Sony SBH20 little review

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By monsieur_debile, Senior Member on 2nd February 2014, 08:56 AM
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Hey, since it has been released, i bought it and use it daily and now i have solid feedback to share you.

What is that
SBH20 is stereo Bluetooth headset that has one particularity: NFC compatibility. You can use it for listening music or making calls either.

Where can i purchase it?
Straight Sony Mobile official website or many different suppliers like Amazon (which i highly recommend with good price though)


Package is minimalist.

Out of box, you got a tiny micro-usb charger, around 10 cm, along with USB power adapter of 850 mAh (EP800), headphones also shorter than Z's original ones, and its 3 different earbuds cover made in silicone, typical user guide and warranty.

Sony provides really good job in term of design, same for that SBH20, minimalist, simple square in several colors (black, white, orange, pink, green...).
Its incredibly tiny and light.
Size: 33.3 x 33.3 x 12.3 mm
Weight: 12.3 grams

look it deeply, it has matte plastic texture which seems to be the right choice, glossy tends to be easily scratched.
Main buttons as play, next and previous are engraved and indeed very hard too see.
You got also power button with LED indicator, volume buttons and 3.5 mm audio jack port.

You can appair with your phone through NFC.
How is it work?
Put it just above Xperia logo from the back of phone and it will appaired.
Dont forget to enable NFC.
However, NFC or not, the launch bothers me because of slowsness (way slower than my Sony headset that is also NFC and BT wireless)
Range of surprising good, you can still listening musics up to 15 m or even more until at the sounds starts suffering
Once, i went down the building stairs while listening music, 2 floors lower, the sounds started suffering and i eventually realized i forgot my phone in my apartment
You can also automatize it through Smart Connect in order to make events
e.g When enabling SBH20, it will automatically launch Walkman and playing music
When disabling SBH20, it will automatically disable Bluetooth, stopping music...
I highly recommend to use it.
Since 4.3 update, i have some connection issue, ''Throw'' was launched every time when i connect it
Since 4.3 update, i noticed some dysfunction with BT devices independently of NFC.

Sound quality
For music, sound quality is surprisingly respectable. At least for a smartphone, it will never approach a sound quality from great audio headset such as Fidelio L1, M1.
Wireless always lowers audio quality, however Sony has great idea to give you a bunch of good earphones (original's one and SBH20's one)
It makes sound less poor than expected.
Dont expect too much, its just average and well enough for such nomad use.
When it comes about calls, its another story.
When i am making calls through it, noise cancellation is terrible: you cant hear properly but the worse thing is interlocutor often barely hear you when you are talking
i believe its depends where you are
outside, on the jungle of street, drop it.

Sony proudly announced 6 hours of battery life.
I use it daily and quite disagree.
My average battery life up to 4 hours, 5 hours at the maximum
Yes battery life is crap, it could be better.

- It has cute design
- Tiny (you can put it away in your pocket)
- Earphones (way better than any crap from other smartphones)
- Useful for Z (if you are too lazy for opening jack's trap every time)

- Average battery life
- Average sound quality overall

Final thoughts
Buy it if you dont bother about the audio quality, otherwise get headset such as Fidelio L1, not same price though. You can find SBH20 for less than 25 euros on Amazon (within the Apple's earphone price range)
Battery might be just for a day of use or a long travel.
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2nd February 2014, 01:36 PM |#2  
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in comparison to a wired headset is the bass ? i know it wont be the same but still would like to know
3rd February 2014, 04:51 AM |#3  
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Originally Posted by demonicjas

in comparison to a wired headset is the bass ? i know it wont be the same but still would like to know

Definitely flat but its depends of what wired headset you ve compared to.
Mine is also come from Sony and both makes sound flat
Wired headset always loses bass unless you are willing to put money on quality stuffs
e.g Parrot Zik is good enough (for general public i would mean) for a wired headset but really sucks if you compare to others none wireless audio headsets on the market such as Fidelio M1
The good thing is earbud cover earphones that make sounds more powerful with more bass
3rd February 2014, 09:24 AM |#4  
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i am using them for about 5 month. Like them a lot. I think that was my best buy ) Battery life of phone from usual wired headphones and sbh-20 nearly same.
5th February 2014, 06:25 PM |#5  
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I'm using those since December and i can say they are very good. just today i did listen to music for about 4h.
9th February 2014, 03:24 PM |#6  
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I am too using this since 4-5 months. The sound is not great to write about, it just does it's job. If you are a music lover, then definitely a no-no. You can get about 1.5 hrs of (music playback + calls) with standby of about 4-5 hrs before the battery dies. I wish Sony had given a better battery life of atleast 8-10 hours and a better earphones with a good bass along with this device.
10th February 2014, 07:30 AM |#7  
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SBH52 lasts longer wthin 8-10 hours but you are going to lose its lovely miniaturization although its still quite small
best advice i would give for people who have heavy daily use or keep listening while travelling, plug your Z earphones into SBH20, its way longer, when battery life drained out, use earphone instead
15th February 2014, 10:17 PM |#8  
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Hi monsieur_debile,

I'm interested in this earphones or maybe SBH50 for my phone , does it work in any phone or only on phones by sony?
15th February 2014, 10:37 PM |#9  
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yes its bluetooth device, it should run on most of devices including iPhone
NFC would be only optional if you have NFC
i suggest you to pick SBH50 if you want better battery life otherwise SBH20 sounds good
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16th February 2014, 07:54 PM |#10  
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Thanks monsieur_debile, next time i have to buy new earphones i'll consider it.
27th February 2014, 10:49 AM |#11  
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Nice device I have a black version. thanks for share
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