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Old 12-05-2008, 01:23 PM
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Re: Bluetooth Headset suggestions?

EDIT - my current favorites -

Mono headset, Etyblu or Zivio boom
Stereo - samsung sbh-500

I've gone through so many headsets - here's short mini-reviews - paired with my older htc touch and new htc touch pro.

Stereo headsets -
The jaybird stereo headsets work great and sound awesome *when they stay in your ear* - unfortunately the design means that they keep popping out of my ears (they're fine on my wife's ears, so it just depends on the person..) an advantage of this one is that for voice calls, you can drop one of the speakers from your ear (hang it around your neck) and the mic is right next to your lips - so good quality while hanging down, and decent quality while on your ear.. (audio comes out of one ear for phone calls - other ear is the mic)
http://www.jaybirdgear.com/ - only issue with these (other then they don't work for my ears) - is that you have to manually re-enable them. (using a2dp switcher from the today screen, or just use as stereo headset from the comm menu - not a big deal..) - I would definately recommend that you try these (get them from amazon so that you can return if they don't work for your ears..)


The Motorola S9 is fairly decent for stereo call quality (sucks for voice) - but I couldn't use them while leaning back on anything - the headband sticks out behind your head.. they were perfect for me for exercising (although I guess many people have lost their units to sweat.. mine were fine and eventually got sold off to be replaced w/ jaybids.. I kind of miss them though) You do need the bluetooth registry hacks (for higher bitrate streaming) for them to sound good.. Another small annoynace with these was that while it used a mini-usb cable for charging, it would only accept from a laptop or from a motorola charger (my other usb chargers wouldn't work with it)


I just ordered the popular samsung headsets http://www.mobiletechreview.com/tips/Samsung-SBH500.htm which has really good reviews - will let people know what I think of them.. (I already know the voice quality is so-so with them - but getting them for stereo) - when looking at new headsets, I was comparing this to the new nokia's.. the nokia is supposed to have much better call quality, but is much more expensive, and uses the nokia charger plug (instead of mini-usb) - which was a deal-breaker for me. Unfortunately, my samsung's just came in (charging now) - and while I was under the impression that it used a standard mini-usb for charging, it's actually proprioitory grr... (edit - Using the same settings that worked perfectly on my jaybirds, these kept cutting out - i had to reduce my bitrate/bluetooth settings back to default for them to not keep cutting in and out...) - UPDATE - these sound phenomenal - I went on a run with them, and they didn't cut out once. Unfortunately, they pinch the top of my ears so not that comfortable to wear for me.. I ordered the nokia bh-503 so that I can do a side by side comparison next week. UPDATE2 - the nokia is going back - they kept falling off my head! the samsung's rock!

Plantronics Voyager 855 - this one was just ok - it was really annoying in that everytime the cable between the two ears rubbed against something (like, your hair while you walked) - it amplified the sound - drove me nuts and drove me to a refund (especially when listening at lower volumes) Stereo quality was not as good as the s9 or the jaybirds. Phone voice quality was just so-so.. They blocked out to much ambient noise (while amplifying the wire noise everytime it got rubbed against something..)

As far as bluetooth mono headsets for voice go -

I've tried them all, and the zivio boom is really nice if you can get a good fit - the boom slides out.. My wife stoled this one though.. http://www.joby.com/products/zivio/ - awesome incoming and especially outgoing sound quality - and it's actually tiny, despite having a boom.

The etyblu's (http://www.etymotic.com/ephp/etyblu.aspx ) outgoing audio quality was really good, but at least my unit had a lot of static on the in-bound sound (callers couldn't hear it ) - I've got mine being exchanged right now - so hopefully it was just my unit.. I did lose a wind-screen the first day that I had it though.. (wind screens are a must if you live in a windy city like san francisco) EDIT - the new unit is much better and the static is barely noticeable)

Jawbone 2 - it's fine as long as you can get a decent fit - I'm having a semi-decent fit using the jabra gel inserts - but the incoming voice is really tiny still.. One issue I have with this headset is that I keep redialing peope when it's in my pocket (button is really easy to press) - also the stupid on/off light gets covered up by your finger while you're pressing the button, so hard to see when it's turned on/off.. (bad design on that..)


Bluant Z9 - I loved this headset - but lost it - don't trust the 'belt clip'

Bluant Z9i - got this as a replacement for the z9 - for some reason I didn't think it was as good - maybe the newer headests (jawbone2 at the time) were just better.

plantronics discovery 645 - I don't receommend this at all. outgoing call quality sucks.

plantronics discover 655 - a little better but still not as good as some of the headsets above.

Original jawbone - sucked - way too big, and was impossible for me to get a good fit..

(I've tried to many others, but these are the only ones worth mentioning right now..)
-mark

Last edited by diomark; 12-26-2008 at 10:38 PM.
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