Bluetooth Headset Buying Guide
If you want to buy a Bluetooth Headset, you should first find a good Bluetooth Headset Buying Guide. The goal is to save you from reading garbage from fake-news articles, tell you the truth about what's good and bad in bluetooth headsets and to teach you buy the right product. It's very important, because if you buy a wrong product, your earbuds:
- will fall out of your ears every 5 minutes until you lose one of them and finally step on it
- will produce pain in your ears when you tuck it inside your ear canal
- will loosely hang by your ears producing tiny sound you won't be able to hear
- will get its cable caught by all outstanding objects around you or your training equipment
- will have no bass sound because earbuds do not maintain a tight contact to your ear canal
- will have no bass sound because the manufacturer had cut it off to boast a longer battery life
- will be big, heavy, clumsy and uncomfortable - so that you immediately want to take it off
- will make your ears too hot and sweating in 5 minutes and that will be the max time you will be able to have your headset on
When you find a Bluetooth Headset Buying Guide - make sure it is trustworthy. Preparing this Guide I looked through Bluetooth Headset Buying Guides available in the Internet - all of them are written by people who don't know what they are writing about and useless because they are too shallow, too verbose and contain lots of stupid and false info. At best they repeat well-known facts and in the end are unable to advise anything. Often a Bluetooth Headset Buying Guide is a disguised selling pitch to sell a mediocre product.
The features to look for in a Bluetooth Headset
- Safety and Reliability in device functionality and user experience. Otherwise do not consider it as a product
- The headset should be comfortable to wear on your head and to use
- The headset should be light-weight
- The neckband should have a spring inside it that slightly presses earbuds to your ear canals
- Earbuds should not fall out of your ears
- The headset should not get caught by surrounding objects
- The headset should let you talk on the phone and to control your music player
- The headset should produce full spectrum sound with bass for a full-fledged music experience
- The headset should partially isolate you from surrounding sounds, but let you maintain awareness of surrounding events
- The headset should not produce any sounds audible to other people abound you
Earbuds or in-ear headphones
Earbuds are tiny earphones with rubber balls that are pressed to your ear canal. They are very small - but they need not be big: they power the smallest acoustic chamber - the ear canal. And for that tiny acoustic chamber their power is sufficient. Usually small speakers can not produce bass sounds, because bass physically requires a big membrane. A good model may produce full sound spectrum if it is tightly connected to a small acoustic chamber like ear canal.
Pros of Earbuds
Earbuds may be the best choice, as they are small, light-weight and easily portable. A good model may produce a sufficient bass sound in your ear canal. Your ears get good ventilation, don't get overheated and sweating - which is of huge importance, because if your ears are overheated and sweating, you can no longer bear those headphones on your head. If earphones are heavy - you get tired soon, and if they fully isolate you from surrounding sounds - it is dangerous. Earbuds do not fully isolate you from surrounding sounds - you maintain control.
Besides, in case of a good model it may be universal - you may have one headset that will be good for doing workouts in a gym, jogging, listening to music, talking on the phone, gaming on your desktop or laptop, watching your TV and using in your car. Bluetooth headset has a robust and durable construction and will likely last long. There is no jacks to tear off and no rubberized fabric to crack and peel off.
Cons of Earbuds
Earbuds are connected through Bluetooth technology, which requires to manually enable that connection in your headset and your phone - or any other Bluetooth host - every time you want to use it. And you have to charge your headset after every use. The neckband spring winds into the spiral the moment you leave it loose and to put it on you will have to unwind it.
On-ear headphones may be very comfortable and instant to put them on. However they are not likely to produce lasting good user experience and sound quality at the same time.
Pros of On-ear headphones
Cons of On-ear headphones
If your on-ear headphones block air passage to your ears - your ears will be overheating and sweating. If not - you will not have good bass. On-ear headphones have to power a much bigger acoustic chamber, comprised of ear canal and the adjacent space. That requires a bigger power consumption and bigger speakers. They are bigger and therefore harder to carry. The soft pads that contact your ears may be made of foam rubber or any other soft material covered with rubberized fabric. Over time - usually after 6 months - foam accumulates a lot of dust and dirt, while rubberized fabric starts to crack and peel off.
Over-ears are the largest of the three types. You might have seen teenagers wearing huge headphones.
Pros of Over-ear headphones
Best sound. Large over-ears tend to sound the best because they have the largest drivers.
Cons of Over-ear headphones
Hardest to carry. Heavy and clumsy. Biggest batteries. Thick headband. Your ears will be overheating and sweating in no time. After 10 minutes they will be a torture to bear on your head.
Price. This varies depending on how good any given pair of headphones actually is but since over-ears tend to have the best sound quality, they also tend to be the most expensive. The soft pads that contact your head like big bagels usually are made of foam rubber covered with rubberized fabric. Over time - usually after 6 months - this rubberized fabric starts to crack and peel off.
Bluetooth 4.1 vs Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth and 4G (LTE) famously don’t get on: their signals interfere degrading one another’s performance and draining battery life. Bluetooth 4.1 eliminates this by coordinating its radio with 4G automatically so there is no overlap and both can perform at their maximum potential. As most phones come with 4G now this is a vital improvement.
2. Smart connectivity
Rather than carry a fixed timeout period, Bluetooth 4.1 will allow manufacturers to specify the reconnection timeout intervals for their devices. This means devices can better manage their power and that of the device they are paired to by automatically powering up and down based on a defined power plan.
3. Improved Data Transfer
Bluetooth 4.1 devices can act as both hub and end point simultaneously. This is hugely significant because it allows the host device to be cut out of the equation and for peripherals to communicate independently.
Bluetooth profilesHSP, HFP, A2DP, AVRCP
Most Buying Guides will tell you that "This is the spec that tells you the range of sound that the product is capable of producing measured in Hertz (Hz). If you look on the box of any audio product this number is usually around 20Hz – 20,000Hz, with the first number representing the lowest frequency and the second representing the highest. This number varies depending on the product, but for reference, humans can only hear between 20Hz – 20,000Hz which is why that’s the range most products aim for."
That is not true! It is lack of understanding at best and pure lies at worst. Frequency Response is not the range of sound that the product is capable of producing. Frequency Response is a curve, reflecting the output power per frequency. The majority of manufacturers write in product specs that their headset has Frequency Response 20Hz – 20,000Hz. What they don't tell you - and quite often don't know themselves - that their headset has output power of 0.005% at 20Hz, 5% at 1000Hz, 50% at 8000Hz and 100% at 15000Hz.
Moreover they don't know that human ear has a similar sensitivity curve - which means it does not perceive all sounds equally. Bass sounds should be 10+ times more powerful to be perceived at equal loudness level with a sample tone of 440Hz.
The frequency range of 20Hz – 20,000Hz is purely theoretical. In real people it is much narrower. We at best may expect the majority of people to hear sounds in the range of 50Hz-15,000Hz.
CVC6.0 Headsets with Noise Cancellation have tiny microphones in them that pick up outside noises and subtract them from the sound signal, thus eliminating noise.