Bluetooth headsets aren’t the best-looking fashion accessory around, but they give you enough benefits to counterbalance any issues you have in that department. Bluetooth headsets expand beyond just something to use for hands-free calling and end up more in the realm of great utility accessories. Not all Bluetooth headsets are the same, however. There is more that meets the eye when it comes to these small earpieces, from how they handle sound to whether they interact with apps. Here’s what to be mindful of regarding Bluetooth headsets.
The obvious benefit of a Bluetooth headset is the fact you don’t need to hold the phone while talking on it. Many states have legislation that make talking on the phone while driving not allowed. You have to use a hands-free option, such as an in-car system or a headset. In-car systems aren’t standard options on many vehicles, so a Bluetooth headset gives you the ability to have hands-free calling without plunking down hundreds of dollars for a car accessory. Some states are also pushing for insurance penalties to be added if you’re caught driving and calling without a hands-free unit, according to Handsfree.info. You can also use voice-activated features on your smartphone without having to bring it out of your pocket.
How to Select a Bluetooth Headset
Outside of establishing your price range, the most important consideration for selecting a headset is the call quality. This doesn’t just mean the quality that comes into the earpiece, either. If you can hear perfectly well, but the person you’re talking to can’t understand you at all, it’s not going to be all that useful. The noise-canceling features of the headset also play heavily into the outgoing voice quality.
Now choose your size. Some headsets are literally headsets, with a headband to keep everything in place. Others are compact, giving you a discrete earpiece that confuses people when you’re talking to thin air. There are plenty of options in-between as well, as this CNET guide displays.
Some headsets push their integration abilities with apps, whether that’s applications that use voice commands or those designed specifically for the headset. For example, the Jawbone headsets have companion applications that provide audio apps, phone apps, calendar notifications, and caller identification, Androinica reports.
Bluetooth headsets are range restricted due to the technology used, so you aren’t going to get a longer range than the standard 33 feet. However, most headsets don’t get anywhere close to this maximum range. If you need the largest possible range, ask retailers about headsets that get between 15-20 feet.
Multipoint is a relatively new Bluetooth technology that allows you to connect the headset to multiple devices without unpairing it. This is useful if you have laptops, tablets and other Bluetooth-enabled devices. You want to ensure compatibility with every device you want to use your headset on. Some devices, such as iOS products, only work with a limited range of third-party devices. You can purchase Bluetooth headsets directly from T-Mobile or another wireless provider, or from electronics stores.
Do you use a Bluetooth headset with your smartphone or mobile device? What brand do you like? Let us know in the comments.
Image by Fire_Eyes pursuant to the terms of Creative Commons license.
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