I regretted not investing in a Bluetooth headset till I bought one. Because I hate when I am busy working and certainly haven’t got my hands free from what I am doing and somebody calls me on my phone or Skype.
That mostly happened when I would be working on some kind of offline and off the computer stuff, working in garage or cooking something in kitchen, for example. Happens with everybody, I guess.
or maybe it’s just me.
But Anyways, let me continue, So I was explaining how I regretted it, till I bought my first Bluetooth headset and did I loved it?
Man, it solved most of my problems, like when I am riding a bike and somebody calls, or when I am talking to somebody over phone and I have to ride a bike or drive a car which needs most hands-free attention.
But wait! it wasn’t the end of the story,
I still had to cope with the problem of noisy situations when driving or riding a bike, or when my device was a bit far away and my Headset dropped the signal and bam! call goes in dark.
Happened to you too?
Well, I decided to spare some time and do the research for getting the best I can but reading the reviews (mostly biased for money, or fake ones) I ended up buying half a dozen headsets for myself and still was not having the excellent experience I wanted.
I got better experience, for sure. But that wasn’t enough.
I needed better so I tried even more over past 7-8 years and ended up buying another half a dozen Bluetooth headsets and finally loved few of them because I got what I imagined about a pixel-perfect Bluetooth headset – Long battery time, long connection range, awesome noise cancellation abilities and the best of all, ease and comfort of wearing it for up-to 12-14 hours without getting your ear to hurt.
Today, I thought to compile a Top-7 review round-up to help you get the best cheap bluetooth headsets deal you can get for your kind of scenario and I am not going to delay it any further…
List of Best Cheap Bluetooth Headsets:
This headset was Motorola’s good try to get into headset market and they seem to succeed at it. At least I liked most aspects about how they focused on features and the market they were targeting.
Overview and features:
So, this was Motorola’s try to get into the headset market and capture the attention of an average consumer, and according to my experience with the headset and reviews I’ve read online, they did a pretty decent job.
The headset do not offer the most appealing aesthetics in the market but it does the job. The decision of adding a flip open/close microphone hand for switching it on/off seems to be a good decision as it is much easier than reaching out for the button itself.
Call attend/drop button on the face and volume rocker on side of headset help to maintain the minimalist design.
The MotoSpeak app for smartphones is pretty good at what it promises; improving the performance and functionality of the headset.
On the aspect of audio quality, Motorola did a great job. The headset features 2 microphones for noise cancellation and the output audio, going to the person on the other side of the call, is impressive.
Battery life and verdict:
According to my usage test I conclude its battery time to be around 6 hours on average, which, if compared with other high-end headsets in market, is much better battery performance I’ve seen.
Another feature is the battery display on the the connected smartphone, which makes it easier to know how much juice you got left. It also tells you in earpiece by speaking the remaining battery level each time you turn the headset on or warn you when the battery is low.
I advise you to buy it if you want all those features and also you aren’t a brand/fashion conscious person.
6.) BlueAnt Q3
Now, I am not saying it is one of the top of the line headsets, but guys at BlueAnt were able to work out the issues faced by customers of Q2. Added new features and now Q3 stands in top 7 rankings, and at this low price point, I don’t think it even needs to compete with other High-end market.
Audio Quality, Battery Life and features:
Audio Quality is good, keeping the 2 microphones for noise cancellation in mind, the person at other end of calls confirmed clear audio and the voice at my end was fairly good.
Searching about its reviews prior to buying it I read mixed reviews, few people had problems and others had really good time.
Well till the time I bought it, I found out that a firmware update has resolved many problems customers were facing and upon receiving it I am glad that it performs well. Audio is Good, design is good and it packs few features which are missing from few top of the line Bluetooth Headsets.
One feature I missed in few top of the line headsets is battery indication feature for smartphones and this headset packs that feature. That too at that price-point, I am impressed.
Battery life of BlueAnt Q3 impressed me too. I thought I was going to get around 4 hours of talk-time but Boy it got long battery time. I got almost 6 hours and 30 minutes of straight talk-time from this headset which is great.
Another feature is integration with Smartphone assistants like Google Now OR Siri for voice commands. Caller ID when I receive a call is great and I can attend or reject the call without touching headset, just by using voice answer commands.
My recommendation is, if you have bit low budget and you want all that battery timing and features AND you are ready to make little bit of trade-offs with wrong button placement and little bit of audio quality, you should but it. It is best bang for the buck you can get.
I absolutely love to use the high end headsets by plantronics but the experience with this device is definitely worthy it in this mid-ranged price point.
Let me explain each aspect of the headset in detailed special here.
Aesthetics and Audio Quality:
Tiny in size, having all the buttons I needed to know I am physically performing certain action i.e. switching it on/off or adjusting volume. Yet so small
in size that one of the reviewers on amazon shared that he is using a small pill bottle as a case for the headset, I never tried that myself, obviously.
Now this device features all the physical buttons you need, power on/off button, volume rocker and call button, nothing much special
Audio Quality of this device is worth the appreciation. I was impressed with the noise cancellation in the other high end models of Plantronics like
Voyager Legend but they took it on another level at this price point.
I can explain the noise cancellation and clarity by rating it 8 on the scale of 1-10, its that Good. I never needed to yell to make my voice audible to the person on the other end of the call
Battery life and verdict:
I’ve never seen such long battery life in that tiny size in my whole life. Other tiny headsets, such as jabra STEALTH packs serious amount of battery
timing too but the never last any longer than 4-5 hours. However, Marque 2, on the other hand lasts as long as 7 hours and that is some serious performance
My suggestion is that if you want a perfect headset, go buy Plantronics Marque 2 M165 now. And I suggest you buy it from amazon as it is on discount there,
you can get it for as low as $33 from amazon, where its actual price is around $60
Jabra Stealth Bluetooth headset is a Smaller, more kind of a discreet headset which packs lot of power and is mainly targeted at people who are fashion conscious about the products they use.
Now stating that, lets dive into details
Design and Voice Quality:
Jabra Stealth is Tiny and lightweight, and the only weight it carries is at the base. So people who had some bad experiences with headsets having too much weight on the microphone arm, will find this one more balanced in terms of weight.
Now what I found out about the grip after using it for few weeks, is, that it is not as easy as other bulky devices, to drop it out of your ear by shaking your head, even without an ear-loop. It just sticks there because of its balanced and less weight and I can walk or sit on my couch working, even when I am not talking to anyone, it doesn’t feels like I have bluetooth headset in my ear.
Coming to aesthetics, this headset looks literally like a stealth device. With that call/end button at the end of headset, which needs light tap for functioning and a power on/off button behind the microphone arm.
Jabra needed to make small sacrifice in order to achieve this tiny design and they made that with dedicated volume up/down button, which would be considered a downside if you prefer dedicated volume buttons. And a Dedicated button is at the bottom which would activate your favorite voice assistant for hands free experience.
Coming to the voice quality, it packs some serious business class microphone tech which just make the noise in background disappear, not going into its technical detail, let me try to explain what I found out by my experience and bit of intentional noise testing.
It does extremely well in terms of cancelling the background noise with the help of Noise Blackout dual-microphone technology which is specific to Jabra products only.
While testing, both parties on either side of call were able to hear the voice clearly. However only one complaint regarding its audio is comparatively low volume when I am on call, I don’t listen to music using bluetooth headset, so i am not worried about music volume. Rather I long for bit high volume in the ear to make it more easily audible. I guess that’s possible through a firmware update, maybe.
Battery life and other features:
I guess I have address the only issue I faced with Jabra Stealth, now coming to its battery life, I am seriously impressed. With how long the battery can last with this tiny design. I thought it would not last any longer than 3 hours but it impressed me with the talk time of 4-5 hours easily.
Other features include one of the biggest reason I bought it in the first place, which is a dedicated nano-sized Bluetooth dongle using which I am able to connect it with my PC or laptop for calling through VoIP softwares.
I was able to achieve better functionality using the dedicated app with my smartphone which is a plus point.
My verdict: Buy it if you want tiny Bluetooth headset packing lot of battery power and impressive audio quality with few (tiny) sacrifices made to achieve that small design.
Most of the Bluetooth headsets are targeted towards professionals who mostly use their headsets for 12-14 hours in office and don’t get noticed for doing so.
Big, bulky Bluetooth headsets with long battery life. But Plantronics finally gave a thought to a Bluetooth headset with minimal design, which looks better than previous versions, the result is here.
As I talked about it earlier, it features a minimal design and style-ish look normally liked by general audience. With that minimal look it packs few energizer features like sensors and multiple buttons for making calls, triggering special predefined functions like Siri/Google now or its own voice commands which provides user with total hands free control.
Featuring Volume rocker and charging port on the back side of the headset. One non-micro-USB port below the microphone arm which functions as charging port when docked inside the charging dock itself.
The other buttons include a power on/off button and a button to make calls and another for special features as I said earlier. Looks perfectly decent while you are wearing it.
And Yeah, if you are not into black color, you can try from many other colors.
One of the things I like about this headset over jawbone Era is that it needs no Noise Assassin’s nib to touch your face like Era to make good calls with handsome noise cancellation quality.
I have used them both for hours on phone and when I questioned the person I called about which one was better, the vote went straight in the favor of Edge and I was amazed because it was able to do this better by just using its triple mic array and not another added technology like Era.
As for music, I don’t really bother to listen to music on a mono headset.
Battery life and other Features
Keeping that minimal design, battery life is pretty good with 6 hours of talk time with full charge and 7 days of standby.
But with its case, the talk time gets extended to 16 hours which is pretty good compared with other competitors in the price range.
The other feature which lets you handle the calls in literally a hands free way is that you can accept, reject or redial last number by just saying the related command, simple as that.
This headset packs a lot of sensors which helps it to identify, if you are using it or it is sitting in the case. which helps you to use it in more efficient way.
Let me give you example of two cases, Your phone connected to this specific headset or any other headset.
Now if you were using any other Bluetooth headset and you get a call and you really don’t want to use the headset for the call, you’ll have to go into settings and change the routing of voice to the phone.
Although it is few taps away, still you’ll need to do it in order to talk through handset.
Or, it will route the voice from Bluetooth headset.
If you have Voyager Edge connected to your phone but it is resting either in cradle or sitting on your desk and you want to take the call using your phone.
You can simply attend the call and it will NOT route the audio through the headset because the headset is telling the phone that You are not currently using it, and that one of the best features I love about this headset.
Finding a headphone with perfect fit is a deal maker/breaker for me. After trying many previous Bose models and many jawbone models I finally gave a serious thought to try series 2 Bluetooth headset from Bose and I’ve never been happier.
I know there are few downfalls of this headset but again I got what I wanted – Crystal clear voice quality and perfect and most comfortable fit I’ve ever experienced. I can totally wear it for hours and forget if it is even there.
Made of shiny black plastic with matte like finish it got multi-function call button and sound buttons at the top and a power on/off button at the bottom.
Two lights at the back of headset for indicating Bluetooth connectivity and battery status which flashes three different colors (green, yellow and red) depending upon the battery charge left.
The design is not geeky at all, it looks nice and simply works.
Remember when I talked about few downfalls?
This was in my mind, it is not a deal breaker for me, though I was afraid prior to buying this headset as if, it would be like the the original Bose Bluetooth headset.
But as surprising as it may sound to you, this one is better in almost every way than its predecessor. The earbud in this version is more comfortable-ish and for people who disliked the only option of right-ear-model in original version can now be happy because series 2 headset is available in 2 models right-ear and left-ear option.
Along-with that you get silicone ear-tips in 3 different sizes (small, medium and large) out-of-box which helps you to choose which one is for you and fits your ear canal perfectly.
There is not much on the features side if we compare it with its competitors like jawbone or Plantronics.
Like it will not show battery indicator in the status bar of iPhone like many models of jawbone. No app for your smartphone (iPhone or android) to enhance the features of the headset either. No option of voice commands.
Not much on battery side too, average talk time of 4-5 hours which is quite OK if You consider its decent size. Range is a Plus point too, often got 23+ feet easily but worked like a charm within the range of 20 feet.
Pairing is easy and it is in pairing mode when you turn it on for the first time, nothing different than any other headset for pairing.
If you are solely looking for a headset with handful of advanced features, this one is clearly not for you. But if You value comfort, voice quality and Simplicity of working over features this headset is for you.
This is by far the best Bluetooth headset I’ve found from all aspects whether it is battery timing or noise cancellation features (Did I already mentioned that I am a big fan of Noise cancellation feature in headsets?)
If you are ready to make few trade-offs (you heard me) because you have to make few in order to enjoy the features this legend sports.
Let’s start with the Design, Somewhat bulky but way lighter than it seems (trust me on that). Sports a big bulky compartment behind the ear which holds the battery and volume rocker, Power on/off button and charging port.
The other Buttons are on the other half of the headset, on the microphone arm providing features like Voice key (which sits below the arm near the edge) and the call button sits at the same corner of microphone arm.
On the side of convenience, these headsets are great to be used with glasses. Plantronics took extra care so that your glasses won’t be able to mess up with your chatting experience.
Noise cancellation and Audio Quality:
Plantronics is THE BRAND known for its headsets to provide far superior audio quality and noise cancellation technology than any other brand in the market and same went with this boy.
To take the noise cancellation and sound clarity to the next level, Plantronics used 3 microphones which they call Triple-Mic Noise cancellation technology. According to Plantronics this technology can separate your voice from 80 dB of background noise, Which sounds tempting.
I tested it on a bike, in a packed marketplace and windy conditions and found it does what it says. It can’t remove all that noise (kinda noise which we face in packed market place or Highly windy condition) obviously but upon asking from people on the other side of phone call they were like… Noise? what noise?
Sure they did noticed bit of noise but not much noticeable quantity of noise so I am glad I got what I paid for.
Voyager Legend uses Bluetooth 4.0 technology to connect with devices to provide superior signal quality and less signal loss. They claim that they improved it further using wide-band audio support.
But hey… at the end it is the overall experience which matter right?
I should mention the extra silicon gel tips of different sizes which comes with the headset but only one which felt comfortable was the stock one, which came attache with the headset.
Other features include voice recognition, accepting, rejecting or making calls using voice commands, without even touching the headset.
Talking about experience I should mention the ONLY Con (hit and miss) of this wireless headset:
The only con for few people turned out to be its charging port. One reason is that it is not what you expect – it’s not a micro-USB charging port but a unique magnetic connector.
Which, turns out, didn’t proved to be good for some people, as few customers on amazon complained about it’s not-so-powerful magnetic ability.
Which causes it to fall off from the port on the headset while charging, periodically. Which looks like a minus point BUT, if you are ready to make this trade-off, you are going to enjoy plethora of other features. Sincerely Speaking, I myself never had any issue with its charging connector so I guess it’s a hit and miss situation.
Last but not the least is the talk time it provides through its lithium-ion battery which according to my usage experience averages at 7.5 hours easily after one full recharge.