The 10 Best Bluetooth Headsets
Since the initial publication of this wiki in May of 2015, we've made 22 edits to this page. With features like noise-canceling microphones and advanced hands-free protocols, today's Bluetooth headsets work better with phones and computers than ever before. Some are perfect for use while you're driving and others are ideal for busy offices, so if you're stuck in a cubicle or on the open road, one of these devices will let you hear and be heard clearly by whomever is on the other end. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best bluetooth headset on Amazon.
June 19, 2019:
Many headphones, from inexpensive to high-end, aren't necessarily known for their great quality when making phone calls. One of the things that sets apart these headsets from the average listening cans is their microphone, and another is their unified communications configuration that helps them to work smoothly with a range of office equipment aside from just your smartphone. Many of them also feature relatively advanced hands-free profile support, which lets you perform a bunch of useful tasks without having to press any buttons, or only having to press one. For example, the Sony MBH22 supports Alexa and the Google Assistant right out of the box, as does the Plantronics M180.
Speaking of Plantronics, you'll notice that they dominate the category somewhat, which is no surprise. They've long been leaders in office communications. Their Legend, 5200, and 3200 models are well-known to be very high performers, even though they aren't the very newest releases. And the 8200, though very expensive, offers sound quality on a par with most other headphones in its price range. In fact, the 4220 is almost on the same level, fidelity-wise, and may be more suited to office use because its cups rest on your ears rather than around them. But if you'll be using it all day long and you need stereo output, the Focus is pretty hard to top.
Finally, if you're on a tight budget, Jabra's Talk 2 and the Sony are among the newest and most affordable options, and the BlueParrott in its various iterations has been popular among truckers and those who need the stable fit and situational awareness that its one-sided construction and headband can provide.
Keeping In Touch, No Hands Required
Underlying many of the connections between devices these days is a technology first developed in the mid 1990s: Bluetooth.
Bluetooth enabled devices make many tasks easier by freeing up the hands and by removing the need for corded connections.
In a long enough conversation with any dedicated technology watcher, the concept known as Moore's Law is likely to come up. Simply stated, Moore's Law asserts that the number of transistors (conductors that regulate the transfer of electrical current) in a given system of circuitry will double every two years, essentially meaning more processing power and capability in ever smaller devices. Moore's Law is often used as a shorthand reference to the pace at which technology develops and improves, and indeed even a cursory review of the range and type of devices currently available on the consumer market speaks to the incredible advancement of current computing power and modern hardware design.
From secure mobile banking to the stabilized drone to the micro SD card to the 4K television to the latest personal fitness app for your smartphone, devices and software abound. Technology is no longer just a part of everyday life, it is the frame of our daily lives. This is arguably most evident in the increasing interconnectedness of the devices and programs so many people rely on for everything from business to entertainment to travel to leisure. Underlying many of the connections between devices these days is a technology first developed in the mid 1990s: Bluetooth.
Bluetooth is a technology standard that governs the wireless connection of myriad devices. Invented by telecom giant Ericsson and now managed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, and now closing in on its fifth generation of improvements and enhancements, Bluetooth technology helps link two or more properly enabled devices together, provided they are in close enough proximity.
Bluetooth technology allows a smartphone to control an audio system, a keyboard to connect with a computer from across a room, or for a iPhone to communicate with its owner's headphones even while the phone is tucked in a gym bag or desk drawer. Bluetooth enabled devices make many tasks easier by freeing up the hands and by removing the need for corded connections. The technology can also enhance security measures, creating alerts if linked devices are separated, for example.
But perhaps the most convenient, most popular use for Bluetooth technology is the application with which most people associate its use in the first place: the Bluetooth headset.
Popular Uses For Bluetooth Headsets
Bluetooth headsets come in all shapes and sizes, which means their use appeals to all types of users. In fact, these devices range so greatly in shape, size, and design, that there are perhaps fewer points in common than there are distinctions from unit to unit. At their core, though, all Bluetooth headsets provide the same basic function: the ability to listen and talk through a wirelessly connected device while your hands are kept 100% unencumbered.
Because we care about our users' health, it's important to note that talking on a cell phone while driving a car is very dangerous.
In addition to helping with efficiency and multitasking abilities, Bluetooth headsets can also enhance user safety in a variety of ways. Hands-free telecommunication keeps home contractors, industrial inspectors, road surveyors, and even dog walkers react at a moment's notice in case of emergency.
Because we care about our users' health, it's important to note that talking on a cell phone while driving a car is very dangerous. Unfortunately, using any type of hands-free device doesn't seem to make it much safer, if at all. So while it may be legal to use a headset where a handheld device would warrant a citation, it's still highly recommended to pull over and dedicate some time to your phone calls.
Convenience is the major reason for Bluetooth headset use. From the peripatetic businessman who paces while on his conference calls to the gamer who needs her hands free but wants to stay in constant contact with the other members of the team, a reliable wireless headset is a treasured commodity.
Some Bluetooth headsets fit their user so snugly they can even be used during exercise, allowing the multitasking individual to stay fit while chatting away or to simply enjoy music streamed from the nearby Bluetooth enabled device such as an iPhone or tablet computer.
Choosing The Right Bluetooth Headset For You
The price range you'll find from the most expensive Bluetooth headset to the most affordable option around is vast. As in seven to eight times the cost, in fact. Most Bluetooth headsets are reasonably affordable, though, so you can shop based on features and design instead of price.
Next consider in-ear or over-the-ear speaker type; if you're comfortable with an ear bud style of speaker, you can consider the smallest Bluetooth headsets on the market.
First choose whether or not you want an extended microphone attachment or a more compact device. These microphone "arms" are a good choice for the person constantly on the phone for work, but away from a desk and on the move, they might be more annoying than their reliable voice pickup is worth.
Next consider in-ear or over-the-ear speaker type; if you're comfortable with an ear bud style of speaker, you can consider the smallest Bluetooth headsets on the market. If you prefer over-the-ear models, you'll be looking at slightly bulkier units. And if you want a more immersive audio experience, then consider headset style options that put a speaker on each ear.
And of course battery life and range aren't to be overlooked. All decent Bluetooth headsets fulfill their primary goal of providing wireless aural and oral connectivity, but you can't have a conversation if you're out of range or out of battery.
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