Join Date:Joined: Jun 2008
My review of the Circle.
I just recently JUMPed from the Note 3 to the Note 4. In the time between Tmo updated it's EIP plan to include some accessories so for an additional 6 bucks a month I decided to get the Circle.
I have never had wireless headphones before, and have often been frustrated with wires. Mow a lawn and have one cough in a bush and ripped out of your ear is always fun! I am also a big walker, and music fan so I walk all over the place and always am listening to music. All this needs to be in context to my review.
I was concerned each ear bud would be heavier and stick out farther than I was use to. Would it be a problem when wearing winter hat a hood over that and a scarf around my neck? Would the weight pull the bud out of my ear? I have this odd problem where my ears differ slightly in size and the only reason I know this is that for all my life one side would hold an ear bud nice and snug and the other would always need to be pushed back in every few minutes. I have to say that none of these concerns have been a problem, though the one side does slip from time to time as is normal no matter the weight.
The lack of media controls is also a no issue problem. It is easier to pull my phone out than to dig under tightly wrapped winter head wear to skip a song. Even more so now that I don't have a wire running under a layer up to my ears. That wire was also the only reason I could justify getting a useless smart watch, the wireless headphones have killed any desire for one.
I'm a guitarist that was on and off stage, practices, loud rock and roll.. yada yada yada... also have blasted loud rock and roll into my ears wearing headphones pretty much anywhere and everywhere I went for 20 years. So my hearing isn't great. In that light, these head phones sound as good, if not a little better than the standard stock ear buds Samsung sent with the Note 3. Which were not that bad. One little annoyance is the little "bloop" noise that Samsung has enabled by default every time you touch something. When wearing the Circle and no other audio playing, you would hear the head phones turn on, the bloop, than a millisecond later the headphones turn off. I relate it to old tape player head sets. When you hit play from the start of a tape you would hear that white noise before the first song started. It is only a short time, but so blatantly noticeable. It turns one noise, the bloop, into 3 noises. I did turn off that bloop in a hurry.
The neck brace keeps the hanging part well in place and after a short time you forget it is there. It is a bit awkward and different for me, I am still having to remind myself which way it goes on.
The magnetic clasp is awesome, but I think it is only there for when you are not wearing the neck brace, and as a fancy way for Samsung to tell the phone you are trying to answer a call. It isn't exactly fashionable when clasped and as a male I can tuck it just barely under my shirt. I can't imagine a female showing even the smallest amount of skin would want to wear these long term around her neck.
I have never owned a noise canceling set so it is hard for me to compare. I will say that I can do the dishes with these on and not hear the dishes clanking very well. Well enough to me!
Connecting to my phone was a breeze and I wonder if that is because I have Samsung Touch Wiz or what ever it is called running as my Android OS. That isn't going to last long and I wonder how well The Gear App will work on non touch wiz OS's. I also wonder how the firmware will be updated in the future if needed.
Other things, nit picking now. I don't like that Sammy didn't provide a nice, neater way to charge/store the device when you are not wearing it. Traditional earbuds I could wrap up nice and neat and put in my pocket. Even sitting on my desk they are kinda just curled up and sitting there. For example, the Moto 360 comes with that nice mount/rack that charges it and turns the device into a clock. Why couldn't Sammy run with the magnetic idea and have a little mount that the neck rest part of the Circle, even with the neck brace magnetically snaps into place and starts charging.
I wonder how long the little cover piece over the micro usb charging port is going to stay in place.
What happens when my neck brace breaks? While I'm sure I could google this right now, it is just a concern of mine.
When it is summer and 90+ degrees out and I'm doing yard work. How are the earbuds and neck brace going to handle the sweat?
A side note about charging the device. I got really good with the battery life on my Note 3 and have no doubts I'll have the same manner of success with the 4. Also hoping that those lemon batteries make a note 4 model. This and an On the Go micro usb to standard usb female cable I have should make emergency charging a breeze with out killing my phones battery.
I can't think of anything else. If anyone has questions about the Circle and Note 4 relationship or about the Circle itself please feel free to message me!