Smarteck QY7 Bluetooth Headphones Earphones Headsets ★★★★★
The device comes with 1 USB charger cable (just over 7” long), six rubber eartips and six ear hooks. Note that there is no AC outlet charger, so you need to plug the USB cable into a computer or other power source. I did find that the flap over the USB port is difficult to open; I have a hard time getting my fingernail under it and usually end up needing a small flathead screwdriver or knife tip. This is good in the sense that it protects the port well, but a little annoying when I want to charge. Additionally, the flap can get in the way of the USB plug; it takes a bit of wiggling for it to seat properly.
For a full charge, it takes about 2 hours. The battery life is pretty good considering the small size of the unit. The stand-by time lists 175 hours with a 5 hour conversation time. I played music non-stop for a handful of hours myself before needing another charge. When the battery gets low, a woman’s voice comes on and says, “Power low.” It repeats this warning again in a few minutes before saying, “Power off.” The time between the first warning to when it shuts off is about five minutes.
There are additional voice commands that tell you the status of the headset, such as “Power on,” “Connected” and “Power Off.” If you don’t like it, you can press the volume “-” for three seconds to disable (volume “+” for three seconds to turn back on). Personally, I like the voice commands; they let me know the status without having to watch for the blinking light. Also, this is a feature I’ve seen on more expensive models, so it’s a nice addition.
BUTTONS / CONTROLS
The power and activity button fits so well into the design that it makes locating by touch difficult. When the ear piece is in your ear, you can’t see where you are pressing. Because the button is flat against the surface, feeling for it is difficult. That said, after several tries and training my brain, my muscle memory kicked in and made locating and pressing easier and more natural.
The volume is easier to feel for and locate, but directly pressing it up or down will pop the earpiece out of your ear. The best method I found to prevent this was to take my left hand (opposite to the right ear cup) and rest my forefinger against the back of the earpiece then press my thumb against the volume up or down to adjust. This allows me to change it with one hand while keeping the earpiece in place.
When listening to music, you can play/pause by pressing the activity button. You can also press the “+” to skip a song or the “-” to listen to the previous one. Answering a call is simple too, just press the activity button when a call is incoming and again when it is over. You can also reject a call by double pressing the activity button or transfer it by holding for 2 seconds.
Connectivity range (listed at 10m / 33 feet) was good through a few walls, but not through walls AND floor. When I walked from room-to-room, I was still connected, but when I walked to my basement, the sound snapped and popped a few times before a voice said, “Out of range.” The music on my phone paused automatically to prevent me from missing anything. When back in range, without having to do anything, the device reconnected and a voice said, “Connected.” The music was still paused, but a click of the button on the headset set it back to play — no need to manually reconnect. Overall, the range is pretty good compared to other Bluetooth headsets I’ve owned.
I was also glad to be able to pair two devices. The headset could only process sound from one device at a time, but I could stay connected to two different devices without having to re-pair each time. For example, I have the headset paired to my LG G4 Smartphone for music, but when I want to watch a movie on my iPad Air, I simply stop sound on the Smartphone and start it up on the iPad. With other headsets, I had to either un-pair from the first device and pair to the other, or turn off the Bluetooth on the first device before turning it on the second. This makes switching sources much easier.
The sound quality is pretty good. In general, I test all my headphones by playing the deadmau5 4×4=12 album, particularly the songs “Some Chords” and “Sofi Needs a Ladder.” Why? Because this album uses a wide range of tones, from highs to punchy and deep bass. I found the Smarteck QY7 to have really good sound with a fair range. Assuming you have the buds positioned deep enough in your ears, the bass is very rich. Fails a bit with the punchy or hitting bass, but is excellent for the deeper more rumbling frequencies.
When in a call, I had people tell me I am clear and easy to hear. So the mic seems to be fairly decent. The volume gets really loud as well. When hooking up regular corded headphones directly to my phone, I am limited to the max volume of my phone. But with the Smarteck QY7, I can max the volume on my phone AND the headset to get it much louder. This means I can turn the volume down on the headset and up on the phone, which will draw more phone battery than headset battery. Or, if your phone battery is low while the headset fully charged, you can do the reverse: volume up the headset and down the phone to put the majority of the drain on the headset. Corded headsets without a battery — like my Bose SoundSport — have to rely on the transmitting device’s battery, plus it can only get as loud as the device can go.
The Smarteck QY7 also does well with noise cancellation. Unlike my Bose SoundSport headphones which are open-back, the Smarteck QY7 are closed-backed. This means there is less internal sound leakage on the QY7, plus it blocks outside noises too. I’m able to wear them while vacuuming or mowing the lawn without having to max out the volume to hear my music or audio books. Keeping the volume low also has less risk of damaging your ears. The only bad thing with this is there may be times you want to hear what’s going on around you, such as in an office or with a group of friends. The Smarteck QY7 ear pieces act like earplugs, so if you want to block or muffle outside noises, these are a good choice.
WEAR / FIT
For the most part, this headset fits into my ears well. There are three different size eartips — small, medium and large. They are not uncomfortable, but I found that it took some time getting used to the 22” long cord rubbing at the back of my neck. There’s a little clip you can put on the cord to tighten up and shorten the distance between the two ear pieces, and I found this helped keep it from flopping to one side. Personally, I would have liked a shorter cord, but the clip does a decent job of shortening it.
When running on my treadmill and just regular everyday use, the earpieces stay in place well enough. The ear hooks help to keep them from popping out. However, when I was shoveling snow, the cord kept getting rubbed on my jacket which forced the right earpiece out several times. They work best wearing a t-shirt or something similar, but jackets, especially ones with a hood, risk getting snagged.
The Smarteck QY7 has proven to be fairly nice headphones. They are good for noise canceling, have decent sound quality and work well when exercising. They also don’t get in the way for those who wear eyeglasses, unlike some headphones I’ve had. The battery life and range are nothing to shy away from either. These easily measure up to more expensive Bluetooth headsets that I have owned and tested. Other than a few small complaints, I am a happy customer.
any suggestions for turning down or even turning off the voice notifications? Even following directions I am unable to turn them off and while my regular volume is great… the notifications are crazy loud.
Hi Kristine. Yep, it’s pretty simple. Just put the device into Bluetooth pairing mode (hold the power button when the device is off until the light flickers between blue and red — I counted 6 seconds) and then hold the volume down (“-”) until the red LED flashes 3 times (about 3 seconds). Then turn it off and back on again (by holding the power button down until the light turns off). I tested this on my own device just now and can confirm that it does work — it disabled the voice notifications for me. Keep in mind that these instructions are for this particular model headset and will not necessarily work on all QY7 variants (there are many). The manual for this exact model can be found online here: http://www.qcymall.com/data/upload/201508/f_37d21a7a1be4e3bae0675e37bdb99e44.pdf , and the instructions for voice notifications are in the upper right. Hope this helps!