Bluetooth headset candidate #1: Jabra BT125

Jabra BT-125
Bluetooth version - 2.0
Range - 33 ft.
Talk time - up tp 8 hours
Stand-by - up to 170 hours
Charging time - approx. 2 hrs.
Weight - less than 0.5 ounce

MSRP: $39.99

This headset has quite a lot going for it: 1. can be purchased at a very attractive pricepoint for those first venturing into their first Bluetooth investment; 2. extremely lightweight; 3. great battery life; 3. reduced delay due in part by the new 2.0 spec (which is rare to find at this value), 4. comes from a very reputable company with an established trackrecord known for their headsets.

This headset is very light indeed, and I was able to wear it all day without worry for slippage even when running on a treadmill. It is easy to switch the hook for the left or right ear and, unlike some of their initial models, doesn't have a gel that goes into the ear canal. Instead it has a slightly raised and angled speaker that rests outside the ear and protrudes just enough so that the sounds can be focused quite accurately into the ear - this is a very desired feature that enhances the comfort.

Controls are minimal and simple - one mutli-use button on the outside for all the call and power functions, and a thin unsightly rocker switch along the side of the unit for volume. People with large fingers may find controls a little hard to press, but functionality isn't difficult to attain at all. Pairing with all my phones were very simple to do and was achieved without a hitch.

Battery life is as advertised - in real world mixed usage I found myself charging it every 4th to 5th day.

Now, my issues with it is in terms of volume. I've tried some of the lesser-known brands at this pricepoint and cheaper, and the sound on the BT125 is much better than those - people on the receiving end wouldn't realize I was on a headset unless I mentioned it, nor did the quality of the voice being received sound tinny at all. However, I found volume to work best in quiet or carpeted rooms as well as in a hard-topped car driving on city steets. It unfortunately came short in freeway driving, or walking out on the busy streets of Downtown San Francisco, in a laundromat, at the supermarket, meeting halls, and especially in my convertible with the top up. People on the other end also made metion of noticing decreased quality in those unideal situations. There is no noise/echo/wind cancellation so trying this on a windy day or even with the top down on my car is out of the question - believe me, I've tried!

If you would like an entry-level headset, this isn't too bad of a choice as it really comes through in features as advertised. Volume seems to be the trade-off at this pricepoint, but if you don't plan to use it in the environments I had problems in, then this would be a worthy add-on to your device.

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