listed on their site or order it online. The price is at PHP 1,590.

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