The Xoom has plenty to offer music lovers but headphones are an essential if you want to get the best from your tablet.
Headphones not only improve massively on the built-in speakers, they can keep out noise you just don't want to hear- especially on long journeys. Given the choice between listening to my favorite band or traffic noise on the daily commute and I am heading into my own private and beautiful world.
Not all bluetooth stereo headphones are equal, of course, so it is worth doing some research before you buy.
Why Use Bluetooth at All?
Some people are OK with wires trailing from their ears. Some people don't mind headphones that make them look dorky. Most of us like the small size and freedom the best bluetooth headphones offer. They can give you great range too. You can't really work out in a gym carrying your Xoom. With bluetooth you can listen comfortably even if your Xoom is in a bag thirty feet away.
Bluetooth Compatibility and the Xoom
The Xoom uses Bluetooth version 2.3 and is compatible with most newer, bluetooth devices. The AD2P protocol is the best for headphones and completely compatible with the Xoom. All of the devices on this page pair easily with tablet PC's and newer smartphones.
Motorola S305- affordable quality
Motorola make pretty good audio gear so it is not surprising that 2 of the very best headphones come from them.
The S305 model has been around for a long time but is still comparable in sound quality to more recent models. The big plus is that older technology is always cheaper and this model has seen its price fall from around a hundred dollars online to around $35.
The downside is that is bigger than newer models and maybe not as stylish as most people would like.
The deep bass and clear mid and high range will still win plenty of new fans for the old guy. For a model to use purely at home this would be my first choice.
The Motorola S10-HD is the latest technology from Motorola. It is a very different design with a much smaller and more discrete profile. It is made with active people in mind and is very secure on the head.
Some people complain that the model is not comfortable but usually this is down to noy understanding that it goes behind the ear and around the top of the neck! Once you have figured out how to fit it properly you will be able to forget about any issues of losing it if you happen to lean over.
The range of this model is exceptional with up to thirty feet before the audio warnings of 'out of range' appear.
The most obvious difference to the S305 above- apart from size- is that the earpieces slip inside the ear. This has pluses and minuses. Ear bud-type designs keep out a lot of surrounding noise but they also keep out the sound of people talking. These are probably best used for occasions when you won't be socializing too much, They are perfect for a run in a noisy city but less good at home when your loved ones might just murder you for not replying to their calls!
Also, some people are sensitive to having anything in their ear all and should avoid ear buds altogether.
For the rest of us, they are a great set to have around. We all need to blot out the outside world sometimes and just chill.
You can expect to pay around $60 online.
Plantronics BackBeat 906
The Backbeat offers not just quality stereo sound for listening to music. It has dual microphones so that you can make and recieve calls through your Xoom. This might not be what you are looking for of course, but bear in mind that this head set will pair with most smartphones as well- so it it can be a multi-use investment.
Another advantage of having a mic is that you can use voice commands to access music.
The earpieces are the kind that slip in the ear but are more comfortable than most.
The extra technology makes this an expensive choice at around $75 online.
Best for Sound Quality? Rocketfish Bluetooth Headphones
These are the headphones I would buy if I didn't already have a set. They have genuinely great sound for most kinds of music.There is a choice of 4 audio settings so you can get the best from Lady Gaga or Johann Sebastian Bach as well as jazz or hiphop.
The bass is the best I have heard and there is no scratchiness or distortion in the higher range. They are the kind of headphone where people start looking for the wires.
They are not perfect for running or the gym. The earpieces are not a hundred per cent secure. They are comfortable though and you can wear them at home all day.
The downside is that they are very popular and not always easy to find online. Prices are around $70 or up to $40 used (they retain their value).
More Accessories for the Xoom
There are a lot more accessories to get the best from you Xoom. If you are interested in cases, keyboards, adapters and so on, try this site: Best Xoom Accessories