Bluetooth headsets are becoming one of those dime-a-dozen type products, and every company seems to sell a model these days. Some of these support stereo audio, as well as standard headset properties for making calls, but what if you don’t like the headphones that are a permanent part of the headset?
(view large image)
Com One has recently begun offering a new accessory called the Micro Clip Bluetooth Stereo Headset which helps to solve this problem. This device lets you use any standard pair of headphones, and includes a microphone built in to the clip for handling two-way communication.
In Use with Different Headphones
With the key feature of this Bluetooth accessory being the flexibility to work with any headphones you choose, results may vary in terms of sound quality and volume levels. For my review, I am going to cover the stock earbuds, Apple iPod earbuds (everyone and their mom has these), and large Sennheiser HD280PRO headphones.
The stock earbuds are incredibly cheap feeling, but sound about average. They have a volume control built into the cord, which helps since there is no other volume control on the headset itself. For general use they worked fine, but were not the most comfortable earphones to wear.
(view large image)
Apple earbuds were a step up from the stock earbuds, and actually sounded pretty nice. They were a tad bit clearer sounding than the stock ones, as well as having more bass in music. Since my iPod has better headphones these were basically freebies to use. Since the Apple earbuds were much more comfortable, they worked out perfectly as a cheap replacement.
The Sennheiser HD280PRO headphones actually worked well for music, but were lacking almost all bass. Granted, few portable devices can drive bass for such large speaker elements, and the Sennheiser headphones probably weigh 20 times more than the Com One headset. Another problem I found was trying to hold a conversation using headphones that blocked out external noise; which made my voice sound really funny during phone calls. It would be similar to plugging your ears and listening to yourself speak. On the flip side, it was probably the best sounding conversation I have ever had with someone over a Bluetooth headset … incoming voices came through crystal clear.
With such a simple interface (no volume control on the headset) you can run into some problems depending on your configuration. On a notebook you can adjust the volume on the computer itself, but some devices depend on the headset to adjust the volume. My Motorola Q also had this problem to a lesser extent, but its volume control was very poor. I had to pick a setting on a scale of 1 to 5, which either was too loud or too quiet.
Having only one button on the headset really simplifies user control and setup. To pair the device with your phone or notebook, you start with the thing off, and then hold down the button for 5-10 seconds. When it’s ready to pair, the light will be solid with an occasional blink. During this time you have your phone or notebook search for an available device, and then pair with it. Now as long as your notebook or phone supports the needed profiles everything will install correctly behind the scenes.
For someone who is quite picky about what gets stuck in or around his ears, the Com One Micro Clip Bluetooth Stereo Headset is really nice since it lets me pick what headphones I want to use.
It gives you clear and static free audio for listening to music, movies, or holding a conversation, and is compatible with a wide range of Bluetooth devices. Best of all, you don’t have to keep a headphone cord connected to your notebook or smartphone.
Priced at $69.95 MSRP ($50 street price) it’s hard to say no if you love having new gadgets to play with.
The Com One Micro Clip Bluetooth Stereo Headset has the following features:
- Bluetooth v1.2, class 2, range up to 33 feet
- Supported Bluetooth profiles A2DP, Headset, Hands-Free
- Power: Li-Polymer rechargeable battery, 5 hour listening mode / 100 hour standby mode
- 1/8 inch Headphone jack