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The speed and schedules of work and life these days can be a double-edged sword. It’s easier than ever to reach people, but if you’re one of those “always-on” people you could end up feeling like you’re constantly fielding calls and trying to multi-task too much at once.
But a Bluetooth headset can help make things a little bit simpler, and keep you connected cordlessly while keeping your hands free. They’re compatible with most modern smartphones, and can connect to voice control like Siri, with a range of up to (and sometimes beyond) 33 feet.
Though they were gained popularity about a decade ago, Bluetooth headsets are seeing a resurgence in popularity, as people look for ways to multi-task while running errands, stuck in traffic or even while working out. Even if you’re working from home, a good Bluetooth headset lets you get up from your desk and take calls or listen to messages while getting a stretch in, making lunch or stepping outside from the fresh air.
What Are the Best Bluetooth Headsets?
The best Bluetooth earpiece will let you hear and respond to calls in a busy environment while eliminating or reducing background noise. Most models are made for the clearest conversation possible, and designed with an aesthetic that’s sleek, minimal, professional, and blends in whether you’re wearing business attire or working remotely in your pajamas.
They also often include interchangeable ear-tips, to help it stay in place no matter how much you move around. You’ll want one that’s small, less bulky, lightweight, compact and stays comfortable against your ear – since you’ll probably be wearing it for long stretches, and bigger ones can start to pinch after a while.
Bluetooth Headsets vs. Earbuds
While regular wireless earbuds will work for calls in a pinch, the best Bluetooth headsets are specially designed for taking calls. That means larger earpieces to better hear the person on the other end, an extended microphone to capture your voice more clearly, and lightweight, wrap-around hooks that stay on comfortably for all-day wear.
It should also be known that Bluetooth headsets aren’t meant to produce the type of high-quality bass response that music earbuds were made for, but in-between calls, you’ll still be able to listen to music, podcasts, and even things like getting GPS directions straight from your nearby phone (which is especially helpful while biking or driving). And controls on the unit itself increase efficiency too, like volume and pause buttons for taking and ending calls. That’s all without the extra hassle of finding, losing or untangling cables.
In fact, the only wire you may have to deal with is charging. While some sets offer a wireless cradle, others require a wire, usually a USB-C to fully charge up. Battery life, especially on standby mode, is ridiculously long for many headsets. Charging up can take as little as 1-2 hours, while talk-time usually clocks in up to 15 hours. An earpiece in standby mode can retain a charge for a week, and sometimes (in deep-sleep mode) up to six months.
These four options can decrease background noise and increase productivity, helping you to be hands-free even on the busiest workdays.
1. Plantronics Voyager 5200 Bluetooth Headset
Plantronics has been a well-known player in the Bluetooth headset game for a while now, and users have come to trust the entire Voyager line.
The design is sleek, while its behind-the-ear fit is secure no matter how much you move around. Four internal microphones mean voice quality is excellent here too.
It’s a bit bulkier than the rest, but that serves a purposeful functionality. There’s an on/off button on the back, as well as pressable volume buttons within easy reach too. This can also be paired up with multiple mobile devices, and connect through Near Field Communications (NFC) – a short-range, wireless way of transmitting data. It’s got built-in voice commands, allowing you to do things like easily dictate text messages when you need to get a note down quickly.
Plantronics even has its own app, which not only acts as a control panel showing you things like battery life, but can also make the headset beep when you can’t find it (and then remember you’re still wearing it).
2. Conambo Bluetooth Headset 5.0
At just 0.5 ounces, the Conambo headset is extremely light, and can go the distance – about 16 hours of talk-time or 240 hours in power-saving mode, and can connect to up to two devices simultaneously.
The power, mute, and volume buttons put you in control, and can have multiple uses for things like pausing, playing and pairing, and to activate voice assistants like Siri or Cortana.
Voice quality is clear here, and real-time audio transmits fast with low latency, leaving little room for lag. The dual microphones do a great job of separating your voice from background noise. It’s also adjustable for a comfortable fit – the flexible hook swivels 180° while the arm adjusts 270° for you to find what feels right on either ear, and is fully extendable too.
3. Naenka Bone Conduction Headphones
This headset utilizes bone conduction, a technology dating back to Mozart, to better pick up the vibrations and clarity in your voice when on a call, and deliver sound through cheekbones instead of out through the air. It doesn’t skimp on the bass either – the 16mm dynamic speaker makes sure the low end comes through loud and clear.
It’s IPX8 waterproof, so you won’t need to worry about running in the rain, accidental spills, even swimming up to 5 meters deep. There’s also 16GB of memory and an MP3 player built-in for when you’re away from your devices, and Bluetooth 5.0 to easily pair with Macs and PCs.
The 180mAh battery life was about 10 hours, and recharging took about 90 minutes with wireless charging.
4. AMINY UFO Bluetooth Headset Wireless
The smart and functional design is what really makes this set stand out. Unlike other models, the Aminy’s battery is in the detachable earpiece, so you can talk on one while charging up another through the micro-USB cable, and always have a backup battery ready to go.
The call quality here is exceptionally clear, while the fit is secure and comfortable without any pinching or pressing.
This is also IPX6-rated waterproof, meaning its insides are guarded against splashes and sweat, perfect for the all-weather joggers who want to stay connected and take calls on the run… literally.
5. ICOMTOFIT Bluetooth Headset V4.1
ICOMTOFIT’s Bluetooth headset pairs fast and provides a truly hands-free experience. Not only does it flawlessly connect to Siri and Google Voice, but also alerts you to low battery level, the quality of your connection, and announces the phone number of the caller so you can accept or decline.
Charging it up is quick, at about 1.5 hours, and continuous talk time clocks in at around 8-10 hours. The battery can even last over a week in standby mode.
These are also extremely comfortable, with ear gels in three sizes to ensure a snug fit.