In the past, the various Beanie Hat Bluetooth headsets I have tried have been OK but all of them seemed to have issues with Bluetooth: endless dropouts, pairing problems, and horrible crackly audio devoid of all bass. The move to Bluetooth 5 has changed all that and here is a new generation headset with good audio as well as being a comfortable and well-designed hat for the sensible price of just £17.99
In attractively designed box can be found the headset, charging cable and a well written and nicely printed user guide.
The Hat itself is above average but nothing outstanding: warm, stretchable and unlike many others large enough to fit a European male head snugly and covering the ears. I would expect to pay at least £20 for it over the counter as it is warm, well made with a thick plush lining and covers my ears without having to be stretched down too much. This hat is different to the usual skullcap shape and features an extended crown that can be folded back or folded down the back of the head.
It is thanks to the wonders of Bluetooth 5 that this headset shines. The sound quality is excellent, better than I need for outdoor use, with good bass and clean sibilance free mid and upper tones. No sign of the dropouts and poor connection of old-style units, it auto connects and stays connected the whole time. Sound quality is not as quite as good as from a good over the ears headset but is superior to almost every earbud headset I have tried. It works well with Siri and Google Assistant too. The pairing was nice and easy , just long-press the centre button to turn on pairing mode and the LEDs will flash red and blue and then connect your phone to the new BT-01 device.
The Beanie hat has a cut-down Bluetooth headset contained inside the rim. There are two square tiny speaker boxes connected by a wire and linked to the control panel on the outside. The headset can be removed through a small access port inside the hat and there is another tiny hole on the outside within the control panel to give access to the micro-USB charging port. Lining the port up to the opening and then connecting the charging cable is fiddly and time-consuming but probably will get easier with experience. Removing the headset from the lining is a fiddly task too and needs to be done with care to avoid snapping the wires, but it is a task that does not need to be done too often.
The hat is washable once the speaker system has been removed. The user guide says it can be machine washed but I will probably play safe and hand wash mine when the time comes.
As a hat, I would say this is best suited for summer evenings or autumnal use. It is a bit too thick to wear on summer days but not quite thick enough for freezing winter days but of course, that is down to personal taste.
This is now my go-to headset when I am out on my runs and extended walks. (I have a thinner Bluetooth Beanie hat, which I may return to for summer exercise.) I always wear a beanie hat anyway and so I no no longer need to bother with earbuds. I am also far less likely to lose the beanie hat and if I did, then at this price I can easily pick up a replacement. The only problem I can envisage is that the hat may become loose over time allowing the speakers to drift away from the ears with resultant loss of audio quality and volume. So far. let me say, that seems a long way off.
If you need a way of listening to your music when out and about as the winter draws in, this would be a decent choice.
Warm Plush Lining
Good audio quality
Good Build Quality
Good User Guide
No USB-C port
Hard to Access Recharge Port
Buttons Difficult to Manipulate