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Bluetooth Headset and Car Kit Reviews

Palm Treo Wireless Headset for the Treo 650, 700p and 700w

Review posted July 11, 2005 by Tong Zhang, Senior Editor

Palm's Treo 650 smartphone isn't exactly an easy device to find a Bluetooth headset for. We tested several Bluetooth wireless headsets with the device and saw less than stellar performance in both voice quality and range. But Palm's Treo Wireless Headset came to the rescue. As you might guess from the name, it's designed to work with the Treo 650, Treo 700p and Treo 700w (of course, it works with other phones too). The result? It works better with the Treo 650 and 700wthan other Bluetooth headsets.

Design

The Treo Wireless Headset is mid-size Bluetooth headset, smaller than the Plantronics M3500, bigger than the ultra-tiny Bluespoon AX and similar size to the Motorola HS820 and the Cardo Scala 500. It's 2.5" long and 1" wide and it weighs 0.595 oz. The headset comes in grey with a silver panel that extends to 2/3 of the headset. The color goes very well with the Treo 650 and the unit looks well built. The multi-function button is located in the front of the headset with a blue LED shining through a phone receiver-shaped clear plastic cutout. The volume up and down buttons are located on the left of the headset side and they are quite easy to push regardless of which ear the headset is on. The ear hook is interchangeable for either ear. You can pull the ear hook out of its rotating base and plug it in from the other direction to change the ear hook orientation. The hook is large and easy to put on your ear, though it is a little too large and loose to stay on the ear securely. So avoid those sudden head turns. The earpiece on the headset points out to give you a better fit in the ear.

comparing Bluetooth Headsets

Above: The Treo 650 Wireless Headset, Cardo Scala 500, Motorola HS820 and the Plantronics M3500

Pairing

The Treo Wireless Headset is easy to pair with the Treo 650 as well as several other non-Palm branded phones and PDAs. The headset can work with Bluetooth 1.1 and 1.2 version devices and we tested it with the Treo 650, the i-Mate JAM and the Nokia 3650. To pair the headset, hold the multi-function button until the LED turns solid blue, use your phone or PDA discover and pair with the headset using the default passcode: 0000. The hand off between the phone and headset is smooth and reliable once they are paired.

The voice quality through the headset is very good, especially noticeable for the Treo 650. The Treo 650 has a mid-low ear piece volume. For those who need a louder voice level, the Treo Wireless Headset should satisfy since the headset can get much louder than the phone's earpiece. The voice is clear regardless when calling cell and land lines. Wind test results came out above average. So if you have a car with decent sound isolation, you should have very little road noise coming through the headset. The range between the phone and the headset did not reach 30 feet. The JAM and Nokia got about 20 feet before the headset starts having static; and with the Treo 650, it got just under 10 feet in range which is better than some other headsets we've tested.

The Treo Wireless Headset supports Headset profile, Hands-Free profile as well as Audio Gateway profile. We successfully used the headset with phones that have Headset and Hands-Free profiles and with the Dell Axim X30 Pocket PC which uses the Audio Gateway profile. The headset supports many phone features such as voice dialing, last number redial, call waiting, putting a call on hold and more. Note that some of these features only work on phones with the Hands-Free profile. The headset worked well with the Dell Pocket PC, performing system sound, game FX, MP3 and movie audio via Audio Gateway.

 

Treo 650 Bluetooth Headset

 

Deals and Shopping

 

 

 

Battery

The Treo Wireless Headset has a Lithium-Ion Polymer battery and comes with a world charger. The adapter can operate on 100-240V and four types of connectors ensure that you can plug the charger in any AC outlet in the world. The AC Adapter connects to the charging port on the headset when charging. You cannot use the headset when it's charging and like most headset manufacturers, Palm advices you not to use other AC charger to charge this wireless headset. There is however an exception, you can use the Treo 650 charger to charge the Treo Wireless Headset since they both use the same charger. This is actually a very convenient feature that allows travelers only bring one AC adapter for both the phone and the headset.

The headset takes about 1.5-2 hours to charge and when it's fully charged, the blue LED light on the multi-function button will turn off. The battery life on the headset has been amazing. While it can't rival the first generation Logitech Bluetooth headset in standby time, the Treo Wireless Headset preformed close to 5-6 hours talk time and nearly one week of standby time.

Conclusion

Pro: For Treo 650 users, this is the headset to get. It's small and lightweight so that you can wear it for a long period time. The voice quality is very good and the volume is loud. The headset pairs easily with the Treo 650 and other phones and PDAs. Supports many phone features and profiles. Long battery life means you won't have to charge the headset constantly and the headset can be charged with the Treo 650 charger.

Con: The headset doesn't stay in your ear as well as the Motorola HS820 or the Plantronics M3500 which have the same form factor. The Bluetooth range is not stellar on the Treo 650; although we haven't found any headset that will reach over 15 feet with this phone either.

Package contains the headset, AC Adapter (100-240V) with international plugs, carrying pouch and a printed User Manual.

Price: $79.99

Web site: www.palmone.com

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