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Aizen's FlyBy Bluetooth headset is attractive, easy to use, has an up to date feature set and long battery life.

But it has questionable sound quality and some people may find it uncomfortable if worn for many hours at a time.

Is this the ideal BT headset?  No.  Is it an acceptable compromise?  Maybe.

 
 
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Aizen FlyBy Bluetooth Headset review

Noise cancelling and long battery life
 

The Aizen FlyBy headset looks attractive without being ostentatious, and is convenient to use, although uncomfortable if worn for extended periods.

Part of our series on Bluetooth - more articles listed on the right.

 

 

Bluetooth headsets are becoming more affordable and more practical.

The Aizen FlyBy headset has a good (but not quite perfect) solution to battery charging, plus excellent battery life and good underlying sound quality.

Easy to use and reasonably easy to wear, this is a unit worth considering if you're looking for a Bluetooth headset.


What you Get

The FlyBy7 is nicely packaged in an easy to open display box.

Inside is the headset itself, the charger brick, and the connecting cable to connect the headset to the charger brick.

There is also a small sized 16 page well written user manual, a separate sheet with a Quick Installation Guide on one side and wearing instructions on the other side.

Feature Chart

Use this information to quickly understand the capabilities of the unit and to compare with other units.
 

Feature                         Comment

Cost

est US retail about $50


Ergonomics

Easy to put on and take off

It takes a bit of time to adjust the unit to the dimensions of your ear, but this is not difficult to do - there's only one thing to adjust in or out, and once the unit has been adjusted, it is then easy to put on and take off your ear.

Easy to use the control buttons

There is one main button called the Talk Button, plus two small buttons for volume up and volume down.  The layout is such that it is easy to reach and press these buttons.

Comfortable to wear

Not very.  Rather than being a design that hangs off the ear, it is a design that sticks into the ear and stays in place by wedging itself between your ear canal and an outer fold of your ear.

Can you use with glasses

Yes.  Because this fits in the ear rather than over the ear, glasses don't interfere at all.

Can use with either ear

Yes

Securely mounted on ear

You have to compromise between comfort and security.  A comfortable fit isn't as secure as an uncomfortable one.

How to carry

This is a weakness of the unit.  If it isn't in your ear, there is no carry pouch or carry loop to hang it around your neck.  Fortunately, the headset is fairly robust so there shouldn't be too much of a problem if it is simply in your pocket while not being used.

Weight

Light - 0.5 oz


Ease of Use

Commands intuitive and easy to remember

We've yet to see any BT headset that is 100% intuitive to use.  This one is also a bit difficult to remember how to activate the different functions, but certainly no worse than any other unit.  Bottom line - don't lose the manual, and/or download a pdf of it off the manufacturer's website.

Volume adjustable

Yes - this is easy and good, with two separate buttons, one on the top side (when worn on the right ear) for volume up, and the other on the bottom side for volume down.  The buttons aren't labeled, but it is fairly obvious which is which when you use them, and intuitive if the headset is in your right ear.

How fast does it turn on

It takes about seven seconds to turn on.

Manual

Well written in perfect English

Support

Will depend on US retailers

Pairing password printed on device

No (it is 0000 so in an emergency you have a good chance of guessing what it is!)


Features

Battery life

Up to 10 hours talk or one week standby claimed.  This is a good battery life.

Low battery indicator/signal

Red light flashes.  No audible signal.

Battery type

Lithium polymer, 140 mAh

Replaceable battery?

No

Battery charging method/time

The charger is halfway to perfection.  Better than many, but still not 100% perfect.  A brick charger terminates in a USB port.  A USB cable then connects to the USB port at one end using a regular USB full size (type A) connector, and to the headset at the other end, but, alas, rather using a mini (type B) USB connector at the headset end, it uses a proprietary connector.

However, as long as you have the cable, it can be plugged not just into the charger brick, but also into a computer USB port or any other power source that ends with a USB 5 volt standard output.  This can save you having to carry one more charger with you when traveling.

Multi-voltage charger

Yes

Charger weight/size

2.6 oz

Typical size for a small brick chargers

Other charging methods

Connect it via the supplied cable to any other device with a powered USB port, eg your laptop.

How many pairings can be stored

The unit can store up to eight different pairing profiles.

Headset and hands-free profiles?

Yes, both

Audio profile for computers

No

Bluetooth compatibility

Version 1.2

Power/range

Class 2

10 meters (33 ft) claimed range

Effective range

More than adequate.  Can reach up two floors vertically and some distance horizontally.

Warranty

Depends on retailer/distributor policies, but probably will be for one year.

Free return

Retailer policies will vary

Noise cancelling/DSP

Yes, claimed via a special patented design (using a single microphone rather than dual microphones or DSP)

Sound quality

Poor.  When using the headset, the voice from the other person (on a regular phone) was okay.  But the person at the other end heard my voice as muffled and quieter than normal, and with some digital distortion as well.


Capabilities

Turning on and off

Easy.  Simply press the Talk button until it switches on (about a seven second press) or off (about a three second press).  In each case, a confirmation tone tells you when you've successfully turned the unit on or off.

Auto connect

Yes

Voice tag support

Yes, easy to use (simply press the Talk button in standby mode and say the name after a very faint quiet beep that you'd likely not hear in a noisy environment)

Last number redial

Yes, but only when using Hands-Free, not Headset profile phones.

To activate, press the volume down button for three seconds, you'll hear a tone, then release it.

Transfer call to/from phone

The easiest way to transfer to the headset is simply to turn the headset on.  It takes about seven seconds for the headset to turn on, and about as long again for it to automatically take over the call.

The easiest way to transfer back to the phone is simply to turn the headset off.

Alternatively, pressing the 'Volume Up' button swaps the call between phone and headset too.

Call waiting/Three way calling

Apparently not supported

Call reject

Only in Hands-Free not Headset mode.  Press the Talk button for three (but no more than five or else you run the risk of activating the Bluetooth pairing function) seconds.

Call answer/end

Yes - press the Talk button to end a call.

Mute

 Yes.  Press both volume keys simultaneously to toggle the mute on and off.  This is easier to do than it sounds due to the volume keys being on opposite sides of the unit.


Subjective

Attractive design

Yes

Flashing indicators on standby

Yes, a green light flashes once every three seconds while switched on.  Some might consider this objectionable, particularly at night, but at least it is easy to tell if the unit is switched on or not.

Size

Average but not obtrusive


Summary

This unit has a good feature set in a convenient small package, and at a fair price.  The sound quality is an important negative.  And, unfortunately - at least by my personal standards - it is not very comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

 

Using the Aizen FlyBy Headset

Perhaps the most important - and most variable - attribute of any Bluetooth headset is the ease and comfort of wearing it.

The FlyBy headset needs to be adjusted for best fit by sliding one piece in or out to get the geometry best suited for your ear shape.  In theory, this should be simple.  In practice - not quite so simple.  I spent a considerable amount of time adjusting the setting in a bit, and out a bit, until reaching what I thought to be an acceptable compromise between comfort and secure fit.

Once the headset has been adjusted it seems fairly easy to fit onto (into) one's ear and to remove.

The comfort level is such that one probably would not want to wear the unit for a long time, other than while talking.

As for using it, everything could be done by touch just by reaching up to the headset while in your ear with just one hand.

A well written manual and separate guide on how to fit the headset to one's ear quickly had me getting all these things optimized, and starting to use the phone.

Pairing the headset with a phone was easy, but regrettably the headset doesn't use a sensible name to describe itself in the phone's table of Bluetooth connections.  Instead, it refers to itself as simply 'Headset[063D]'.  If you only have one headset, this probably doesn't matter, but if you have more than one, there's no easy way to remember that this entry refers to the Aizen FlyBy headset.

Sound quality wasn't nearly as good as hoped for.  From my end of a conversation, using the headset, the other person sounded acceptably clear, but there was more background hiss than I'd hear through the phone directly.

From the other side, there was more hiss apparent, and my voice sounded muddy and muffled.  There was also some digitization distortion, and generally quality was markedly inferior to what one would expect or hope for.

[Note - the manufacturer has promised to send a better sample headset, claiming a more comfortable fit and better sound quality.  This was expected in Dec 05 and has yet to be received.  We will revise this review if/when it is received.]

Connecting with phones

Initial pairing was easily done.

Using the unit was simple.  The unit automatically connects when it is switched on and within range of a paired phone (and of course automatically disconnected when out of range).  This makes operation fairly foolproof.

The battery life is claimed to be very generous.  We haven't rigorously tested this, but casual analysis suggests battery life is close to that claimed.

Summary

Aizen's FlyBy unit has some good features and promises a lot.  But it is weakened by very poor sound quality and a comfort level that doesn't encourage lengthy wearing of the headset.

We wanted to like this unit, and we do like some parts of it.  But, overall, the minuses outweigh the pluses, and it isn't going to replace our regular corded headset.
 

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Originally published 9 Dec 2005, last update 02 Jul 2017

You may freely reproduce or distribute this article for noncommercial purposes as long as you give credit to me as original writer.

 
 

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