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Silent Conversations With A Blueetooth Headset...

The other day I called a friend and as he answered all that I could hear was a faint “Hello.  Hello?  Helllloooo?!?!  Can you speak up?  I can’t hear you…”  I thought that it might be a bad line so I tried again but got exactly the same response.  I quickly sent him an SMS to let him know that it was me calling after which he called me back laughing to let me know what had happened.

Like most Treonauts he was using a Bluetooth headset but had answered the call on his Treo forgetting that his calls were being automatically routed to the BT headset instead of the smartphone…  Thus no matter how loudly he would speak he couldn’t hear a word of what I was saying as my entire conversation was coming through loud and clear but to the headset on his desk instead…


I’ve had the exact same thing happen to me at least a dozen times with my Treo (it also applies with all other standard phones) when you instinctively just pick it up to answer a call without having the time to notice (or remember) that your BT headset is enabled (image above right)…  Please raise your hands if this hasn’t happened to you…

Nobody appears to have figured out a way to provide users with the simple option to set their BT preferences in such a way that:

  1. If call answered on phone > route call to phone
  2. If call answered on headset > route call to headset

Currently, if Bluetooth is enabled on your Treo and a BT headset is paired and within range then ALL calls are automatically routed to the headset which can result in these stupidly funny scenarios where you’re holding your Treo and can’t figure out why you’re not hearing the caller…

Sure, if you do figure out what’s going on you can easily press the “Cancel BT Headset” button on your screen to manually route the call back to your Treo but by then your caller may already have hung up or you’ll have to apologize for having been screaming your lungs out that you couldn’t hear him/her when it was actually you at fault…

Unfortunately at present aside from remembering that you have your BT headset enabled there isn’t a solution for this benign issue but I hope that some future version will have a BT profile that can provide a fix.

If you’re wondering, the current favourite headset which I use is the Jabra JX10 which I rank as ‘Best Design/Most Compact’ but other equally worthy headsets are the Palm Wireless Headset (Best Overall Value); the Plantronic Discovery 640 (Best Package) and the Motorola H700 (Most Pocketable).

Treonauts always find ways to make things better

Posted by Andrew on April 27, 2006 at 10:27 AM

Treo Accessories , Treo Bluetooth Headset

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by jimmie geddes | Apr 27, 2006 11:11:35 AM

I am glad someone finally wrote about this. This happens to me all the time,lol.

by JesseJstreet | Apr 27, 2006 11:34:08 AM

Ditto on the above comment! I'm also a happy owner of a Jabra JX10 thanks to Treonauts...

by Raja Abusharr | Apr 27, 2006 12:36:34 PM

Curious about the back side of the spendy X10.
All the photos show the nice and architectural looking front, what about the side that faces your ear? What about having a photo of a head with the device on it... Just a suggestion for reviews.

by Andrew | Apr 27, 2006 12:38:59 PM

Raja - my full review has all the pictures that you're looking for...


Cheers, A.

by J | Apr 27, 2006 1:58:35 PM

I'm only a treonaut wannabee (can't afford the outrageous data plans) but I'm not sure I understand the problem. I have a Motorola H700 BT headset and when I'm not wearing it I fold it so it is OFF. Wouldn't that solve the problem????

by Andrew | Apr 27, 2006 2:04:38 PM

J - Yes, you're right. The beauty of the Motorola H700 is that it is the only BT headset that switches itself off when not in use thus automatically keeping the inbound calls answered on the Treo.

Unfortunately, the H700 does not automatically answer calls received via the Treo when flipped open which is a real shame. Still, the H700 is among my top favourites.

Cheers, A.

by Doug Boehme | Apr 27, 2006 3:41:31 PM

I have the JX10 because of this site and definitely the best I've ever used. I have several friends that have also switched to the JX10 that aren't even Treonauts.

And yes, I answer my phone all the time with my JX10 on and nearby. :)

by Bruce Miller | Apr 28, 2006 11:02:58 AM

That embarrassing situation can happen even without a bluetooth headset. I was listening to MP3s in my car one day. I saw that I had a phone call coming in, so I turned down the radio. I then answered the phone, but couldn't hear anything. I assumed it was a bad connection and hung up. My boss called back and the same thing happened. As soon as I hung up again, I remembered that my Treo was plugged into the car stereo! I laughed at myself and quickly called my boss back.

I'm about to get a BT headset. I'm glad to see that there is more fun to come!

by dugla | Apr 28, 2006 11:58:58 AM

I know this is off-topic but did anyone know that the regular bundled Treo sync cable actually charges your Treo? Well, it does.

by comatose | Apr 28, 2006 1:24:40 PM

Yup happens to me all the time as well. I leave my BT in my car, and when i answer my phone from my room many times the BT is still w/in range and it picks up..

by TechWhore | Apr 29, 2006 11:43:09 PM

The worst embarassment is when a person with a $100 Bluetooth phone hits their button on their headset and it activates the phone's voice dial. If you hit it while connected to a $500 700w you get... nothing... Personally I rather have this feature then "Bluetooth Forwarding"

by Goose3five | May 1, 2006 9:03:09 AM

Just wanted to say great blog!

by felix hoeniker | May 5, 2006 11:13:41 AM

is that keyguard?

by Dazex | May 5, 2006 3:29:55 PM

I finally got my Treo 650 after I couldn't stall any longer. Company needed me to stay connected and I was hoping for the 700W on Cingular to come out before hand. Anyways, first thing after setting up the bluetooth pair, this scenario happened to me. Trying out my wife's Sony phone prior to my Treo, I found that it does the following.

With the Sony phone:
incoming call, answer with the phone, call stay on phone until you hit the button to transfer to bluetooth.


incoming call, answer call with bluetooth and call stay on bluetooh until you hit the button switch to phone.

It seem that should be the way of doing it. Because, sometimes the phone is easier to get to than my bluetooth headset if I am walking about. Basically, whatever device you answer on, that should be the one that takes the call.

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