Review of BlueAnt V1 and Plantronics Voyager Pro - the two most expensive blueto
Date: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 @ 07:00:05 EST
Topic: Consumer Info


Review of BlueAnt V1 and Plantronics Voyager Pro - the two most expensive bluetooth headsets

Blueant V1 $130 at Best Buy $69.99 at Compusa
Plantronics Voyager Pro $99.99 at Best Buy

The scoop on the (supposedly) two top Bluetooth headsets paired up with a Nokia N-95 shows both are poor performers.

Both headsets had poor communication with the phone and garbled most speech with the phone strapped to my waist. Most of the time, it was necessary to have the phone within 18 inches of the ear piece to prevent garbling. And it had to be oriented just right.

This poor communication, losing communication, garbling, static and other interference that often requires ending a conversation seems common among those who have tried blue tooth headsets for hands free cell phone operation.

It’s not that they don’t work, it’s that they don’t work well. And the market is so flooded with an infinite variation of these trinkets that advertisers have resorted to all kinds of hype to attract buyers. One good example is the Plantronics Voyager Pro. The video shows a girl in a wind tunnel with the wind blowing sideways across her face. She is speaking beautifully clear despite the intense wind. What the video doesn’t show is what happens if she turns slightly one way or the other. Even a slight breeze when your faced into the wind will make enough wind interference to preclude intelligible speech.

Voyager: We paired this up with a Nokia N95 after seeing the video. It was big and clumsy, too much wind noise even with a slight breeze, and it didn't communicate well with the N95. Audio quality was okay. So much for the voyager… it went back the same day.

Blueant V1: If you’re a busy person on the phone a lot, the V1 will drive you nuts. Things like having to recharge it once or twice a day, having to remember commands that allow you to turn off the annoying LED every time you turn on your headset. This LED flashes every few seconds drawing attention from everyone who thinks you’re trying to be a kid with those flashing LED sneakers.

But even more annoying for busy people on the phone a lot… its battery is far too weak and although they claim 5 hours of speech, it’s probably more like 3 hours before its in trouble communicating with your phone.

And usually once or twice a day in the midst of a conversation, it will totally freak out and becomes unusable. We had to wait 5 minutes to get it to turn off. Then we had to reset it to get it going… embarrassing when important business is being conducted.

We found for an average busy day it had to be recharged at least once. Despite all the fancy battery charging options, who wants to carry around a bag full of wires and adaptors where ever they go?

And its performance like the Voyager Pro was dismal at best although better in the wind head on. Audio quality was okay but not up to the clarity and intelligibility of the handset. We found that the Nokia N95 couldn’t be more than two feet away to eliminate static and garbling. And if you carry your phone on your waist on the opposite side of the earpiece… even that will cause garbling. So much for the 30 feet they brag about. We found out from the manufacturer, that 30 foot range is under optimum conditions for communication… not necessarily clear speech.

On the good side, some of the voice commands are useful but we found it doesn't always understand the voice commands. And occasionally in some environments, saying the word “answer” to receive the call didn’t work and so we lost the call.

It fits nicely and wears well although like most it blocks out a little high frequency sound from your ear.

It easily is better bang for the buck than the Voyager Pro but don’t get shafted at Best Buy where you pay full list price. Save yourself $60.00 and buy on line or at Compusa.











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