Updated: December 2017
Bluetooth Headset Reviews and Buying Guide:Looking for a wireless headset for your cell phone? The good news is that almost all new mobile phones are compatible with Bluetooth technology. Bluetooth is what allows you to get hands free use of your cell phone and wear a wireless headset for convenience while driving or just standing around. These Bluetooth headsets let you make and receive phone calls without ever having to touch your cell phone. Some of the wireless headsets allow you to be as far away as 30 feet from your cell phone. You have probably seen people walking aroud the train terminal or driving in their cars with these futuristic devices around their ears. The first Bluetooth headsets were bigger and bulky which turned many consumers off from buying them. Now, the designers have taken fashion into account and created smaller, more comfortable fitting earpieces which aren't as noticeable. It still seems strange to see people walking around or driving in their cars and talking to what appears to be nobody. You may think they are a little crazy until you see the wireless headset attached to their ear.
Bluetooth headsets range in price from the low end Jabra BT125 ($30) to the high end Nokia BH-500 ($200). The newer BH500 is a stereo headset which streams music wirelessly from your cell phone through the ear buds into your ears. The music quality isn't as good as you might think, but the convenience is pretty cool. Unfortunately, for owners of phones like the Apple iPhone, these stereo headsets are not compatible so the best selling phone with music capability will not work with the stereo headsets. In all the reviews we read, comfort and high voice quality were the #1 reasons why people purchased their particular brand or model. You want to buy a Bluetooth headset that is comfortable since there are times where you may be wearing it for hours on end. The manufacturers are constantly tweaking the designs to make them more comfortable which is the good news. Clips and hooks are how most headsets attach to your ear, so try them on before buying them to make sure they fit ok. The smaller Bluetooth headsets now just have an earbud that fits into your ear canal (the Samsung WEP500 is barely the size of a quarter). This sounds like a great innovation, but too many reviews from owners mention that these are more likely to fall out of your ear and don't work as well as you might think. Look for models that come with rubber ear buds with a variety of diameters and get ones that have over the ear mounts that you can adjust. Cell phones can be susceptible to noise issues, but these wireless headsets can be even worse. High voice quality is a necessity if you are going to use a Bluetooth headset in outdoor environments where traffic noise and wind can make the sound quality open to problems. The Motorola H700 has some of the best ratings for voice quality in both listening and talking. Like most portable devices we own, you will need to keep your wireless headset charged and ready to go. Most offer a minimum of 4 hours of talk time and some get you closer to 10 hours. You will need to use a wall charger or car charger for charging. Some of the more expensive models let you plug the headset into your computer via a USB port. Other features that are offered are things like call hold, microphone mute, and last number redial. We found plenty of reviews online and in magazine to help us decipher which models perform the best and rate the highest. CNET.com, Travelinsider.info, PCMag.com all offer in depth reviews on Bluetooth headsets. Consumer Reports and Money Magazine also did recent (2008) reviews on these wireless headsets with CR testing 34 models before picking the clear winners. The top brands are Motorola, Jabra, Samsung, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Aliph Jawbone, Blueant, and Plantronics. You can browse the best selling hands free headsets here.