A Driver's Guide to Buying a Bluetooth Hands-free Headset

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A Driver's Guide to Buying a Bluetooth Hands-free Headset

Bluetooth technology is a wireless communication method for transmitting and receiving data over short distances. Peripheral computing devices like wireless mice, touchpads, and keyboards use Bluetooth technology to communicate with laptops and PCs. Bluetooth has become an integral element in mobile phone communication, particularly for those who need to communicate on the move. Delivery drivers, truckers, sales people, and others needing to talk to clients while on the road find the ability to make and receive mobile phone calls with the use of a hands free headset, invaluable.

About

Bluetooth headsets are small, lightweight pieces of equipment that should fit snugly and comfortably over the ear/s. In spite of their small size, they are packed with technical features and capabilities. Premium models include stereo sound, noise-cancelling, HD audio, voice prompts and commands, and battery sleep functions. Bluetooth headsets can be purchased separately or as part of a car kit. The range of Bluetooth equipment is only about 10 metres, but this is more than adequate for most vehicle drivers.

Choosing a Bluetooth Hands-Free Headset

The huge range of different styles and designs on the market can make finding the right model a somewhat time-consuming process. Remember to consider the primary purpose of the headset - how it will be used, and the essential functions it is required to perform. For example, will it be needed for making calls from noisy locations, and is a headset that can reduce background sounds additionally required? Will the headset be worn for long periods, meaning a comfortable lightweight fit is of primary importance?

Sound Controls and Quality

While there are a host of controls and features to consider before purchasing a hands-free headset, sound quality is one of the most important. If either party cannot properly hear those all-important phone calls, there is little point to having a headset at all.

Noise Cancellation

Noise cancellation technology is essential for drivers making and receiving phone calls while on the road. While the cabins and interiors of many vehicles provide some buffering from the sounds of the highway, open windows, stops for coffee, and other breaks will let in those background sounds. Bluetooth headsets can have either active or passive systems to address noise issues. Active: In active systems, noise cancellation technology within the headset is utilised to detect and correct for external noise. Passive: Passive headsets block out background noise by fitting snugly into or over the ears.

Stereo Audio 

High quality stereo sound is becoming increasingly common in Bluetooth headsets. These are great for listening to music on long drives. Buyers should check, however, whether this is at the expense of phone call quality, and if so, what level of degradation is caused. The headset should let the driver switch instantly to phone call mode without any manual involvement.

Features of Bluetooth Headsets

Bluetooth headsets can be packed with so many features that the buyer may find it a useful exercise to separate the nice to have, from the must have, features.

Battery Life

Drivers on the road for long periods of time need a battery life that will last for at least most of the day, and just require recharging overnight. Battery lives range from 9 hours to approximately 16 hours.

Compatibility

Another buying decision is whether to go brand specific or not with the Bluetooth handset. While the driver can be certain that a headset which is the same brand as the mobile phone will be compatible, there are numerous universal models that work perfectly well with many mobile phone brands.

Colours and Finishes

Hands-free Bluetooth headsets come in an enormous range of colours, finishes, and materials. Leather, chrome, transparent plastic, and metallic finishes are readily available. While black and silver tend to be a dominant colour theme, other contemporary colours include blue, gold, green, red, pink, and multi-coloured.

Foldable and Storable

Another feature to look at is the adjustability of the Bluetooth piece for travel and storage. Can it fold up quickly into a robust, easily stored package or will it need an individual container to protect it from accidental damage?

Size and Fit 

Generally, Bluetooth headsets come in two sizes: the compact, relatively unobtrusive items that are largely unnoticeable to observers, and larger items with standard sized headphones that fit over the head. The inconvenience of the larger headsets is offset by a more comfortable fit and good quality sound. Tradeoffs for the small compact sized headsets are lesser sound quality and shorter battery life. Customised Fit: As people's head and ear sizes differ greatly, good quality Bluetooth headsets and kits should come with a range of replaceable ear buds or ear tips. Over-the-head earphones and headsets should come with adjustable bands to enable a comfortable fit.

Voice Commands

If voice command features are important in the Bluetooth headset, check the range of commands that the intended model is capable of executing. At a minimum, the driver should be able to receive and cancel mobile phone calls. Other commands should enable the pairing connection between the headset and the mobile phone to be set up, and check on such things as battery status and remaining life.

Water resistant

Is the proposed headset capable of standing up to normal wear and tear. For example, is it water resistant and/or able to sustain being dropped on the ground on the odd occasion?

Wearing Style

Bluetooth headsets are available in a range of different wearing styles. These include, over-the-head / headbands (usually dual headphones), Sports neckbands, earbuds (in ear), Canal Earbuds (in ear canal), ear-cups (over the ear); also known as ear hooks, ear-pads (on the ear). Some models are specifically designed to accommodate eyeglass wearers.

Accessories

A range of accessories may need to be purchased with the Bluetooth hands-free headset. These include battery chargers, charger leads, and replacement parts such as spare batteries.

Condition

Drivers can purchase a wide range of new Bluetooth hands-free headsets with ease. If money is tight, however, looking at a used or refurbished headset might be a very good option. Lightly used headsets with minimal wear and tear can offer users new to using Bluetooth equipment an inexpensive introduction. While the buyer becomes familiar with features and works out what they want in the long run from Bluetooth, there are also choices to be made in buying manufacturer and seller refurbished pieces. As long as these are relatively inexpensive, they can offer excellent value before the driver decides to invest in a more expensive piece.

Finding a Bluetooth Hands-Free Headset on eBay

An extensive range of Bluetooth headsets from a large range of brands and models can be found on eBay. To find the most suitable headset/s, start at the eBay Home Page. Select the Shop by Category drop-down link at the top left hand of the page. A list of categories will be displayed, with a See all categories link at the bottom. Select See all categories and the master category list of eBay items will be displayed. Bluetooth hands-free headsets are found in the Mobile Phones & Communication category. Select that link and the categories within Mobile Phones and Communication page are displayed. Bluetooth headsets can be found under several of these sub-categories, but the major one is Mobile Phone & PDA Accessories.. Under this heading, select the More Categories link. An expanded list will be displayed with a Headsets link displayed. Select Headsets and many thousands of headsets will be displayed. Among these headsets are thousands of Bluetooth hands-free headsets, easily sorted by brand, earpiece type, design, wearing style and other features. Other categories worth having a look for Bluetooth headsets areMobile & Smart Phones, Radio Communication Equipment and Home Phones & Accessories.

Conclusion

Bluetooth hands-free headsets are flexible, powerful pieces of audio and vocal equipment. Small, yet feature packed, these items are invaluable for any drivers needing to make mobile phone calls while on the road, or travelling between work sites.

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