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Review: Novero Rockaway

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Modern laptops like the MacBook Air sacrifice some features in order to provide users with the smallest form-factor possible.  One feature that is sacrificed on the MacBook Air is USB ports, with only 2 being provided to you.  This means that you may find yourself short of a USB port from time to time, and I have found myself in this position frequently because one of my USB ports is permanently occupied by a Yubikey, while the other is taken up with a Logitech headphone transmitter.  For some time, I\’ve been on the lookout for a good bluetooth headset in an ear-bud style.  I recently found the Novero Rockaway headset, and have been testing it out for the past 2 weeks.
The Novero Rockaway is a very slick product which was the reddot design award winner for 2012.  It features two earbuds connected with a flat cable, which is very nice as it completely prevents tangling.  There is also an inline mic on the cable, and 4 sets of ear bud tips, so you should be able find one that fits your ear very well.  Unlike most bluetooth headsets before the Rockaway which put the bluetooth technology in the band, the Rockaway stores the bluetooth technology and battery in the earbuds themselves, which results in a sleeker design but heavier earbuds.
Due to the heavier earbuds, wearing these earbuds for more than 2 hours causes ear fatigue and discomfort.  The sound quality is about what you\’d expect from a bluetooth headset, and isn\’t too bad for most applications.  You will notice a difference in audio quality while listening to music, but it really isn\’t too bad.  What is irritating is the frequent static that invades your sound, something that gets worse as the battery runs down.  Speaking of the battery, you can expect around 5 hours of listening time before you will have to recharge.  The mic on this headset, unfortunately, is basically worthless.  If you use the mic, the Rockaway automatically switches the headphones to mono mode, but even with that the mic\’s audio quality is so bad everyone I spoke to on Skype complained.  (The good news is you can use the built-in mic on most laptops to replace the mic on the Rockaway.)
Overall, I would rate these headphones as a 2.5/5.

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