- GBA-SP Wireless Earphone
3rd January 2004)
If you prefer using earphones with your SP but don't
want the hassle of tangled and unsightly wires, then
the GBA-SP Wireless Earphone from a third party manufacturer
might just be what you need.
Features Of GBA-SP Wireless Earphone
Below is the feature list for the
- Built-in FM Radio.
- Transmitter powered
by the SP and requires no batteries.
receiver runs on only 2 'AAA' batteries.
In The Box
Inside the box you'll find a rather large pair of clip-on
type earphones and a transmitter module. The right earphone
basically serves as the control center and here you
will find two button controls, one labelled 'Scan' and
the other, 'Reset'. Next to it is a scroll wheel that
serves as an 'On/Off' switch and volume control.
The left earphone houses the battery
compartment. Two 'AAA' batteries are used to power the
earphones and are not included with the package.
The transmitter module inserts into both of the Ext.
ports on the SP. It has a pass-through for both these
ports as well as an additional earphone jack for regular
wired earphones. With the transmitter plugged into the
SP, players can still charge the SP and use the link
cable. The transmitter module gets its power from the
SP itself and does not require any batteries.
Using The GBA-SP Wireless
Using the Wireless Earphone is simple. First, make
sure that the SP is off, then plug in the transmitter
module into the SP's Ext. ports as shown in the picture
below. You can now turn on the SP.
Next, clip on the earphones and turn it on. It will
take about a second for the earphone to find the signal
from the transmitter but immediately enough, you'll
hear sound from the SP playing through the earphones.
You can then adjust the volume according to your preferences.
The earphones also support FM radio, so when you're
tired of playing and want to listen to some radio tunes
instead, you'll only need to switch off your SP, and
the earphones will quickly scan and start playing the
first clear FM channel it finds. Using the 'Scan' button,
you can also toggle through all the available channels
that are available.
If, however, you want once again to play your game,
all you have to do is turn on the SP and press the 'Reset'
button on the earphone. The 'Reset' button will always
scan for signals from the transmitter first before the
radio channels, so in case you wonder away from your
SP and loose the signal, just press the 'Reset' button
to get it back again.
In my test, I found that the effective range of the
transmitter is about 1 meter from any angle. This is
more than adequate I think, since it's unlikely that
anyone human has a reach of more than a meter. Since
the earphones and transmitter work on radio signals,
there is also no need to maintain a line-of-sight to
get good reception, as such, you can play your SP in
any position you want, either sitting, lying or upside
What I Like About The GBA-SP
First of all, I really like that it's wireless since
it gives me the freedom to move around with my SP without
worrying about wires getting tangled. The reception
is pretty good and for it's cheap price, the sound quality
is also pretty decent. The biggest plus point, however,
is the built-in auto-scan FM tuner that worked really
well and received all the available stations in my area.
What I Disliked About The
GBA-SP Wireless Earphone
I didn't like the size of the bulky earphones and
found that they were too heavy. This is expected of
course, since the earphones also houses the batteries.
I could have dealt with the weight if only the ear-clips
were better made and lined with some kind of padding.
After using the earphones for about an hour, they did
start to feel a little uncomfortable, mainly because
the cheap plastic clips were starting to pinch at my
Also, remember not to play at high volumes, not only
is it bad for your ears but if you accidentally loose
the signal from the SP, the FM signal will kick in immediately
and give you the shock of your life, especially if it
happens to lock onto a heavy metal station. This happened
to me when I stupidly forgot and put my SP down to go
to the pantry to get a drink - trust me, it's no fun
getting frightened like that!
Although the sound from the earphones was good most
of the time, I did have some odd experiences with some
games. I'm not sure why, but the sound on some games
just didn't sound clean, and always seemed to have a
strange and intermittent buzzing noise. My guess is
that these games had certain sounds frequencies that
were either to high or too low for the earphones to
play properly. Like I said, these earphones are cheap,
so they probably aren't able to adequately handle the
full dynamic range in the sound spectrum.
For it's price, the GB-SP Wireless Earphones seems
like a pretty good bargain since it also includes a
built-in FM radio. Added to this, it also gives the
user total freedom from messy or tangled wires. Sadly,
however, despite the cheap price, it will still cost
you more in the long run since it relies on batteries.
My biggest gripe, however, was its poor design and the
rather hefty weight of the earphones (plus batteries)
which made prolonged usage very uncomfortable.
All in all, compared to a standard wired earphone,
this particular incarnation of a wireless earphone for
the SP is still very inferior. The manufacturers have
overlooked quite a few important points in the design
department and as such, I can only give it two stars..