So you have your shiny new smartphone, but spend most your time on the road or at a desk? If your life requires hands free calling then you’ll need a headset, let us help you through the buyer’s dilemma of picking the right one.
- Will it work with my device?
A lot of people get caught up wondering if a specific model headset will work with a specific smartphone or other device. For the vast majority of our experiences, everything works with everything else. We’ve had cheap $100 stereos connect, we’ve had all but one headset connect to all consoles, iPads and laptops – and we believe that didn’t work because it was faulty! Unless your device is 5 or more years old there shouldn’t be a problem with any headset you choose. The key information to know is that Bluetooth is backwards compatible, so if your headset supports version 4 you know it will work on a smartphone that is version 2 or 3. If you are still unsure just look out for headsets labelled as Bluetooth Ready as this means they will work with anything that has Bluetooth.
- Do you wear glasses?
Headsets are getting sleeker, more adjustable and comfortable. Unfortunately if you wear glasses those darn earhooks continue to cause varying levels of frustration. We suggest avoiding tight fitting or non-removable earhooks and focus on headsets that go directly in the ear. The biggest problem with glasses and earhooks is not so much the discomfort but the frustration of where your glasses arm ends up resting on your ear. It either ends up pressed against your head, slightly angled resting on the earhook or balancing on the edge of your ear. If you can cope with any of these then the earhook might be fine for you, if not there are some great in-ear solutions like the Jabra Stealth or Voyager Edge, you could even go for something less sleek, like the BlueParrott head clamp (don’t let our silly name put you off).
- Does it have that new cool feature?
One feature we see a lot of questions about is “does this headset announce the caller?”, the truth is most do but you need to connect your contact list to the headsets app, Google or wherever you’re required. The truth is the first time we got a charging case we were in awe. The first time we were voice-to-text messaging we were excited. Features are great but once that shine wears off, you’ll be more content if the headset doesn’t keep dropping the Bluetooth signal, the talk time battery life is long, voice and sound is clear and noise reduction works. These are the features you need, so make sure the headset does these things first because without them, you’ll end up regretting any purchase once the shine of exciting features wears off. This doesn’t mean you should ignore the cool features, for example having quick access to Siri, Google Now or Samsung S is vital to keep your smartphone hands free. We just recommend ensuring the headset does what it’s made for first.
- Where will you use the headset?
Will you be on the road, in an office, at the gym, on long commutes or just chilling around the house? The more active you are the tighter you need the headset to fit, so look for retail packages that include multiple sized eartips or earhooks. Without these things you’ll find the headset will fly off and either get damaged or lost in the process. Plus there is nothing worst than dropping your headset and having to reach around for it in the car. Additionally, the more busy the environment the better your noise cancellation must be. Noise cancellation can be the difference between a useful or useless headset. Finally, decide whether you’ll need something sleek because nothing turns heads like a hulking chunk of plastic sticking out your ear in public.
- Compare Prices and Reviews!
So you’ve figured out that you want a headset for the road with the best noise reduction and an in-car charger? Great – the next step is reading what other users think. The best place to do this is on Amazon. Don’t expect 100% positive reviews with headsets, everyone’s experience is different so focus on what people say about warranty, durability and comfort before finding the best price.