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Jabra BT5020 Bluetooth Headset Review: Ultraslim & Pocketable

I have to admit that purely from a product design perspective the new Jabra BT5020 is quite possibly the single most appealing Bluetooth headset that I have come across in recent times. 

Jabra BT5020

For starters, its minimalist lines, swan like shape, compact size and ultraslim profile combine to make it an extremely pocketable headset and it’s matt black body, rubber ear loop and glossy black side further enhance its attractiveness.

Jabra BT5020 Profile

With a thickness of only 9mm, the Jabra BT5020 is undoubtedly the slimmest headset available today – a key criteria when you need to carry it everywhere – and its weight of 16 grams is excellent when compared to other headsets in its category.

Jabra BT5020 Profile 2

The side (image above) offers an elegant glossy black finish where the various simple control buttons (Volume Up/Down, Power and Call Answer/End), battery status indicator as well as the charging connector are located.  I also particularly like the fact that Jabra have included a USB charging cable in the box (as well as a separate wall charger) which makes it ideal to take the Jabra BT5020 with you on the road.  Having said this, with a fantastic talk time of 10 hours and a standby time of 300 hours you will probably not have to charge it too frequently.

Jabra BT5020 Side 1 Jabra BT5020 Side 2

Other unique features of the Jabra BT5020 include MultiPoint connections (to connect to multiple Bluetooth devices), AutoPair functionality, a new “optimized wind noise reduction” and a unique built-in vibrating alert so that even if your Treo is set on silent mode or you’re in a very noisy environment you can quickly answer an incoming call.

Jabra BT5020 On Ear

I also found both the inbound and outbound quality and volume of my calls to be extremely good with most people telling me that they could not tell that I was using a headset at all.  Finally, I found the Jabra BT5020 comfortable to wear with its over-the-ear design and my only minor complaint is that I find it a bit more difficult to fit to my ear quickly compared to headsets with an ear hook.

Jabra BT5020 Size Comparison

Is the Jabra BT5020 right for you compared to my other four favourite Bluetooth headsets below?  If pocketability, call quality and talk time are key criteria then there is no doubt that I would very highly recommend this headset.  It offers better call quality than the Motorola H700, the convenience of USB charging that the other over-the-ear SonyEricsson HBH-GV435 lacks and finally a more robust body than the Jabra JX10 whose ear loops have a nasty habit of breaking.  Having said this however, thanks to its noise cancellation technology the call quality of the Aliph Jawbone (voted Best Treo Bluetooth Headset and recently reduced from $139.95 to only $99.95) remains far superior even though it is the least pocketable.

    Jabra BT5020 Comparison Chart

Treonauts always make the best choices

Posted by Andrew on June 27, 2007 at 10:31 AM

Treo Bluetooth Headset

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by Linda Ireland | Jun 27, 2007 1:42:59 PM

One category I wish you'd add on to your headset review: How compatible is a headset with wearing glasses? Some headsets are fine if you don't have glasses on, others move to the side out of the way, and some are just too thick or get entangled with the glasses. I find even though they get entangled more easily, sometimes it's easier to put on a headset that is "loaded" from front to back, the way I put on my glasses, rather than one that wraps on from back to front, because the latter tend to push glasses crooked, etc., and neither one feels secure. And some headsets are fine by themselves but painful when worn with glasses. I realize this is a "special" category, but I'm guessing that a lot of folks who don't wear glasses everyday might wear sunglasses while driving, at one of the key times when they'd want to use a headset. Thanks for the consideration!

by Ken | Jun 27, 2007 5:22:44 PM

That has been my problem exactly! They're great if you're not wearing any glasses/sunglasses, but once you're in the car, and 9 times out of 10 you put on a pair of sunglases - these beautiful bluetooth headsets are the most uncomfortable things in the world! The manufacturers need to start taking these things into consideration.

by Linda Ireland | Jun 27, 2007 6:40:02 PM

Also, another follow up question - I have a retractable hybrid headset that is a plug in for listening to music on the Treo, and I recently upgraded from a 650 to a 680. It interrupts for a phone call and then continues on with the music when the call is hung up. Should I assume this functionality is available on any bluetooth headset (with one earphone, of course)? How about a button for initiating and hanging up a call using Voice Dial? I have an older Jabra 250V and a Motorola (HS650?) that I stopped using, seems to me that they were missing at least one of these options, but I can't remember. The 650 didn't have enough memory for me to make good use of several options that I bought, so I gave up trying. Now that I've got enough 680 memory to make some of this work, I'd like to see if there's an advantage to going with one of these new headsets. For sound quality, I'm inclined towards the Aliph Jawbone (based on the reviews, not my experience), but I don't know if any of these has this functionality. I wouldn't give up my dual earphone plug in headset for serious music listening, but wearing a headset and hearing music through one ear sounds like a reasonable compromise when I'm biking, etc., to let me keep one ear for the road, so to speak. Thanks in advance for the feedback!

by Kati | Jun 27, 2007 8:21:24 PM

I have the same concern as the first two posters regarding glasses. I have held off buying a bluetooth headset for my 755 because I'm concerned about how it'll fit. I want to purchase a good one, but I'm not willing to dish out $70-$100 for something that's uncomfortable or causes my glass (b/c I'm phobic about contacts) to shift. Heck, if need be, I'll send you a pair of sunglasses to try it with! Even some sort of foam attachment or that memory foam stuff that can conform to the shape of the glasses. You can't tell me it would increase the shape/size/weight of the existing designs much.

by Stephen | Jun 30, 2007 9:22:14 AM

I'm very interested in the Jabra BT5020, but though the Jabra Headsets I've owned sound great with other phones, they still are just not loud enough with the Treo 650. I love my Treo but the bluetooth implementation is TERRIBLE! Maybe the Aliph Jawbone would help but I can't stand the "outside of the ear" headsets. Does anyone know if the BT5020 has more volume than the previous models? If not any suggestions?

by Wanderer | Jul 1, 2007 8:45:38 AM

I know of one BT headset which works with glasses, namely Iqua BHS-302. I am using it with Treo 680, and it works relatively well, though I am not impressed with the reception (it has to stay within a couple of meters of the phone, lest the staci increases intolerably). Would be interesting to see a review of it, and other similar products which are suitable for use with glasses.

by Randomesq | Jul 2, 2007 2:20:56 PM

Just a note that the chart says 5010 instead of 5020. :)

Thanks for the review!

by Fish | Jul 5, 2007 9:17:56 AM

My issue with Jabras generally is the need for Ear Gels, which are forever falling off and getting lost. It's unclear from both the review and the photos whether Gels are needed for this headset -- hard to believe they're not, yet neither pictured nor mentioned. Can you please clarify?

by Andrew | Jul 5, 2007 9:37:02 AM

Fish - no ear gels are needed as the speaker fits "on-ear" and not "in-ear". I hope this helps.

Cheers, A.

by David | Jul 8, 2007 10:26:53 PM

Thanks for recommending this. My Treo bluetooth headset had about worn out, started fitfully or not at all. I've been wary of getting another especially because I like being able to use the same plug to charge the Treo and headset. However, I took a shot based on your recommendation and I am very happy with the Jabra BT5020. Comfortable, good sounds, looks like it's not even there. Don't need ear gels either. And very wearable with glasses.

by Bruce | Jul 14, 2007 11:29:32 PM

some Jabra ear gells apparently fit the Jawbone and convert it into more of an "in the ear" fit. Which jabra model has the proper ear gell that would fit the Jawbone?

by Ed | Jul 15, 2007 10:13:11 PM

Which Treo did you test the 5020 with?

I have been trying the BT5020 with my 755p for about 2 weeks. At times I find the sound very good but even putting my 755 in its horizontal case gives me lots of static. Range is OK but not as good as the H700.

by wrf | Aug 6, 2007 6:31:03 AM

Forever wary of buying on ear devices now as I have purchased two Jabras in the past costing me some £60 to £70 thinking that one has to be better than the other. They're both great, if you wear a neck brace so you can't move your head but, as soon as you move it falls off. Very wary of even thinking of purchasing one of these again.

by Doug | Sep 5, 2007 5:38:56 PM

Very good headset, picked one up on sale the other day. Been looking for a more modern implementation of the Plantronics voyager 510 which is becoming aged and has the drawback of very slow connections.

the bt5020 has flawless multipoint, quick connections. Note: using it with the Treo 755p. I have noted that Treo's in general have very odd bluetooth implementation with some irritating power save features which automatically disconnect the headsets and reconect when needed. Doesn't work all the time. The bt5020 seems to stay online where others do not. So far this thing is perfect!

by Joshua | Oct 16, 2007 10:58:45 PM

Got this a couple days ago. Wonderful reception I must say. I put it in my pocket or have it at least 4-5 metres away from me most of the time in my room. (I leave my phone by the window because the walls are really thick), reception is still nice and dandy!
The strange thing is that in a quiet environment, the headset can get bleedingly loud, but whilst out and about it can get quiet to the point I need to crank up the volume, by then it's JUST okay. I haven't used the included in-ear silicone tip while out and about yet, but I should give that a try.

Way to go jabra! beat the pants of this plantronics headset I got (which I traded in for the 5020).

*btw, I wear glasses and iIt's perfectly comfortable. Two thumbs up for jabra.

by Joshua | Oct 16, 2007 11:00:06 PM

Sorry. I meant to say I put my phone in my pocket.

by nysack | Oct 19, 2007 2:45:25 PM

I picked this one up today. I'm using a Treo 755p. This headset is comfortable, and fits well with glasses. The call quality is very good and the volume is good. The headset seem to stay connected, which is a good thing. However when idle its a little noisy. I returned my H700 for this one. It has only been one day, I will try to stop back in in a few days to report. Not bad for $40 dollars. So far, So good!

by nysack | Oct 25, 2007 7:41:33 PM

Well, after 6 days I took it back. I found it uncomfortable and losing those slip on ear covers drove me nuts. The headset did stay connected to the unit as mentioned. It just hurt my ears (with glasses)

by sean macaroni | Nov 6, 2007 12:34:58 PM

I bought this headset and love it!
call and built quality are top notch.
The viberator can be turned off by holding volume +/- botton for 2sec at the same time FYI, not in the manual.

by Wes Parker | Jul 20, 2008 3:44:22 PM

Does anyone use this headset with the A7010 hub which allows you to connect it to a desk phone? I want to know how easy it is to switch back and forth between the desk phone and the cell phone while in the office. I use both.

by DavidB | Feb 4, 2009 11:20:54 PM

Can anyone tell me how the Jabra BT5020 is different than the Jabra BT5010, and if it is, how well does the Jabra BT5020 work with the Treo 755p ? - thx.

by Alex | Aug 31, 2009 4:37:48 PM

is this device limited to the treo? will work for a blackberry bold?

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