Rapoo S500 First Impressions

Rapoo S500 bluetooth headset

I recently purchased this headset on ebay for £35, it took forever to arrive. I wanted to see how it compared with the Rapoo H6020. When you pay this little for a rechargeable bluetooth headset with a built in mic, you can’t set your expectations too high. The best use case for this headset is with a mobile phone or tablet on your daily commute or when travelling. I have tried using bluetooth headsets with windows laptops but never with much success.


I have only had the headset for a short while, it is very comfortable it feels lighter than the H6020. Rapoo have improved the headband just by making it flat. The H6020 headband could become uncomfortable when worn for long periods of time.



Pairing with an iPhone or iPad is simple, when the headset is off simply press and hold the power button for five seconds this puts it into pairing mode. Rapoo say this headset uses Bluetooth 4.0 which should consume less power. Range is up to 30 meters in ideal conditions. I found you have to be in the same room as the source.



The sound quality when listening to music is fair but nowhere near as good as my Sony DR-BTN200 that cost nearly double. If you are looking for audiophile quality this is not the headset for you and you should be spending a lot more money. That said I think there is some improvement over the H6020. Volume is good, when I listen to podcasts on the underground I have to turn it up as loud as it goes but this is just enough to make the voices audible. If you worry about upsetting your fellow passengers when listening to your favourite death metal track then you’ll be pleased to know this headset leaks a minimal amount  of sound. There is no active noise reduction and a small amount of passive reduction, but this headset is not really suitable for listening in noisy conditions unless you don’t mind cranking up the volume to the maximum.


Charging and Battery Life

The headset can be charged using a standard micro USB cable, one is supplied in the box. Claimed battery life is 16 hours but I have not verified this yet. Charging time is one hour again, I have not verified this myself.



The quality of the mic is okay but you can only hold a telephone conversation if there is minimal background noise as the mic is not directional.


Phone Integration

When listening to music you can pause/play the current track by briefly pressing the power button. If you recieve an incoming call whilst listening to music, the music will be interrupted by your ring tone and you can answer the call by briefly pressing the power button. The volume is adjusted by two up/down buttons. Unfortunately there is no way to skip tracks, on the H6020 the was a slider button that permitted this and I found it useful.



It is too early to tell but I will post regular updates here until the headset fails. The H6020 lasted for a year with daily use so hopefully the S500 can improve on that.


New rig

I always blog about each pc I build as a way of remembering the bits that I purchased. My machine is left on 24/7 so I’m in the market for a pc that does not use much power when idle. This makes both cooling easy and my electricity bill lower. The total cost of this box including VAT came out at £530.

I have not measured the power consumption at idle but reading reviews of the cpu and motherboard it should be less than 15w. The case only has one 60mm fan but feels cool so it seems adequate. The fan is a little bit noisy especially as this is an HTPC case but I might be able to tweak the fan speed to make it quieter.

Putting it all together was easy as this type of case makes access simple. I fitted all components and cables before inserting the CPU and cooler. I installed Ubuntu 11.04 from a USB flash drive without any problems. The whole process took about 4 hours and my system building skills are very rusty as I built my last one five years ago.

I have split the drive into two partitions in case I need to dual boot Ubuntu and windows 7, i’m starting with Ubuntu and seeing how it goes. Ubuntu boots very fast from cold in only 22 secs from pressing the power button. I’m a Ubuntu noob so have nothing but windows 7 for comparison but this machine feels faster than my Acer 3810tz laptop (with SSD upgrade) but it is early days and I have not thrown anything heavy at it yet.

One issue I had during the build was that the media card reader USB cable would not reach the connection on the motherboard so is not operational at the moment. This does not bother me as I have  an external one.


Intel i3-2100T 2nd Gen Core 2.5GHz 35W TDP £92.00 ex vat
128GB Crucial m4 SSD 2.5″ £122.00 ex vat
DDR3 1333 DIMM £30.00 ex vat

Silverstone LC19B htpc Case £99. ex vat


Zotac H67-ITX-C-E Mini-ITX Motherboard £99.00 ex vat ZotacH67ITX.jpg