CTIA Wireless 2008: Bluetooth Accessory Spotlight

Bluetooth Accessories Galore at CTIA Wireless 2008
By Kevin Michaluk on 7 Apr 2008 12:30 pm EDT
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While walking the exhibition halls of CTIA Wireless 2008, I stumbled upon a few new Bluetooth headsets that are hitting the market soon (in some cases available now) that I thought would be worth a mention. Combining Fashion and Function definitely appears to be the trend with all of these.


Plantronics Discovery 925

Plantronics Discovery 925

The Plantronics Discovery 925 Bluetooth earpiece is your essential conversation piece, blending an elegantly simple design with crisp sound quality and lightweight comfort. Getting connected is easy with QuickPair™ set up for Bluetooth phones. Staying connected is effortless with the included, innovative carrying case that recharges the earpiece on the go. Your choice of self-stabilizing eartips creates a couture fit without the need for an earloop. Hear and be heard in style with AudioIQ noise control technology that automatically enhances your caller’s voice over background noise and the exclusive Plantronics VFrame design that incorporates a microphone boom to increase your voice clarity.

  • VFrame design captures your eye as well as your voice
  • Rechargeable case keeps you in charge
  • AudioIQ noise control technology for clear calls
  • Also available in metallic and jewel tone colors
  • Enjoy up to 5 hours talk time or 7 days standby from a single charge

The way Plantronics was promoting this device I wouldn't be suprised if it appeared in the next James Bond movie in the always-present casino/gala type scene. They had guys dressed to the nines and gals in fancy ballroom dresses showing it off. It has a pricey MSRP of $149.95, though I'm sure we'll be selling it for less when it hits ShopCrackBerry.com. Plantronics sound quality is always good, but the big thing here are the looks and the case that recharges the headset, which I think is pretty cool.

Plantronics Case Charges headset


Blueant Wireless

Blueant Wireless was on hand showing off a number of new Bluetooth gadgets. I'm personally a huge fan of Blueant - they always do a great job with their products and are always working to improve them.

On hand at CTIA, Bluant was showing off the Z9i, an update to the popular Z9 headset. The Z9i comes in a sweet looking metallic red, has updated firmware (better sound cancellation) and some nicer hardware (fancier ear loop with more ear gels). They were also showing off the V1, which is being touted as the first voice controlled bluetooth headset. It has all of the goodness of the Z9, but instead of hitting buttons you simply tell it what to do - "Answer Call" or "Ignore Call" or "Enable Pairing Mode" or "Activate Phone's Voice Dial" or "Check Battery" or ... you get the picture. I'll definitely be picking one of these bad boys up.

Blueant Z9i
Blueant Z9i

Blueant V1
Blueant V1

Continuing in their line of Supertooth speakerphones, Blueant had the Supertooth 3 on hand, which yet again ups the stakes on what I think are already stellar products in the Supertooth II and Supertooth Light.

Supertooth 3
Supertooth 3

The last cool product they had on hand that I think would be of appeal to BlackBerry users is Blueant's new M1 bluetooth stereo speakers. We cranked up the volume on the M1s and I was impressed to say the least... this is a much, much improved product over the Blueant sonic speakers.

Blueant M1
Blueant M1 Stereo Speakers

Release dates on all of these products vary... all of the above should be out by the end of Summer. The Z9i should hopefully be available come May, M1 and Supertooth III in June/July, and V1 by/in August. These are definitely products you will want to check out.


Jabra

Jabra BT4010
Jabra BT4010

Jabra announced their latest headset, the BT4010 in Vegas...

Featuring a “smart display,” which is conveniently positioned in the center of this new device, the Jabra BT4010 is the only headset that empowers you to check battery level, connection status and call status in a single glance.  It is ideal for people who are constantly looking to eliminate the need to scroll through endless menus, but who want a cost effective solution that allows them to enjoy the ease of hands-free communication.

The Jabra BT4010 “smart display” LCD feature is modeled after screens of a mobile phone and ushers in a new level of usability for Bluetooth headsets. You no longer have to guess or interpret flashing lights to understand your battery level, connection and call status. All this information is available by simply viewing the display.  This intuitive approach to Bluetooth helps make life less complicated and ensures that users will never lose another call again.

The Jabra BT4010 is small in size but big on design and user friendliness. Unlike other headsets it does not have any distracting flashing lights, making the Jabra BT4010 discreet and professional. It boasts up to six hours of talk time and weighs about 0.35 of an ounce.  With auto-pairing and crystal clear sound thanks to e-SCO technology, the BT4010 can be up and running within a matter of seconds, enabling you to chat to friends and colleagues and stay in contact all day, every day.

The Jabra BT4010 can be worn with or without an earhook and comes with a selection of two hooks for added comfort.

Key Specifications of the Jabra BT4010:

  • Innovative, iconic Smart Display
  • e-SCO improves voice transfer from headset to phone
  • Auto-pairing 
  • Up to 6 hours talk time
  • 150 hours standby time
  • 2 earhook sizes provided for added comfort
  • Size: L 2” x W 0.67” x D 1.1”
  • 0.35 oz.
  • Bluetooth Specification 2.0 + EDR (enhanced data rate) 
  • Micro USB Charger Connection

While the BT4010 is pretty cool, I'm actually more excited about two of Jabra's other products which are already available at ShopCrackBerry.com - the BT3030 Stereo Bluetooth Headset and the BT8030 Stereo Headphones. Click the links for details.

Jabra BT3030
Jabra BT3030 Dog Tag


That winds up the spotlight of what caught my eye (with so many exhibitors at CTIA I'm sure I missed a few things too!).

In the past 12 months I have rarely been disappointed with a Bluetooth accessory - I think we've reached a point where there is now a good balance of battery life, sound quality and looks. The new stuff hitting the market simply ups the ante that much more... more functions, more form factors, and more ways to work with the devices. When it comes to Bluetooth, it seems to me people either embrace the technology or shun it completely (aka wouldn't be caught dead wearing a headset). If you're one of the people who have shunned it, you might want to consider looking into Bluetooth again with the products above!

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CTIA Wireless 2008: Bluetooth Accessory Spotlight

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