Every time I think I’ve found my favorite pair of gaming headphones, Steelseries sends me another one to try out.
H Wireless Gaming Headset by Steelseries Category: Headphones Works With: Mac, iOS, Android, PC, Gaming Consoles Price: $299
This time, it’s the H Wireless series, a fantastic, well-designed headset that connects via optical or analog inputs to provide stunningly good Dolby sound without wires. You can, of course, connect an iPhone or iPad to the box, as well, getting a quality sound to walk around the house with.
When I first tested the BlueAnt Q3 headset, paired with my iPhone 5, I was surprised by how poorly it performed. I couldn’t get over how bad the audio quality was, and I was surprised a top-notch company like BlueAnt could release such a dud. Investigating further, I decided to snoop around online to see what others were saying, but it I wasn’t alone, other iOS users we experiencing similar issues.
With that in mind, I had no choice but warn readers, and rate the Q3 poorly.
Q3 Bluetooth Headset by BlueAnt Category: iOS Accessories, Bluetooth Headsets Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: $100
But here, the story begins anew. After filing my review, several readers, and BlueAnt themselves, alerted me that the real problem has to do with the problematic ways Apple implements Bluetooth, and BlueAnt assured me a simple Q3 firmware update would absolve any audio issues I may have had. Fair enough, I thought, after all, this wasn’t the first time I had experienced subpar audio with Bluetooth headsets that, when used with non-Apple devices, seemed to function sublimely.
I’ve now tested a brand new fully-updated Q3, and I’m happy to report that it has indeed solved many of the Q3’s initial audio faux pas. BlueAnt, to their credit, has now earned at least some reprieve, as the Q3 is now bringing both fists to the fight.
Skype has today updated its iOS app to make it super easy to switch to a Bluetooth headset or speaker during a call. It also makes one-to-one chats appear in the correct order, makes some bug fixes and improvements, and more.
The iPhone 5’s call speaker is pretty good, but there are times when it could be a little louder — like when you’re in a crowded place. As always, the jailbreak community has a solution to that problem. It’s called Volume Amplifier, and it’s a new tweak that promises to amplify your iPhone’s call speaker volume by 200%.
There are a ton of Bluetooth headsets on the market today, and because I prefer talking hands-free, I’ve tried a lot of them. But as a Bluetooth enthusiast (yes, we exist), I’ve been continually frustrated. That’s because all the headsets I’ve tried thus far have missed the mark, especially when paired with an iPhone, delivering callers’ voices as muddy and hard to decipher, or making me sound like I live under the sea (I don’t).
Voyager Legend UC Bluetooth Headset by Plantronics Category: iOS and Mac Accessories Works With: iPhone, iPod, iPad, Mac Price: $200
So when I got my hands on the Plantronics Voyager Legend UC, with its promises of excellent audio, call routing touch technology, and the ability to work on both my Mac and iOS device, I was dubious. Not anymore. This little Legend hasn’t just proved my first impressions wrong, I’m now convinced it’s the best Bluetooth headset I’ve ever used.
Like the Plantronics Voyager Legend we reviewed a few months ago, Jabra’s new folding-boom Motion series incorporates motion sensors — so they can do things like automatically answer calls when you place the headset to your ear, and even automatically adjust the volume.
This isn’t the smallest headset. In fact, Motorola’s Elite Sliver Bluetooth Headset ($130) is actually bulkier than many other personal BT headsets. Its trick, though, is to hide most of the bulk behind the user’s ear, leaving just a sliver — hence the name — of technology visbile.
But the Sliver isn’t just a one-trick pony; its case also doubles as a battery that will top off the Sliver when the headset is housed in the case (which actually does triple duty as a charger).
A long time ago, before this site was born, we reviewed the Altec Lansing BackBeat 906 Bluetooth headphones, and liked ‘em. Plantronics had their own identical version of the 906, as they had owned Plantronics since 2005 (the two companies parted ways about the time the 906 was released).
The Plantronics BackBeat Go ($100) is an evolution of the 906. Same principle — wireless (meaning there’s no wire conecting the player with the headset) music and calls in a compact form via the magic of Bluetooth — but in an even smaller and more svelte form factor. Should be even more fantstic, right? Let’s take a look.
If you’re ready to make the leap to hands-free talking, or are looking to upgrade from an older bluetooth headset, the Plantronics Voyager Pro+ ($99) is one of the best headsets on the market and is worthy of your dollars. But beware, its voluminous size may leave some sheepish, wishing for a more discreet unit.