I had had enough of my previous bluetooth headset. Once I got an awesome new phone, the old headset did not do it justice because I could not use it reliably.
Here were some of the pet peeves I had with my two-year-old headset:
- It was out of batteries when I needed to use it and did not have access to the charger
- The proprietary charger meant I had limited options when I needed to charge it
- I did not get enough notice before it ran out of batteries
- The over-the-ear design was a hassle if I wore glasses or had my hair styled in any way
Amazingly I was able to find a bluetooth headset that addressed my pet peeves. I have had my new headset, the Plantronics Discovery 925 for a few weeks now so I cannot remember exactly what brought it to my attention. Maybe it was because it was one of the newest models that Plantronics had. Nonetheless, here is how this headset is superior to the one it replaced:
- It came with a carrying case with a rechargable battery that charged the headset. I can recharge both when the headset is in the case. However, while I am out and about, the case comes in handy to charge headset.
- It used a standard micro USB charger. It came with two chargers… one for USB and one for wall charging. Since my Palm Pre also used micro USB for charging, it effectively tripled the chargers I had to available to charge either my phone or headset. That meant I could charge while I am at home or at work.
- There were two ways for me to find out when it was time to charge. If I hit the big button, it will blink an indicator and if the red light glowed, it was time to charge. While wearing the earpiece, an audible alert will bring attention to the need to charge.
- The elegant yet secure design did not have a loop to get in the way. This made it easier to insert into my ear and not have to struggle with my hair or ear.
I liked how it came in different colors instead of the usual black and gray. I decided to get gold because I liked the color and it was less obvious against my skin.
Plantronics listed the price at almost $150. I bought mine from Amazon.com for about half of that. I also got to use a gift certificate credit so that was awesome.
When I considered getting this headset, I envisioned the toughest use case would be my wedding day. My hair and makeup would be done. I didn’t want to run around holding a phone to my ear. This headset would answer the challenge because it would not touch my hair when it is in my ear. It would securely and comfortably enable me to do last minute communications. Plus, it does not look as ugly as most headsets tend to look. However, sometimes I would forget that I was wearing it so I hope that that will not happen during the walk down the aisle.
My Sprint Mogul phone came with a pretty decent headset with stereo buds for both ears. The drawback was the wiring and with twice the buds, there was at least twice the tanglement so that it was a hassle using the headset.
I eventually broke down and shelled out the money for a bluetooth headset, Jabra Voyager. It’s been pretty cool to use a wireless headset. Sometimes I have a hard time knowing when it’s connected or not, though. I have to go to the call screen to check if the headset icon was there. In lieu of dealing with wires, I do have to ensure that the bluetooth partnership has been established and that the headset battery is adequately charged.
This weekend I went to the Best of the West BBQ Ribs Contest in Sparks, Nevada near Reno. At one point I got separated from the rest of my friends so thankfully I had my phone with me. I was using the headset and I felt weird talking into it because the phone was in my purse so it wasn’t obvious that I was talking on the phone. And I was saying “Where are you?” and looking around in the huge crowd. A passerby could think I’m talking to myself or an imaginary friend.
I was excited to get my Bluetooth adapter so that I could sync my Mogul phone wirelessly via Bluetooth to my laptop running Windows XP. That excitement turned to sheer frustration as I was unable to set up a partnership and thus unable to use ActiveSync through Bluetooth.
Sometimes the Bluetooth software manager would ask for the passcode, but I still got access denied: “Connection from [device name] has been denied”. Othertimes, it didn’t ask for a passcode though it should, thus causing authentication errors. I searched around for the solution and found the answer in Bluetooth ActiveSync Guide for Windows XP Service Pack 2. The culprit was the software/drivers that I installed from the CD that came with the D-Link adapter. The ironic thing was the instructions explicitly said:
Warning: Install the driver and software on the D-Link CD before installing the DBT-120 USB Bluetooth Adapter int your computer.
Ha! Look at what I got for following instructions. I uninstalled the software and used Windows drivers, following the detailed steps in the article referenced above.
I don’t know how it is for earlier versions, but in Windows Mobile 6, I had to modify the device partnership before I could get ActiveSync to sync through Bluetooth. Go to Bluetooth settings and select to edit the device. Click refresh for the pda to find available services from the computer. ActiveSync should show up. Select the checkbox and save. Then go to ActiveSync (on the PDA) and in the Menu, click on Connect via Bluetooth.
Finally, my Mogul PDA phone can sync to my laptop. It makes my laptop easier to move around without worrying about inadvertently dragging the pda as it connected via a USB cable.
After initial setup, to sync through bluetooth:
- Go to Comms Manager (at least in WM6)
- Activate Bluetooth if it isn’t already on
- Click on ActiveSync icon to go to the ActiveSync screen. Go to the Menu to Connect via Bluetooth.
For stable setups like that of desktops, it might be too much of a hassle to use bluetooth. If an often-moved laptop is in use, the extra effort could be considered worth it for the convenience of not having the phone tethered to the laptop.