I never wanted to be one of those Trekkie-looking people with the Bluetooth headset attached to my ear jabbering on the phone. Then I ended up with a Blackberry, which is a great e-mail device and a fairly cumbersome telephone. So it made sense then to have the headset so I could keep the Blackberry on my hip or in my pocket.
(Lets back up for those who dont know what Bluetooth is. Its a short-range, fairly secure wireless product that lets you transmit data over 10 feet or less. You can use it to power cordless mice and keyboards, to beam your location from the GPS in your car to your cell phone or transmit your cell phone call to a remote headset.)
So one of my goals was to find a headset that wasnt too geeky yet offered uncompromising performance. (And I promised to always take it off when I wasnt on the phone.)
After trying a few I found the Jabra BT500. The main benefit of this little gem is that it fits behind your ear and not on top of it. It is sort of shaped like a crescent moon with the mouthpiece sliding out from under your ear.
The BT500 gives you one more thing you have to keep charged but it comes with both an AC adapter and a handy USB charger so you can keep it going from your PC if need be. It has a claimed 240 hours of standby time and 8 hours of talk time but I have never been on the phone that long.
A small earpiece snakes into your ear to allow you to hear the caller; some people may find that annoying but for me it helps me hear and note that it doesnt go into the ear cavity, just outside of it.
Overall its pretty small, measuring 4 by 2.4 by 0.6 inches and weighing only 0.7 ounces. I quit noticing it on my ear during long calls and I certainly appreciated the lack of wires from a conventional headset or having to hold a phone to my ear.
The downside? When youre walking along people think youre talking to yourself. I also wasnt crazy about the volume control but I only have to set it once.
List price is $119 but its often on sale at retail for less than $80. Details are at www.jabra.com
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