Blueant V1 Review
Unique BlueAnt V1 Voice Controlled Bluetooth Headset Allows You to Answer or Dial Calls (and more) Using Voice Alone + Dual Microphones Offers Superior Noise Cancellation For Clear Communication
I have to admit that I had initially not been particularly excited to review the BlueAnt V1 Voice Controlled Bluetooth Headset but so many people insisted that this was such an “outstanding” headset – one that has rapidly become a huge online bestseller – that I thought that I should now take it for a proper spin.
For starters, compared to my other two favourite high-end noise cancellation headsets pictured above (the $99.95 New Jawbone on the right and now reduced superb $69.95 Jabra BT530 in the middle) this BlueAnt V1 priced at $89.95 is actually surprisingly tiny and the ribbed silver front cover gives it a rather modern look (although I personally would have preferred not to have that quite ugly “ant” logo on the main front button).
Additionally, aside from being very small the BlueAnt V1 is extremely light at only 0.35oz while still offering a very healthy 5 hours of Talk Time and up to 200 hours Standby Time. I also like the fact that both Volume Up and Down buttons are quite large and conveniently located within easy and intuitive reach of your fingers at the top of the unit (image above).
The main attraction of the BlueAnt V1 however is its unique Voice Control capabilities which allows you to for example answer a call with your voice by just saying “Answer”, reject a call by saying “Ignore” or dialling a number from up to 9 speed dial positions by just saying “Voicemail” for speed dial 1 for example.
I have to admit that I am _extremely_ impressed with the voice dialling as my BlueAnt V1 immediately (no training required) recognized prompts to call Voicemail, Home, Office and Favorite (speed dials 1 to 4) without any problems whatsoever. Voice answering was a little bit more problematic though as I learned that the BlueAnt V1 can only answer calls by voice with phones that support “Ring-Through” technology. Unfortunately my Treo Pro does not appear to support it but BlueAnt assures me that it’s working to fix the issue as soon as possible.
To be honest the BlueAnt V1 is the closest thing that I’ve come across to a “Bluetooth Headset Computer” with its wealth of available voice control commands (listed below). However, because of this the V1 is also one of the most complex headsets that I have used to date and at first it feels like you need an engineering degree to operate it but naturally you get used to the voice commands over time.
The BlueAnt V1 voice commands include:
- Say… “Pair Me”
Puts your V1 into pairing mode ready to connect with your phone. Follow the Prompts.
- “Teach Me“
This menu helps you to understand and use the V1
- “Try it Now”
Takes you through a program which lets you practice the voice commands.
- “Speed Dial Set Up“
Assistance in how to set up the Speed list in your phone
- “Tips and Tricks“
Some helpful information to get the most out of the kit
- “What Can I Say?“
Gives you a list of all the available commands
- “Am I Connected?“
Checks to see if there is a phone connected. If not it will attempt to connect to your phone.
- “Check Battery“
Tells you the status of your battery charge level
- “Settings Menu“
Puts you into the Settings menu with access to the functions below:
- “Say a command“ Prompt - Enables or Disables the ‘Say a Command” prompt. With it disabled, you will hear a beep instead.
- “Incoming Call Function“ – Disable the Incoming call ID prompt and Voice Answer functions.
- “Turn Off Voice Control“ – Turns OFF the Voice Control. To re-enable, Hold Vol+ and Vol – for 6 seconds
- “Sensitivity Level“ – Choose from High Medium and Low. High will reject more, low will reject less.
- “LED Light“ – Turns the LED Lights OFF
- “Reset the V1“ – Deletes all pairing information resets the Voice Interface and reboots the headset back into pairing mode
- “Phone Commands“
Triggers the Voice Dial function of your cell phone (If your phone supports voice dialing)
Calls the number you last dialed
- “Switch Headset Off“
Turns the headset OFF
Cancels the active operation
The particularly fun thing is that while you’re talking to the BlueAnt V1 headset it also talks back to you confirming your commands and announcing other functions and events – it’s actually a bit spooky at first and I also lament the fact that there is only the choice of a male and not female voice…
Leaving aside the steep and rather complex required Voice Command and Button Function learning curve the BlueAnt V1 happens to provide excellent inbound and outbound voice quality thanks to its Voice Isolation Technology (provides noise suppression, wind noise reduction and echo cancellation) as well as it Dual Microphones to enable crystal clear communication in the noisiest of environments.
When it comes to noise cancellation, following intense tests I found out that the BlueAnt V1 can be placed close to but not quite fully in the same superior category as the New Jawbone and Jabra BT530. I would simply say that BlueAnt V1 noise cancellation works quite well but certainly doesn’t achieve the same level of “noise blackout” as either the Jawbone or BT530.
Going back to the actual headset design, I liked the small “tie clip” included at the back of the BlueAnt V1 which for example allows you to quickly and easily attach it to for example the pocket of your pants when not in use.
For its part, the BlueAnt V1 kit (pictured above) includes a gorgeous, small and light USB wall charger, a standard USB car charger, USB cable, miniUSB adapter, a spare ear hook and small ear gel as well as two “Comply Foam Tips” which use super soft memory foam to provide a comfortable seal to securely hold the V1 in your ear while blocking outside noise.
Overall, I have to admit that the BlueAnt V1 Voice Controlled Bluetooth Headset is _extremely_ comfortable to wear and there’s no doubt that its small size and unique rich Voice Command capabilites work very well to provide a level of handsfree functions not found on any other BT headset. The inbound and outbound sound quality and volume is also excellent and the noise cancellation very good.
Having said this, if you’re attracted to the BlueAnt V1 primarily for its Voice Command capabilities please keep in mind that this is a rather complex headset with a steep learning curve. If you have the time to learn how to use it properly there is no doubt that you’ll be extremely happy but if like me your patience is tested quickly then I personally would instead recommend either the New Jawbone or Jabra BT530 (my current top choice).
Treonauts are always in control…