Ten of the Best... Bluetooth Headsets
Our pick of the top handset accessories
Round-up We used to laugh when Lt Uhura would sit at her station with a lump of metal in her lughole. Yet here we are, sticking our fingers in our ear so we can take calls on our teeny-tiny Bluetooth headsets.
Fortunately, the headsets on offer these days are a lot more elegant than Star Trek’s clunky hardware. Obviously wary of the ‘Uhura factor’, manufacturers of Bluetooth headsets now go out of their way to produce inconspicuous little headsets that don’t make us look too silly as we walk around talking into thin air.
That said, tiny headsets mean tiny speakers and microphones, so the smallest headset isn’t always the best – especially if you’re given to making calls outdoors, or in areas where there’s a lot of background noise.
We also found that the simple task of stopping the headset from falling out of your ear every five minutes could prove to be a challenge. Fortunately, Bluetooth headsets are very affordable these days, so there’s plenty to choose from – including some very good models for £50 or less.
It’s not the smallest headset we’ve ever seen, but Aliph’s latest Jawbone combines an attractive design with very good audio quality. The earpiece has a neat minimalist look that sets the On/Off and volume buttons into the actual body of the unit, so you simply apply pressure to different areas of the earpiece to adjust the controls. A feature called NoiseAssassin uses two separate microphones to isolate the sound of your voice and separate it from background noise around you, providing good clear audio when you’re making calls. It’s a little pricey, but the Jawbone’s combination of style and quality certainly make it stand out from the crowd.
Available from Carphone Warehouse
Reg Rating 85%
Jabra JX 20 Pura Titanium Edition
Jabra makes a wide range of Bluetooth headsets, but the JX 20 is very much at the luxury end of its range. Constructed out of lightweight titanium, the JX 20 is small and light enough to sit in your ear without using an earhook - which is just as well, as the bundled plastic hooks are a bit flimsy. There are hardly any buttons to mar the compact design – you turn it on and off simply by rotating the earpiece – and there’s a handy desktop dock/charger unit supplied as well. Thankfully, though, the tiny earpiece produces enough volume to hear your calls clearly, even when there’s a bit of background noise.
Available from Carphone Warehouse
Reg Rating 80%
Next page: LG HBM-310
Another Vote Against The Jawbone
I have to agree with the comment about the Jawbone.
I find it hard to believe that the Jawbone comes top of every poll for the top bluetooth earpieces.
I had one of the original Ericsson bluetooth headsets when they first came out. I had it for many years before finally upgrading it for a Jabra 250.
The Jabra was extremely comfortable with real good sound quality.
But I broke it by sticking it in my pocket and then sitting down!!! So after reading so many glowing reviews about the Jawbone being the "THE" bluetooth head set that I bought one.
I have also found it very uncomfortable to wear. No matter which combination of earbud and hook I try the headset pushes itself away from the head. I have tried bending the ear hooks to try and make them fit better but nothing works.
But even worse is the sound quailty of the incoming calls.
The jabra was crystal clear and the good fitting ear buds meant that I could hear it even with the loudest background noise.
The Jawbine on the other hand is like hearing the caller from the other end of a tin can and the volume is always very low making it difficult to hear them.
After a year of using the Jawbone I would actually not include it in the top 10 at all.
you only look a tit with a BT headset if you spend all day wandering about with it inserted... they are a very useful tool... My car has a fitted handsfree but I also carry a Nextlink Bluespoon headset for hands free work, this headset is so small that you cannot see it in my ear as my hair covers it!
wired headsets are ok... but ffs this is the 21st century! move on! wires are dead!
@jamie Kephalas Re bluetooth bug for your lid
there are several lids that have blue tooth integeral to the helmet or for about £20/£30 you can get one specifically for motorcyle helmets.
http://www.google.co.uk/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=&q=bluetooth%2Cmotorcycle+helmets&btnG=Google+Search&meta= try it!
Money to burn...
Probably all the 4 or 5 new phones I've had over the last 5 years have come with a wired headset for free.
1) Don't need charging.
2) Talk & standby time only limited by the phone.
3) Great sound quality.
4) Recent ones are stereo.
5) Just as legal as BT headset whilst driving.
6) They don't cost anything
7) If you lose / break it, replacements are about £5.
9) You don't look like a cock.
1) You have to keep your phone less than 10M away, like maybe in your pocket - somewhere you'd never normally put it ;o)
Why would anybody pay anything for a BT headset, let alone £80-£100? Suckers!
Best bluetooth headset ever...
... is the Motorola HS300.
Why? Because it operates not off a crappy internal rechargable battery which will have a useful life of about 2 minutes, 6 months after you buy it, but instead operates off a single AAA battery which lasts fookin ages.