Monday, March 1, 2010

Choosing a Bluetooth

choosing a bluetoothIt is becoming increasingly popular to have a Bluetooth headset. Well, you’ve got to admit that it is much easier to talk on the phone hands-free. This way you are able to multi-task, which is something that we all seem to need to do these days.

Now picking a Bluetooth may seem a little overwhelming. There are tons of styles, brands, and features to consider when you start the hunt for the perfect headset for you. The feel and fit are extremely important, because if its not comfortable on your ear than you are not going to want to use it. Other important factors to consider include design and style, battery life, and sound quality. Here are what many feel are the seven most important things to consider when choosing your Bluetooth headset:

1. Call Quality
As talking on the phone is the whole point of having a headset, the quality of the call is probably the most important factor to think about. The quality of calls greatly varies from one headset to the next. Finally, some of the smaller, more stylish headsets have boosted their call quality to match that of the larger devices, even though they have smaller speakers and microphones. Researching call quality of headsets is essential before choosing a Bluetooth.

2. Comfort
As I said before, the feel and fit of the headset is something to definitely pay attention to. If you don’t feel comfortable with the Bluetooth in your ear, than you most likely will not use it. Many people enjoy the feeling of headsets featuring rubber earbuds that sit part of the way in your ear. They say that it creates a feeling of being secure without being too tight. There are also many other models where the earpiece sits instead on the edge of your ear. It really all just depends on personal preferences.

3. Noise Cancellation
Noise cancellation can be an extremely helpful feature found on many headsets. This feature was introduced by Alphi’s original Jawbone and has since taken off. Many Bluetooth’s have the ability to turn the noise cancellation feature on or off according to whether or not you are in a noisy room. This really can help with your phone conversations more than you probably can imagine.

4. Battery Life
No matter how much time you’re really going to be spending on your headset, battery life is important. You don’t want to have to deal with the frustration of going to use your Bluetooth only to find it dead. When examining the different Bluetooth models, it really unfortunately seems like the bigger the device the better the battery life. The smaller headsets are just unable to stay alive for long amounts of time due to the fact that there’s not enough room to have a large battery.

5. Range
There really isn’t tons of variation in range due to the fact that Bluetooth technology is limited to a range of 33 feet, but it is still something to pay attention to. Most likely you will be able to make it anywhere between 10-15 feet away before static begins to interrupt your conversation with most headsets. Just make sure that your device doesn’t have a range below these numbers.

6. Style
For those who think that Bluetooth’s may look silly or weird, producers are beginning to release much more stylish devices. Many manufacturers are now offering headsets in variety of styles, colors, and textures. They are also trying to make them smaller and less noticeable. Hopefully this will draw the attention of the more skeptical people who could benefit from the use of a headset.

7. Mono vs. Stereo Sound
You don’t really have to worry much about mono sound. Most of the Bluetooth sets out there have mono sound and fit in one ear, but if you feel that you might be able to utilize stereo sound than you need to examine headsets a little closer. This could be used to provide stereo music wirelessly for instances like working out. These sets are dual-eared pieces. With devices such as these you are able to listen to music and calls quite easily.

Now that I have discussed the essential elements to consider when purchasing a Bluetooth headset, here are a few different devices that you might be looking at:

Motorola Endeavor HX1
This device is a very popular headset choice. It has great call quality, efficient noise cancellation, and a battery life of over eight hours. This is notably impressive due to the fact that the Bluetooth itself is really very medium-sized. It should be noted that the earpiece may not fit entirely well for everyone, but this is definitely a device worth exploring further.

Plantronics Discovery 975
This model is considered to be the most stylish of Plantonics’ headsets. It has good call quality and noise cancellation, and it comes with a charger that triples its talk time which can come in handy.

Motorola MotoROKR S9-HD
This was one of the first reasonably-priced headsets to have good call quality. It doesn’t have the best voice call abilities, but its not bad. Just as a side note, people will be able to tell you’re on a headset, because there is an increased amount of room echo when making calls.

Plantronics Voyager Pro
This headset is not know for it’s chic style or anything like that, but when it comes to functionality, the Voyager Pro comes through. This headset offers some of the best sound quality, in any environment, that you could ask for. It also has a very comfortable fit and a long battery life. The device is very large, but if you’re looking for a good quality and price over looks, this could be the headset for you.

Nokia BH-905
This headset was specifically designed with music-lovers in mind. It has a fantastic wired stereo mode that is crisp and clean. Many also say that it is extremely comfortable to wear which is important. It doesn’t have the best noise cancellation, but it really isn’t bad at all.

Aliph Jawbone Icon
This device is the first to offer an apps platform for a Bluetooth headset. It allows you to customize voice prompts, add local searches, and more. The Icon is known for its excellent call quality and fantastic noise cancellation abilities. I does have problems with short battery life though.

Plantronics Voyager 520
Honestly, this is a great Bluetooth headset to consider if you’re on a budget. It has good call quality and an amazing battery life of close to 9 hours. The issue is that the Voyager 520 does not feature noise cancellation which can be quite frustrating at times. It also is quite large compared to some of the newer headsets. If these things don’t bother you though, than the Voyager 520 might suit you just fine.

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