Bluetooth Roundup: The Best of the Best
Smartphones are a perfect example of the progression of cellular tech, but if you’re like me, one thing you hate to do with your smartphone is actually hold it against your ear. Smartphones were designed to do a lot of things, but comfort certainly wasn’t a priority. That’s exactly where Bluetooth Headsets come in, providing both comfort and convenience, and conveniently for you, we have a list of the current top dogs.
1: Jawbone Era
When it comes to high-end features and unparalleled audio quality, none does it better than the Jawbone Era. Not only is it capable of producing CD-quality audio, but it also includes features like “tap to answer” and “shake to pair” and other motion based controls; however, its best feature is the ability to receive software updates through Jawbone’s MyTALK platform. You can even get an Android/iPhone/BlackBerry app to tell you its battery level right on your phone’s screen. It lacks slightly in terms of comfort and also a volume button, but if you’re looking for the best in audio quality and useful, unique features, the Era is for you.
Plantronics has been in the Bluetooth business for years, and all of their headsets rank among the best. The Voyager Pro, in particular, offers excellent audio quality as well as a plethora of useful features, such as Smart Sensor, which can automatically route calls and play or pause your music. Its weakest link is its price, which is generally more than competing units.
3: BlueAnt Q2
The BlueAnt Q2 is a slightly more affordable alternative to the Era, featuring great voice clarity and even Text-to-Speech and access to Bing-411. The downside is that the physical controls are quite small and therefore cumbersome. This is remedied slightly be the integrated Voice-Command features, but this list of commands is quite long and difficult to memorize.
4: Sound ID 510
The Sound ID 510 may not look like much with its minimalistic design, but it packs a lot of features. Sound quality is on par with other premium headsets, but where it really excels is comfort. Its power toggle switch also works very well (a problem many Bluetooth headsets share); however, its other controls are managed via touch sensor making use while wearing it difficult. The Sound ID 510 also features an app for iPhone and Android users to customize your experience.
Another more affordable option, the Jabra EXTREME offers sound quality that rivals even the Era’s excellence. It also includes all of the features you’d expect from a premium Bluetooth headset, such as A2DP (which all of the units featured in this article include) and noise-cancellation. It isn’t particularly comfortable for extended use, though, and its volume controls are a bit too cramped to use easily while wearing it. Its price still makes it an excellent buy for those who only use Bluetooth on occasion, such as when driving or doing chores.