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The Hard Bluetooth Headset Case

Should I get a Treo Bluetooth headset for my Treo 650?  Which headset would you recommend?  These are questions that I have been asked repeatedly over the last couple of months and which to be honest I've struggled to answer myself.  I'll try to do so now.

On the one hand I can naturally see the pratical aspect of using a headset in order to be handsfree while speaking on the phone either when driving, working at a PC or doing something else.  On the other hand the fact is that I personally found a headset to be one more relatively unnecessary thing to deal with, which adds bulk when travelling as it needs a separate charger (but bleeding edge BT headsets are beginning to offer USB charging capabilities), where the sound can become choppy if the Treo 650 is not in close proximity (the operating range of BT headsets is low), is messy and a hassle to carry around as it is not the type of item that you really want to put in your pocket.

There are two types of Bluetooth headsets - 'over-the-ear' which is the most widely available and another one which I'll simply call 'earpiece'.  I tested the two types with the Jabra BT 250 and the iTech BT Buzzer Clip respectively.

The Jabra BT 250 is a very well designed and elegant headset which fits extremely comfortably over your ear - so much so in fact that after a little while you could actually forget that you're wearing a headset at all.  The Jabra BT 250 weighs just 24 grams (0.85 ounces) and its Lithium Polymer battery provides up to 8 hours talk time and 240 hours standby - 2 hour charging time using the wall charger and charging unit which the headset slips into (below left).

One of the things to keep in mind with this and other headsets of this type is that they are not designed to easily answer calls if the headset is not already hanging over your ear.  It will typically take at least 5 seconds to fit the headset and in the case of the Jabra BT 250 (although it is likely also the case with all others) you will find it a lot easier if you can use both hands to do so.

There are a few scenarios that I would consider to be 'ideal' for using the Jabra BT 250 in.  Your car is one where you'd likely fit the headset over your ear and keep it on for the duration of your journey.  You plan to call someone and know that the conversation is likely going to be a long one so you start with the headset on.  You're 'constantly' getting calls and barely have time to hang-up that another one arrives - or vice-versa you're the one making all the calls.  In all of these cases the idea is to keep the headset on for long periods of time and not to fit it on and off repeatedly.

As a small aside, note that you can also answer the phone on your Treo and then seamlessly 'transfer' it to the Jabra BT 250 by pressing the line button on the headset which you could do if the conversation is getting long or if you need to free the use of both your hands.

The iTech BT Buzzer Clip is a compact earpice headset that consists of a small control unit which can be clipped to your shirt or placed inside the shirt pocket.  A wire connects the earpiece and control unit while the microphone is built about a third of the way on the wire itself.  Also weighing just 24 grams, it offers 4 hours talk time and 160 hours standby time. 

Although I initially preferred the earpiece type of headset to the over-the-ear one the fact is that having the microphone on the wire is less than ideal as clothing is constantly 'scratching' against it and either muffling your voice or creating unwanted noise during your call.  Clipping and unclipping the control unit is also a hassle.

The iTech headset is not available in the US and the Sony Ericsson HBH-200 is the only other earpiece type headset that I found - albeit one that offers significantly higher functionality but slightly lower specifications.

Conclusion
If you have decided that you need a Bluetooth headset then I would strongly recommend you choose an over-the-ear type instead of an earpiece one.  Considering that the Jabra BT 250 is so comfortable, that it offers excellent performance and it benefits from a beautiful design I am strongly inclined to rate it as one of the best Bluetooth headsets available.  The only thing that I would have liked Jabra to add to the package is a hard moulded flip carrying case.

The Hard Bluetooth Headset Case
Do you own a Bluetooth Headset?

Yes - Love it!
Yes - It's OK
Yes - Don't use it much though
No - Considering to buy
No - Not interested

Treonauts will one day have headsets implanted in their ears...


Posted by Andrew on March 9, 2005 at 05:28 PM

Treo Accessories , Treo Bluetooth Headset

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Comments

1
by Tony Cooper | Mar 9, 2005 8:43:12 PM

My Motorola HS-810 has been excellent. I had a first generation bluetooth some years ago, but this is a major improvement. The 810 reception is better than the speaker (not saying much) and the built in phone.

2
by Brian McGuire | Mar 9, 2005 9:04:42 PM

The Nextlink Bluespoon is by FAR the best bluetooth headset. Its small, light and works great. I have owned both the Jabra BT200 and BT250. Both not as good as the Bluespoon.

3
by dsa | Mar 10, 2005 12:47:29 AM

are you drunk? the jabra 250 suffers from more snap crackle pop then rice crispies... read over on treocentral and many others agree with me...

4
by Brian McGuire | Mar 10, 2005 8:28:21 AM

I agree with the last comment. My last Jabra (BT250) always had the crackle sound. I was told to play with the volume on the headset and Treo 650. No Luck. I don't remember having that issue with the BT200. Either way, I bought a Bluespoon and it's great.

5
by Sal | Mar 15, 2005 2:39:18 AM

I owned 2 jabra 250's. They both were very comfortable headsets.. but the performance has horrible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! on both. I could not get more than 3 feet distance before crackling. I go so sick of it when I lost mine I was glad. I borrowed my girlfriends and could not take it anymore. So I bought a Sony Ericsson HBH-600 and love it. It pairs great with the 650. I know the 650 is a hard phone to match with a Bluetooth headset but,, by jabra 250 had poor quality with my nokia 6820,, my moms Ericsson, and my girlfriends Motorola. I even tried a recently purchased one out,, form a co-worker,, thinking that they might have improved the firmware,, but no .. still bad. In my experience and opinion.. I like the Jabra's fit but the performance is unreliable and unbearable. I also forgot to mention that my Jabra 250's used to lock up too.. by not powering up. Sorry Jabra for the poor review.

6
by Kay Quinn | Apr 28, 2005 4:02:02 PM

Which wireless headset is available for Treo 600?

7
by jason | May 17, 2005 8:55:18 PM

Bought my friends jabra 250 and it being my first I wasnt sure but it seemed that the constant complaints of "i cant hear you" and that I couldnt hear them over the crackle could not be what others had raved about. After reading this page I now know that all is not lost.

Tomorrow Im gona buy a motorola hs820 or 850. Anyone have any experience with this headset?

8
by James Chuang | May 27, 2005 2:00:20 PM

Could someone help me out here? since I just got a Verizon Treo 650 and am trying to pair my jabra bt 250 with it. However, my treo 650 can never find the device after the i turned out the bluetooth switch on both devices. Btw, my bt250 worked with my nokia 6230 and my pda before.

9
by kn | Jun 28, 2005 5:05:00 PM

The motos are horrible as well. I have tried the HS850 most recently and was very dissappointed. I'm hearing good things about the HBH-300 and HBH-660 from Sony-Erikson.

10
by MP | Jul 1, 2005 9:26:42 AM

I have to agree with all of the complaints about the Jabra BT250. I used to have a BT200 and a Motorola V710 and while the battery life of the BT200 was lame, (sometimes only 75 minutes), they always worked flawlessly. I recently bought a Treo 650 and a BT250 and half the time the BT250 won't connect to the TREO. I have tried deleting the partnership several times and re-connecting the devices but they still won't communicate half the time. I am going to buy something else. Way too frustrating...

11
by mobilelawyer | Jul 4, 2005 11:02:29 AM

I have the BT250 and it is a great headset which I have used with both the Nokia 3650,3600,6230b,and 6620 phones as will as the Audiovox SMT 5600 Smartphone and the i-mate jam. Worked great with all of them, but its performance is marginal on the Treo 650, both for the static issue and the a several second delay issue which, for example does not send an incoming call to the headset until the last couple of rings when is is too late to answer. I understand that there may be a jabra bt 250 model made especially for the treo 650 which may resolve those issues.

12
by JJ | Jul 9, 2005 1:23:56 PM

My Jabra 250 crackles like crazy on my Treo 650. I used it on a blackberry and it was great. Does the Sony-Ericson headset work right on the Treo? Is that the best people have used? There are some that provide caller ID on the earpiece and that's attractive, though I have not found one that says it is compatible with the Treo 650. Anyone have experience with something like that?

13
by Milt | Jul 14, 2005 7:04:40 PM

Just found your site. Great info. I had seen some negative comments elsewhere about the Jabra 250. I emailed their tech support and they replied that they would not recommend the 250 with the Treo 650. They said "PalmOne has released some software updates for the phone that have helped with the static, but the audio still doesn't transfer automatically." They hoped that future Palm software would resolve the issues. In the meantime I don't have a headset to use. Recommendations?

14
by Tim | Aug 12, 2005 8:16:40 AM

I bought the BT250 (PalmOne Model) when I purchased the phone. It produced aweful sound quality with the snap and crackle and people on the other end always complained. I stoped by the Palm Store in the ATL Airport to speak with staff about it and they used and stated it sounds like it should. I was thinking this whole bluetooth thing is really overhyped. I stopped using the bluetooth and was back the the standard wired earpiece. Based upon some treo form comments I bit the bullet and tried one more time and purchased the Sony Erricson HBH-660. What a difference it connects instantly with the headset. With the Jabra I had to go through the whole detect/setup each time I turned off or moved out of range, but the Sony you turn on and go. It has changed my whole perception of bluetooth. If you are looking for a headset I would recommend you take a look at this headset.

15
by Fogey | Nov 21, 2005 5:32:03 PM

Y'all are missing the essential point IMHO. What's the point of a "wireless" headset if you have to plug into a wire when it dies, which is always at the wrong time? There is only one BT headset that solves this problem, one of the cheapest Motos at $49, the 850. USES AAA BATTERIES!!!!!!!!
Decent performance, and just get a 4pack of rechargable AAAs and go forever by rotating. Or, if your'e in a pinch, buy a AAA, and go for a solid week! (corrected my email)

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