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Bluetooth Headset and Carkit Reviews

i.Tech Arrow I Bluetooth Headset

Review posted September, 2005 by Tong Zhang, Senior Editor

i.Tech Dynamic is a new player in mobile accessory world. Established in 2002, the company has released an impressive line of Bluetooth mobile accessories including headsets and keyboards. The i.Tech Arrow I is one of their new Bluetooth headsets designed to work with mobile phones. It's small, attractive and comfortable to wear.

The i.Tech Arrow I is a small headset. It's not as small as the ultra tiny Nextlink Bluespoon AX— very rarely do you see any headset that small, but the Arrow I is shorter than the Motorola HS820 and narrower than the Cardo Scala 500. It comes in at 2.3 inches long and about 1 inch wide, and it weighs 0.6 oz. The headset is in black with a silver cover. You will find an LED at the end of the silver cover plate that indicates incoming/answering calls (flashing blue, purple and red), pairing mode (blue and red), battery status (red) as well as charging status (red when charging, blue when charged). The LED is also a volume control button. On the right side of the headset, you will find a multi-function button that powers on and off the headset and can initiate and end calls. You can also use this button to put the headset in pairing mode. The charging port is on the top right side of the headset and the mic is at the end of the boom. The Arrow I has a raised earpiece that extends into your ear. i.Tech provides a soft, clear rubber cover for the earpiece and it comes in 3 sizes. When you use the right size, the earpiece will stay in your ear securely. The ear hook can be mounted to fit either right or left ear. The hook actually doesn't do much to secure the headset to your ear. So you will need to rely on the earpiece for the job. Make sure that you try all the rubber covers until you find the perfect fit for your ear canal.

The i.Tech Arrow I headset has a Bluetooth V1.1 class 2 radio and it supports both Headset and Hands-Free profiles. We tested the headset with the Treo 650, the Audiovox PPC-6600, the Nokia N-Gage QD and the LG VX8100. The i.Tech paired with all devices flawlessly. It does however seem to only remember one partner at a time and you will need to re-pair it with devices previously paired should you use the headset with more than one phone. To pair the Arrow I headset, press down the multi-function button on the right side until the LED flashes red and blue alternately. Use your phone search the headset and establish a connection. As with most headsets, the default pass code is 0000. Once the headset is connected with your mobile phone, you are ready to send and receive calls through the headset. The voice hand-off between the phone and the headset is smooth and reliable. Voice dialing via the headset works very well, so does last number dialing on the Nokia N-Gage QD which supports the Hands-Free profile.

 

i.Tech Arrow headset

 

The incoming voice quality on the i.Tech Arrow I Bluetooth headset is very good. Though it cannot compete with the Plantronics M3500's excellent sound quality, the i.Tech provides clear voice and high volume for your incoming calls. You can adjust the incoming voice volume level by pushing the single volume control button. It will cycle through the levels from silent to the highest. Please note that it's a good idea to adjust volume on test runs as your caller will hear beeping sound when you adjust the volume in a call.

The outgoing voice quality performed less stellar than the incoming voice. The noise canceling on the Arrow I works well as it muffles the sound of wind, typing on keyboard and traffic, but it sometimes works too well and thus reduces voice volume through the mic as well. So don't be surprised if your callers complain that you sound muffled. Another issue is that the headset has rather short Bluetooth range which means you will likely need to keep your phone very close to the headset. Most of the phones we tested could not get more than 5-7 feet range before outgoing voice starts crackling and reducing sound clarity. The outgoing voice quality is good when using the Audiovox PPC-6600 and decent using the LG VX8100. On the Treo 650, the outgoing voice was muffled, and on the N-Gage QD, the headset added some artificial noise.

The i.Tech Arrow I Bluetooth headset has a built-in rechargeable battery and an AC charger. The maximum claimed talk time is 10 hours and standby time is 200 hours. In our test the headset performed roughly 7 hours of talk time and a week standby. These are very good numbers for a headset even though they didn't meet the claim. The headset takes about 2 hours to fully charge.

Conclusion

Pro: If you are looking for a small form factor that has the basic features and functions on a Bluetooth headset, the Arrow I is worth a look. The i.Tech is one of the smaller headsets we've seen and it's light and comfy to wear. The headset pairs with all the mobile phones we tested it with and the hand-off between the phone and the headset is seamless. Incoming voice quality is very good and the headset has a very good battery life. Good price.

Con: Outgoing voice quality could be better and the range between the phone and the headset is short. The headset remembers only one partner.

Package contains the headset, AC adapter, rubber earpiece covers in three sizes and a printed User Manual.

Price: $69.90

Web site: www.itechdynamic.com

 

 

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