BlueAnt Q2 Bluetooth Headset: The Urbane [Review, Primo Headset Week]

BlueAnt Q2 Bluetooth Headset: The Urbane [Review, Primo Headset Week]

Although BlueAnt focuses exclusively on Bluetooth communication gadgets (and now earphones), they aren’t as well recognized as some of the other names coming up in our review, and they don’t proffer up a ton of offerings. In fact, they currently only offer five; with the BlueAnt Q2 Headset ($100) positioned as their marquis headset.

The Good:

The Q2 is designed to function almost completely hands-free. Once paired (easy to do), the extremely verbose voice guide explains the functions and takes the user through a few preliminary steps, painlessly transferring names and numbers of all contacts on the user’s iPhone along the way (seriously though, that’s one talkative headset). Once all contact info is loaded onto the Q2, the headset will speak the names of incoming callers and allow the user to answer simply by saying “answer.” Likewise, actions such as placing a call, checking the battery, connecting, setting the sensitivity level and pairing can all be accomplished by clicking the multi-function button and then saying a command. There’s even a voice command to access Bing 411 (a free service provided by Microsoft that lets anyone with a phone listen to updates on news, sports, stocks, weather etc.)

Despite the Q2’s quiver of tips falling on the smallish side (even the largest one was still a little loose in my ear, a first among headsets I’ve tried), the headset felt stable and comfy, even without the earclip. This is in part thanks to a large pad at the set’s tip that rests against the user’s cheek.

This is a solid, good-looking, well-designed headset. With its clean lines, mesh grill and impressively, understated-yet-bright white/red LED, The Q2 looks and feels like it might fit in the console tray of, say, a BMW 750i. An action button on the face, power switch at the back by the mini-USB charge-port and a volume rocker at the top are all prominent and easy to use and provide excellent feedback.

Finally someone realized that yeah, it’s great if the person on the other end can hear, but conversation is a two-way street: So the Q2 comes with one of — if not the — most powerful, loudest and clearest headset speakers known to man. Although generally good, sound quality on the other end was somewhat spotty though, with testers sometimes reporting that I sounded great, and other times tinny or distorted. Ambient noise-cancelling strength was also perhaps a little above average for its class, though nowhere near the noise-cancellng wizardry of the Jawbone Era.

The Q2 is multi-point set, and can connect and switch seamlessly between two BT-equipped devices (like say, an iPhone and an iPad, MBP, etc.) It’s also A2DP-equipped, which means the user can stream music, GPS directions from a GPS app or what have you. Battery time was a little above average at about 4.5 hours of talk time.

The Bad:

Wind-cancelling prowess seemed about on a par with that of other headsets we’ve tried, despite our hopes (based on BlueAnt’s promotion of this feature).

Sometimes the Q2 seemed a little hesitant to connect when powered up, leaving me (and the caller) waiting while the ‘set found my iPhone and connected if it happened to be turned off.

While there’s an Android app that’ll read aloud test messages, it doesn’t do squat for us as there’s no iOS equivalent (BlueAnt says this isn’t their fault: Apparently Apple won’t allow access to the SMS stack).

Verdict:

Despite occasional spotty performance and only average-ish results for callers on the other end, the Q2 is a beautifully crafted, well-designed, professional piece of kit with superb features and a best-in-class speaker.

Rating: ★★★★☆

This is Primo Headset Week, and we’ll be test driving all the high-end Bluetooth headsets we can lay our hands on.

BlueAnt Q2 Bluetooth Headset: The Urbane [Review, Primo Headset Week]

BlueAnt Q2 Bluetooth Headset: The Urbane [Review, Primo Headset Week]

In the box: USB cable, power brick, eartips, earhook and felt bag (not shown here).

Related
  • guest

    But can you disable A2DP?  When I’m in the car I have cable plugged into my audio jack for music/gps from the car speakers but would want to take calls from the headset.  I’ve been told that there is no way to do this with the blue ant.

  • Motorola S305 Review

    Hi Eli Milchman,

    Thank you for the review.
    However I still don’t know which bluetooth headset I should get this one or this Motorola S305 Review?

    Kevin James

  • Wayne_Luke

    Our BlueAnt Transceiver recommends using the vLingo app for voice SMS and email. It is available in the App Store for free but requires some in-app purchases for full functionality.

  • Wayne_Luke

    Our BlueAnt Transceiver recommends using the vLingo app for voice SMS and email. It is available in the App Store for free but requires some in-app purchases for full functionality.

  • elimilchman

    Vlingo won’t read aloud texts sent to you like the BlueAnt app; it will, however, let you dictate messages to be sent, as will the Dragon Dictation app.

  • elimilchman

    You’re right, the only way to switch is by tapping the iPhone’s screen.

  • ERGDistributors.com

    Blueant T1 has the best noise reduction:

    Superior Wind Performance
    The Rugged BlueAnt T1 Bluetooth Headset is a durable, reliable Bluetooth device that has been designed to give high quality audio in the most challenging conditions.
    The T1 is the first BlueAnt headset to feature Wind Armour Technology™
    Developed over the course of years of research into wind noise performance, this solution combines patent-pending design features with BlueAnt’s proprietary noise cancellation software to deliver clear audio in wind speeds up to 22 mph, the best wind noise reduction of any Bluetooth headset on the market.
    Durable and Reliable
    The T1 has also been designed to be highly durable. In addition to the sturdy earpiece, the T1 features removable and interchangeable patent-pending, soft-touch silicon covers that protect and cushion the headset from minor bumps and accidental impact and enable the T1 to withstand the onslaught of everyday dust and moisture.
    Caller Name Announce
    The T1 is the first Bluetooth headset to offer caller name announce, so you will always know who is calling because the T1 will read out the name of the incoming caller.
    Responding to the call is as easy as saying the words Answer or Ignore, leaving you hands free to focus on the task at hand.
    The T1 also offers A2DP for streaming audio of podcasts and turn-by-turn directions from GPS applications on your mobile phone.
    Free Android Application
    Users with Android devices can further enhance their BlueAnt T1 by installing the BlueAnt T1 Android application. The application provides text message readout directly into the headset and includes help and support for your T1. 

    ERGDistributors LLC
    66 grant ave, carteret, new jersey
    973-221-3133 ext 204 (jack)

    Blueant Authorized Distributor-Lowest priced Blueant T1

  • Tyler M. Humphries

    Can you sync this unit with a macbook pro?

About the author

Eli MilchmanWhen he was eight, Eli Milchman came home from frolicking in the Veld one day and was given an Atari 400. Since then, his fascination with technology has made him an intrepid early adopter of whatever charming new contraption crosses his path — which explains why he's Cult of Mac's test editor-at-large. He calls San Francisco home, where he works as a journalist and photographer. Eli has contributed to the pages of Wired.com and BIKE Magazine, among others. Hang with him on Twitter.

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