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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > Comfortable, reliable, simple headsets?

Comfortable, reliable, simple headsets?
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Thorzdad
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Jan 29, 2010, 02:02 PM
 
My wife has been using a Jawbone Prime bluetooth headset with her 3Gs. She uses it exclusively during her commute drive. It's ok, but she has problems with accidentally turning the unit off when all she wanted to do is adjust the volume. Plus, the USB recharging unit is buggy as heck, requiring multiple attempts to get the charging to start (the iPhone's USB charger has the same problem, too. Maybe it's just a USB thing?)

So, she's looking for suggestions for other options for headsets. They do not need to be bluetooth. Frankly, a simple old-school wired headset that works with the iPhone would probably be preferable to her. So far, though, she hasn't found such an animal that works with the 3Gs that wasn't mainly meant for music listening, rather than phone duty.

Suggestions?
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turtle777
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Jan 29, 2010, 02:07 PM
 
If with "simple" you mean cheap, then the following applies:

[_] comfortable
[_] reliable
[_] cheap

Pick any TWO.

Other than that, the Plantronics Voyager Pro is a fantastic BT headset.

+ micro USB charger
+ many days stand-by time
+ long talk time
+ excellent sound and wind-noise protection
- not cheap

-t
     
Thorzdad  (op)
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Jan 29, 2010, 02:18 PM
 
No, "simple" doesn't mean "cheap". I guess when I say "simple" I mean "not overengineered". She doesn't need/want something where she, for instance, has to remember a list of arcane touch combinations to do simple things like adjust the volume. Or where, like the Jawbone, the power switch is in such close proximity to the volume control that she often accidentally powers-off the unit in the middle of a call. She likes things as simple as possible. I can't blame her, really.

The Plantronics unit looks nice. I'll put it on the list.
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bishopazrael
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Jan 30, 2010, 01:32 PM
 
Wow. This topic is so VERY timely. I've been going through headsets left and right. So let me give out what I've learned.

I wanted stereo for music so that automatically puts me into the corded corner. So I have the original apple earbuds, but they're .. well we all know they're not good. So I eventually went with V-Moda vibe duos.

Vibe duos, as anyone can tell you look great. However there is a shit ton of cable noise as it moves around against your chest, body etc. Also, their rubber tips are not the greatest on the market. Don't get me wrong, they're ok, but not great. The sound they produce is very decent. I think I'd be happier with them if I got $20 and spent it on some of those foam tips . My only major beef with vmodas is that every single pair I've had, just above the plug the fabric will eventually split and expose the copper wires underneath. They bust out sort of. I've had 4 pairs, and they ALL do the same thing. Could it be me? IDK, I don't think I'm that hard on them. Usually they're laying under my pillow at night or on my desk. But no matter what I do, 3 months down the line I have to RMA them for the split in the cable.

So I tried a few other earphones only to take them back after a day to the apple store. I just didn't like the sound quality of any others. Having said that I got some Etymotic hf2's. Now these are a mixed blessing. First off, you have to know that some earphones don't really change even after a break in period. Etymotics do. The first thing I do when I get them is to plug them into my laptop when I go to bed the day I get them. I set itunes to play at a decent volume, and I have it randomize the playlist so it plays all night long. I wake up and they've had their 8 or 10 hour break in period.

Etymotics are awesome in terms of sound. Very crisp, clear, not artificial sounding at all. They benefit from the hearing aid side of their business. The tips they give you are a sample pack of their different types of tips. I've been stuck between using the foam tips and the flange "christmas tree" style tips. Now first the cord. They used to have a different coating on the cord that transmitted all kinds of body noise. But they got enough feedback that they actually put a new type on it that is akin to that "soft touch" rubber you see now. Well whatever it is its great because I don't hear very much moving around at all. Not anywhere near the vmodas. The comfort level is a personal thing, but there are days when I feel like I just don't want to push them in all the way because they DO need to be pushed in quite a ways to get a good seal. So be aware that sometimes its almost like sticking the spike from the matrix into your ear. Or at least it can feel like that the first few times.

But the sound quality. Oh god are they great. I mean if you know someone with a pair, ask them to try them out. They're amazing. For me they're the best earphones out there with a mic for under $200. Yeah they're very expensive, but they're also worth it if you wear them as much as I do. Having said all that, one thing I found is that they will get very dirty with your earwax quite quickly and need to be cleaned about once a week. Its no big deal, but 5 minutes cleaning a headset every week is a new thing. They do have an earwax filter in the earphone it self that is really cool Most of the time your flanges will catch the wax, but eventually you'll need to change out the green filter. Usually about 6 months down the line.

For me and a few others I know the etymotics are the way to go for sound, build quality, etc. One thing to know is that unlike other makers, when you buy the etymotics you cannot return them. That made me a bit nervous to buy them, but when I broke my first pair I bought a second without a moments thought. I broke them right after surgery by getting tangled in the IV's and such, and they got caught and I jerked and ripped the cord. Totally my fault and not a reflection on etymotic's build quality.
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Thorzdad  (op)
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Jan 30, 2010, 02:02 PM
 
Thanks for the input, bishopazrael.
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bishopazrael
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Jan 30, 2010, 02:17 PM
 
Hey man... the other great thing about that Plantronics headset... you can pair it with 2 devices at once. I'm thinking about getting one so I can use it with the iphone and with my mac for dictation.
Backups are like guns and condoms. It's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
     
turtle777
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Jan 30, 2010, 05:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by bishopazrael View Post
Hey man... the other great thing about that Plantronics headset... you can pair it with 2 devices at once. I'm thinking about getting one so I can use it with the iphone and with my mac for dictation.
Yes, that's a major advantage of the Plantronics.

I use mine with the Plantronics CS50 and the HL10 lifter.



So at work, I'm connected to my landline and my iPhone at the same time, can take and make calls on both.

-t
     
   
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