Bluetooth to the rescue

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Bluetooth to the rescue
By Inam Abidi Amrohvi for GULF NEWS Published: June 15, 2008

Inam Abidi Amrohvi helps you pick the right wireless headset

Mobile phones have become an essential part of our lives. Businesses rely on them as much as they do on email. There are two issues, though, that must be addressed. One is obviously the battery. Although the average talk time across most models has improved considerably, it remains a problem, especially with smart phones. A possible solution is to carry an extra battery.

The other issue is its use while driving. You could use headphones, but using them is a pain; the wires get tangled most of the time. It’s here that the Bluetooth comes to the rescue.

Wired vs. wireless headsets

In simple terms Bluetooth is a short-range communications technology which does away with the need for wires. This wireless technology takes advantage of a 2.4GHz frequency to make it globally compatible. Using a wired headset is a cheaper option if you don’t mind wires hanging down from your ears. Bluetooth headsets on the other hand normally use only one ear.

And you need press just one button for calls. The headset needs to be charged, with the charge lasting a day or two depending on usage.

With advances in technology, the size and weight of Bluetooth headsets has gone down. As a friend of mine says about his Plantronics headset: “Sometimes I’ve to check whether I’m wearing one”, so small and light is the headset he is using.

Choosing the right one

For those graduating from wired to wireless the choice could be a tricky one. The Bluetooth market has flourished over the past few years. Now you have the basic models as well as the latest stereo headsets (you need them for a built-in radio and for a better music experience).

My advice is simple: look out for a reputed brand that offers a warranty on the model sold. Important considerations include the weight (as you have to wear it on your ear) and the talk time. As for the price, that’s something you pay for the quality.

My pick

There are a lot of Bluetooth headsets to choose from these days. I recommend the following:

– Plantronics Discovery 665: A small and very light (only 9 gm) headset. A single charge gives up to 3.5 hours of talk time. Discovery comes with technology that automatically optimises audio levels for both caller and receiver. Needless to say all this comes at a price. The Discovery 665 will set you back about Dh350.

– Plantronics Voyager 520: Launched recently in the UAE market, it’s a robust headset that delivers good sound quality. You could expect a commendable seven to eight hours of talk time. It’s a simple model with an ear loop that will appeal to people who fear the set falling down. The Plantronics Voyager 520 weighs 16 gm and costs around Dh275.

– Jabra JX10: This looks similar to Nokia BH-210 and weighs the same at around 10 gm. The talk time goes up to six hours. Price-wise it may be a little on the higher side at Dh265 but boasts good sound quality and an appealing style.

– Nokia BH-210: The features of this Bluetooth headset are more or less the same as the Jabra JX10. The sound quality may not be as good as Jabra but it is still pretty decent. You can own it for Dh140.

– Motorola H700: This again is a good looking headset that delivers good sound quality as well. It weighs 14 gm and has a talk time of up to six hours. H700 also has a folding microphone that turns the headset on and off. At Dh125 it’s a pretty good bargain.

– The prices mentioned above could vary from shop to shop.
Remember it’s all about ease of use; you could get a Bluetooth headset for as low as Dh50 but you may not be able to use it for long due to poor quality. I personally use the Plantronics Discovery and have no regrets whatsoever!

– The writer is a tecch guru who runs a trading
company in Dubai.

Disclaimer: The opinions and ideas expressed here are those of the author and in no way reflect the views of Notes on any technology.

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