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Bluetooth Headsets, which one?


The Friendly Undead
Oct 29, 2009
Right Behind You
I'm in the market for a new headset. I want something with quality audio, noise canceling, A2DP, good talk time, comfortable and isn't overly bulky. In other words, I want it all. ;)

I use bluetooth all day and for 90% of my phone calls. I also plan to use it when I am riding my bike or at the gym.

I've been looking at:

Jawbone Icon HD

Jawbone Era

Motorola Elite Sliver

Blueant Q2

I've read great things about all of these headsets, but I'm wondering what most of you use. Do any of you have good or bad experience with these?
OTD, I have to chime in here and crow about these:


I easily get 10-14 hours of use out of a two-hour charge. They sound spectacular. All controls are conveniently located on the left side. They have 4 modes of sound (I highly recommend the 4th MEX mode - great dynamic range). Not sure about noise-cancelling, but they're super-comfy and fit over the ears... so they're naturally going to reduce outside noise anyway.

I paid some $60 for mine last year and now they're less than $36 SHIPPED :eek:

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I don't know if OTD is looking for dual muff headset or single earpiece / microphone type unit, but I'm definitely in the market for what you posted, Chief. I've been looking at the LG HBS-700, but its kind of strange looking. I need to see one in person before I decide.

I was just going to suggest the same headset. Possibly the best Bluetooth headset/a2dp device on the market while being under 100 USD.
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Thanks for the input guys. I am definitely looking for a mono style headset.

The Plantronics looks like a great one and the reviews are very good, but it is just a little uncomfortable for me. A friend of mine has one.

I was a bit skeptical at the design of that headset, but you can use it as a 1-ear headset for voice calls and stereo for music/radio at the gym. I abuse the thing for work and typically reach about 9 hours of talk time. It is also one of the headsets I've found that completely controls android and iOS alike.

That being said....

As far as mono-headsets, the blue ant t1 or the voyager pro are awesome. Handles wind/background noise well and both have pretty good battery life/talk-time.
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I use a Plantronics Marque M155, it's very small & lightweight - barely feel it when it's on my ear. It provides voice command to answer incoming calls; you say 'answer' or 'ignore' to handle the call as you wish. Also does voice command calling of people in your contact list, it's not Siri but it's all right. Don't use it too much.
Supports A2DP, very nice using the Navigation app when driving; I can hear road instructions myself and not bother the passengers with a sudden "in one quarter mile, turn right" squawking.
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I have the above and love it. I had bad luck with two Jawbones, and a Motorola (forget the model) was so-so quality.

There are different-sized ear inserts; did you try the options when you tried one? I also find I need to adjust it (the angle of the boom) for it to feel secure. Once it's adjusted, which is quick, I barely feel it and it feels quite secure, even with sunglasses. In my limited experience it is by far the most comfortable and best quality I have used.
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Thanks guys, I really appreciate the input. I've decided I'm going to get them all. Between Verizon and Best Buy the sales reps are encouraging me to give each and try and see what I think. I can return them if they don't work and pick up another one to try it out. So it may be a long month or two before I find "the one", but at least I'll know for certain what works best for me.
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As usual I am late to the party but I am going to throw my 2 cents in anyway. I am on my third Jawbone Icon. Not the Icon HD. Just the plain old Icon. These are great for an inexpensive monaural headset that accepts A2DP. Lightweight and comfortable to wear. At least mine have all been that way. I get them from Amazon.com and just make sure I buy from someone who hasn't vandalized the packaging and removed all of the ear pieces before they put the item up for sale. Should run for around $35 complete including s/h.
Nice noise cancellation so you can hear even outside on a windy day. And you can log onto the Jawbone website and choose a voice for your headset so no breathy female voice for me. I get the sexy foreign guy. Oh yeah!
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Thanks guys, I really appreciate the input. I've decided I'm going to get them all. Between Verizon and Best Buy the sales reps are encouraging me to give each and try and see what I think. I can return them if they don't work and pick up another one to try it out. So it may be a long month or two before I find "the one", but at least I'll know for certain what works best for me.

That's a great idea really. I have the BluAnt T1 and think it's fantastic, but the jawbones are pretty great too.

Edit: I think all of those use micro USB...I might be preaching to the choir here, but I won't ever buy another thing that doesn't plug in with a standard charger (so right now it's micro USB, could be different in a year)!!
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Thanks guys, I really appreciate the input. I've decided I'm going to get them all. Between Verizon and Best Buy the sales reps are encouraging me to give each and try and see what I think. I can return them if they don't work and pick up another one to try it out. So it may be a long month or two before I find "the one", but at least I'll know for certain what works best for me.

Haha, that is a surefire way to make sure you are satisfied.

I have the Samsung WEP870. Its cheap, but the fact that it converts from mono in ear to stereo with earbuds is so nice, I get both types in one headset. I have had it for over two years and the battery still lasts most of the day.
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So I'm sure most of you already have a headset that you are happy with and couldn't care less about my search. That said, I am doing a bunch of research and testing anyway so I might as well post my findings just on the off chance that somebody else is looking.

My first two victims were the Jawbone Icon and Era. I'll say something about each and then comment on Jawbone in general. I tested them each over the course of a day a piece. I made 15 calls with each one, a very patient friend and my mom (thanks mom :D). I used regular cell service as well as VOIP over 4G and wifi. The calls were made in my house, my car, walmart, on my bike and while doing various oddball things like opening and closing the garage door or running the garbage disposal. I listened to music on my phone, streaming via Music and Pandora. I also messed with Mytalk and Jawbones Android App.

Jawbone Icon:
Perfect size for a bluetooth earpiece in my opinion. It has excellent sound quality in calls and good quality for music. The further you can get the thing in your ear the better the music quality is (more on this later). The control was in good place, but I found myself hitting the button quite a bit while adjusting the earpiece.

Jawbone Era:
Good size and really nice controls. The accelerometer that allows you to just tap anywhere on the headset to answer is really nice. Sound quality was very good although surprisingly not as good as the Icon for me. Call quality was clear and music was just alright. The audio also had this odd habit of getting lower and lower while I would walk around.

Jawbone in general:
Noise Assassin on the headsets is just awesome. I was talking to people in incredibly noisy places and even causing noise and the person on the other end of the call heard nothing. Standing in my garage opening and closing the door was cool since they couldn't hear anything but my voice on the other end. This is one area where the commercials are telling the truth and I can see someone who spends a lit of time in really noisy environments getting full use out of this feature.

I consider myself to be pretty average in the ear department. I use in ear headphones with the default medium sized inserts majority of the time. These had to be the absolutely most uncomfortable earpieces I have ever worn in my life. I tried ever combination if the included adapters and even cannibalised a few older Motorola earpieces I had and nothing helped. These things are just uncomfortable, which really sucks because I liked them.

The sound on each of these with music were great if you could really get the thing in your ear. There was a fullness to the music coming out that made me almost wish they made in ear headphones with better inserts. The problem was getting in there to hear it. This is playing music through Google Music though and Pandora sounded like I was 10 feet away from the speaker. There was no depth to the sound at all. It may have been my setting on Music, but even with those turned off it was just sad on Pandora.

Mytalk and the app are junk. The packaging for these headsets is very misleading as to what they really offer. All the talk about Pandora and the other apps are just talk. They do nothing extra and offer no real enhancement to the phone or the headset experience. In Mytalk it just gives you a link to download the app for your phone like nobody had ever heard of Pandora before. It reminds me of when TomTom used to offer different voices on the GPS so you could have Mr. T or Darth Vader giving you directions. The only thing I got out of the Android app was a little battery level in my notification bar, which while cool is rather useless since I could just tap the button and the earpiece would tell me the remaining charge.

Bottom line, if the headset will fit in your ear comfortably then either one is really nice. I liked the Icon better, but they both do a great job. The overall sound is great (I had to turn the bluetooth volume almost to the bottom to keep from blowing my eardrum). The noise cancellation is unlike anything I have ever used before.

My next is the BlueAnt Q2 which is still in testing, but I can say that the earpiece is like a plush leather recliner compared to the Iron Maiden that was Jawbone.
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Get the elite sliver. I got mine about a week ago and its a beast. I am constantly making calls from my vehicle and while on jobs all day. It does a good job of connecting between both my work and personal phones. I never had the option to stream music from my phone with my old headset so I am using it when i'm at the gym or around town. The volume is ridicules! 75% volume is all I ever need with this thing and i like it to be loud. The battery hasn't been close to dieing for me yet on an eight hour day with about an hour of talking and an hour of streaming music. I didn't think i would like the charger case but it is nice to have.

I like the over the ear style compared to others but i could understand if some didn't. My old headset was the type that jammed into my ear effectively rendering me deaf in that ear to exterior sounds when not using the headset.

The only disappointing thing is the distance. Motorola promises 300ft. I got like 175 in an open parking lot before the static came into play. Im not going to complain too much seeing how my old headset got 1o feet if I was lucky. I can walk all around my apartment without any issues. I read up on the rival Bose bluetooth and all the reviews are comparable to the elite sliver when it comes to distance.
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