Bluetooth Headsets And The People Who Wear Them Continuously

This post has been swirling around in my head for many months. This morning my wife and I decided to have breakfast at a nearby French cafe. In the cafe there were all manner of people. Large people*, small people, rich people, not-so-rich-people**, singles and couples. It was a typical River Oaks Houston crowd.

And then there was one guy wearing a Bluetooth headset. Huh?! It’s 9:30am on a Sunday morning and you’re at breakfast with your wife/girlfriend/mistress. What’s with the Lt. Uhura fashion sense?

I mean, how terribly important a person he must be to be that much in demand. To need such immediate access to his cell phone. Sunday. Over breakfast.

Notice to the men of the world, as it’s typically men who do this stuff:

  1. You’re not that important…really, it’s fact. If you don’t believe me ask your wife/girlfriend/mistress/mother/sister(s)
  2. You don’t need a Bluetooth headset except when you’re actually on a call. Wearing one continuously just makes you look like an egotistical fool.

And that’s about as much mental bandwidth I have to commit to that guy, and all those like him. Now to consider Bluetooth headsets in general.

I own a Bluetooth earpiece, a Jabra BT250 like the one pictured above. It’s ok but I seldom use it. I rarely even carry it with me.

In fact, prior to switching to my trusty Blackberry Pearl (GSM, T-Mobile) a year ago I carried a Motorola Razr v3 for two years. Before that I had a Motorola T720 (CDMA, Verizon)

The greatest disappointment about the Razr was the lack of a connector for a wired headset. It’s mojo came from the form factor of the phone. The clamshell design is really nice. The size and weight was magical. And it was a good, if basic phone.

I’ve tried a number of Bluetooth wireless headsets and found them all wanting. I’m open to suggest though, if you’ve got a really great one in mind. Back when I carried the T720 I bought a Sony DR-EX150 wired headset. Nothing I’ve tried since comes even close.

For many months I looked until I eventually found a micro-usb to 2.5mm adapter to use my wired Sony headset with the Razr. That sucked too. It just didn’t work well.

The problem with the Jabra BT250 is that there’s always too much ambient noise. The mic is not sufficiently directional, nor does there appear to be any noise suppression, active or otherwise. Add to this fact the reality that carrying the charging clip is a drag and I just can’t be bothered taking it out of the drawer anymore.

The Sony wired headset, OTOH is incredibly light…even with the wire. It has a nice little tubular boom that comes around near the mouth, It doesn’t seem to suffer the ambient noise problem I’ve had with other headsets. It never needs to be charged. Also, it’s really comfortable to wear, even for along time….like when driving….not when having Sunday breakfast out with my wife!

In fact, it’s very similar to the Sony MDR-NC11 noise canceling stereo headsets that I’ve used for years. I travel a lot and have used noise cancelling headsets to safeguard my hearing since turbo-prop aircraft flew all the lesser routes. I’ve had two sets of Sony MDR-NC10/11, and the most recently Etymotic ER-6i.

Once for a few months I had a Zultys 4×5 SIP deskphone. It was a wacky device in a lot of ways. Very cool, but very strange. Too many keypresses for some functions.Virtually unsupported by its manufacturer, which last year went bankrupt but has since been revived. But it had Bluetooth capability. It was a first for office desk phones I think.

I seem to have reached the end of this rant. It’s over four years later and I still use the old Sony wired headset. I even robbed the remaining rubbery ear fittings from a pair of decommissioned NC-10s to revive the cell headset. I’m open to suggestions about your favorite Bluetooth earpiece, but the Pearl has a wired headset connector…so I’m not in dire need until Sony stops making the DR-EX150.

That what always happens with really good products. They go out of production in the name of progress. Making way for a replacement that usually doesn’t quite work as well.

*Q: What are the 3 secrets to French cooking? A: Butter, butter & more butter.

**Also, no poor people. They don’t frequent French cafes, except possibly in France.