back to article Ten of the Best... Bluetooth Headsets

We used to laugh when Lt Uhura would sit at her station with a lump of metal in her lughole. Yet here we are, sticking our fingers in our ear so we can take calls on our teeny-tiny Bluetooth headsets. Fortunately, the headsets on offer these days are a lot more elegant than Star Trek’s clunky hardware. Obviously wary of the ‘ …

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Plantronics 925

Available in the US for $80 from Amazon.com with free shipping.

Efros

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Vote against the Jawbone

The noise reduction technology on it works very well but the ergonics of the device in use are horrible. It comes with a large selection of ear pieces and things to fit over ear (not sure of the word for them) but none of them fit: after about 2 minutes the device pops out of the ear and you can't hear it. There was a craze at work for people getting these devices when they first came out as the noise reduction demoed really well, but in use over 50% of those people who got them have given up as we cannot get them to actually stay in the ear!

Stylish packaging and clever tech are pointless if the damn things pop out of your ear after 2 minutes. Oh the volume control ergonomics suck too: way too easy to hang up the call when you were trying to adjust the volume: or just put the thing back in your ear after it's fallen out again.

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Unhappy

This article should be subtitled

"Ten best ways to look more of a twonk."

People with bluetooth headsets in look foolish in the extreme. This sort of thing shouldn't be engouraged, El Reg.

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Jawbone

Have been using the original model for a year. Works very well and the noise reduction technology is amazing. I have never had a single issue with this headset, which I can't say for the other headsets I have tried over the years.

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Boffin

Smallbrainfield

Not sure where you are located, but the UK POLITICIANS deem driving without a headset or handsfree to be a 'criminal offence'

Therefore, you need one of these!

I'm not sure why though, surely smoking and driving is as bad? Also, what about conversations with other passengers - that's just as bad as a mobile and the worst offender is definitely KIDS playing up in the back - they must cause the most crashes!

Another civil liberty eroded for the purposes of financial gain for our illustrious Government. As they all look like a bunch of C*NTS - so they ensure we do with bluetooth headsets...

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Forget a slug in your ear

http://www.qvcuk.com/ukqic/qvcapp.aspx/app.detail/params.item.559065

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@smallbrainfield

Au contraire mon ami, I think this should be actively encouraged. It means we can identify said twonks more easily. Y'know, as if the mobile clipped to the belt wasn't enough of a giveaway.

(Think it was Dilbert where they said "the probability of someone clipping their phone to their belt is inversely proportional to their importance in the organisation")

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Stu
Pirate

Sennheiser VMX100 ->Plantronics

Looks to me like that Sennheiser model is a re-branding/re-casing of the Plantronics Voyager 510 USB. If it comes with a USB dongle pre-paired with the headset, then it definitely is.

They look very similar, and their buttons seem located in the same places on both units.

The plantronics 510 USB seems to be geared as a desktop headset as opposed to a mobile thing, which is what Sennheiser seem to geared theirs as.

.

One thing that consistently disappointed me is the desktop performance of your typical 'mobile device oriented' BT headset. Try pairing with your desktop computer via a USB BT dongle, not a laptop, you're likely to hear the thing buzz annoyingly! Sound quality drops off the bottom of the graph too. Probably worth testing for on a following review roundup.

And we don't look stupid, get with the times people, its the future now don't you know!

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Unhappy

features?

this article was pretty lame, TBH. I would like to know the battery life of these things (standby and talk), whether you can pair them with with multiple phones (so you use, say, with Skype and PC as well as mobile without having to re-pair every time), and possibly an indication of range.

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Alert

Hmm

Firstly, for everyone knocking these headsets, well I wish more people would buy them. I see far too many people driving whilst talking on their phones and paying zero attention to what is happening around them.

As for my choice, well, I went for a Sony bluetooth stereo headset. The actual model I have is no longer available, but this one is similar:

http://www.pixmania.co.uk/uk/uk/316134/art/sony-ericsson/stereo-bluetooth-earphone.html?srcid=867

The advantages:

a) You can properly use your phone as an MP3 player, and get the true stereo experience.

b) You don't look so much like a twonk when all people can see is a pair of headphones in your ears.

c) The sound quality is infinitely better than any of those single ear headsets.

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Happy

Jawbone 2

Yep, I got one, and like it - it's nice when you don't have to worry about how you use your technology, because it 'just works' - and as I walk around city streets, train stations, ride buses, drive, etc. talking to someone on the Jawbone, I have to occasionally ask them "Are you SURE you can still hear me OK?", to which they reply "Yep, fine, why?". It's that good.

OTOH, when it's not that good, the noise cancellation goes ape-shit and turns down even my voice.. and then they say "I'm sorry, I can't hear you at all". I've tried turn on/off NoiseAssassin, checking the cheek sensor is, um, sensing my cheek, but to no avail. Dis/reconnecting does the trick. Obviously they need something to push the Jawbone 3....

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Unhappy

What I want to see is...

A selection of bluetooth headsets that sit well in a full face bike helmet.

I own a small bluetooth headset (the name and model eludes me) no wider than 15mm, yet still doesn't sit well in my helmet.

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Coat

@Jamie Kephalas

"I own a small bluetooth headset (the name and model eludes me) no wider than 15mm, yet still doesn't sit well in my helmet."

Pervert...

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Eco-fashionistas

Seriously, I have yet to see anyone with BT plugs except fat over-geeky old guys trying to look cool and hip, and young "God, I am SO important I can't be out of touch for ONE second of my life!" fresh out of MBA school guys with shiny new suits and too-cool sunglasses. The kind of guiy who was buying $27 martinis a year ago and who is now onto whatever is the latest trendy drink.

NO-ONE is so damned busy that they can't just take the phone out of their pocket and press the little green button to talk.

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Ash

I wonder...

Aren't these lists supposed to be in some kind of order?

You have No. 1 AND No. 10 with IDENTICAL ratings. It makes NO sense.

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No Love for BlueAnt

How did the BlueAnt Z9i get left off this list?

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"I'm Stephen with a PH, I work in IT"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jNtyDyZj3I

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Coat

Wow...

For all those who bash on those who actually use a bluetooth headset, it is almost painfully obvious that you have never actually had to do any physical work while waiting for some plonker on the other end of the phone. Of course, installing equipment is easy with 1 hand isn't it?

For some of us in small business that actually have to work hard for what we make, it really is a matter of getting a job or not if we are able to answer the phone at almost any time. It has absolutely nothing to do (at least for me) with my look at all. And no, I don't keep my phone on my belt, it stays in my pocket or my laptop bag where it belongs.

That said, I'll get my coat... it's the one with the blinking blue light in the pocket.....

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Anonymous Coward

Reg readers should get out more

I find using BT headset to be extremely useful in many activities, for example chatting while I am doing actual work, or even cycling. In case you do not know, BT headsets aren't just for techies like it was five years ago but then again I am sure some of you have never been out often so I will forgive you.

I have seen far too many idiots causing accidents because they can't be bothered to spend £50 on a BT headset while driving their shiny £50,000 Beemers, all because BT headsets makes them 'uncool'. All of whom deserves a Darwin award for being dead.

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Boffin

Best bluetooth headset ever...

... is the Motorola HS300.

Why? Because it operates not off a crappy internal rechargable battery which will have a useful life of about 2 minutes, 6 months after you buy it, but instead operates off a single AAA battery which lasts fookin ages.

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Current vote...

...goes to the Plantronics Voyager 520. Comfy, secure, good sound at both ends and not too pricey (unlike most of the things listed here).

All time vote goes to the late-lamented Logitech Mobile Freedom Pro. Chunky, pig-ugly and fragile, but *the* best earclip arrangement ever that doubled as being able to clip neatly into a pocket or whatever when folded. 10/10 for ergonomics and performance, 2/10 for style. Like the man said though, if style were everything that mattered you wouldn't have bought one at all anyway.

For those standing up for the things, there's another big advantage. If, like me, you use a full-fat PDA/phone, having a BT headset on your ear rather than holding the handset up allows you to have a long conversation without getting cramp!

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Stop

Money to burn...

Probably all the 4 or 5 new phones I've had over the last 5 years have come with a wired headset for free.

Benefits:

1) Don't need charging.

2) Talk & standby time only limited by the phone.

3) Great sound quality.

4) Recent ones are stereo.

5) Just as legal as BT headset whilst driving.

6) They don't cost anything

7) If you lose / break it, replacements are about £5.

9) You don't look like a cock.

Disadvantages:

1) You have to keep your phone less than 10M away, like maybe in your pocket - somewhere you'd never normally put it ;o)

Why would anybody pay anything for a BT headset, let alone £80-£100? Suckers!

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Happy

@jamie Kephalas Re bluetooth bug for your lid

there are several lids that have blue tooth integeral to the helmet or for about £20/£30 you can get one specifically for motorcyle helmets.

http://www.google.co.uk/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=&q=bluetooth%2Cmotorcycle+helmets&btnG=Google+Search&meta= try it!

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title

you only look a tit with a BT headset if you spend all day wandering about with it inserted... they are a very useful tool... My car has a fitted handsfree but I also carry a Nextlink Bluespoon headset for hands free work, this headset is so small that you cannot see it in my ear as my hair covers it!

wired headsets are ok... but ffs this is the 21st century! move on! wires are dead!

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Another Vote Against The Jawbone

I have to agree with the comment about the Jawbone.

I find it hard to believe that the Jawbone comes top of every poll for the top bluetooth earpieces.

I had one of the original Ericsson bluetooth headsets when they first came out. I had it for many years before finally upgrading it for a Jabra 250.

The Jabra was extremely comfortable with real good sound quality.

But I broke it by sticking it in my pocket and then sitting down!!! So after reading so many glowing reviews about the Jawbone being the "THE" bluetooth head set that I bought one.

I have also found it very uncomfortable to wear. No matter which combination of earbud and hook I try the headset pushes itself away from the head. I have tried bending the ear hooks to try and make them fit better but nothing works.

But even worse is the sound quailty of the incoming calls.

The jabra was crystal clear and the good fitting ear buds meant that I could hear it even with the loudest background noise.

The Jawbine on the other hand is like hearing the caller from the other end of a tin can and the volume is always very low making it difficult to hear them.

After a year of using the Jawbone I would actually not include it in the top 10 at all.

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