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Choosing the Right Bluetooth Headset

Over the past few years the popularity of Bluetooth headsets has skyrocketed, making it almost impossible to walk down the street without seeing somebody using one. This is, of course, because of the new laws being passed making it illegal to use your phone will driving. So, if it is time to hop on the technology bandwagon and grab a Bluetooth headset there a few things you must look in to before making a purchase.

Comfort
The main thing to look for in a Bluetooth headset is comfort. This is especially true for people that will be using there Bluetooth headsets for hours at a time. For the most part the comfort of the device is strictly preference but looking at the different types of devices, some are made more for certain uses. One type of Bluetooth headset is earbud. These are the Bluetooth headsets that stick in your ear and that is that. These devices are best used for minimal use since they can be uncomfortable over long periods of time. The next type of Bluetooth headset is over the ear. These headsets work like earbuds except they also have a plastic piece that goes around the outside of the ear. This type is better for holding the headset on but will still cause discomfort over time. The last type of Bluetooth headset is headset style. These Bluetooth devices look like old telephone headsets and wrap over your head. This type of headset does not fit inside the ear and is sturdy in place which makes it the best choice for long periods of use.

Headset Range
Since Bluetooth headsets are meant for short range tethering with your cell phone, you aren’t going to be able to find one that operates at more then 30 feet.  Bluetooth headsets were originally designed for short-range transmissions and that is how they will stay. With that said there are still a few things to look at for range of a Bluetooth headset. One factor to consider is electrical interference. Things like TVs, other Bluetooth device, and cordless phones can lower the range at which a Bluetooth device will operate. This won’t effect too many people, since the phone is in their pocket, but if you are planning to leave your phone somewhere else and you are surrounded by electrical equipment, making sure you have a Bluetooth headset with the 30 foot range will be necessary. There is also the option of buying a high-powered Bluetooth headset to extend the operating range closer to 300ft, but for most people the cost isn’t worth the benefit.

Battery Life
Battery life for a Bluetooth headset is a big factor, especially for people that will be constantly using it throughout the day. Luckily, Bluetooth headsets, because of their short range, have very good battery lives no matter what, but of course, some will be better then others. On average a Bluetooth headset will get between 2 and 10 hours of talk time and 25 to 250 hours of standby time on a single charge. These numbers vary of course and if you are someone who would need longer talk or standby times you would need a better Bluetooth. But remember, a bigger battery means a better Bluetooth means a higher price tag.

What Can it Do.
Since Bluetooth headsets came out there have been 2 major upgrades to the commands and functions they can understand. It all started with Bluetooth 1.1. This Bluetooth profile allows the Bluetooth headset to do basic tasks such as making and receiving phone calls. The next Bluetooth profile that is widely used is Bluetooth 1.2. This profile for Bluetooth headsets offers a major advantage over Bluetooth 1.1 in call clarity and resistance to electrical interference. Bluetooth 1.2 achieves there added clarity by being able to jump to different frequencies, choosing the one with least interference. The last major Bluetooth headset profile is Bluetooth 2.0. This profile adds a number of features that weren’t possible with 1.1 and 1.2. The biggest improvement to Bluetooth 2.0 is the range ability which is extended from 30 feet to 300ft, the improved sound quality, and the reduced power consumption. For the most part it is best to choose a Bluetooth headset that will fit your lifestyle. If the purpose of the headset is a phone call every now and then you may want to stick with Bluetooth 1.1 and 1.2 headsets but if you will be using your Bluetooth headset around job sites or electrical interference profile 2.0 would be a better bet. Plus, with Bluetooth 2.0 you can even listen to music from you device. Of course the range of 300ft and the music playing capabilities will only be available on the higher priced models.

Sound Quality
With Bluetooth headsets sound quality can be a factor, especially for those people that will be using it in a very noisy environment. For the most part each Bluetooth device will have quality very close to its competition, but there are exceptions. Some Bluetooth headsets have been equipped with noise-cancelling or digital signal processing technology which can really boost the sound quality. For the average customer this type of device would be above and beyond what they need, but for some people without these features the Bluetooth headset would be useless. Of course with added technology comes decreased battery life but a few hours less of talk time is worth being able to hear the person you are talking to.

Security
Security in the world of Bluetooth headsets never seemed to fully catch on. As far as wireless technology goes, Bluetooth is one of the least secure wireless technology standards available to consumers. This sounds a lot worse than it is though, when you consider the short range and use of a Bluetooth headset. Nevertheless, there are 2 main types of security breach when speaking about Bluetooth headsets. The first security break made possible by Bluetooth technology is called Bluejacking. This is a relatively harmless act where another Bluetooth user send messages to your phone through a Bluetooth connection. The second breach is a bit worse then the first and is called Bluesnarfing. Bluesnarfing is when a person steals data such as contacts, or calendar information from your device through Bluetooth. Because of these security breaches it is recommended that you disable the discover mode setting on you device to prevent unauthorized access.