Blog

30Mar
2008
My New Favorite Bluetooth Headset

I've been wearing Bluetooth headsets for about as long as they have been around, and have owned lots and tried even more. And I have a new favorite, the BlueAnt Z9. Here's the scoop:

Pros:

  • The Z9 is small, one of the smallest and lightest headsets I have tried.
  • It is also extremely comfortable to wear, even for very long periods. It is so comfortable that I often forget I am wearing it.
  • Sound quality is superb, at least based on what the people on the other end of the connection are telling me.
  • Many very lightweight headsets have optional ear loops, but they often feel like afterthoughts, not fitting the devices well or coming apart (Plantronics devices seem very prone to this). The Z9 ear loops (there are 3 of them, all identical, or so it seems) fit well and stay in place properly.
  • Battery life is really good.
  • It comes with both an AC charger and a USB cable. The latter is an absolute must for anyone who travels, and I automatically rule out any Bluetooth headset that does not include this necessity.
  • The Z9 comes with a built in clip, making it easier to carry the headset in your pocket or attached to your shirt and so on.
  • The headset is firmware upgradeable. The actual upgrade process is convoluted and horribly unfriendly (yes, I tried it). Still, it's nice to know that firmware updates are an option if they are needed.

Cons:

  • I have only found one downside with the headset, and that is that I find the volume too low. Others hear me fine, the problem is me hearing them. It's fine in most environments when cranked up to the highest volume, but in noisy environments the volume is definitely too low. I contacted BlueAnt and they suggested that I update the firmware which I did, and unfortunately it did not make a difference. This is a shame, and hopefully they can release another firmware update that really does fix the problem.

The verdict? The BlueAnt Z9 is definitely the very best Bluetooth headset I have owned, and is highly recommended (but keep that one negative in mind). It is available from Amazon.com.

Comments (7)



  • Gary Funk

    This is one of the main reasons I read your blog everyday. I love your take on new toys.

    #1Posted by Gary Funk | Mar 31, 2008, 11:15 AM
  • Clint

    Funny you mention the volume issue with the headset, thier site is all about how well it works in noisy environments. But maybe thats just for the person on the other end.

    The biggest problem with my bluetooth (Motorola H601) and Razor V3 is keeping it connected. A call will come in and when I try to answer with my bluetooth, it has lost connection with the phone. Then I have to use the phone and reconnect my bluetooth afterwards again. Happens about 1 in 12 calls, mostly while driving. You ever have that problem?

    #2Posted by Clint | Mar 31, 2008, 02:46 PM
  • Ben Forta

    Clint, yes, the noise processing is superb, for folks on the other end. They are hearing calls better than with any other headset I have, it's my end that is the problem. And no, the connectivity and reconnection is superb with this device. Have never had to manually reconnect at all.

    --- Ben

    #3Posted by Ben Forta | Mar 31, 2008, 03:27 PM
  • Jeffry Houser

    Ben,

    Have you ever tried as a computer microphone?

  • Ben Forta

    Jeff, I have not, yet.

    --- Ben

    #5Posted by Ben Forta | Apr 8, 2008, 08:28 AM
  • Anthony Webb

    @ben: have you tried the jawbone yet? curious how this one compares, I am in need of replacing my jabra jx10 and have been eyeing the jawbone and this one you like here.

    #6Posted by Anthony Webb | May 2, 2008, 02:32 AM
  • Ben Forta

    Anthony, I found the Jawbone very uncomfortable, it's big and bulky. I did not try it for call quality etc., I just ruled it out because it felt less comfortable.

    --- Ben

    #7Posted by Ben Forta | May 2, 2008, 09:47 AM