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Our top picks for Bluetooth headsets
Trying to have a phone conversation in a crowded place is virtually impossible. Noise comes at you from all directions and it's hard to make out what the person on the other end is saying. At the same time, they can hardly pick out your voice among the babble surrounding you, so what do you do if there's no quiet space to continue your chat? Thanks to mobile phones we are all connected nearly all the time, and if someone calls us the chances are it can't wait for another time, so we just have to take the call and try and understand what they're saying as best we can. Speakerphone mode can also be a challenge in the car, when used as a hands free option. Engine and road noise, ambient noise from other passengers and loud vehicles passing by all contribute to a noise wall that masks your voice from being heard.
The answer to these problems is a Bluetooth telephone headset. Many of these nowadays are designed specifically for use with mobile phones, in order to address the noise clash issue and make people who work on the move more productive. Bluetooth headsets typically incorporate noise isolating and noise cancelling technology, in both the earpiece and the microphone, ensuring that your voice is heard above other noises, and that you can hear your call partner clearly over the din. Battery life is a consideration that may be a big or a small issue depending on your use of the equipment. It may be the case that connectivity is most important; therefore a long stand-by time is best. If a lot of communication takes place through your Bluetooth headset then talk-time is the metric that you need to look at.
Although some people find earbuds uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time, it is worth considering the in-ear models if you regularly work in loud places, as they are slightly more efficient at cutting out background noise. The fit can be adjusted by using one of several styles of in-ear cushion supplied with the headset to make the fit more comfortable. It should go without saying that in-ear Bluetooth headsets should never be shared unless a new cushion is in place first, as sharing earbuds can spread infections very fast.
We love the Plantronics Voyager Legend Mobile model, which is equipped with three microphones that ensure consistent and clear sound even when faced with wind, movement and background noise. Voice control features allow you to be truly hands free, answering and declining calls as the headset announces the name of the caller through the earpiece. Tap and talk functionality is also available and you can check the battery life at the touch of a button, or by checking the app on your mobile phone. It is lightweight and comfortable to wear all day, and with an impressive 11 days standby time you will forget you're even wearing it. The Plantronics Voyager Legend charges in 90 minutes via the desktop charger and gives 7 hours of talk time on a full charge, more than enough to get you through the working day. The optional charging carry case can also hold two full charges, allowing you to recharge the headset twice, without access to a mains charger, which is great for people who travel a lot, or who have busy schedules and no time to charge up. At $84.14, this is a great buy and a must-have item for businesspeople on the go.
The Jabra Motion UC MS Bluetooth telephone headset is our top pick for office based executives. At $130.70 it is a little more expensive than the Plantronics model above, but we think the sleek design and effortless wear-ability of this headset is worth a little more. The futuristic looking design complements the shape of the ear and is so unobtrusive you may not even notice it's on. When not in use the microphone arm folds up so it can slide into a pocket for easy portability – a lot of other Bluetooth mobile headsets are bulkier and obvious in a suit pocket, but not this stylish example. The Jabra Motion can connect to mobiles, tablets and VoIP software and allows you to transfer calls between devices, so you can leave your office for a meeting without having to end a call early. For offices with UC systems in place, this headset is a must for top executives and salespeople.
We have many more Bluetooth telephone headsets on our website to suit all budgets and all specifications, so if you are looking for something different head on over and check us out.