Jabra Bluetooth Headset

When you think about it, we’re lazy ! :) Not content with having a phone that we can use pretty much anywhere, we want to text anywhere, email anywhere and play MP3’s as we ride the train to work. Well, now we’re not even satisfied with hands-free.. Hey, who needs horrible cables ? Let’s build a tiny transmitter in and beam it a few metres. Sound crazy ? Well, it does a bit…. but for some weird reason, you still want one don’t you? Oh yes you do… Just have a look…




Important information before we begin!
This particular Bluetooth headset comes with a charging unit / base station. You will need to use this if you’re using it on a non-Bluetooth enabled phone like the SPV E100. However, if you are using it with the new E200 handset, you DON’T need to use it unless you’re charging the headset. Another point to remember is that this particular model that I have doesn’t work the the MPx200 as the internal wiring of the 2.5mm MPx200 audio socket appears to differ to that of the E100 handset.

Please correct me if I’m wrong on this …

SPV – Works fine – you need to plug in base-station into audio socket.
SPV E100 – Works fine – you need to plug in base-station into audio socket.
SPV E200 – Works fine, “pair up” the headset with the “0000” password and you’re away! No base-station or anything needed, and headset activates automatically!
MPx200 – This model doesn’t seem to work – please contact me if you know different!


Hang on mate! What the hell is Bluetooth?
I could get all technical, and tell you about what frequencies are used etc etc, but it isn’t really important. It works, and that’s all you need to know. :) Bluetooth is a name for the technology used for providing cordless links between mobile phones, handheld devices, computers and other bits. It’s a very low-power, low-strength, local transmitting / receiving technology that’ll allow you to go about 10 metres away from your mobile phone and still use this headset. Don’t go further though – this isn’t as powerful as a digital-cordless home telephone! :) Bluetooth itself will hopefully allow us to do some other stuff in the future too.


Right, so anyway – the Orange SPV (HTC Canary) and the Orange SPV E100 (HTC Tanager / Smart Amazing Phone / iMate / QTek etc) used in this review do NOT have this ability. So how does the excellently designed headset communicate with your phone? Well, it’s time for a minor little addition. Jabra call this a multi-adaptor, but I seem to be calling it a base-station. Whatever you want to call it, here it is…



Don’t worry though – it’s not cumbersome or awkward .. well, ok – maybe a tad. At the end of the day it’s another “thing” to carry around with you, but we don’t have a Bluetooth-enabled phone, so we’re stuck with what we have. If you’re going to use it predominantly in a car then you’re laughing. Plus the base-station has a carry-clip on the back, so you can clip it in your car on an air-vent or something similar to keep it ready for action. For example, if I wanted to use mine in the car, I would clip the base-unit near to the phone-holder.. it’s then just a matter of popping the plug in, and away you go.



But I’m getting ahead of myself…


What’s in the box?
The headset, a full instruction manual, charger, additional ear-pieces, stylus (for adjusting microphone level), the clip for your belt / air-vent, the base-unit that the clip attaches to (sorry, multi-adaptor), power-charger, full instruction manual and a “Getting Started” guide.Note that in the picture below I took the clip out and attached it already! :)




Getting Started
I’m not one for manuals, and I usually ignore them, I managed to read about 2 lines of the getting started manual – which insisted I charge the units up correctly. This, I guessed, was fairly important.


Charging
The headset (in case you haven’t guessed already by the pictures) fits neatly and snugly inside the base-unit. The design of the headset reminds me of some internal organ, but I’m lost as to which one – a kidney ? Anyway, slide this into the base unit to make contact with three small connectors – you can just see these on the picture below.



Once that is done, you plug the base unit into the mains, via the supplied power adaptor. This charges both the base-unit and the headset at once, and a blue glow appears from LED’s on both the base-unit and the headset. Once these go off (roughly 2 hours on the first charge), you’re ready to rock and roll. Here’s a blurry shot of the plug for the power input, which is on the base-unit (you can see the belt-clip too).




Using it…
The Jabra plugs into the 2.5mm audio jack of your Smartphone and not the data connector. It would’ve been great to be able to plug this into the data connector and maybe had a bit more control over the phone, but I’m not sure just how much extra control could’ve been obtained. Again, I completely ignored the manual. Let me just go off track a bit here and tell you something. I have this weird habit – basically if I can’t pick something up and begin using it properly within a few minutes, then there’s a problem with the product. I’ve always applied it to my work life too, and if it’s taking me 4 weeks to set a server up and get it patched, then that’s pretty much a sign of things to come. This, on the other hand, is a breeze. I’ve plugged the base unit into my Orange SPV (Canary) and removed the headset part like so…..



..so now I want to use it. Both blue LED’s are flashing together – which (I presume, as I have ignored the manual) means that they are in contact with each other. On the top of the headset are three buttons, seen below….





These are pretty self-explanatory – an up/down volume control for the earpiece and a connect / disconnect to the base unit. At least, that’s what I’m presuming.. it turns out to be correct. :) Making a call – I must confess, can be a bit tricky the first time. This is mainly because the first thing you do is plonk the headset on.. “Wow!”, you think, “let me try this out, see if it fits on my ear!” Ah….. now where’s that magic “connect” button? It’s somewhere around the back of your ear… but you can’t find it… :) After a few tries, this gets easier and easier. I didn’t have to mess with the volume controls, the blue earpiece (of which there are two spare ones to add to the one on the headset) spins around to allow you to put the headset on either your right or left ear and it’s very comfortable. I can only compare it to professional mini-headphones, which go inside your ear. Very comfortable and the audio quality is absolutely spot-on. Crystal clear.

After a few calls, you’ll be finding the buttons very easily, and it’ll make you wonder just how long we’ll have to wait until the actual phone itself will be this size, and you’ll be typing out text messages by fiddling with your ear! :)


Does it work with all Smartphones?
I have tested it with the SPV (above – HTC Canary model) and the SPV E100 (below, HTC Tanager – Smart Amazing Phone / iMate /.QTek model) but it should work fine on any MS Smartphone with the 2.5mm audio jack on the side….





Making a call
To make a call I first need to connect the headset to the base-station. You basically have to “pair them up” so that they know they’re talking to each other and nothing else. To do this I slide the headset from the base-station and hit the “connect” button – I get a nice beep noise to tell you that you’re connected. I can then hear the sound output of my Smartphone. Now I make my call, and that’s it. I must say again here that the sound quality is absolutely phenomenal – although people may think that the microphone is quite a way from the mouth, it picks up sound perfectly and balances the speakers voice with the background noise very very well. For example, today it was a very hot day – I had the sun-roof open in the car, all the windows down and I was hurtling down the M6 (a motorway / freeway in the UK) at 9…. errm.. 70mph and yet the person on the other end heard me perfectly – and I heard them too. Marvellous – no need to close the windows to use the traditional car kit – no need even to have a phone holder in your car. Just plug in the base-unit and throw it on the passenger seat! Who cares?

At the end of the call, you need to terminate the call on your Smartphone as usual, then either press the connect / disconnect button on the Jabra headset (you will hear another set of bleeps to tell you that it is disconnecting, which is very helpful) or replace it back in the base unit…… or not bother (which I seemed to a bit). :)


Receiving a call
As for receiving calls – this is very similar. Basically you do this – but carry on reading for an easier way! :)

1) Call comes in (phone rings)
2) Press connect on Jabra headset to establish communications with base-unit
3) Press answer on phone
4) Talk!
5) Once done, press connect / disconnect on Jabra headset
6) Press disconnect / drop call on phone.


Range?
The Jabra headset has about the same range as any other Bluetooth device. Don’t think that you can leave the phone on your desk at work and then walk down to the coffee machine for a mouldy hot plastic cup of “almost drinkable” coffee, because you can’t – not unless the coffee machine is very near to your desk. Sometimes, like any radio-based device, it is prone to interference if you are in an area with lots of computers – for example if you leave your phone on a desk then enter a server room with 1000’s of servers, but this is to be expected and I’d be frankly surprised if it didn’t! :)


Use?
I’m hoping to upload some images of this device in a car, which is where (I reckon) most people will use it, but you can use it anywhere, and is ideal for people who either don’t want to faff around with cabled headsets or those who want to be able to make and receive calls on the move.

There’s one thing I have noticed though, which I like. Imagine the scene – you’ve just stumbled into work late and plonked your Smartphone onto the cradle on your desk as usual. Every time you want a make a call you have to remove it from the cradle.. well… no, not any more. Simply plonk the phone on the cradle, plug the base-station into the side of the phone and you’re in headset mode! Now all you need to do is press the “connect” key on your Jabra headset when a call comes in (make sure you set the phone to auto-answer calls too as mentioned above). Nice! Now you can wonder around your desk – and a bit further – with just the headset on, while your Smartphone sits on the cradle charging – and sync’d ! :)


Where to use it?

I tried it clamped to my pocket….



And I tried it in the car too….





Stats
The typical talk time on this is 3 hours and you will be looking at around 100 hours typical standby time, which is about 4 days – not bad at all!

Base Unit / Multi adaptor
Width – 5cm
Depth – 2.5cm (a tad more with clip)

Headset
Height – 10cm
Width – 6cm (when measured directly across)


Why is it so good?
You need to do just one thing. On your Smartphone do this……

1) Programs-Settings-Profiles-(Scroll to Headset)

2) Click “Menu” then “Edit”…

3) Click Auto-Answer in: and change it to 4 or 6 seconds (or whatever)

4) Change Ring Type:to Vibate and Ring.

5) Click Done

That’s it. Now, when you’re in the car, or on a train, bus, taxi, walking down the street or you’ve put the phone in your bag while you crawl under a desk / server / car or whatever, the phone will ring for a few seconds – all you need to do is hit the “connect” button by your ear and BINGO!! Yes, it is a little Star-Trek….. but it’s cool – and like I said at the start.. you want it. :)


To sum up
This is, without doubt, the most well-built and professionally designed hardware I have seen. The headset itself looks like it has been stolen from a film set. I have to mention the lack of in-built Bluetooth capability on the Smartphones I have tested. If these phones had this as standard then we would only be looking at the headset part. This HAS to be sorted out. A Smartphone needs bluetooth as standard! But please don’t let that desuade you from purchasing this excellent bit of kit. Jabra have done a stand-up job on this and I’ll be at the front of the queue to give them a monster pat on the back. Fantastic, tremendous, wonderful. This is well worth the money.


Where to get it
This Jabra headset is the BT200SPVUK model, available from the CoolSmartPhoneShop! for £79.99.

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