A cell phone Bluetooth headset allows a user to talk on their phone through a headset without wires. The lack of a wire is more convenient than traditional headsets as the user does not have to worry about tangling cables as they move around. These headsets are self powered and thus produce better sounds and tend to be more comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. There are many reasons to use a headset when talking on a cell phone besides convenience. Studies have shown that people are distracted by cell phones when driving so much so that many states have outlawed talking on a cell phone without a headset while operating a vehicle. In addition, many scientists have become concerned that heavy cell phone usage may expose the user to cellular radiation an increase the chance for some cancers. It makes good sense to use a cell phone Bluetooth headset if you use your cell phone frequently.
When selecting a new cell phone Bluetooth headset, you should decide if you want a stereo or mono headset. The original cell phone Bluetooth headset only produced monophonic sound reproduction. They worked very well if the user is only listening to a phone call. But the many new cell phones have Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) or the stereo Bluetooth headset profile. This feature allows the cell phone to reproduce stereo sound which is great for music but for listen to phone calls through both ears. Unfortunately, stereo Bluetooth headsets are bigger than a mono model, tend to be more expensive and require more battery power. It is really a choice based on how you plan to use the headset. Some Bluetooth headsets attempt to get the best of both worlds. For example, the Plantronics Voyager 855 is a mono headset that the user can attach a second speaker to listen in stereo.
The primary criteria for selecting a new headset is to find one that picks up your voice accurately as well as plays back sound clearly. Many times a cell phone is used in the car or in windy conditions. Some Bluetooth headsets have noise canceling capability to remove the background noise to make the speaker's clear. This works by having a second microphone listen for background sounds and filter these non-speaking sounds out. A well implemented noise canceling cell phone Bluetooth headset can make speaking in even the nosiest car audible. In addition, if you want improved reception, look for a headset and phone that support Bluetooth 1.2 which has frequency hopping. Frequency hopping has the ability to switch radio frequencies if it detects interference for better reception.
Bluetooth headset features to consider:
- Ability to connect to multiple devices without resetting the pairing. Some cell phone Bluetooth headsets have the ability to connect to a second or more devices without having to pair again. This is a nice convenience if you have more than one Bluetooth device. Even better, some headsets can pair to an mp3 player and to a phone at the same time allowing you to listen to music and receive phone calls.
- Consider getting a Bluetooth version 2.1 if you want to eliminate the need to set up a PIN when setting up a Bluetooth pairing.
- Consider how long the battery on a headset lasts without a use as well as how long it will last while talking on the phone. You want to measure the longest amount of time you talk during the day and check for headsets that will support that time or the headset will run out of juice just when you most need it.
- Consider getting a cell phone Bluetooth headset that supports handsfree as well as headset profiles. Headset profiles are for the standard cell phone connections. The handsfree profile is used to listen to car speakerphones or for use with a computer.
- If you only use a Bluetooth headset in the car, consider getting a Bluetooth car speakerphone. You do not have to put the speakerphone in your ear to use it or constantly worry about remembering to take it along with you.