Aerial7 Chopper 2: iPhone Headset Plus Microphone Fills a Gap

| In-Depth Review

Some iPhone users may find that the supplied earbuds plus mic or a Bluetooth earpiece is all they need for voice operations on the iPhone. However, others may prefer a more capable, tangle-free true headset plus microphone for extended, battery free, conversations in the office. The Aerial7 Chopper 2 does exactly that.

Introduction

A Bluetooth earpiece is great when on the move, but in an office environment, it can be a pain to leave on all the time. Or find amongst desk clutter when a call comes in. To date, I have simply been using the earbuds for a higher quality voice conversation, especially for extended sessions, say product demos or interviews. However, I have been fantasizing about and over the head headset with a built-in microphone. So far, they've been hard to come by. The Aerial7 Chopper 2 answers that call.

Imagine the following scenario:

  • Call comes in on iPhone
  • Reach for earbuds
  • Untangle the earbuds
  • Insert one earbud in left ear
  • Insert one earbud in right ear
  • Left earbud falls out. Put it back in.
  • Press the green "answer" button on the iPhone
  • Caller has hung up, tired of waiting.

 

The Chopper 2 eliminates all that hassle. Just pick up the headset, place it over your ears, and press "answer." There are no worries about the placement of a tangled mic, or whether the battery might be dead, or getting the earbuds untangled and inserted reliably.

Here's a photo of everything that comes in the box:

Chopper 2

The Complete Package

You get:

  • Headphones with a cord that fits either the original iPhone or the iPhone 3G, 3GS
  • A soft carry case
  • A 3.5 mm to 6.3 mm (1/4 inch) adapter
  • A 3.5 mm to paired 3.5 mm analog input/out cable*

* According to Aerial7, "That adapter is used to connect to a computer so you can use the headset for gaming or Skype. Computers (Mac and PC) have two plugs, one for headphones and one for mic. This splitter let's you use the listening and talking feature of a headphone with a computer."  Note that red is for the mic input and blue is for the analog audio out.

Testing

I tested the Chopper 2 on a variety of calls, both via the iPhone radio system as well as the Skype app. The strength of the device, the audio isolation for your ears, is offset by the sound of your own voice being somewhat isolated. However, that's ok. I know what I'm saying. I just want to hear the caller better. In fact, the Chopper 2 provided the best audio quality for a caller of any device I've used.

 

Chopper 2 closeup

Closeup of headset

There's a microphone with a built-in "hang up" button built into the cord about 19 cm (7.5 in) from the left earphone. It hangs just right to pick up your own voice. The cord itself is about 1.2 meters long (4 ft), so you'll have plenty of length for freedom of movement.

As you can see from the close-up above, the earphones are nicely padded and the head band is also nicely padded: soft purple plastic underneath and faux-suede leather on the top (in the "Mojave" color scheme). As with all headsets of this kind, the earpieces are adjustable, connected to a metal extension piece. That part is quite sturdy, so I was very pleased. The workmanship and parts fit and finish is not high-end first class, but neither is it cheap. I think the price vs. quality is well set, and the user will get years of good use out the Chopper 2.

Tech Specs Provided by Aerial7

  • Driver Diameter: 44 mm
  • Impedence: 32 Ohms
  • Frequency response: 5 to 20 KHz
  • Sensitivity (S.P.L): 108 ± 3dB (at 1 KHz)
  • Input Plug Diameter: 3.5mm iPhone

Chopper 2 Mic and connector

Closeup of mic, control and connector

Overall Impression

The Chopper 2 is my new favorite toy around the office. It is instantly available, hassle free, and gives me great audio quality for my iPhone calls. Out where I am in the country, having to use a Cell Ranger to make decent cell phone calls, it's even more important to me to hear the caller clearly.

The Chopper 2 comes in four color themes: Britt, Hype, Mojave (the one I reviewed) and Pharaoh.

If you don't like wearing a Bluetooth headset all day in the office, and you hate tangled earbud cords, the Chopper 2 is a great solution.

Product: Chopper 2

Company: Aerial7

List Price: US$69.95

Pros:

Soft, cushioned headphones, over the head support, external sound isolation, caller voice more immediate & two dimensional, mic plus control on cord, cord is long enough, cord connector fits original iPhone or recent 3G/3GS, soft cary bag, two different kinds of adapters included.

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Comments

iJack

“..one’s own voice is a bit muffled thanks to headset sound isolation.”

Wait!  What?  You mean you can’t hear your own voice via the microphone?

Robbo

Oh yes….and you look like a total twat to boot. No thanks. What’s wrong with a BT device?

head set for laptop

I have been looking for an headset/mic combo for my MBP to use with Skype.  I have bought several and realized they don’t provide earphone AND mic for Skype, and several are lousy quality - not usable.

The article mentions Skype, but not use on a laptop.  He also neglects to mention price.

sota

I have these, they are great!

If you’re one of those people that prefer over the ear headphones for music but want to have the mic for answering calls then these are perfect.

What isn’t mentioned in this article is that on an iPhone 3Gs that button for answering and hanging up calls will also control your music.

click once to play or pause
click twice to skip forward a track
click three times to skip back a track
click once and hold to fast-forward
click twice and hold to rewind
click and hold to active voice control for dialling and song selection.

Here in the UK they are ?50

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