"Wow" is the phrase
universally heard when you first show the Bluespoon
AX2 Bluetooth Headset to anyone who's not seen
this or its predecessor the original
Nextlink is a Danish company that specializes in
all things Bluetooth from USB adapters through in-car
systems to headsets. The Bluespoon AX2 represents
the finessing of an already good product, the original
AX. Improvements include increased battery life and
support for Bluetooth 1.2.
So what spurs the "Wow"? Well, it's the
size initially. The Bluespoon AX2 is really tiny
and very light, so tiny in fact that it seems almost
out of place with its surroundings. For example,
when you plug in the charging cable, it feels like
you're plugging the Bluespoon into the end of the
cable rather than the cable going into it. If you
lift one end of the cable, the headset is dragged
around like a tiny rag doll… it's that lightweight.
To be precise the AX2 weighs
in at 10g (>1/3oz),
that's the same as a couple of 'quarters'. Try putting
a couple in your ear; that's what the Bluespoon feels
like. Actually that's a good analogy because the
way the AX2 holds itself in your ear is very different
to anything I've tried before, so different in fact
that I had to read the manual! If you look at the
pictures you'll see a thin rubber tail coming from
the earpiece part, that's not, as some thought the
microphone but is in fact a soft flexible prop that
when bent into the inner curve of the ear falls into
place and holds the headset in; back to the quarter
comparison; if you place that against the inner of
your ear, that really is what it feels like. Please
don't try this with a dime; it's not the same and
you'll get it stuck.
In your ear: I guess that headsets
are an entirely personal thing, especially if they
go in your ear, "Eyeoow
it goes in your ear?" was one of the comments
that I received, but once in, it holds very well,
it does not fall off. Be prepared to try it though
as not all ears take the Bluespoon design and one
tester simply could not make it work.
I said earlier that the first impression was the
size; it is small but at 42 x 25 x 27mm it needs
a larger box or pocket that its visual size might
indicate. It feels lightweight and small, a little
'plasticy' but not horrible. In the pocket though
it somehow seems to poke and prod its nose or ear-piece
into you despite my trying every angle to get it
to sit comfortably. It would work in a pocket book
or purse but the shirt pocket is out.
Paired up with my Motorola RAZR the unit worked well, it has the familiar three
buttons; a centre button on its outside surface
for call pickup/hang-up and two buttons on top
and bottom for volume up/down. The mute function
requires pressing both together; it's a tapered
design and pressing both together squeezes the
headset up and out of your ear… practice
makes perfect. The feel of the buttons is a little
un-responsive but audio-feedback confirms operation.
Pairing with other phones proved to be easy and
straightforward with no issues.
Audio Quality was subjective; the inner ear design fell
short of my expectations of a deep bass sound. I suspect
that there's heavy filtering of the audio leaving just
a very narrow voice audio band which certainly allowed
for a clear conversation in noisy backgrounds, but those
conversations seemed overly telephonic and ultimately tiring.
Volume levels are certainly high; too high at maximum so
plenty of headroom there.
Battery life has been increased with the
AX2, now claiming 8 hours talk time and 500 hours on standby.
Under test the low fuel warning came on at about 7 hours
but I'd been using the unit with my PC in another room
so I suspect that I'd been taxing the transmitter more
than usual. Note that I say PC; testing with my phone was
pointless; the headset easily outpaces that so, if you
can survive day-to-day with your phones' battery, the AX2
will suffice. If you can't, the AX2 features a removable
coin cell battery!
Charging is unusual; you can charge it using
the charger or the included USB charging cable. Unlike
the original AX, the AX2 ships with a charger in the US
and most of the EU. You can plug either into the headset's
port to charge it.
The Pros: It's very light, the battery life is good and
it looks good.
The Cons: It doesn't fit all ears,
audio quality can be tiring and it does go "In your ear".
It is not as small in day-to-day use
so strike that off your reasons to buy it. On the ear… it
doesn't feel like it's there it is so light. That's where
it scores, on weight, which is odd as the size is the
thing that hits you first. If they could alter the shape
to make it fit pockets better and improve the audio quality
I'd give it full marks. For now it's still 4 out of 5.
AX2 Technical Specifications
- Bluetooth v1.2 compatible
- Works with most Bluetooth phones
- Talk-time up to 8 hours
- 500 hours standby
- Headset range: 33 ft.
- Headset weight: 1/3oz (10g).
- Charger (for US and most EU units)
- USB charging cable
- Neck Strap
- Quick-start guide
- Rechargeable Li-on battery
- Two ear fittings (small, large)