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As smart phones continue to become more popular, so do laws that ban the use of cell phones in the car while driving. Finding the best Bluetooth headset is not only important for legal reasons, but they are actually quite useful and convenient – and yes, it probably is safer to drive with a hands free device as well. You will soon find that your Bluetooth headset goes with you everywhere, and is not only used while driving.
It is no longer necessary to walk around with a two-pound weight clipped onto your ear. Bluetooth headsets available today are of high quality. With the more lightweight, comfortable, and overall improved functionality and designs these headsets have to offer, the choice to purchase a Bluetooth headset is better today than ever.
Finding the best Bluetooth headset for you might seem like an easy task at first glance, but you will soon realize there are hundreds, if not thousands of mediocre products on the market. Even if you had the time and energy and were willing to go out and test as many headsets as possible, in many cases you would find it to be very difficult, if not impossible. Just like with Bluetooth headphones, headsets are usually not opened in stores for customers to try on. Not only is it unsanitary for people to all be trying on the same headset, but it probably isn’t very practical.
That is where we come in. We went ahead and tested out all of the best selling headsets available for purchase today, and compiled a list of our top 10 wireless Bluetooth headsets in an organized, easy-to-read format to aid you in your decision.
You will thank us later.
Stereo vs. Mono Headsets
Stereo Bluetooth Headset: Stereo Bluetooth headsets are generally a bit larger in size compared to Mono headsets, and are ideal if you plan not only to take phone calls, but also listen to music, podcasts, watch videos, or whatever else that may require a more three-dimensional interactive audio experience. These headsets have two earpieces, and may often be mistaken for a pair of Bluetooth headphones (practically the same in design and function). For those audiophiles out there who are looking for the best of the best when it comes to sound quality, it is best to stick with a good pair of wired headphones or earbuds.
Mono Bluetooth Headset: A Mono Bluetooth headset is generally the smaller of the two, typically consisting of a single earpiece, and many times similar-looking to how some high-quality earbuds would look (but only one of them!). Built into the earpiece is a small microphone, which is used while taking calls or activating voice commands. These headsets are ideal for placing calls, and not for listening to music – only one ear is used for audio, the other is free to listen to whatever may be going on in your environment. If you do not plan on listening to music very often with your Bluetooth headset, this design may work best for you.
Things to Consider
Sound quality: How does the headset sound when taking calls? Can you hear the other person clearly? Do you hear a lot of background noise, or is their voice in focus? Generally, the smaller the headset, the smaller the speakers, and the more expensive it is to manufacture high quality products.
Call quality: Not only should you worry about how the other person sounds to you, but you need to worry how you sound to them. Finding a Bluetooth headset with decent sound quality is the easy part – finding a headset with decent call quality is a bit harder to test. If the person you’re trying to talk to on the phone cannot understand what you are saying, it defeats the purpose of owning a headset at all. Unfortunately, we have noticed call quality to vary to a great extent among the Bluetooth headsets we have tested – which also makes it much easier to be tricked into purchasing a mediocre product that ends up being unusable. Most of the higher-end headsets have two, or even three different built-in microphones, which helps the person on the other end of the line. The best Bluetooth headsets will block out ambient noise, while preserving your voice.
Bluetooth Range: Overall, this is probably the category with the least variation when comparing different Bluetooth headsets. Bluetooth technology has a range of 33 feet (this is typically not the usual). Generally, a decent headset will continue to work properly for up to 10 or 15 feet before sound quality will begin to slack, and skips may become noticeable. Some of the more high-quality headsets can go for 20 to 25 feet before the same quality degradation is noticed.
Comfort: If you plan on using your new Bluetooth headset on a 9-5-business schedule like many of us do, you want to make sure that they do not begin to hurt or irritate after only a few hours. Not all headsets are the same when it comes to comfort. Some utilize soft rubber or silicon ear tips (similar to what you may find in a pair of earphones), while others may just feature a plastic clip, which rests against the ear. I personally find those that utilize rubber or silicon to be more comfortable, but others do not like how it rests on the outside of the ear canal.
Battery: Battery life is a big one for most people. If your headset can only hold a 3-hour charge, don’t plan on being able to use it all day without making time in your schedule for a recharge of the battery. Some headsets that we have tested literally last for less than 2 hours, and others are able to go for over 10 hours. Generally, the larger the headset, the more battery life it will have. It is possible to find small, fashionable Bluetooth headsets with a great battery life, but may be a bit more expensive.
1. Plantronics Voyager Legend UC Review
The Plantronics Voyager Legend UC Bluetooth headset is first up on our list. UC stands for “Unified Communications” which implies a seamless integration of technology across a large variety of communication devices and softwares – for example your smartphone, laptop, desktop, iPad, or other tablets (all are built differently and it is hard to find a Bluetooth headset with as much universal compatibility, out of the box, as the Voyager Legend UC).
The Plantronics Voyager Legend UC Bluetooth headset is top of the line when it comes to the best headsets. It allows for seamless switching between multiple audio devices, and this process is largely automatic. You could be listening to music on your laptop, and then your phone rings, and you will automatically be paired up and ready to take the call. Additionally, it is able to recognize when it is being worn, and adjusts accordingly. For example, if you place a call with your device, and then take of your Bluetooth headset, it will automatically send the call back to your phone for you.
At first glance, it may seem like the Voyager Legend UC is a bit larger in size when compared to other mono Bluetooth headsets – in reality it only weighs 0.6 ounces. In fact, we found it to be very comfortable for many hours at a time. It feels light when in use, and just enough grip is applied to ensure a comfortable, yet secure fit.
Just as the UC name implies, pairing up the Voyager Legend UC with our devices was very easy. We tested on multiple brands and devices, all of which had no issues whatsoever. The Bluetooth range is great – the audio continues to flow nicely even when the device is in another room across the office, through multiple layers of drywall and whiteboards.
Audio quality is quite exceptional to say the least. The earpiece produces a loud, and precise sound. Its noise cancellation technology works pretty great as well. The Voyager Legend UC is more expensive than many of the other headsets out there, but as you may know, you get what you pay for. The Voyager Legend has three built in microphones on the headset – each one seamlessly works with the others to effectively adjust and cancel out any background noise, while completely preserving your voice.
Built onto the device are multiple buttons for volume control, placing calls, a mute button, and for activating voice commands if you’re paired device is capable. Also, unlike some other Bluetooth headsets, the Voyager UC allows you to choose when ear you prefer to use, with a simple adjustment to the boom and ear hook. Additionally, the Voyager Legend UC has a pretty good battery life, up to seven hours of constant use. Unused in standby, your device will hold its charge for nearly 11 days. When your battery is running low, the Voyager Legend will tell you – it has voice announcements to keep you in the loop, so to speak.
If you’re looking for the best of the best in terms of comfort, sound quality, call quality, durability, and yes we’ll even say it – style, then the Voyager Legend UC Bluetooth headset may be just for you. For those looking for a Bluetooth headset with the best overall voice-communication capabilities, look no further.
2. Bose Bluetooth Headset Series 2 Review
For those looking to buy a Bluetooth headset, which keeps one ear free, and provides both exceptional call and sound quality, the Bose Bluetooth Headset Series 2 should be one of your top picks. Series 2 is a big improvement on Bose’s original, with enhanced noise-cancellation and some high-quality sound when listening to music. In fact, this headset delivers sound (one ear only) comparable to some of the higher-end headphones and earbuds we have reviewed. With some powerful bass, and crystal-clear mids and highs, it begins to sound a lot like a wired earphone. If you don’t really plan on listening to music with your headset, you could probably get away with a cheaper alternative – its fantastic sound quality is one feature, which really makes the Bose Bluetooth headset stand apart from the rest.
Pairing is simple – straight out of the box the headset is already on pairing mode. Just make sure your phone or other device is discoverable and a quick tap of the button will have you ready to use your new headset. Call quality is fantastic. The sound is precise, and neither distorts your voice nor the caller’s on the other line. Noise-cancellation is pretty good – a noise-rejecting microphone is built into the device, which helps filter out ambient noise. Battery life was tested out at just less than 5 hours of active use, which is above average for a small Bluetooth headset such as this. Another neat feature is the automatic volume adjustment. For example, if you walk into a loud restaurant while on the phone, the Bose Bluetooth headset will automatically adjust accordingly. Same goes in reverse for when you leave that noisy restaurant – your volume will automatically adjust and lower. If you’re always on the go this is something you will soon begin to appreciate, it can be irritating having to reach up to the headset multiple times every time you change your surroundings.
The Bluetooth range is very good, things started to get a little choppy at around 22 feet for us, in terms of call quality (generally, most Bluetooth headsets can only go 10-15 feet before call quality drops noticeably). The Bose Bluetooth Headset Series 2 weighs less than half an ounce, which is great. The matte black with the silver finish make for a stylish product, and can easily match your favorite outfit. The lightweight design paired with the StayHear ear-tips ensures a comfortable, and secure fit. Overall, the Bose Bluetooth Series 2 is a great choice for those looking to purchase a sleek headset with excellent call performance, and which is also largely unmatched in terms of its sound quality.
3. Kinivo BTH240 Review
Our number three on the list is ideal for those on a budget. The Kinivo BTH240 Bluetooth Stereo Headset is a great alternative to the more expensive headsets we have reviewed above – with a lightweight, behind the head design, it is hard to pass up on this great offer. The Kinivo BTH240’s headphones sit on the ear, rather than over the ear – which we have noticed allows some ambient noise to leak in (this may be ideal in an office setting, or for those who must be able to hear when their child is calling). The parts themselves feel a bit … inexpensive, especially when compared with the Bose Series 2 and the Plantronics Voyager Legend UC Bluetooth headsets we reviewed above.
The Kinivo BTH240’s are pretty comfortable – the padding around the ear cups is relatively soft and the headset stays on comfortably, even with movement. As far as sound quality goes, we were pretty impressed, especially considering the low price tag. The headphones can get pretty loud when listening to your music – this Bluetooth headset can easily take on the role of your everyday pair of headphones.
The battery life is claimed to be 10 hours of active use. We clocked out at just under that, 9.5 hours of use (we alternated between placing phone calls and listening to music when testing) – which is pretty great, and where the smaller headsets, even the more expensive ones, have trouble competing. Overall, in terms of price, sound quality, call quality, level of comfort, and the folding portable design, the Kinivo BTH240 Bluetooth headset is one of your best choices. While not exactly in the same league as the Bose or Plantronic’s above, the Kinivo Bluetooth headset is great for everyday use and serve its intended purpose.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]