Since Bluetooth was developed way back in 1994, its specifications have changed dramatically, and so have the devices that utilize it.
However, in my opinion, the vast majority of people who use mobile phones still prefer not to use Bluetooth headsets, even though their ease is quite straight forward. People that I’ve spoken too in the past have always been deterred, mostly due to the size of the headsets on offer.
If this is true of you, then maybe the SmallTalk Mini Bluetooth Headset developed by Bluetooth R&D company BlueNEXT is the headset for you. The guys over at MobileFun were kind enough to send me a headset to review, so here goes.
The headset arrived in a very neat box, which contained the headset, ear hook, USB charging cable, in-car USB charging adapter and an instruction manual. The headset has been designed to charge only with the included cable(which is the same sized fitment as Nokia 6300 phone chargers), which you plug into your PC/Laptop in order to provide a charge. Or, if you find yourself on the road more than you are at home, simply plug the car charging adapter into your cigarette lighter, the plug-in the charging cable to the USB port on the top and you can charge the headset ‘on-the-go’.
During the charging phase, the LED on the headset glows red. I charged it out of the box for around 45 minutes, however the instructions do say that a full charge will take around two hours. Once it is charged, pairing it with your device is very straight forward. Simply hold down the power button for around 5 seconds and the main LED will flash blue and red, this means the device is ready to be paired. Then, carry out the pairing process on your handset and within a few seconds, the device is connected and ready to be used.
Having quickly flicked through the manual to confirm the Bluetooth connection code, I connected the headset to my Blackberry 8900 within a matter of seconds, with no issues at all.
The headset has been developed to use ‘Multi-Point’ technology, which basically means that you can pair the headset with two devices at the same time, compared to other headsets which can only pair with one device. When a call comes in, the headset knows which device is ringing and connects to the device automatically. You can even connect it both your handset and your PC (If you use Skype to chat for instance) and no matter which phone rings, the headset will connect you. I connected the headset to both my Nokia 6300 and Blackberry and it worked really well.
In terms of size and weight, the SmallTalk Mini Bluetooth headset really is the cream of the crop. It’s tiny to say the least, with the main body measuring only 26.2 x 15.6mm. Plus, weighing in at just 6.5g, when you start wearing it, you will quickly forget it’s there!
The main button on the headset allows you the receive and end calls, so just a quick press and you can initiate a call using your voice dialling (Or indeed, use your handsets keypad to dial the number) and likewise press the headset button again to end the call. There are also two small buttons at the top and bottom of the headset which adjust the volume levels during a call. Although, I tended to leave the volume up all the time as the buttons are quite difficult to press.
When I made a call, the quality was very good in my opinion. Audio clarity was crisp and clear, even when I realised the volume wasn’t even turned all the way up initially! It worked equally well during voice activation and when I spoke, the person on the phone could easily hear every word I was saying.
The ear hook on the headset can also be easily removed if you’re not keen on using it. You simply detach it from the main body and you can then use it as an ‘in-ear’ headset instead, which can provide maximum levels of comfort. Both methods worked well for me, however I did prefer using the ear hook.
When it comes to talk time, you can walk around and chat for 3 hours before you need to recharge it. This isn’t bad to be honest, considering the size of the unit. Plus, if you don’t want to use it, it has a standby time of just over 4 days, or 100 hours to be exact!
During the review, I found the SmallTalk Mini Bluetooth headset small, light, sleek and very comfortable to wear. The audio was very good, especially for the cost. At £15 ($23.45) for the headset, charging cable and car adapter, I think it’s exceptional value for money.
You can get the SmallTalk Mini Bluetooth headset, either in black or if you prefer, bright pink, direct from the Mobile Fun website, as well as checking out their huge range of other Bluetooth headphones on offer.