I’ve recently become interested in Bluetooth headsets. Why? Two reasons mainly. The first reason is that my phone of choice right now is the Treo 650. It’s not the most svelte of phones… Being able to keep the phone in my bag or pocket, while holding a conversation is preferred to holding it in my hand. The other reason is for safety. When I’m driving, I don’t need to be groping around for the phone in my bag when I want to make or receive a call. My first headset review is of Bluetake’s BT400 G5 Bluetooth headset.
General Radio: Carrier Frequency: 2.4~2.480GHZ
Radio Performance – Receiver: Rx sensitivity < -80 dBm
Radio Performance: Bluetooth Class 2, up to 5~10 meters (in open
(The maximum operating range depends on the paired phone model,
battery power, and environmental factors.)
Spread Spectrum: FHSS (Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum)
Bluetooth Profile Supported: HSP (Headset Profile), HFP (Hands-Free
Antenna: Chip Antenna
Input Power: 5V, 200~500mA, AC adapter
Battery: 3.7V / 120mA / Li-Polymer / Rechargeable
Standby Time / Talking Time: 250 hours / 5 hours
(The maximum operating time depends on the usage frequency and
environmental factors. A long distance wireless connection and use
with a mobile phone will increase the power consumption.)
Speaker: Diameter 13mm
Frequency Response: 300Hz ~ 3.4KHz
SPL (Sound Pressure Level): 112 ± 3dB @ 1KHz
THD (Total Harmonic Distortion): 5%
Impedance: 150 Ω ± 20% @ 1V, 1KHz
Power Rating: 5mW (Normal) / 10mW (Maximum)
Dimensions: 82mm(L) x 53mm(W) x 24mm(H)
BT400 G5 Headset
The BT400 G5 is constructed of blue plastic with a rubber covered ear hook and black rubber face. On the face of the headset, there are two buttons on either end, with a status LED in the center. The Power / Mute button is located towards the back, while the Talk / Transfer button is located towards the front. The status
LED blinks blue while the headset is turned on, and alternates between blue and red when in pairing mode.
To turn on the headset, hold down the Power / Mute button for 6 seconds. To turn the headset off, hold down the Power / Mute button for 2 seconds. While in a call, you press the button once to go into mute mode.
To answer a call, you press the Talk / Transfer button once. To end the call, press it once. Holding this button for 2 seconds will transfer the call back to the phone’s earphone. Not all Bluetooth phones support the transfer function. The Treo 650 does, but I found that it’s really easy to accidently disconnect the phone
instead of transferring it.
The buttons on the face of the headset do have good tactile feedback, but since the entire surface of the face is ribbed, it might take a little while to figure out exactly where to press to activate the buttons.
On the inside of the BT400 G5, you will see the ear hook attachment point and the earphone. The earphone does not fit into your ear canal like a lot of headsets that I have seen on the market. It looks like it would be uncomfortable to wear, but in reality, I found it to be quite comfortable. I had no problem at all wearing the headset for hours at a time. The ear hook didn’t bother me even though I wear glasses. The earphone rests just inside the main opening of your ear without pressing on anything.
The ear hook has two loops of which I’m unsure of their use. Anyone have an idea? The best part about the ear hook is its ability to rotate so that you can wear the headset on either side of your face. Just twirl it around and then flip the hook. Easy.
As you can see, this headset is definitely not one of the smallest on the market. But even so, it isn’t overly huge either.
On the top edge of the headset, there is the Volume up button.
And on the bottom, there is the Volume down button. Also on this side, there is the AC adapter connection point. The BT400 G5 comes with a small AC adapter. Unfortunately, it does not come with a USB cable that you can use for charging.
Here you see the microphone. The headset can be easily swiveled up and down so that the microphone points towards your mouth.
I had no problems at all pairing this headset with my Treo 650. Once paired, I could then turn off the headset and turn it back on later without any problems re-pairing when a phone call would come in.
Below are three audio clips of BT400 G5 in action. This will give you an idea of what it sounds like to receive a call from someone using the BT400. I used the free voicemail / fax service from K7.net for these tests. I
signed up for a free account, got a phone number and called it with the Treo 650, using the headset. The resulting voicemails are then emailed to you. Pretty nifty! The only problem is that the driving test files came in as .WMA files while the wind and inside test files showed up as .WAV files. Not sure what was up with that, but oh well. These tests had the BT400 G5 paired with my Unlocked GSM Treo 650. I use Cingular, and at test time had full signal strength. The phone was in my jacket pocket during the wind test and beside me on the car seat for the driving test. Click to listen.
In my opinion, the first clip sounds pretty darn good until I start walking away from the phone. That’s to be expected though and I don’t fault the phone for that. With the wind test, I thought it sounded pretty good too. Even when the wind was blowing directly into the microphone, it really wasn’t that bad. The audio was clear and crisp. The driving test on the other hand, has some definite audio doubling or echoing problems. My truck is kind of noisy though, so I hesitate to totally fault the headset.
I also conducted several ‘real world tests’. I called Judie and let her tell me what she thought of the audio quality. Here’s what she had to say:
“When the sound was clearest, it sounded like a typical mobile phone – clear, but not as clear as a land
line. However, there were moments when the headset would “fuzz out”, making a noise similar to static, but not as crackly. Since Julie was in a vehicle with the windows rolled up, these noises could not be attributed to wind noise.”
After using the headset for a a week or so, whenever I would call my friend Jeanne, she would say “You’re using that headset again aren’t you?”. She said my voice was choppy frequently during the conversation. I let her use the headset to call her Dad, and he said the same thing. Then I used a different phone to call her,
while she was using the BT400 headset with my Treo. I did hear a brief choppiness, but not enough to really bother me. Maybe I’m not that sensitive to sound quality as some people…
So the bottom line is that this headset is comfortable to wear, relatively easy to use, and has very good audio quality on the headset side of the conversation. The quality on the receiving side seems to be less stellar though, so it’s really hard for me to say if it should be recommended or not. I think at this point that I just need some more experience with other headsets to see how this one compares. Look for an update in the near future…