Friday, January 11, 2008
CES news : Bluetooth Headsets Get new looks and use.
LAS VEGAS—(24hoursnews).wireless technology is really a arttract of technology and blutooth reach the tech to the consumer but,How do you like your Bluetooth? Would you like it good-looking, solar-powered, voice-activated or maybe just to sound beautifully clear?
It looks like everybody's wearing Bluetooth headsets nowadays, and headset manufacturers are out in force at this year's CES pushing the state of the art forward with new technologies. There are more than a dozen Bluetooth headset vendors scattered across CES' various floors, each with their own solutions to the problems of the day.
Take battery life. There's a general rule that the smaller the headset, the smaller the battery, and the shorter the battery life. But what if a headset recharges itself? That's the case with the Iqua SUN BHS-603, which sticks a tiny little solar panel on the outside of the headset. While the box says you can get 12 hours of talk time and "infinite" standby time out of this sub-one-ounce, $100 headset, Iqua execs at the show made a bolder claim: you'll never have to recharge this headset ever again. The SUN gets enough juice from the light in your day to day activities to stay topped up for all but the heaviest users, they said. With the Aliph Jawbone becoming hugely popular for its noise cancellation, it isn't surprising that several manufacturers are stepping up with noise-cancelling headsets. The most innovative is the Invisio Q7, from a company which has previously focused on supplying headsets to the military and law enforcement. The $150 Q7 brings Invisio's bone-conduction technology to a consumer headset. It 'listens' to the vibrations in your ear canal coming from your own voice, using that to screen out external noise. Jabra's new BT8040 doesn't have that sort of noise cancellation, but it does have digital noise reduction, another tactic which amplifies quiet voices and reduces noisy ones, and "acoustic shock protection" to prevent sharp jumps in volume from hurting your ears. The relatively tiny 8040 also has A2DP for playing Bluetooth music, a relatively rare feature in a mono headset, and can pair to multiple Bluetooth devices at once.
Jabra's BT8030 is one of the strangest headsets I've seen in quite some time. Coming in at a costly $249, it's a large, thick pair of headphones which double as a deskside set of Bluetooth speakers. If you put it down on your desk and press a few buttons, the earpieces snap wide, the volume turns up and the BT8030 becomes speakers; when you pick it up and snap the earcups back into place, the volume turns down and it's a pair of stereo headphones again. Sound quality will make or break this product, so I look forward to getting it into our labs.
Jabra's new top-of-the-line $179 Pura JX20 Titanium focuses on style: its brushed-titanium look is meant to look like jewelry as much as electronics, and it comes with a necklace so you can actually wear it as an ornament. The on/off switch on this headset is a particularly neat touch: you just twist the earbud a little to turn it on or off. The relatively small headset has 6 hours of talk time and DSP audio quality enhancements.
The Jabra BT3030 and the $100 Iqua BHS-702 also focus on fashion, by using a 'pendant' style design pioneered last year by Plantronics' Pulsar 260. With a pendant-style headset, the actual electronics sit in a little pendant worn around your neck, which has plug-in stereo earbuds that go up to your ears. The BT3030's pendant looks like a metallic dog tag with music controls on it. You plug your own music headphones into the dog tag's 3.5-mm jack on the side. The Iqua's black or white plastic pendant has one big call control button on the front, and music control/volume buttons on the sides. With the Iqua, the earbuds are an integral part of the headset.
If you find Bluetooth headsets too confusing to use—there can be a lot of oddball button presses behind your ear—the $119, new BlueAnt V1 has a major innovation: voice control. Using voice technology from Sensory, the V1 has a single button that you press to issue voice commands to change volume, accept or reject calls, dial favorite numbers and even kick it into pairing mode. Yes, it interacts with voice-activated phones, too: one of the commands lets you talk to your phone rather than your headset, to dial by name from your phone's address book. The V1 has 6 hours talk time and a dual-microphone noise cancellation solution built in.