Bluetooth Headset Round-Up

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Date: Sunday, August 17th, 2003, 20:44
Category: Mobile Phone

There are many Bluetooth headsets on the market these days, and people often ask which is the best they should pick up?

Howard Chui has posted his complete review on several Bluetooth headsets for mobile phones. It’s a good read if you’re in the market – but a couple things left me wondering how much of this is more subjective than some think. Howard Chui’s Review
I own the Ericsson HBH-20, Jabra Freespeak BT200 (With the newest software allowing for Bluetooth Handsfree and Bluetooth Headset profiles), and a Nokia HDW-2.
The Ericsson HBH-20 is the least bizarre of the lot, it looks like a normal wired headset, except the earpiece leads to a beetle-like device that you can wear or clip onto your clothing. I used this headset for quite a while with a Sony Ericsson T68i, and found it to be quite comfortable because of its traditional design.
The Nokia HDW-2 in my opinion is a nicely designed headset, and it uses the Bluetooth Handsfree profile. It does hurt my ears after using it for a while though, and I didn’t like how both earpieces were broken within 48 hours due to me swapping back and forth between them trying to find out which one fit better.
The Nokia has a replaceable battery though, which is really nice, and if you already have a Nokia phone, it uses the same charger, so there is less to carry when you travel. Also the HDW-2 can be paired with multiple phones, which is handy. I thought the Nokia was too quiet for my taste though, and coupled with the discomfort I felt with my eyeglasses and a large “industrial” piercing in my right ear, it just wasn’t worth the throbbing pain in my ear.
I was certain it was just going to be a constant problem until I bought the Jabra BT200.
This headset is the most comfortable of the three, and because it can use both audio profiles it works with every Bluetooth mobile phone I own and is not only audible, but quite loud if you want it to be.
I also feel the audio quality is excellent with the Jabra BT200 (Mine is coded “20B” – older versions don’t sound as good in my experience and lack the enhanced features of the Bluetooth Handsfree profile.) and the controls are very easy to use.
Case in point, I fell asleep on the couch in my office while wearing the Jabra, whereas wearing the Nokia is more similar to clawing out my own eyes than resting peacefully.
But this is by no means to say that you will not find comfort between the Nokia and Jabra equally polarized. It is quite possible that your ear shape will be more conducive to the Nokia than the Jabra. As I’ve found, the differences of ears can make a huge difference.
Hopefully in the future I can pick up a Bluespoon Digital to give it a shot – it’s all the rage for the “I must have the most expensive headset possible” set, and maybe once the early-adopter tax goes away it will be more affordable for the likes of yours truly.

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