We expect a lot from our Bluetooth headsets: Good battery life, compatibility with most devices, and discreet design.But as our phones do more, Bluetooth headsets should be able keep up. Today’s headsets offer their own smartphone apps, text to speech, and can supposedly cancel noise from winds up to 40 mph.
For those who want a bit more style, companies like Aliph make headsets that come in a variety of designs and perform just as well as the any other high-end device out there.
The downside: Many Bluetooth headsets can cost you almost as much as your smartphone, so be sure to shop around for the best deal before pulling the trigger. Amazon or Google Checkout are good places to start.
The Motorola Finiti is one of the newest members to the company's Elite Series of headsets.
It definitely lives up to the elite standard. The Finiti makes it easy to pair to your device. There's no button mashing or annoying codes to input. Just switch it on and let your phone detect it. We connected the Finiti to our iPhone 4 in seconds.
Sound quality was good overall, but did crackle at times. Motorola claims the Finiti can cancel out wind noise up to 40 mph, which we didn't get to test ourselves. But the overall noise cancellation was excellent. Callers had no complaints about background noises from the TV or street traffic. The range was good too. We were able to pace around the room and even move a good 50 feet away before we started to lose connection.
The Finiti 's cost will kill you. It's only available at AT&T and Sprint stores and will run you $129.99 MSRP. There are plenty of other comparable options for much cheaper than that. Hold off until we see more retailers start to discount it.
The CommandOne is almost indistinguishable from the Motorola Finiti in form and function.
Like the Finiti, we were able to pair the CommandOne to our iPhone 4 without a hiccup. It also has a battery display that shows up on your iPhone screen, which is super handy. Sound quality was good, if not a bit better than the CommandOne, and callers couldn't tell we were using a headset. We were also able to get incredible range when the headset was paired with the iPhone 4. Sound quality didn't degrade until we were two rooms away from the phone.
The biggest difference between the CommandOne and Finiti is the fit. The CommandOne sports an ear bud, while the Finiti has an in-ear design. Both come with several rubber slips to adjust to any ear size, but we still preferred the familiar feeling of an ear bud.
The CommandOne is only available at T-Mobile stores for a suggested $129.99. That's almost what you'll pay for your next smartphone. It's a great device, but you should wait for more retailers to start offering the CommandOne at a lower cost.
This is one of the most positively reviewed headsets, despite it's heavy price tag.
The BlueAnt Q2 stands out with Blackberry and Android apps that can dictate text messages to you. That may sound a little over the top, but it's better than stopping in the middle of the street to check your texts. There's no iPhone app yet, but they're working on it. PC Magazine says the sound is clear enough that callers can't even tell you're using a headset. The Q2 is pricey, but you get what you pay for. Cost: $79.99
The Jawbone attempts to distance itself from the boring, corporate designs of most Bluetooth headsets.
colours range from bright green to ruby red, and have patterned designs that look more like jewelry than a wireless device.
Beyond the fancy look, CNET says the Jawbone is packed with cool features like the ability to check its battery meter on your iPhone's screen. This popular headset will hold up to any other high-end device out there. It's definitely worth trying if you want to add some style to your smartphone. Cost: $66.49
This slick device doubles as a headset for your VoIP calls if your computer has Bluetooth.
It also comes with a leather charging case with a display that tells you when your battery is charged. Slash Gear says they were able to squeeze more than five hours of talk time out of the Discovery's battery. That's enough talk time for most phone batteries. Slash Gear was also able to move from room to room without losing a connection, making this a good option if you need a lot of range. Not a bad price either. Cost: $58.99
The Nokia BH-804 is one of the smallest Bluetooth headsets available, but it does sacrifice quality for it's size.
The sound is only good in quiet environments, and won't hold up in wind or crowded streets, CNET says. We would expect better noise cancellation for the price. Pass on this one unless the small size is really important to you. Cost: $69.99
At an affordable price, ease of use, and incredible noise cancellation, the Jabra Extreme stands out among it's competitors.
Geek.com gave the Extreme a glowing review, saying the headset was even able to cancel out noise from busy New York City streets. It's not the most stylish, but you will get the most value out of the Extreme. This is the headset you should buy. Cost: $59.99