What's hot:Very good noise reduction, battery life.
What's not:Can sound digitized.
Review posted April 2009 by Tong Zhang, Senior Editor
Andrea Electronics specializes in making wired headsets and microphones for computers and embedded audio solutions. The BT-200 Bluetooth headset is Andrea’s first wireless headset that’s designed to work with both mobile phones and computers via Bluetooth. The BT-200 has Bluetooth v2.0 + EDR, noise canceling technology, long battery life and a unique long, flexible boom. For PCs that don’t have built-in Bluetooth, the BT-200 comes with a Bluetooth adapter and software that allows them to work with the headset. The Andrea PureAudio BT-200 Bluetooth headset has good audio quality (though not superb), a very strong DSP and good range.
Most Bluetooth headset designers have shied away from adding a long boom to the ever-shrinking Bluetooth headset. The Andrea Pure Audio BT-200 shows its roots in desk headset design and offers a long boom that’s built to military specs. It’s very effective at increasing outgoing voice volume and improving noise cancellation. The BT-200 is easy to use with only three buttons: a multi-function button for call controls and volume up and down buttons. The LED light lives under the multi-function button. The headset comes with two ear hooks including an ultra thin one for those who wear eyeglasses, and is comfortable to wear throughout the day.
Pairing and Features
The Pure Audio BT-200 has Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR and supports Hands-free and Headset profiles. The headset paired with all phones easily in our tests however the pairing period was unusually short (about 5 seconds). This means you should have your phone in searching for Bluetooth audio partner mode before putting the headset in pairing mode, or you might miss the short pairing window. To pair the headset, hold the multi-function key on the BT-200 until the LED flashes blue and red alternately, and then use your mobile phone to search and pair. The BT-200 supports hands-free call management features such as last number dialing, call rejecting, call waiting and mute during a call.
Voice Quality and Range
The Andrea BT-200 Bluetooth headset has good voice quality but not superb. The extended boom certainly helps outgoing voice quality and volume but incoming voice sounds digitized. That said, the BT-200 sounded good enough to carry on a conversation using a variety of phones we tested. The BT-200 has a very strong DSP and can filter out most road noise and even some wind noise (wind noise is challenging for many of today’s Bluetooth headsets). Here are the test details on some of the mobile phones we tested with the BT-200 Bluetooth headset:
When working with the Apple iPhone 3G: The BT-200 worked with the iPhone 3G well. The voice on both incoming and outgoing ends was clear enough to carry on smooth conversations though it sounded a bit tinny. The DSP worked very well filtering out road noise: it completely eliminated soft to moderate road noise and even canceled some wind noise. The range between the Pure Audio BT-200 and the iPhone 3G was about 15-20 feet.
When working with the BlackBerry Curve 8350i: The BT-200 worked with the BlackBerry Curve 8350i Nextel phone fine with good incoming audio and some echo on outgoing audio. The voice quality was slightly clearer than on the iPhone 3G and the volume was very loud. The echo on the outgoing end might be related to the BlackBerry Curve 8350i’s issues with call echo in general. The range between the BlackBerry Curve and the BT-200 was about 20 feet.
When working with the HTC S740: The HTC S740 Windows Mobile smartphone has a great Bluetooth implementation and plays well with Bluetooth accessories in general. The voice quality was a lot better on the HTC S740 compared to all other phones in our test. The outgoing voice was quite clear and loud and the incoming voice was also loud but just a bit digitized. We could carry on conversations smoothly using the BT-200 with the HTC S740. The range was over 20 feet.
The BT-200 has a rechargeable battery and the battery life is very good by Bluetooth headset standards. The claimed talk time is up to 8 hours and claimed standby is 6 days. Our tests showed that talk time was 6-7 hours and standby time was about 6 days. Those who are away from their computers a lot will not like the charging option out of box: the BT-200 comes with a USB charging cable but no AC charger or car charger included. It takes 2-3 hours to fully charge the headset via USB connected to a desktop computer.
As the company’s into the Bluetooth headset market, the BT-200 isn’t an ace in the hole but it’s a good workhorse and companion for mobile phone users. The headset is light and comfy to wear, and secure enough on your ear for even a light jog to catch a train or flight. The voice quality is good and volume is loud. The DSP works very effectively against road noise and better against wind noise than many Bluetooth headsets we’ve tested. The battery life is good and the range is also good by Bluetooth headset standards. It doesn’t offer some of the more advanced features such as multipoint technology or firmware update, but it does come with PC solutions should you need a VoIP wireless headset.
Pro: Comfortable form. Strong DSP and loud volume. Good battery life.
Con: Pairing period is too short. No AC charger included.
Package contains: The BT-200 headset and a Bluetooth USB adapter, two ear hooks, USB charging cable and PC software CD.
Technical Specs: -Bluetooth v2.0 + EDR
-Profiles supported: Headset and Hands-Free Profiles
-Claimed talk time: 8-10 hours
-Claimed standby time: 6 days
-Battery: Lithium ion rechargeable
-AC adapter: None