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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:

  1. Palm Wireless Headset (8/10)
  2. Jabra BT250V (7/10)
  3. Scala-500 (6/10)
  4. Sony Ericsson HBH 300 (9/10)
  5. Motorola HS850 (7/10)
  6. Bluespoon AX (6/10)
  7. Logitech Mobile Freedom (6/10)
  8. Sony Ericsson HBH 662 (9/10)

palmOne Compact Wireless Headset for Treo 650Palm 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 for Treo 650Jabra 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.

Cardo Scala-500 for Treo 650Scala-500 (6/10)
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 for Treo 650Sony 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 HS-850 for Treo 650Motorola 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 for Treo 650Bluespoon 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 for Treo 650Logitech Mobile Freedom (6/10)
Pros
: Cheap
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-660 for Treo 650Sony 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


Posted by Andrew on August 12, 2005 at 03:55 PM

Treo Accessories , Treo Bluetooth Headset

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I'm looking high and low for credible reviews of Bluetooth headsets to use with my Palm Treo 650. Many of the Treo-related sites have limited Bluetooth headset reviews, despite the fact that many Treo users I know either have purchased... [Read More]

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Comments

51
by Richard | Apr 16, 2006 10:34:30 AM

For those of you requesting a workaround for listening to MP3's on your Treo, I have it, if you don't mind mono listening. Let me state first that I am deaf in my left ear, so all my music gets reduced to mono anyway. I bought a Jabra A210 BT adapter, plug it into my Treo, pair it with my headset (Platronics 640) and listen away with my PTunes. Phone calls are handled as if i were wired.

52
by Tina | Apr 18, 2006 10:56:46 AM

I have the Verizon 650. I started with a motorola BT and found it ok, but too floppy. Then I was talked into trying the Jabra 250v and while I loved the sound quality, the fit was horrible. It definitely is not designed for anyone with small ears. Now I use the Scala 500. Yes, it does occasionally have slight sound issues, and has a tendency to redial when I don't want it to but not when I'm trying to, but overall, it's still the best unit I've tried so far. Now if it would only work for my music it would be perfect!

53
by Robert | Apr 22, 2006 12:50:34 PM

Help!! I have just bought 2 Sprint Treo 650's and tried them with 6 different Bluetooth headsets, one of them the Palm unit. That's 2 phones and 6 headsets. They all have unnacceptable crackling and interference, my fried has a Verizon Treo 650 and no problems using bt. I called Treo and they're clueless, Palm says Sprint handles tech support on the 650. I have software version 1.13a which is supposed to be the latest. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

54
by RBerry9000 | Apr 23, 2006 1:43:59 PM

What you may want to check is that you don't have some interferance. For me, if I have the phone on my left side and my BT on my right ear, my body interferes. Also, BT is susceptable to intererance from other wireless devices such as your wireless keyboards/mouse. If you are in an apt. or office building, you may even get it from your neighbor's wireless devices.

55
by ethan corley | May 4, 2006 9:33:45 AM

Ive had my Treo for about 6 months and am still searching for a headset. My first was the moto 820...loved the look and feel but I could BARELY hear the person through the earpiece. I then went with the jabra 250v. It by far had everything I needed. The design was great, great sound quality. However I couldnt be more than two feet away from my treo brfore I got static. I am now using the Plantronics Discovery 640. The sound is great distance, is phenomanal, however I feel like 007 with this thing. Its so fragile.....Im a big guy so I feel like Im going to break this thing. So...I am 2.2 seconds away from trying the jabra bt800. However, the reviews that I am reading are LOVE or HATE.

So, has ANYONE any input for me. Does the caller id work on the bt800? Does anyone have this unit and has some RECENT feedback? Thanks

Treorookie

56
by ethan corley | May 4, 2006 9:33:46 AM

Ive had my Treo for about 6 months and am still searching for a headset. My first was the moto 820...loved the look and feel but I could BARELY hear the person through the earpiece. I then went with the jabra 250v. It by far had everything I needed. The design was great, great sound quality. However I couldnt be more than two feet away from my treo brfore I got static. I am now using the Plantronics Discovery 640. The sound is great distance, is phenomanal, however I feel like 007 with this thing. Its so fragile.....Im a big guy so I feel like Im going to break this thing. So...I am 2.2 seconds away from trying the jabra bt800. However, the reviews that I am reading are LOVE or HATE.

So, has ANYONE any input for me. Does the caller id work on the bt800? Does anyone have this unit and has some RECENT feedback? Thanks

Treorookie

57
by Chris | May 17, 2006 2:47:40 AM

Does anyone know what the replacement for the HBH-662 is? I've got my new Treo 700 and sold my old BT headset along with my Treo 650. Anyone have input on headset performance with the 700? I have a feeling a lot of the issue with volume, etc was the Treo 650 and not necessarily the headsets.

58
by chris | Jun 28, 2006 1:00:03 PM

I just purchased a Sprint 700p.

I have Outlook 2003, and all Contacts have multiple Catagories. After syncing, all the Catagories do not show up on the Treo, nor does each Contact appear in its multiple Catagories.

Am I missing a function, or must I purchase aftermarket software? Thanks for any help you can offer!

59
by Ariana | Aug 16, 2006 10:51:17 PM

Which are the best headsets for a SPRINT treo 650??? I just don't know which one to choose!! I'm open to any options from anyone.. as long as they're good.

60
by NGP for iPhone 4 - Matte Black | Apr 25, 2011 2:11:48 AM

NGP for iPhone 4 - Matte Black includes surface protector and a stylish one.

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
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