The designers at Nextlink believe that good things come in small
packages. Their last generation Bluespoon
Chameleon headset was the smallest one we’ve seen, yet
they managed to make even smaller and lighter Bluespoon headset.
The Bluespoon AX, the 3 rd generation wireless headset offered by
Nextlink, has the latest Bluetooth wireless headset technology and
sells for an affordable price.
Looking like a shrunk
down version of the Chameleon, the Bluespoon AX comes in
at only 1.5 inches in length and 0.35 oz. (10 grams) in
weight. It is indeed the smallest Bluetooth headset. The
AX also adds a separate multi-function button on the front
face of the headset in addition to the two side buttons
found on the Chameleon, simplifying operation. The multi-function
button is clear so that it can act as an LED. The buttons
on the sides turn the volume up and down while the center
multi-function button initiates or end calls and performs
There is a Mini USB port on the top of
the headset for charging and for carrying with the included
Mini USB neck strap. The speaker is mounted on the back
of the headset. You can use one of the soft ear pieces
that will channel the sound into your ear tunnel and secure
the headset in your ear with its soft rubberized spring.
The ear piece is a big improvement from the Chameleon model
because it’s shaped to fit into your ear and the spring
is much softer and easy to get into position. The Bluespoon
AX package includes two ear pieces of different sizes and
lengths. Try both to see which one fits your ear better,
and trim the “tail” if it’s too long. It
can also easily rotate for either ear. The headset is very
light so you will have no trouble wearing it for the entire
day and it’s very small and unobtrusive. Nextlink offers
the Bluespoon AX in “Silk Black” color.
Pairing the Bluespoon AX with a device is quick and easy.
The Bluespoon supports both Headset and Hands-Free profiles.
We tested the headset with the iPAQ
6315, the Audiovox
SMT5600, the Nokia
3650palmOne Treo 650 and the Dell
X50v Pocket PC. Pairing with all phones and PDAs worked
smoothly. You can put the headset in pairing mode by holding
down the multi-function button until it’s flashing
blue and red rapidly, use “0000” as the pass
code and establish the connection between the headset and
your device. The Bluespoon AX also supports Audio Gateway
and Bluetooth adapter for desktop which is handy if you like
to use a headset for VoIP. The Bluespoon can be paired with
up to 8 devices. The sound hand-off between the phone and
the headset is quite fast and smooth, even with the Treo
650 which is generally slow to hand off calls to a Bluetooth
The voice quality is decent, though not full-bodied.
Given the headset's incredibly small size, there isn't room
for a speaker than can deliver a lot of deep midrange and
bass, after all. The volume isn’t
terribly loud for either the incoming or outgoing voice.
It’s a good choice
for the office but not for noisy cars or loud outdoor public
places. It is loud enough for walks down suburban streets
and the average supermarket. If you need to adjust the volume
of the incoming voice, use the buttons on the side of the
headset. Be careful however; don’t
hold the headset with your hand when in use as it reduces
the sound volume because your hand obstructs the Bluetooth
wireless signal. When testing on a Pocket PC, system sounds,
MP3 and movie sound played through the headset with decent
clarity. The system sound volume is quieter than the MP3
and movie tracks, which is probably a good thing.
You can mute your voice during a call by holding either
volume button for 4 seconds and another 4 seconds to un-mute.
The Bluespoon AX has a high efficiency 2.4 GHz antenna that
supposed to give you a longer range. We get over 25 feet
range consistently with all the phones tested except the
Treo 650 which is known for its mediocre range with headsets
(the Treo managed 10 feet). Longer distances and having walls
between your headset and the phone cause break ups and cracking
The Bluespoon AX supports some common
phone features such as voice dialing, call waiting and
call rejection if your cell phone has these features. In
general Hands-Free profile will give you more features
via the headset such as putting a call on hold, re-dial
the last number and more. The Bluespoon AX has performed
voice dialing, call waiting and call rejection smoothly
on the Nokia 3650 which has the Hands-Free profile. Note
that not all phones support voice dialing via headset,
for example the Motorola
MPx220 doesn’t come with
The Bluespoon AX comes with a rechargeable Li-Ion battery
in a coin cell shape. The battery is user replaceable. It
lives in a small tray under the Mini USB charging port. You
can pull the tray out to change the battery. Nextlink recommend
that you use the original Bluespoon AX batteries or you will
avoid their warranty. The headset comes with a USB charging
cable which can turn your computer (PC or Mac) into a charging
station for the headset. Make sure that you fully charge
the battery for the first time. The multi-function button
(acts like an LED) will turn red when the headset is charging
and turn off the red light when the headset is fully charged.
The claim talk time is 6 hours and our tests show that it’s
just slightly shorter than that . The standby time is 300
hours and the headset will go to sleep after extended period
Cardo Scala 500, AX and
the Motorola HS820.
Yes, the AX is much smaller than other
"small" headsets as you can see above. Our first
AX was a clear prototype, as you can see!
Pro: If miniaturization is your style, it doesn’t
get any better than this! It’s light and comfortable to wear.
The headset supports dual profile and works with variety of devices.
The voice quality isn’t too bad but not the best we’ve
used. The range is pretty good on all devices and it supports some
popular phone features. It comes with a rechargeable battery that’s
user replaceable which is a nice touch if you plan to keep this headset
for a long time. USB charging is convenient for computer users but
not convenient if you’re on the road without a laptop and its
USB port. In that case, purchase Nextlink's optional car charger
or wall charger. Good battery life and good price!
Con: Incoming voice volume might turn away those
who use their phones in noisy environments, but it works well if
you're not on a Manhatten street corner or in a family style restaurant
filled with boisterous children and clanging cuttlery. There is a
little bit of white noise that’s
noticeable on the incoming end. Can’t charge the headset in
the car or when away from a computer’s USB port unless you
purchase the accessory wall or car chargers.
The package includes the Bluespoon AX headset,
a USB charging cable for charging the headset via your computer,
2 ear pieces, a rechargeable coin cell battery that’s user
replaceable, a Mini USB neck strap and a user manual.