No so long ago Bluetooth headsets were big, bulky, and frequently fell off your ear. They've certainly come a long way since then. With the plethora of headsets flooding the market, it all comes down to reliability, sound quality, music streaming, and features offered. BlueAnt makes sure to pack their products with the latest technology and quality materials. It's no wonder they decided to introduce the Q2 Smart Bluetooth to their lineup of voice-controlled headsets.
At first glance, the Q2 is extremely lightweight and looks nothing like its predecessor the Q1. Its design resembles the Jawbone but without the thickness. BlueAnt revamped the design and placed a screen mesh protector along the front rather than the original's solid look. This is all part of its new wind noise reduction technology. Best part is you can remove the ear hook and wear in-the-ear by switching the ear buds.
Upon closer inspection, the volume buttons are a tad small and the power button is awkwardly placed. If you have small fingers and long fingernails you'll be able to use it. Otherwise I recommend turning on the headset before wearing.
The Q2 includes Voice Isolation and Wind Armour technology to reduce background noise even in extreme wind conditions (up to 22mph). Since I can't recreate a storm in my living room, I found a wind tunnel in a mall parking lot. Now while voices on both ends were clear, the whoosh of the wind could be heard along with the audio being slightly muffled. The muffled noise carried over inside as well even when streaming music. This isn't exactly up par with the noise-cancelling abilities of my Jawbone or Motorola HX1 and was standard at best. Clarity and loudness did improve at home away from the noisy crowd.
I'm not a fan of in-the ear headsets and the pain they inflict. However, even after wearing for over four hours I barely felt it. Unlike other headsets that easily fall off, I was amazed at how it stayed in place without getting tangled in my hair.
After using the Q2 for the past couple of weeks utilizing the voice controls has its benefits. Drivers can appreciate all of the built in commands to keep them focused on the road without looking at their device. Need to check your headset battery? Just press the button and say "Check Battery." Want to answer or ignore an incoming call without pressing a button? Simply say "Answer" or "Ignore."
My favorite feature has to be its caller-id ability. It uses Text to Speech (TTS) technology to announce who's calling (name or number) without ever having to pick up your device. How does it do it? The Q2 downloads your entire contact list and stores up to 2,000 phone numbers per paired device. Bad news is, if you make changes you'll need to perform an update. Good news is, simply press the button and say "Update Phonebook." It is interesting and sometimes funny just how the computerized voice pronounces the names.
Finally, new to the Q2 is that it provides access to Microsoft's Bing-411 service by voicing a command at the prompt. You'll have access to movies, news, traffic, weather, etc. Now that's something your ordinary headset won't do. Although, I do think remembering all these voice commands might be difficult.
Summary of Specs
- Coverage up to 33 feet
- Up to 5 hrs talk time, Up to 100 hrs standby time
- Charging time: 3-4 hours
- Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR, A2DP Audio Streaming
- Multipoint Capable (Pair to multiple devices at a time)
- Text to Speech (TTS)
- Voice Control, Voice Dial, Voice Answer
- Lightweight and comfortable to wear
- Downloads contacts to announce the names of incoming callers
- Firmware is upgradeable
- Simply Connect Technology for easy pairing
- Audio is muffled on higher volume settings in crowded areas
- No mute button - only minimum volume
- Phone commands & A2DP (music streaming) only works on the first device connected
If you're looking for a reliable device that will perform, you can't go wrong with this BlueAnt Bluetooth headset. Faults aside, I love that it picks up my voice (NY accent included) without the need for shouting and repeating. It actually gets it right the first time. In terms of comfort, voice control, and multipoint features, this headset can't be beat.
Contest: Want to get one of these for free from ShopCrackBerry.com? Just leave a comment to this article and tell us where and when you'd use your BlueAnt Q2 bluetooth headset. Contest ends this Sunday at midnight PST. Please only leave a single comment. One lucky winner will get this shipped direct from ShopCrackBerry.com.