From noise cancelling to high-end sound quality, these headsets offer hands-free connectivity.
Technophile: Bluetooth hands-free headsets
The fit The Jawbone Era Bluetooth headset for mobile phones has a highly stylised metallic-grid mesh design. It measures 1.77 inches long and curves slightly to fit the shape of (most) heads. Several ear attachments are provided, including earbuds big and small and loops that go around the ear.
The function The Era's noise- and wind-cancelling feature provides incredible sound quality indoors and out, and offers a unique accelerometer that allows you to shake it to answer or end calls. However, the headset does not have a button dedicated to volume control.
The pitch For anyone who needs to make a lot of hands-free mobile-phone calls in various environments, the Jawbone Era, while not a perfect comfort fit, is one of the best options out there.
Sound ID 510
The fit Although thin and light, the 2.2-inch long Sound ID may feel a bit large at first for long-time headset users. It has several attachment options as well, but the ear loop is perhaps the most comfortable choice.
The function The Sound ID 510 offers very good sound quality, although its noise-cancelling features can sometimes fail to hold up in very windy conditions.
The pitch With its dedicated iPhone app, which offers several advanced features (including a headset locator that will make the device beep so you can find it), the Sound ID 510 is the perfect headset for Apple fans.
The fit Nothing feels perfectly natural when it’s either stuck into or dangling from your ear, but the BlueAnt Q2, with its slim, lightweight design, comes as close as anything on the market.
The function The BlueAnt Q2 boasts several high-end amenities designed for smartphones, including voice-control and text-to-speech features. With its slim design come very small button controls, which could be a problem for those with big fingers. Once voice-control commands are mastered, however, physical controls can mostly be avoided.
The pitch The BlueAnt Q2 is a good fit for those who are finicky about the feel of Bluetooth headsets, though its complicated controls can take some time to master. For Android users, it also works with Vlingo Safereader, which reads aloud e-mails and text messages.