About a month ago I blogged about the new dual-purpose headphones I had just gotten. Since then I've had some time with them and have a final verdict: they seemed like a better idea than they are.
My primary need for a headset is to wear during my daily commute (varies between 30 minutes and an hour each way). I don't make it a habit to talk and drive but sometimes it's necessary... and sometimes I'm just bored. For that I only use one earbud. I generally listen to podcasts on airplanes and in airports and have a fairly regular need to do conference calls noisy places and in situations where I want my hands free. For most of those situations I use two earbuds.
The SCE-3Bs work. The microphone works well. The single button on the microphone module works with my phone. The phone sound is split to both headphones, nice for calls in noisy airports.
The earbuds are too big for my ears. I own two other pairs of similarly styled earbuds for music players and the ones on this are just a couple of millimeters bigger. This causes them to not sit comfortably, they push out which reduces the sound a lot. When driving I've had to resort to holding the earbud in with my hand... which sort of defeats that whole hands-free thing.
These things are pretty ugly. The inline module with the microphone, volume control, button, and a clip is pretty enormous. It's about 2-inches lone by 3/4 inch wide and 1/2 inch thick. Kind of a dull green with an orange skull logo on it. I'm not sure this whole thing could be done with less wire but the amount of wire seem excessive. About 5 feet in length from either of the plugs to where the earbuds split off. The split for the two different plugs is about 16 inches from the end. Just a lot of wire to get all tangled up.
I've decided that, like most multifunction devices, the compromises are just too much. I'm going back to a single-purpose phone headset for the phone and will be back to my various other headsets for music and podcasts. Podcasts while driving will be back to the cassette interface. I've got no plans to go Bluetooth. Not just due to the expense, I also don't need another gadget with batteries to manage.