Thursday, Jan 17, 2019 | Last Update : 02:26 AM IST
The Zebronics BT Connect is one of the cheapest ways to enjoy the 3.5mm headphone jack while embracing modern-day wireless technology.
“Wireless is the future” — that’s what all major manufacturers are shouting out loud. While old-school geeks may cry about OEMs eliminating dedicated 3.5mm headphone jack from mobile devices, most of the world has started adopting the new wireless standards. And why not? One doesn’t have to deal with tangled cables and accidental pop outs while grooving to your tracks on the go. Wireless headphones are more convenient in the modern world and make sense with the ‘smart’ world of today.
However, that doesn’t mean you should trash your expensive 3.5mm headphones yet. After all, the modern world is all about 'going smart' and it would be unwise to ditch your favourite 3.5mm headphones for a pair of 'equally-priced-while-not-so-impressive' wireless earbuds. It seems that Zebronics has a tiny crayon-sized solution to tackle this issue — the Zebronics BT Connect. Priced at just Rs 800, does it have what it takes to bring relevance to your 3.5mm headphones? Let’s find out.
If you are one of those people who like flaunting their smartphones and their accessories, then you might be looking to keep the BT Connect out of sight from onlookers (probably hidden in the folds of your clothing). The BT Connect shows that there’s a part of the technology world that doesn’t believe in attention to detail or making good-looking accessories. It looks like a rounded rectangular flash drive with edges on top. The front has three buttons for three separate functionalities (more on that later). The crocodile clip the back is a nice touch and we often found it clipping it to our clothing (in a way that it isn’t visible).
Apart from that, there’s an LED indicator that glows too bright that the International Space Station could probably see you using the BT Connect (pun intended). The light from the indicator housing leaks from the plastic body around it, showing the 'ultra-low' quality build for the receiver. However, before you start judging it, do remember that it costs just Rs 800 — a price point at which we can afford to live with those imperfections.
But, every gadget has one primary intention to exist, and the BT Connect has one that could let other expensive accessories from prestigious OEMs disgust at their ultra-expensive price tags — a wireless 3.5mm headphone jack. You plug your good old headphone into the receiver’s port, pair it up with your smartphone or tablet or anything that can stream audio through Bluetooth, and voila! You have a hybrid audio port connection at your disposal. If you have a good pair of headphones, then the audio quality is as good as it was when you plugged it directly into a 3.5mm jack. But do remember — audio over Bluetooth can never match the immaculate audio quality that wired earphones can produce. Even if you have the world's best earphones/headphones, Bluetooth, like all wireless connections, loses out a little amount of the data during the transmission.
We tested the BT Connect on smartphones, tablets, computers and even smart TVs, and it worked effortlessly, every time. This especially came as a relief on the iPhone 8 Plus and Pixel 2 — the smartphones that feature the absence of 3.5mm jacks for headphones.
The control buttons on-board may not have great tactility as one would expect from that of an expensive rival, but they do the job nonetheless. The buttons have a few shortcuts built in — single press the power button for receiving a call (yes, it has a mic for you to take calls) and long-press the volume up/down buttons to skip to the next/previous track.
However, this is still a wireless accessory, which means that we have to mention its battery life. Don’t worry, the Zebronics BT Connect’s puny 55mAh battery holds up well to a day’s minimal calling and audio requirements for a busy guy. If you are an audio junkie or a small businessman relying on calls for earning daily bread, make sure you have a power bank with you. With continuous audio playback and some calls, we were plugging it in the socket almost every two hours.
The Zebronics BT Connect is a nifty accessory for those looking to enjoy their trusty wired headphones on smartphones or tablets which support the idea of wireless accessories for future. It is a great accessory if you want to extend the range of your smart TVs audio way afar onto your sofa. It may not be the attention seeker in the same way that some accessories from Apple, BOSE, Samsung, JBL and others may demand, but it gets the job done without any issues. In fact, it does well what it promises. And when you consider the Rs 800 price tag, the following thought comes to the mind immediately — grab one immediately. While we don't find issues with the technology or audio quality and features, we wished Zebronics paid more attention to aesthetics and build quality. A dim indication LED and better aesthetics could have been thought of. All-in-all, the Zebronics BT Connect is worth an investment as a wireless BT accessory for any 3.5mm headphone or audio speaker.