Review of Genius HS-200 Gold In-Ear Headset


TestFreaks Data











For today’s review we will be looking at a budget priced in-ear headset from the folks at Genius – the HS-200 Gold. This affordable headset features hands free capability smartphones users; although Genius specifically designed the HS-200 Gold with the iPhone in mind.

It includes an inline remote allows for volume control, playing and pausing music along with answering and disconnecting phone calls. For sound quality the HS-200 Gold’s sports a dynamic driver to improve the bass response.

The HS-200 Gold comes in a red, gold and black cardboard and plastic package. Through the front plastic window we see both ear buds and the 3.5mm jack. On the back is a feature list in several languages.

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Opening the package we find the HS-200 Gold headphones, an instruction sheet, two sets of spare silicon ear buds and a suede like material carrying pouch.

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The HS-200 Gold is fairly standard in appearance; it is encased with a black rubbery cable covering and has platinum colored housing adjacent to the ear pieces with the Genius logo found on the outside.

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Markings for the right and left headset are found on the inner aspect of each earpiece. User replaceable black silicone tips cover these earpieces.

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The cord running to each earpiece is asymmetrical with the right one being much longer. Below where the cord divides we see a microphone/controller dongle. This silver rectangular piece has a circular talk button and microphone on the outside with a volume control slider on its side. On the back we see the HS-200 Gold name imprinted.

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Below this controller is a black adjustable clip for securing the microphone to the user’s clothing.

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At the end of the cable is a gold plated 3.5mm jack. The cord attached to this jack is not reinforced which means if you like to torque on your headphone cord by wrapping it on itself this area will probably be the first to breakdown.

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Specifications:

HS-200 Gold

  • Luxurious Style
  • Unparalleled clarify and great bass sound
  • hands-free convenience

In-Ear Headset Compatible for iPhone

Luxurious Style; Unparalleled clarity and great bass sound

Merging luxury and supreme audio clarity, the HS-200 Gold in-ear headset lets you take calls and carry on conversations with hands-free convenience.

HS-200 Gold headset is the ultimate in mobility, audio-enthusiast sound, and comfort. Featuring compatibility with the iPhone and amazing high-definition sound, the streamline design integrates a microphone along with an iPhone connect button and volume control. The connect button can easily take any call by simply switch it between chatting on the phone and listening to your music library.

HS-200 Gold’s dynamic driver provides unparalleled bass and high-definition sound for optimum communication capabilities and the ultimate music listening experience. The ergonomic design is complemented by the comfortable and stable fit of soft silicone fittings, making this headset well suited for any active lifestyle. And with a carrying pouch, HS-200 Gold provides you with supreme mobility.



For testing I used the HS-200 Gold with my iPhone 4S and my iPad 2. I took the headset on vacation so I was able to spend some quality time listening to music and watching movies with it. For comparison I used the Phiaton PS 210i.

Acoustically the HS-200 sounded pretty good for a budget pair of headphones. The bass was present but not overpowering while the highs were not too shrill. Midrange sound was definitely the weakest component of the HS-200 Gold’s soundstage.

While watching movies, the dialogue and effects were crisp and clear when listening with the HS-200 Gold.

When compared to $100 plus headsets, the HS-200 Gold lacks noticeable punch. However when compared to the Apple earbuds the HS-200 Gold sounded like a champ.

Clicking on the silver button on the inline remote once will play or pause the current song. Pressing the same button quickly twice will skip to the next song. When an incoming phone call comes in clicking the same button will answer or hang up the call. I was surprised to see that holding in the silver button for a couple of seconds would activate Siri on the iPhone 4S.

While acoustically the HS-200 Gold does a good job it’s the design of the headset that affected my experience. The bulky microphone/controller dongle made the headset a little cumbersome to use. I have reviewed several other headsets with inline microphones and the HS-200 Gold was one of the bigger implementations I have seen. Here is a comparison to the Phiaton PS 210i version. Notice the size difference.

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Another issue is the uneven cord distribution. The shorter cord makes the headset feel like it is never in the proper position as one side hangs much lower. I have seen this formation with other headset and have never liked this design.

Even though Genius is nice enough to include a storage pouch, the size of the microphone/controller dongle and the rubbery texture of the cord make getting the HS-200 Gold into the pouch not a simple task. Once inside the pouch, the HS-200 Gold tended to become a knotty mess.



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Conclusion:

My experience with Genius audio products in the past has been they make affordable products that sound good and the HS-200 Gold continues this trend. My main issue with this headset is the physical build. The asymmetrical cord and bulky microphone/controller dongle take away from the user experience.

Some may not have issues with the larger microphone/controller dongle making this an appealing option.

For the price of around $20 it is a good value for a budget headset.

 

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Pros:
+Affordable
+Good sound reproduction
+Works with Siri

Cons:
-Large microphone/controller dongle
-Fragile 3.5mm wire-jack connection
-Wires tends to get knotted when placed in carrying bag

Grades:  
Overall score-7-10
Design score-7-10
Performance score-7-10

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