For the last few months, I’ve been living with a unique pair of headphones.
The SmartOmi Hybrid manages to be both a traditional pair of plug-in headphones as well as a pair of Bluetooth headphones. The combination isn’t something I’d seen before (although I’ve noticed variations on the theme since) and I was uncertain about at first. After a few months of living with them, however, they’ve become my favorite pair of headphones.
One issue I’d had with Bluetooth headphones in the past is the battery life. It’s not necessarily that the battery life of Bluetooth headphones is too short, but that they often become irritating for a while before they die. Nearly every pair I’ve tried has repeated beeping, spoken reminders, or other interrupting warnings that break into the audio before the headphones actually die. The effect of this is that I often end up shutting off the headphones before they’re actually out of power, effectively shortening the usable time. The SmartOmi Hybrid solves that issue for me.
The SmartOmi Hybrid has a feature that allows a cord to be plugged into the charging port, one side being a shorter-than-average micro-USB and the other side being a standard 1/8″ headphone jack. Once plugged in, this cable turns off the Bluetooth on the headphones and sends the audio along the cable like traditional headphones.
When I first heard about this feature, I wasn’t sure that it was something I would use. Time has proven me wrong on that. When going out for longer periods of time, I’ve found it incredibly useful to be able to carry a small additional cable to ensure that my listening experience isn’t interrupted.
Practically, as headphones, they’re good but not exceptional. The sound isn’t the best I’ve heard, but I’ve also never been turned off by the sound and grabbed a different pair. The only true downsides I’ve experienced are that, when plugged in, I’ve yet to find a way to control the headphones or music with the in-line controls the way you can when using Bluetooth. Also, because plugging in a cord shuts off the Bluetooth, there is no way to use the headphones while charging them (which, to be fair, isn’t something I’ve ever felt the need to do).
If you, like me, have issues with Bluetooth headphones running dead on you, the SmartOmi Hybrid may be a good solution. They’re currently available on Amazon for $45.99
Full disclosure: We received a complimentary pair of headphones in exchange for an honest review.