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Some GREAT Bluetooth devices & how to choose them!

Last updated on: December 3, 2010 14:22 IST

Some GREAT Bluetooth devices & how to choose them!

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Pheji Phalghunan, Outlook Money

A recent TV commercial of a mobile service provider claims to break language barriers with a new language service.

But what needs a special mention is the hands-free set that all the actors use to talk to each other without being conspicuous.

Hands-free Bluetooth devices have emerged as a useful tool for the ones constantly on the move, or for those who have things to take care of even as they talk over the phone.

Not to mention the younger generation that believes multi-tasking is an indispensable skill given the fast-paced world we live in.

With the technology's cost having come down substantially, the market has several models to offer. Here are the things you should know and take care of before you embark on that journey to life without wires.

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Some GREAT Bluetooth devices & how to choose them!

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A bit of trivia

The Bluetooth technology gets its name from the Viking King Harald Bluetooth, who ruled Norway and Denmark approximately between 958 and 970.

Famous for his communication skills, he brought people together to talk and share thoughts with each other.

The idea behind the invention of these miniature gadgets was to make driving hassle-free even as people talked on the mobile phone. Although it is still debatable whether it is safe to talk while driving, the hands-free technology has started gaining access to our daily routines.

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Some GREAT Bluetooth devices & how to choose them!

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Says Amit Shrivastava, editor, Know Your Mobile India, a review forum providing information on happenings in the Indian mobile phone market: "Bluetooth was expensive to deploy in most consumer goods when it was first invented. As component costs have come down, the technology has become economical enough to be installed in more devices."

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), headquartered in Kirkland, Washington, US, is the body that administers quality, technological developments, specifications and licensing of the technology.

The leaders in Bluetooth technology, such as Ericsson, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia and Toshiba, are all members of the SIG.

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Some GREAT Bluetooth devices & how to choose them!

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Some Popular Models

Samsung HM1000: This Bluetooth headset from Samsung Electronics comes with features such as Active Pairing, Noise Reduction & Echo Cancellation and Automatic Volume Control.

Sony Ericsson HBH-PV740: Sony is known for offering a host of features in an aesthetic package. This model comes with digital sound, a status display with power indicator and alternative carrying and charging solutions.

Nokia BH-60: From the house of India's most popular cell phone manufacturer, this model comes with a customisable My Own Key, noise-free audio quality and high-speed charging.

Jabra STONE: This headset from Jabra, a global leader in hands-free solutions, comes with a technology that uses dual microphones to reduce background noise.

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Some GREAT Bluetooth devices & how to choose them!

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Compatibility Issues

Compatibility is one of the most important things you should look for before deciding on a model.

One company's Bluetooth headset may or may not be compatible with another company's phone.

For example, a Nokia Bluetooth headset is compatible only with Nokia phones, which is usually the case with other phone manufacturers who have their own Bluetooth models.

On the other hand, something like a Jabra STONE will be compatible with most regular brands such as Blackberry, Nokia, HTC, Samsung, Motorola and Sony Ericsson. However, it's best not to assume anything and double check it at the point of purchase.

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Some GREAT Bluetooth devices & how to choose them!

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Device and the detail

To get started, you would need to initiate a connection between your headset and phone, which is also known as creating 'sync'.

Your Bluetooth headset will have a unique name and a password, which you need to supply to establish the connection. This is done to avoid the headset from getting paired with any other Bluetooth-enabled device in the vicinity.

Most mobile phone manufacturers have their own Bluetooth headsets in the market. Some popular Bluetooth models available in the market are Plantronics Discovery, Altec Lansing-Blackbeat, Jabra STONE, Samsung-WEP850, Nokia BH-902, Jabra BT3030 and Nokia BH-200.

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Some GREAT Bluetooth devices & how to choose them!

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Why go hands free? Apart from multitasking, this mobile phone accessory offers the user quite a few other advantages.

Convenience: Whether it is jogging, travelling, cooking or reading, with the help of a Bluetooth headset, you can now go wire-free. It can also be carried around when you are on the move.

Advanced features: Some new models, such as Nokia BH609, come with an option where you can listen to text messages, and even provide you with directions and time. Another offering from the same company, the Nokia Blue BH-217, allows you to connect with two phones at the same time. Sony Ericcson's HBH PV715 allows you to turn off the microphone during a call and lets you redial the last dialled number.

Lightweight: Most of these devices weigh 8-10g. So it is easy to wear them for long periods.

Affordability: These headsets aren't really heavy on the pocket, which makes them that much more attractive.

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Some GREAT Bluetooth devices & how to choose them!

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Things to consider

To get the best of the several models available in the market, make sure that you do not ignore the following.

Compatibility: Check that the make you buy is compatible with your mobile phone.

Ergonomics: Keep in mind the ease with which it can be plugged into your ears and see how comfortable you are with it. Make sure that the model you buy sits well on your ears and can be adjusted comfortably. Adjustable ear loops will help customise the fit and prevent it from falling off.

Sound quality: Go for models that are especially designed to cut out or reduce wind and echo. This will ensure clarity of sound. Paying a few hundred bucks for better sound quality is a good idea.

Range: This indicates the perimeter within which the Bluetooth device can be connected to your phone. Most devices come with a system range of up to 10 metres.

Warranty: Go for a quality product that comes with a warranty of at least a year.Picking up a product from the roadside could prove to be expensive in the long run. Going for a brand makes sense.

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Battery life: Most models available in the market promise a talktime of 5-8 hours and a standby time of 180 hours when fully charged. Go for a device that has battery level indicators, which alert you when the battery is about to die.

Design: Your headset is not just a phone accessory, it also speaks volumes about your sense of style. Plus, a sleek design not only boosts aestheticity but also makes the device easier to carry. There is no dearth of smart-looking models in the market. Select one that goes with your style.

Buttons and controls: Go for a model with easy-to-use volume controls and commands that are not complicated to remember. Ease of use should be the device's USP.

Cost: Prices vary according to features. While you can buy a simple Bluetooth headset for as little as Rs 500, the more expensive ones can go up to Rs 5,000 and beyond. Buy one based on your needs as even a slight difference in features can result in a significant price difference.



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