Considering the latest flagship HTC Android and Windows Phone 7 smartphones, we may certainly assume that the Taiwanese company does target multimedia more than ever. Bigger screens, impressive HTC Watch experience, and Beats Audio integration can’t insinuate much doubt. They changed much to wash the old, kind of boring, yet professional appeal. With the end of the HTC Touch device line, the company changed “HTC Innovation” slogan to “With HTC Sense”. They did everything to look more comprehensive for an average user, but forgot one important aspect when it comes to multimedia. While iBeats is probably the best stock default headset attached to a smartphone ever made, not everyone is looking forward to that overpriced accessory. That’s not even mentioning audiophiles that will choose AKG or Sennheiser instead. HTC tried to change the old school headsets not only for the most high end multimedia devices but also for mainstream devices. According to our information acquired from HTC Poland, the RC E190 headset is going to replace RC E160 for mainstream devices. How is this headset performing? Is it worth getting an upgrade? Find out by reading our review down below!

HTC RC E190 in the official accessory store

Key Features

  • New wire stereo headset with distinctive HTC design DNA
  • Premium flat cable ensure tangle free user experience
  • Low profile in-line control box & microphone
  • Attach to the phone via 3.5 mm audio jack plug

Keep your Sensation XL in your pocket with the HTC RC E190 Music Remote Control. The Music Remote Control lets you easily answer and make calls and play back your music by simply pressing a button. Clip the stylish Remote Control to your clothing, and you have music playback and phone controls at your fingertips. Also, with the built-in FM antenna giving a signal boost, listening to FM radio stations is crystal clear.*

Key Features

  • Voice dial support (you need to long press the button when there is no music playing). This function will work when the device supports this function.
  • Last number redial support (you can double click the button, the last number will display on the screen of your device)
  • Music control buttons
  • Play/Pause button
  • Forward/Backward buttons for music playback or FM channel selection
  • Phone buttons
  • Answer/End call button to answer calls, call waiting switch or redial last number

Technical Details

  • Standard 3.5mm audio jack
  • Built-in Microphone
  • 3.5mm Stereo earphones included

*Only applies to devices with integrated FM Radio function.

Ease of use
Plugging the headset into your favorite device isn’t really a challenge because of 3.5mm minijack. Plug and Play philosophy is as simple as that. Plugging the cable into the phone wasn’t a problem whereas trying to put the headset into your ears might be a hell of a problem. I was surprised to see members at xda-developers posting questions about how to insert RC E190 into their ears. One guy at the forums even asked if someone could send him a picture of the headset properly installed in an ear. Aside from the funny staff, I confirm that the headset doesn’t fit my ears either. It’s not a “replace ear tips” matter, because, overall, the end part that is supposed to stick to your ear is too wide. This makes the headset sometimes fall out of your ear. We found that quite annoying, not to mention the flat cable is more inflexible then an average thin audio cable, therefore making the headset more likely to detach from your ears. When it comes to ease of use, we can only rate the headset at 2 out of 5.

Features
Sound quality was definitely an improvement comparing to the RC E160, although it wasn’t any competition for my old Sennheiser’s CX 300 II Precision. I was able to hear the difference without use of flac files. Highs weren’t that clear and bass definitely could have used some tuning. After using Beats Audio software system I was able to get something that could be considered bass, but once again CX 300 was without any doubts in the lead. The formal headset just can’t be compared to professional earphones. On the other hand noise isolating was more than decent. I could find a difference between those two earphones when it comes to noise isolating. Moreover the tangle free feature did its job well. The headset doesn’t come with a pouch, but there was no need for one. I never ended up tangled, and that happened to me often with my Sennheisers. We didn’t notice anything uncommon about the microphone. When it comes to features we rate this accessory 4 out of 5.

Build quality
We heard some rumors that the buttons are “flimsy”. We cannot confirm that. It looks like they are completely firm and made to endure a lot. Overall the build quality was top notch. Replaceable ear tips didn’t look easy to tear. The headset is completely made out of durable plastic, resulting in low weight. We rate 5 out of 5 in terms of build quality.

Install or not
The HTC RC E190 is a decent headset that won’t have a big impact on your budget. If you’re looking for a cheap earphone set, you can’t go wrong with the RC E190.

Pros:

  • Tangle free
  • Noise isolating
  • 3.5mm minijack
  • Control panel
  • Low cost

Bottom line:

  • Only decent sound quality

Cons:

  • Comes only in white
  • Uncomfortable in smaller ears

 

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