The main attraction of the Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 headphones is their teensy size.

Weighing less than 12g, the Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 headphones sport an earbud-style design with a slender strand of cable connecting the two buds.

Such luxury and convenience don't come cheap, though: the Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 headset lists for £99.

Sony Ericsson provides three sets of different-size earbuds in the package, though the even smallest pair were still a smidge too large for our small ears. Nonetheless, we were able to get a reasonably good seal, and the overall fit seemed comfortable, secure, and discreet. The Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 headphones stayed snug as we walked (and then ran) around.

Home-entertainment news and reviews

In general, the Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 headphones deliver great-sounding tracks, with crisp vocals, warm (but not overwhelming) bass, and clear reproduction of background instruments - such as a tambourine's jangles. We found, however, that dance music, such as acid jazz, tended to come across as a mishmash rather than distinct tones.

Phone call quality is mostly good. In our tests people could tell we were speaking on a headset, but voices were clear at both ends. Call recipients occasionally heard a crackling sound in the background; they told us that - though our chatter blocked background noise somewhat - when we stopped talking, the loud din became quite noticeable.

The Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800's inline control unit actually dangles down from the left side of the headset. This unit houses the microphone and the action button - the headset's only control. We found it a bit annoying, as it often got tangled up in our hair, but surprisingly it didn't bob around much.

You use it to turn the Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 on and off; to initiate, accept/reject, and end a call; and to play or pause tunes. The HBH-IS800 doesn't let you adjust the volume or skip forward or backward through tracks. We missed that.

NEXT PAGE: our expert verdict

PCWorld.com

Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800: Specs

  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • Auto pairing
  • Echo cancellation
  • Noise reduction
  • Automatic volume adjustment
  • Whisper mode
  • Second call handling
  • Redial
  • Voice Activated Dialing (VAD)
  • Enhanced Data Rate
  • 370x3x3mm
  • 12g
  • Range: up to 10m
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • Auto pairing
  • Echo cancellation
  • Noise reduction
  • Automatic volume adjustment
  • Whisper mode
  • Second call handling
  • Redial
  • Voice Activated Dialing (VAD)
  • Enhanced Data Rate
  • 370x3x3mm
  • 12g
  • Range: up to 10m

OUR VERDICT

If you're willing to sacrifice some phone and music controls for an ultrasmall headset with dependable audio quality - and the hefty price tag is no barrier - the Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 package has got the goods.

Find the best price