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Bluetooth Headset Recommendations
Old 01-31-2011, 03:52 PM   #1
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Bluetooth Headset Recommendations

I have never had a bluetooth headset but I have two cell phones (Droid X and Palm Pre) and I'd like to have one that will support both devices at the same time. Noise reduction and loud volume are very important to me. When I ordered my last phone, I asked which unit would support both phones. They said most any at the $100 and up level.

Normally, when I have phone/computer questions, the grand kids fill me in, but they mainly text...out of luck there. Does anyone have any recommendations? Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:07 PM   #2
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The plantronics voyager 510, 520 and PRO are dated but good and around $50. Both are over the ear type. The jawbone ICON is in the ear, similar price, probably just as good. This is as much a choice of style as function. Newegg has good reviews and Amazon has competitive prices for bluetooth headsets.
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:50 PM   #3
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Wait, wait. I have to go back and read what you said again. First time, I never got past your avatar!
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:10 PM   #4
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I have this set from Plantronics. No idea if it will do your Palm or not. Works great. It is bigger than some. I forget it is on my ear. Pick up the office phone and blammo! Very comfortable for me. I think I paid $75 a year and a half ago. Looks like <$50 now.

Plantronics Voyager Pro Review - Headsets - CNET Reviews[object HTMLCollection]
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nova View Post
I asked which unit would support both phones.
I don't think the phone type makes a difference. Bluetooth is a standard, any phone that supports a Bluetooth headset should support any Bluetooth headset (and vice versa).

Unless someone has specific info to the contrary.

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Old 01-31-2011, 09:50 PM   #6
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I have been looking at the Plantronics Voyager Pro Plus and the BluAnt Q2. They both have multipoint technology (both can pick up calls from both phones...naturally, one at a time). Plantronics Voyager Pro and older models don't this multipoint technology.

DD has a Jawbone...maybe Jabra?? It's smaller and looks like jewelry, sort of. Hers is 2 years old and working well. I've never known anyone who had the clunky over the ear Plantronics, but all the reviews say it is really good and comfortable too. It looks like one of the major differences between the Pro+ and the BA Q2, aside from looks, is that the Q2 identifies incoming calls by the contact name and the Pro+ doesn't. OTOH, Pro+ reconnects automatically when music, etc. is paused for incoming calls, then returns to music/pod casts, etc. Q2 doesn't always do this and must be manually reset. I'm just repeating what I've read; don't have any experience to evaluate the pros and cons. Also, Q2 offers the voice/reading/commands free in its software whereas Pro+ gives you 1 year of the software, then it cost thereafter. Again, no experience to evaluate. Any real life experience you can share in these areas/options would be most appreciated.
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nova View Post
They both have multipoint technology (both can pick up calls from both phones...naturally, one at a time).
and...

Quote:
and I'd like to have one that will support both devices at the same time.
I'm confused (not unusual) about what capability you want/need. When you say "at the same time", do you mean you want both phones ON and on your person at the same time, and the Bluetooth headset should automatically pick up a call from either phone that rings?

I just thought you wanted a headset that would work with either phone w/o needing to reset anything when you switched from one phone to the other. I think any BT device should do that, once paired with each of the phones.

I guess I have to ask - why would you carry two phones with you?

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Old 01-31-2011, 10:51 PM   #8
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I don't carry two phones, but DH doesn't always hear his phone. Frequently, he leaves his phone in his office if he's working in the garage or yard. His office is down the hall from mine. He has the phone with the number we've had the longest and most of our calls come in on his phone. It would be nice to be able to catch his calls without chasing down his phone.

OK, since you are trying to make sense of this, I should add that my phone doesn't get good reception in the house so it sits on its charging pad, on my desk, near the window where I can text and read/send e-mail. It can usually recieve/send calls IF you don't pick up the phone...another need to be able to bluetooth it. It works fine outside of the house. BTW, one is VZ (good reception), the other is Sprint (the rest of our family uses Sprint).

You know, this is really sounding silly, but it is were we are. We will re-evaluate when the Sprint contract is up. Grin, snort, snort...sounds a bit like the old "who's on first" routine. Anyway, this is why I need a bluetooth headset that will support two devices at the same time.
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:02 PM   #9
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... Anyway, this is why I need a bluetooth headset that will support two devices at the same time.

OK, I gotcha now. I guess you really do need the 'multi-point' technology then.

Here's a link with a bunch of them and reviews. So maybe someone can chime in with their personal experience with one of these -

Bluetooth headsets with multipoint - CNET Reviews

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Old 01-31-2011, 11:36 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone. I'd really like some feedback on:

"It looks like one of the major differences between the Pro+ and the BA Q2, aside from looks, is that the Q2 identifies incoming calls by the contact name and the Pro+ doesn't. OTOH, Pro+ reconnects automatically when music, etc. is paused for incoming calls, then returns to music/pod casts, etc. Q2 doesn't always do this and must be manually reset. I'm just repeating what I've read; don't have any experience to evaluate the pros and cons. Also, Q2 offers the voice/reading/commands free in its software whereas Pro+ gives you 1 year of the software, then it cost thereafter. Again, no experience to evaluate. Any real life experience you can share in these areas/options would be most appreciated."

I know it would be nice to have incoming calls identified by contact name. We currently do this by assigning specific ringtones to our frequent callers. Other than that, I have no experience to evaluate the options.
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:34 AM   #11
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A few factors to think about. I'll confess I didn't have much luck with Bluetooth headphones.

Are you going to wear it all the time in case someone calls? If so, then it is important to have one that is comfortable and won't easily fall off.

Are you going to use it in more than one place? Will you wear it when you are out and about and will you put it in your purse and then fish it out to answer it?

If you will be using it more than one place you need to look at charging and battery. When I had one that I used at home and then when I was gone it was constantly running out of juice when I was out and about with no charger. Or, I would leave it at home charging and not have it when I need it.

If you don't plan to wear it all the time and plan to keep it in a pocket or something at home ... will it fit?

Just a few things to think about in addition to the technology part.

Oh -- something that may have changed since it has been awhile since I had one. I didn't always want to wear my headset (for example at my office). So I would take off the headset and put it in my purse. And maybe have my phone on my desk. Well, when someone would call me the bluetooth headset in my post would automatically pick up. I would try to talk on the phone and I couldn't since everything was being routed through the headset. I would then try to fish out the headset and by the time I did that, of course, the person calling would have hung up.
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Old 02-01-2011, 05:50 AM   #12
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I have had three of them, the Jawbone has been the best by far. It cost about a hundred bucks, but worth it compared to the 30-50 dollar models I've had. I only use one phone so I can't answer the question about using two at the same time. Sorry.

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Old 02-01-2011, 06:43 AM   #13
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BT is a 'standard', however there are different BT versions - AND, there is a BT LE coming out soon - BT low energy- it will use less battery power so your mobile as well as the ear bud may have longer work times between charging/battery changes.

Also, need to be aware of any other BT appliances that may be using the same device - I think there's a limit of 5 per BT channel....
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post
A few factors to think about. I'll confess I didn't have much luck with Bluetooth headphones.

Are you going to wear it all the time in case someone calls? If so, then it is important to have one that is comfortable and won't easily fall off.

Are you going to use it in more than one place? Will you wear it when you are out and about and will you put it in your purse and then fish it out to answer it?

If you will be using it more than one place you need to look at charging and battery. When I had one that I used at home and then when I was gone it was constantly running out of juice when I was out and about with no charger. Or, I would leave it at home charging and not have it when I need it.

If you don't plan to wear it all the time and plan to keep it in a pocket or something at home ... will it fit?

Just a few things to think about in addition to the technology part.

Oh -- something that may have changed since it has been awhile since I had one. I didn't always want to wear my headset (for example at my office). So I would take off the headset and put it in my purse. And maybe have my phone on my desk. Well, when someone would call me the bluetooth headset in my post would automatically pick up. I would try to talk on the phone and I couldn't since everything was being routed through the headset. I would then try to fish out the headset and by the time I did that, of course, the person calling would have hung up.

Hmmm...good points all. Wearing a headset all the time for only a few calls per day...hmmm. I am assuming that charging it at night would keep the battery going all day. Hmmm...
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:52 AM   #15
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BT is a 'standard', however there are different BT versions - AND, there is a BT LE coming out soon - BT low energy- it will use less battery power so your mobile as well as the ear bud may have longer work times between charging/battery changes.

Also, need to be aware of any other BT appliances that may be using the same device - I think there's a limit of 5 per BT channel....
Will have to check the LE out...

Will be useful, if I wear it, keep it charged, etc.

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Old 02-01-2011, 12:17 PM   #16
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I found this:

"One of the ways Bluetooth devices avoid interfering with other systems is by sending out very weak signals of about 1 milliwatt. By comparison, the most powerful cell phones can transmit a signal of 3 watts. The low power limits the range of a Bluetooth device to about 10 meters (32 feet), cutting the chances of interference between your computer system and your portable telephone or television. Even with the low power, Bluetooth doesn't require line of sight between communicating devices. The walls in your house won't stop a Bluetooth signal, making the standard useful for controlling several devices in different rooms.

Bluetooth can connect up to eight devices simultaneously. With all of those devices in the same 10-meter (32-foot) radius, you might think they'd interfere with one another, but it's unlikely. Bluetooth uses a technique called spread-spectrum frequency hopping that makes it rare for more than one device to be transmitting on the same frequency at the same time. In this technique, a device will use 79 individual, randomly chosen frequencies within a designated range, changing from one to another on a regular basis. In the case of Bluetooth, the transmitters change frequencies 1,600 times every second, meaning that more devices can make full use of a limited slice of the radio spectrum. Since every Bluetooth transmitter uses spread-spectrum transmitting automatically, it’s unlikely that two transmitters will be on the same frequency at the same time. This same technique minimizes the risk that portable phones or baby monitors will disrupt Bluetooth devices, since any interference on a particular frequency will last only a tiny fraction of a second."

You might want to check with someone that has used bluetooth, that range seems a little long. I don't think I could get 32 feet from my computer and still have my mouse work. Walls might be a problem.
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:34 PM   #17
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I found this:

You might want to check with someone that has used bluetooth, that range seems a little long. I don't think I could get 32 feet from my computer and still have my mouse work. Walls might be a problem.

From what I've read in reviews, 32 feet might be a stretch; hopefully, 15 feet and one wall is doable. DD does ok around one corner in the house and it is even OK out the front door...until it closes, then the call drops. Not bad.

I'm still wondering about the usefulness of the various options offered by the higher end BT headsets.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:31 AM   #18
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I recently bought a new headset after narrowing my choices down to the same two models for many of the same reasons that you have listed: Plantronics Voyager Pro Plus and BluAnt Q2

I finally went with the Plantronics Voyager Pro Plus mostly because I had such good luck with my previous Plantronics Voyager Pro (sadly, lost on a plane). Noise canceling is excellent: Had a conference call from a truck yesterday and no one knew I was not in the office. I used to even make calls from a top down convertible using my old Plantronics Voyager Pro in the summer.

These Plantronics models are significantly bulkier than most blue tooth headsets; but, I do not find them uncomfortable to wear. However, some people have commented that they look really dorky.

My new one has been able to hold a connection for at least 30 feet including an exterior wall; but, so many factors are involved that it would be hard to predict for your situation. (Call quality seriously degrades at the extremes; but, it does maintain the connection very well.)

You may be able to get most of the features you wanted on the Q2 via software on your phone (rather than on the headset). This was my plan; but, I have not pursued it yet.

Good luck; frankly, I'm guessing you will be happy with either choice.
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:32 AM   #19
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I recently bought a new headset after narrowing my choices down to the same two models for many of the same reasons that you have listed: Plantronics Voyager Pro Plus and BluAnt Q2

I finally went with the Plantronics Voyager Pro Plus mostly because I had such good luck with my previous Plantronics Voyager Pro (sadly, lost on a plane). Noise canceling is excellent: Had a conference call from a truck yesterday and no one knew I was not in the office. I used to even make calls from a top down convertible using my old Plantronics Voyager Pro in the summer.

These Plantronics models are significantly bulkier than most blue tooth headsets; but, I do not find them uncomfortable to wear. However, some people have commented that they look really dorky.

My new one has been able to hold a connection for at least 30 feet including an exterior wall; but, so many factors are involved that it would be hard to predict for your situation. (Call quality seriously degrades at the extremes; but, it does maintain the connection very well.)

You may be able to get most of the features you wanted on the Q2 via software on your phone (rather than on the headset). This was my plan; but, I have not pursued it yet.

Good luck; frankly, I'm guessing you will be happy with either choice.
Thanks for your post! I think reception and noise suppression will be key factors for me, and the ability to crank up the volume will be key for DH. I am curious as to whether you use any of the "other features" enough to make them part of the purchasing choice, or was it past performance of the Pro that was the deciding factor?
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:40 AM   #20
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Thanks for your post! I think reception and noise suppression will be key factors for me, and the ability to crank up the volume will be key for DH. I am curious as to whether you use any of the "other features" enough to make them part of the purchasing choice, or was it past performance of the Pro that was the deciding factor?
No problem; glad I could help. (I rarely have anything useful to share with this group. Somebody else usually gets here first with good information.)

For the Pro+, noise suppression was exactly what I expected: Excellent.

Range/reception were actually better than I expected.

I liked the idea of the Q2 features (text to speech, announcements, etc.); but, I am pretty sure I can make my phone (the Droid 2 Pro) do all, or at least most, of those things if I ever get around to installing and configuring the proper apps.

I did need the multi-point technology since I also have poor cell reception in the house and keep it paired with my land line phone as well as my cell which I why I narrowed my search down to the same two models you are considering.

A couple of things finally pushed me to the Pro+
  • Past experience with the Pro
  • Good deal (saved $30) when I ordered it with my new phone

One possible caveat for you: The volume for the Pro+ does not go quite as high as I would like. I actually have good hearing when my sinuses aren't acting up; but, I would like to be able to get the volume a bit louder in noisy situations. So, your husband might have issues with this. But, I have no idea if the Q2 has any better volume.
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