Eight Bluetooth Headsets Under the Microscope
My last review of the Scala-500 Bluetooth Headset got me thinking that I had perhaps missed to see some of the uniqueness that other BT headsets might have to offer.
With this in mind I got another six BT headsets (plus the Palm Wireless Headset which I already had) and set out to get to the bottom of their value proposition and ‘special features’.
Below are all the BT headsets that I selected (in no particular order) and the overall rating that I gave them:
- Palm Wireless Headset (8/10)
- Jabra BT250V (7/10)
- Scala-500 (6/10)
- Sony Ericsson HBH 300 (9/10)
- Motorola HS850 (7/10)
- Bluespoon AX (6/10)
- Logitech Mobile Freedom (6/10)
- Sony Ericsson HBH 662 (9/10)
Palm Wireless Headset (8/10)
Pros: Small, light, comfortable, easy fit, supports all Treo 650 call features, charges using standard Treo charger, can be charged with optional wall, USB and car adapters, good build, value and sound quality
Cons: No additional accessories of any kind in the box
Overall: Still among my favourites. Great value. Hard to find many faults…
Jabra BT250V (7/10)
Pros: Very nice build quality, boom mic, vibrating, nice extra with belt clip holder
Cons: Big and bulky. In-ear design difficult to fit
Overall: For me at least getting it on the ear is a bit of a hassle but at least once it’s on then it’s extremely comfortable. Possibly a good choice for the office.
Pros: Excellent included accessory kit with eyeglass/sunglass clip, belt clip holster and neckband, very small and light charger, light and comfortable headset
Cons: Sound quality is below average
Overall: If it wasn’t for the sound quality issues this headset would be at the very top of the charts. However, it’s still terrific value for its price.
Sony Ericsson HBH 300 (9/10)
Pros: Excellent build quality, boom mic, innovative charging stand, excellent sound quality with noise reduction, longest talk and standby time (10hrs & 13days), included headset stand ideal for office
Cons: Big, bulky & heavy, no charging indicator light
Overall: I would not recommend it as a headset while on the go because of its size but if you’re looking for a top notch BT headset to use at work then this is undoubtedly the one.
Motorola HS850 (7/10)
Pros: Innovative foldable boom microphone saves battery when not in use, very small when folded
Cons: Poor build quality, no auto-link (need to press button to activate BT call), expensive, uncomfortable.
Overall: It’s a shame that parts of this headset are of such poor quality – particularly the ear loop. It’s pretty much the only headset that I would easily fold and hold in my pocket. Shame about the sub-par sound quality which is unacceptable at this price.
Bluespoon AX (6/10)
Pros: Ultra-small and light (a mere 10 grams), charges via USB, very innovative design with rubber stick bending in your ear to hold, second longest standby time of this lineup (12hrs), comes with neck strap
Cons: Expensive, below average sound quality
Overall: Sound quality unfortunately lets it down badly but if you absolutely want a gadget that makes you feel like 007 then this is pretty close.
Logitech Mobile Freedom (6/10)
Cons: Big, bulky and ugly, awful ear clip makes for uncomfortable fit
Overall: At the very bottom of my list. Surprising to see that Logitech, a company which otherwise make some very decent and well designed products, have released this.
Sony Ericsson HBH 662 (9/10)
Pros: Excellent build quality, only headset with LCD display (caller ID, battery indicator and time elapsed), comfortable, easy fit
Cons: Shortest talk time (5hrs), most expensive headset [UPDATE: Since writing this review the HBH-662 has been reduced from $109.95 to only $84.95 – at this price it is not only a real bargain but also the clear winner in this lineup.]
Overall: I really like the LCD display which provides me with the battery status and time elapsed after a call (caller ID is a bonus but just a gimmick in my opinion). It rates among the very top in build quality and I’m very tempted to make this my primary BT headset. Shame that the charger is just a bit big and that it doesn’t come with a desk charging stand like its sibling the HBH 300.
So, combining all the best features of these BT headsets, this is what would make a near ‘perfect’ one for me in the future:
- Charges with standard Treo charger (plus wall, USB and car with adapters)
- Has an easy on/off button to save battery when not in use
- Weighs less than 20 grams
- Has an LCD display with battery indicator, caller ID and time elapsed
- Comes with a desk charging stand, belt clip, eyeglass clip and strap
- Excellent build, comfort, ease of fit and sound quality
Treonauts look at all the angles before making a choice…