Review posted Jan. 2006 by Tong Zhang, Senior Editor
Bluetake makes a variety of Bluetooth headsets and peripherals. Earlier this year we reviewed their Bluetooth stereo headphones, the i-Phono BT420EX. It was one of the first Bluetooth stereo headphones on the market and Bluetake did a pretty good job at making it easy to use while providing good audio quality. The BT400 G5 Bluetooth Headset is Bluetake’s 5th generation of Bluetooth wireless headset for mobile phones and PDAs. The BT400 G5 stands out with its loud volume, comfortable to wear and the ability of storing multiple pairing partner info.
The Bluetake BT400 G5 earned its “fish” nickname as it comes in a small silver fish shape. It’s longer than the Cardo Scala 500 and the Motorola H500 headset, but slimmer than both. The headset body has a very pleasing curves and the plastic casing comes in silver, black or blue color. On the front of the headset, you will find a black rubber cover that runs almost the entire length of the headset. It provides a rugged look and protects the control buttons lie underneath. At the top of the rubber cover is the Chinese character that means “fish”. Below that is the power on/off and pairing button. At the lower half of the rubber strip, you will find the call end/answer button that also functions as the control for redial, transfer and voice dialing features. Between the power button and call end button, you will find a LED shining through a clear rubber. The control buttons are raised to give you a better feel when you perform various functions while wearing the headset. However, there are a few more raised ridges in between these control buttons which can confuse you when you are trying to find the controls by touch. Not the best usability design here.
On the sides of the Bluetake, you will find the volume up button on the right and the volume down button on the left along with power charging post at the top of the left side. The headset has a comfortable soft ear hook that can secure the headset to your head. The ear hook is mounted on the back side of the headset by a stiff holder, which allows sudden head turns without making the headset flop against your ear and face. You can switch the hook for either ear by twisting it and turning the base to the opposite direction. The ear hook comes in only one size, and it fits large and medium size ear very well but punishes smaller ears. The speaker ear piece is raised to tunnel the voice closer to your ear. It doesn’t function like an in-ear headset design, but the ½ inch raise for the ear piece increase the volume dramatically. You can find the mic at the bottom tip of the headset. If you have a large or medium ear, the headset is very comfortable to wear at 0.7 oz. (20g).
The Bluetake BT400 G5 has a class 2 radio that supports both Headset and Hands-free profiles. We tested the headset with mobile phones in both camps including the Treo 650, the Nokia 3650, the LG VX9800 and the i-mate SP5m Windows Mobile 5 Smartphone as well as the HP hx2790 Pocket PC. The Bluetake paired with every device with ease. To put it in the pairing mode, hold the power on/off button until the LED flashes blue and red alternately and discover it with your phone or PDA, use “0000” as the default pass code to connect them. The Bluetake can be paired with multiple devices and had no trouble switching between them in our test. Very nice feature for those who use multiple Bluetooth devices.
The Bluetake BT400 G5 has an excellent incoming voice quality cross the board but varies in outgoing voice quality depending on the devices in our tests. The Treo 650 and the Nokia had better outgoing voice quality than the SP5m. Some calls on the Treo 650 experienced an echoing sound and the calls through the SP5m had corner drop-outs where you will miss a word at the beginning or the end of a sentence. A shame really given how good the incoming voice quality and volumes are on this headset. The incoming calls from both mobile line and land line sounded clear and volume loud. The volume performed the loudest on the Treo 650 and lowest on the SP5m. The noise canceling and blocking worked decent, not the best we have seen.
The Bluetake BT400 G5 supports most of the phone features such as voice dialing, redial last number and mute as long as your mobile phone supports these features. Voice dialing via the headset worked quite well on all phone models in our test and the voice transfer between the headset and the phone was very smooth.
The range on the Bluetake BT400 G5 is middle of the road: not the best or worst we’ve seen. The range on the Treo 650 and the SP5m reached about 10-15 feet, a decent achievement for the Treo 650 actually given how short of a range other headsets have suffered. The Nokia had better range and reached over 20 feet. You will hear crackling sound and voice break-ups when you reach the boarder of the range between your headset and your handset.
The Bluetake comes with a 3.7V 120 mA Li-Polymer battery that’s rechargeable. You can charge the headset using the A/C charger included in the package. The battery life is decent with over 4 hours of talk time and a week of standby. The LED will flash red when the headset power is running low.
Pro: Very comfortable to wear for long periods of time if your ear fits (medium to large size). Excellent incoming voice quality. Pairs to multiple devices and transfer calls smoothly. Good battery life. Excellent price!
Con: It’d been nicer to have different size ear hooks to suit more people. The outgoing voice quality varies on different devices.
Package contains the Bluetake BT400 G5 wireless headset, an A/C charger and a printed User Guide in six languages.
Technical Specs: -Claimed talk time: Up to 5 hours on a charge.
-Claimed Standby time: Up to 250 hours.
-Headset weight: 0.7 oz. (20 grams).
-Battery: Li-Polymer, 3.7V 120mA.