My continuing quest for the perfect Bluetooth headset has guided me to the BlueAnt V12 LCD at ShopCrackBerry.com for $59.95 (MSRP of $79.99). I have heard great things about BlueAnt headsets, so I decided to give this one a try. The V12 boasts a LCD screen that serves as caller ID, and a vibrating ring function. I have found that to be very useful, and will go into more on that later.
Headset Features and Design
The BlueAnt V12 LCD is a sleek brushed aluminum colored headset that will accommodate almost all users. It is small and lightweight, and unlike several headsets on the market; the V12 has caller ID and vibrating notification built in to the headset. The caller ID is a great feature that I never thought I would actually use; however I found myself using it more than the onscreen caller ID on my Curve. The vibrating notification is strong, and the first time I experienced it, I was startled and wasn’t expecting such a strong vibration. The V12 has a really great battery time with up to 12 hours of talk time, and approximately 15 days of standby time. The V12 also has the following features:
- Backlit LCD with 12 digit Caller ID
- Intelligent status indicators
- Ambient Noise Reduction
- Full duplex
- Micro USB lanyard to easily view headset status
- Small & large ear hook included
- Displays & stores the last 10 numbers received for redialing
- Pairs with up to 5 devices
- Rechargeable lithium polymer battery
Blueant's Packaging Rocks - and so does the product inside!
The BlueAnt V12 LCD comes in a stylish plastic box that only led me to believe the best was yet to come inside the packaging. Inside the box was the headset, a small and large ear hook, a micro USB neck lanyard, and a standard wall charger. I was somewhat disappointed to see that there were not more charging options, but I would come to find out that the battery does a great job of providing long lasting power.
Unboxing the V12
Pairing with my Blackberry Curve 8320
Pairing the V12 with my Curve was somewhat simpler than other Bluetooth headsets I have used. Typically, you have to turn on the headset, hold down some magical configuration of the buttons and the device will be put into pairing mode. With the V12, the first time you turn on the device, it goes into pairing mode. I then had my Curve search for Bluetooth devices, entered the passcode, and I was ready to rock and roll. Now, with the V12, you can pair it with up to 5 devices. If you need to manually put it into pairing mode, you can simply hold down the multi-function button from the off position until you see the word “pairing” in the LCD display.
V12 - Looks Powerful and is Powerful
The view from behind
Putting the V12 LCD into action
After pairing the V12 to my Curve, it was now time to put the rubber to the road and see what this headset could do. I configured the V12 with the smaller ear hook, and went to place it on my ear. I found the correct way to put in on was to slide it on from the top of your ear and then down into position.
I started placing call after call, and found the same results with every call. Crisp clear calls. All people I called could hear me fine, and most couldn’t tell I was using a Bluetooth headset. I never once had any static on my end. Receiving calls was just as good, and the first time the headset vibrated on my ear caught me off guard, but it definitely does get your attention. The main reason I need Bluetooth is for hands free driving. I spend a majority of my work week on the road, and I need a headset that can handle the challenges of freeway driving. The V12 performed like champ and met my needs. I found that most often I only had the volume level at 7 and could hear my callers with no problems. I was very impressed. Lastly, placing calls using the voice dialing feature was a breeze and just as effective as if I was using the device directly.
I did initially run into a few issues with calls dropping and not working properly with the headset. I did some trouble shooting and reading on the forums and found that the BlackBerry Curve 8320 with a UMA signal does not play well with a Bluetooth headset. Hopefully a future OS upgrade will remedy this problem.
What to do with the headset when not in use
The BlueAnt V12 comes with a neck lanyard that connects to the headset via the micro USB charging port. The headset can then be placed around your neck, and out of the way. When a call comes in the vibrate feature will get your attention, and you can simply grab the headset, see who’s calling, and decide if you want to answer it or not. The downside to this lanyard is that the headset can fall off if you aren’t paying attention. Now this isn’t going to happen when you are simply walking down the street, but I experienced it in a restaurant. I had the V12 connected to the lanyard and around my neck when I was sitting in a booth at a local Mexican restaurant. I leaned across the table to get some more chips, and the headset caught on the edge of the table and disconnected from the lanyard. Lucky for me I noticed this, but this could be a problem if you weren’t paying attention.
The BlueAnt V12 LCD is one of the best headsets I have used in a long time. The battery life is great, and the call quality and clarity far exceeds my expectations. I would be over the top with this headset if it just included a car charger. Even with that limitation, I would still highly recommend this headset to everyone. At $59.95 you are really getting a great buy!