8 Tips for Buying a Bluetooth Headset

Last Updated Feb 25, 2009 11:07 AM EST

It's an almost universal rule: Everyone who owns a Bluetooth headset hates their Bluetooth headset. The reasons vary -- it's not comfortable, the sound quality is terrible, it looks dorky -- but I've never met anyone who didn't have at least a few complaints.

To help headset shoppers avoid some of the more common pitfalls, PC Magazine offers 8 points to consider when buying a Bluetooth headset. Here's what they had to say on the subject of battery life:

As for endurance, a guiding principle: If you don't want to charge, go large. Some of the bulkier, less fashionable headsets like the Plantronics Voyager 520 can last almost 9 hours on a single charge. The original Aliph Jawbone makes it to about 6 hours. The new Jawbone drops that down to a shade below 4 hours owing to its smaller, slimmer design, which lacks the room necessary for a large battery. The same is true of the Motorola H15.


Other things to consider include noise-cancellation capabilities, mono vs. stereo sound, and bonus features like multi-device pairing. Definitely some worthwhile reading for anyone in the market for a new Borg implant -- er, Bluetooth headset.

Have you had any luck -- good or bad -- with a headset? Hit the Comments and tell us which models work best, which ones fail miserably, and why.

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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.