How to Shop for Bluetooth Headsets

by David Lipscomb Google

    Modern smartphones and many feature phones support Bluetooth wireless technology. Restrictions regarding cell phone use on the road in many states make choosing the right Bluetooth headset an important consideration if your car doubles as an office extension. A Bluetooth headset should provide a combination of call clarity, comfort and solid battery life, so that you can rely on it for important calls.

    Step 1

    Test the fit of a few Bluetooth headsets in the store if possible. Wipe down each sample with an alcohol wipe, since others probably had the same idea. Check for in-ear comfort and an ear clip so the device is less prone to falling out when you're on the move.

    Step 2

    Take the time to evaluate the location and ergonomics of each control to make calls, adjust the volume and mute a caller. These controls should feel intuitive while the unit is in your ear.

    Step 3

    Link your phone to the sample headset if it a functioning unit. See how long it takes for your phone to pair with the device. Long pairing times are annoying if you're constantly on-the-go and need your phone immediately.

    Step 4

    Examine the specifications of each Bluetooth headset to check for estimated battery life. You want solid life from the unit between charges so you don't drop calls unexpectedly, and to ensure solid signal at extended distances. Remember that many of the units offering the best battery life are not the sleeker headsets you may be envisioning. Some units offer an audible or visual remaining battery indicator.

    Step 5

    Find a unit with noise cancellation. Bluetooth headsets are frequently used outdoors where wind, traffic and crowd noise might make it hard for your conversation partner to hear you.

    Step 6

    Choose a unit that employs conventional mini-USB charging instead of a proprietary format. You probably have at least one of these cables already. Reducing the amount of cables you need to remember to have on-hand helps save time and annoyance.

    Step 7

    Determine if the Bluetooth headset offers A2DP. This Bluetooth protocol allows streaming of music, navigation directions and other non-voice content.

    Tips

    • Always take the time to read reviews from various sites to see what actual owners of Bluetooth headsets have to say about their devices.
    • Bluetooth headsets come in a range of prices. Devices receiving favorable user reviews, as of October 2012, include the inexpensive Jabra EasyGo, mid-range Plantronics Savior M1100 and high-end Bose Bluetooth Headset Series 2 offering advanced ergonomic and performance features.

    Required Items

    • Alcohol wipes

    About the Author

    David Lipscomb is a professional writer and public relations practitioner. Lipscomb brings more than a decade of experience in the consumer electronics and advertising industries. Lipscomb holds a degree in public relations from Webster University.

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages, Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images