A very empowering bluetooth headset - highly recommended!

Aug 4, 2010 (Updated Aug 4, 2010)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:- Updateable firmware for free
- Voice controlled with hardware options menu

Cons:-Random static during ongoing calls. Reason unknown thus far.
-Ear fit takes getting used to.

The Bottom Line: The Q1 is a very empowering headset and changes your lifestyle and how you make/receive calls; whether you are a power or average user! Highly recommended.

I misplaced my prior bluetooth headset (Plantronics Explorer 220 - Black) and needed a replacement as quickly as I could convince myself.

I am a Plantronics fan since a few years now (full disclosure!) and was hard-pressed to find a good headset which supported "multipoint" (which my earlier headset did not support) as I carry 2 phones (personal and office) on all working days. I also have been using the Q1 for exactly 5 days as of date (full disclosure again!).

Also I needed the headset not create synch-issues when I got into my car and my GPS bluetooth tried to synch with my personal phone.

What piqued my interest towards the BlueAnt was the following:

- Upgradeable firmware: which implies issues/bugs, usage features, etc. can be fixed or added in subsequent releases. I am big on this!! The user manual does segregate the features as they have changed between firmware updates.

- CallerID read-out: when receiving an incoming call so I dont have to look at which phone or who is calling me. I read in many reviews that the Q1 headset is able to store upto 2000 entries per paired device which will then read the name of the person calling. Have not tried this feature yet due to time constraints. But the callerid read-out works exactly as designed.

- Voice control: takes hands-free to the next level. It also provides a full hardware control menu which is awesome! The best voice control features that I really love are:
i) "Answer" or "Ignore" an incoming call from any phone paired with the Q1
ii) "Redial" the last dialed number irrespective of which paired device received was called
iii) "Call back" the last received call irrespective of which paired device received the call
iv) "Speed dial N" (where N is any number between 1 through 8) and can be stored on the Q1 headset itself. I have yet to set this up for myself.

- Voice recognition: The voice control is agnostic to user accents. A great feature which actually works as designed. I tried to fool it with different tones and it still recognized commands flawlessly!

- Noice supression: Needed this as I take important work-related calls while driving and it works well though not as awesome as some on my earlier bluetooth headsets. Have yet to hear someone complain about in-call background noise when I am driving!

- Ear fit options: Comes with 2 sizes of in-ear buds. I use the default fitted one. Also an optional/removeable over-the-ear loop allows you to use the headset as a in-ear or over-the-ear fit as per your preference. I use the over-ear-loop in my right ear.

Additional claims which I have not used/verified yet are:

- Bluetooh with EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) which is supposed to make data transfers (such as address book synch) a snap. Have not tried this yet.

- A2DP streaming: which allows your bluetooth headset to playback music from your phone or laptop. Unsure of what this protocol brings to the table, but I was able to stream music from phone to my headset with my Plantronics 220 as well and they didnt advertise A2DP support.

My original GPS-Bluetooth-Personal phone intergation is also solved with this headset in the equation. Now when driving my old GPS pairs with my personal phone seamlessly. Earlier my GPS and headset used to "fight" for control of my personal phone's bluetooth pairing forcing me to intervene every time and eventually unpair one of them!). Now the beauty is that I can dial-out or receive a call using my personal phone and select which bluetooth device to use - my GPS or my headset and they both work in tandem beautifully especially since the GPS routing turn directions get auto-supressed for the duration of the call even if I select to use the Q1 during the call! Unbelievable!

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