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Bluetooth Headset and Carkit Reviews

Logitech Mobile Traveler Headset

Posted Oct. 2005 by Michael Thwaite

With increasing attention being rightly focused on the dangers of balancing driving with talking on the phone, mobile headsets are becoming an essential partner to the mobile phone and what better way to do mobile headsets than with a Bluetooth unit that frees you from the wire dangling in your lap and inevitably getting caught up in everything.

Almost every phone manufacturer has jumped on the bandwagon producing many models to choose from, but now electronics companies are joining the fray making the choice of headset bewildering to say the least. So how do you choose the right one for you?

Logitech, a company founded in Human Interface Devices… Mice to you and I, has an already established range of Bluetooth headsets but has now added the "Mobile Traveler" with something they call "WindStop Technology".

Lightweight at 51g or about ½oz the unit is very thin (15mm) and both looks and feels stylish in its silver and gray plastic. It feels solid in the hand and gives a great sense of quality. The buttons for volume up/down and call answer operate with a quality feel. The design hides the buttons in the Logitech logo which acts as the volume control, top for up, bottom for down and together for Mute. Calls are answered and cleared by pressing the bar that runs the length of the body. I like the tiny piercing multi-colored status LED at the top of the bar; it says "Status" rather than shouts "I'm Bluetooth look at me".

The ear cushion is soft and compliant and feels more like a cotton material than foam. The ear loop is a rubber coated wire that can be formed to create a tight hold or freed to make the unit easier to put on and take off. The ear loop can be rotated easily for left or right handed use. It's really very flexible.

The interesting part of the design is the microphone section at the tip; this forms the 'WindStop' technology that sets the unit apart. By using a rubber like substance that is perforated with many holes and tunnels the effect is to dissipate low frequency air movements - wind, that pass the unit yet allow through the tiny vibrations that form speech. By doing this in the 'Analogue' world they claim to return some battery life as there is no digital signal processor having to digitally subtract the noise.

The headset offers Bluetooth 1.2 support and paired quickly and easily with a range of phones, smartphones and my PC. We paired the headset with Moto RAZR, Moto V330, iMate SP3, imate SP3i, HP iPAQ hw6515, Sony Ericsson T68i, the Treo 650 and Dell Inspiron XPS-II with Broadcom Bluetooth stack. All paired with an ease. Voice dialing worked reliably with the Motorola RAZR V3. Bluetooth range is good, the claimed 10M, 30+ft range pans out in the open and equates to the ability to place the phone or Phone/PDA on your desk and walk around the room unhindered. However it didn't get nearly that much of a range on the Treo 650. On the limit the unit tended to silence first before letting go of the signal giving you a chance to move closer.

Audio quality was fine, inbound and out with best results showing on my favorite SIP phone software on my PC. Volume was agreeable to both caller and recipient however, I often find that I'm always working at full volume, just to be clear.

So, did the WindStop technology do its thing? Err, not so much. My test is to place a call in the car with the window open at 30MPH. Now, I know that's a bit un-scientific as the wind noise from car-to-car is huge but for comparison it works, or doesn't as the case may be and in this case it offered no appreciable difference than my usual headset the Motorola HS850. Both fell short of my cars built-in Bluetooth support with its roof mounted microphone. So how about background noise suppression, the suppression of other peoples conversation in a crowded or noisy environment; it did ok even though it lacks a DSP, and it was able to pick up my voice from the busy throng of the New York streets well enough for the other party to hear.

A full day

Logitech claim a full day's (7hrs) life from the battery, and that bore out in the tests; the test is to put it on your head for a day wherever you go… even if you look a bit of a cyborg! The only ill effect of day long wear was that the soft ear cushion does become tiring as it presses into my ear; that's personal though and others that tried the unit were able to adjust their way out of that.
One feature the unit lacked was an easy way to turn the device off; I think that Motorola are alone in this but when you fold the Moto' 850 up it switches off completely. This means that you can leave it in your car for occasional use and only charge it once a month or three. To switch off the Logitech you must press and hold the switch and listen for the turn off tone; this applies for power on too. When a call came in, if the headset was off, I couldn't wake it up fast enough to receive that call. Give us a good old fashioned on and off switch.

 

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Logitech Mobile Traveler

back of headset

Conclusion

The Logitech Mobile Traveler is a fine device, it's above average in the style department and feels higher quality than the mid-ground price would suggest.

The power switch would be a deal breaker for me as an occasional user but if you're a high headset user and hence have the unit either on your ear or on the charger that problem goes away leaving you with just the upsides. All you have to do is reconcile yourself with life as a Cyborg.

Technical Specifications:
o Bluetooth v1.2 compatible
o Works with most Bluetooth phones
o Talk-time up to 7 hours
o 300 hours standby
o Headset range: 33 ft.
o Headset weight: 1/2 oz (51g).

Package contains
o Logitech Mobile Traveler (Bluetooth) headset
o AC power adapter/charger
o Quick-start guide
o Limited 1 year warranty

Price is $79.99

Web site: www.logitech.com

 

 

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