BlueAnt Q2 Bluetooth Headset Review

The BlueAnt Q2 bluetooth headset is billed as “the best sounding headset ever built”.  Well, that’s a tall order.  Most bluetooth headsets I’ve tried range from merely acceptable, to rotten.  How does the BlueAnt Q2 fare, and what extras are packed on board?

The packaging consists of a clear plastic display box atop a cardboard bottom half that contains all the extra goodies.  You get the headset, an instruction manual, USB wall charger with folding prongs, a short microUSB cable,  four extra ear inserts and a small velvety black carrying pouch.

Features

The BlueAnt Q2 features the following:

  • Voice Control, Voice Dial, Voice Answer
  • Hear Your Messages on the Go (Android, Blackberry app)
  • Voice Access to the World (carrier dependent)
  • A2DP audio streaming
  • Caller Name Announce with Text to Speech
  • Wind Armour Technology™
  • Automatic Gain Control
  • Echo Cancellation
  • Simply Connect Technology
  • Keep Current with Firmware Updates
  • Bluetooth Version: 2.1 + EDR
  • Operating Range: up to 10 m
  • Talk time: up to 5 hours
  • Standby time:  Up to 100 hours

Charging up is simple.  Takes about 3-4 hours via micro USB connector in the back.  LED glows red when charging.

Comes with a variety of ear “gel” bits of different sizes.  I found the hook made for a VERY secure fit on my ear, but it also rested fine without it.

There was a square-shaped, rubbery pad on the inside of the headset with the Q2 logo on it.  No idea what that’s for.  The Jawbone headsets use a Voice Activity Sensor on this spot, but the Q2 has no such feature.  It’s probably there to prevent the microphone end from rubbing up against your cheek.

My favorite feature is a really simple one:  A physical, hardware on/off switch.  It’s below the micro USB port.  I much prefer this style over the “press and hold a button for x-seconds to turn it off.”  Or did I just turn it on?  Yes, this is much better.

The volume controls are on the top edge of the headset.  It’s actually one long button, but pressing on the “long” edge is for volume up, the “short” end for volume down.  The Q2 response with a male voice in the earpiece announcing your action (“VOLUME UP”, for example).  The Multi-Function button is on the outer face of the headset, next to the mesh plastic finish.

Voice Commands

I paired it up to my Droid X (Android 2.1).  This was easy:  The headset literally talked my way through the pairing process with a very clear, rich-sounding male voice.

The Q2 touts a list of voice commands.  You press the MFB (Multi-Function Button) once and the Q2 asks, “SAY A COMMAND”.  This is what you can reply with:

“Am I connected?”  Gives you a status of your bluetooth connection, will connect if it is not.

“Call Back”  Calls the last INCOMING call received on the Q2

“Check Battery”  Reports battery level on the headset (not the phone)

“Favorites” This is a novel feature.  The Q2 then asks, WHAT FAVORITE?  You can reply with things such as “Sports”, “Movies”, “Weather” and the phone dials a toll-free number to a 411-type service.  I really didn’t test this extensively, because I was not sure what charges I might incur.  Yes I’m chicken.

“Pair Me”  Puts the Q2 into pairing mode.

“Phone Commands”  Activates your phone’s voice dialing command, if supported.

“Redial”  Redials the last outgoing call made.

“Sensitivity Level”  Configures the Q2’s voice recognition

“LED Light”  Turns the headset LED indicator on or off during use.

“Update Phonebook”

“What can I say?”  Not, you’re not at a loss for words.  The Q2 reads out a list of possible commands in the current menu.

Wearing the Q2

What headset is the most comfortable?  That depends on you!  Everyone’s head and ears are different, and our tastes are unique.  I opted not to use the earhook because I typically don’t wear a headset unless I need to make a call.  This is faster for me.  The tradeoff is that the Q2 felt slightly less secure in my ear, but it never fell out.  It doesn’t help that the ear “speaker” portion is rather long at about 1/2 inch, so it sticks out of my ear a little more than I personally like it.

i-sobot also feels the earhook is purely optional.

Incoming audio

I’ll say this:  If you need a headset that’s loud and clear, this is the one.  Period.  BlueAnt wasn’t kidding.  I love it!

Outgoing audio

We seldom know how well your headset performs- or how much it fails- until someone tells you so.  So how does the BlueAnt Q2 sound?

Audio recording of the BlueAnt Q2 in a car on the highway

When compared to other headsets I’ve used, such as the Plantronics Voyager Pro and the 925/975 series, this is about on par, but not exceptional to me.  I’m a pretty harsh judge, but if you’re in a regular office environment, this will be just fine.

Oops

No headset is perfect.  My drawer of bluetooth devices is a testament to that.

The “messages on the go” feature was something I could not test.  As of right now, I could not find the proper app for my Droid X in the Android Market (other BlueAnt headsets are listed, however).  The manual also states that this only works with Android 2.2 and above.  Well, since I’m only on 2.1, that’s out.

The TTS (Text to Speech) was more miss than hit for me.  When I connect to the phone, a female synthesized voice says “Droid X”.  That’s nice, especially if you connect between two phones.

However, incoming caller ID was a different matter.  In my testing, I could only get the Q2 to bark out the phone number, not the contact name.  Maybe it’s me.

Voice commands are a neat party trick, but you run the risk of looking like a blue-tool, ordering the unseen to redial a number or check stock quotes.  Did I say I was chicken?

My last quibble is the hardware power on/off switch.  It’s just too difficult to flick.  The button surface is smooth plastic without any grip.  I end up using my fingernail instead.  And you can forget about flipping the power switch as you’re wearing it.  Maybe I need to grow one fingernail longer than the rest, or superglue some raised grippy dots onto the switch.

You should buy this headset…

… if you want crazy loud and clear incoming audio in a bluetooth headset, and you enjoy ordering your headset around with just your voice.

 

Product Information

Price:$129
Manufacturer:BlueAnt
Pros:
  • Full and rich sounding incoming audio.
  • Voice-activated commands, text-to-speech, and more.
  • Hardware power on/off switch.
Cons:
  • Fit is a very personal thing. You may love it, or not.
  • Power switch difficult to access when headset is worn.
  • A little pricey (at the time of this writing)
Posted in: Bluetooth Gear, Reviews

{ 20 comments… add one }

  • Rick Swift August 19, 2010, 11:13 am

    I’ve got two of the Blue Ant headsets, the Q1 and the V1. I love the V1 because it comes with a very shapeable ear bud that fits perfect in my ear. The voice command is okay, however, it misunderstands what you’re saying too much, I think. All in all, I like the V1 much better than any other headset I own.

    1
  • Nick September 19, 2010, 6:07 pm

    While there is no official Q2 app in the Android marketplace, I have been using the Q2 with the Q1 app found in the marketplace for a few weeks without any problem. The Q1 app also alerted me that a new firmware update was available for the Q2 a couple weeks ago.

    2
  • Scott November 14, 2010, 11:07 am

    I’ve been using the Vlingo app (available in the Android marketplace) for reading SMSs and emails to me through A2DP. That works fine. I bought the headset in Australia and was pleasantly surprised to hear the headset’s voice uses an Australian accent rather than an American one, as I was expecting. I don’t have any issues with the headset after a few days usage.

    3
  • MD January 1, 2011, 2:42 pm

    I just bought the Q2 and I find if you have a 1 in front of the number saved in your contacts in will not read the name of the caller. I have over 250 contacts I need to adjust. :) Maybe try this and see if this fixes your caller ID problem with reading the names through the headset.

    4
  • Glizzy February 16, 2011, 7:37 pm

    The Q2 will say the name of an incoming caller if they are saved to your phone (not the sim card) So I just used the address book functions on my phone to copy contacts to the phone (from sim card) and chose to view phone contacts… My phone (Pantech) has the option to view phone, sim card, or both contacts in the address book. So all is well. It’s a great bluetooth with great clarity. Although if I find myself in a bad reception area, the sound crackles for some reason.

    5
  • Miroslaw Zielinski February 25, 2011, 5:53 am

    I like Q2 very much except On/Off switch which is a joke. Good idea but difficult to reach – too small.
    Q2 headset working fine with my Sony Ericsson 715 including automatically transferring phonebook contacts to the Q2

    6
  • andreas April 29, 2011, 1:50 pm

    really bad outgoing sound. it sound like cuts.

    7
  • s.higashide May 5, 2011, 9:29 pm

    I have an iphone 4 and have previously used the Jawbone Prime, and Icon. Both didn’t work well. I then had a Sound Id which I loved except sometimes it would give issues and I’d have to resync it and then it would be good for a while. Now I have the Q2 and it seems to work great except for battery life. I could use the Sound Id almost all day with no problems but the Q2 seems to die by lunch time. Personally I like the fit of the sound id better and the battery life but I like the features of the Q2.

    8
  • JafarKalani August 31, 2011, 12:36 pm

    I have paired my Q2 with the EVO 4G…..I’m very pleased so far, the VR is adequate, I’m still trying to get the caller ID to announce the name as opposed to the number. I’m also working on getting my Q2 to allow the voice 2 text feature of my EVO and send email and sms. I replaced my Plantronics 975 with the Q2 and I’m not looking back.

    9
  • Drew September 6, 2011, 8:27 pm

    I have a Evo.
    I started with a T1 which originally had connectivity issues with the Evo. I bought a Q2 and have had it replaced 3 times under warranty.
    The issue is the headset will disconnect from phone at it’s leisure.
    In the middle of a call, phone just sitting there.. “your phone is not connected” and then the battery started to die prematurely.

    Regardless of the nifty features, the earpiece wont stay connected to the phone.
    Neither Blue Ant or HTC could offer any support.

    Anyone wanna buy a new in the box Q2??
    (warranty replaces new in retail packaging)

    10
  • MirekZ September 10, 2011, 4:43 pm

    I have Q2 since Feb.2011 and I like it’s futures. Only problem is – that it is very fragile. One end separated and I lost volume control switch. I sent headset only to Distributor which is located in Ontario for repair and got replaced with new one in retail packing. This was a nice part.

    Bad part was that listed tech support service phone #1-855-9258-326 is located in Philippines. Call took 15 minutes. Lousy connection, bad language and too many questions. I registered Q2 when i bought it. Any way my name and address wasn’t quite right on parcel I received. (I edited it on return form – but no correction was made) so I’m happy I receive it back at all.
    Strange it is no email address of tech support.

    11
  • Ray Culley May 13, 2012, 6:58 pm

    How do you pair multiple phones with the q2?

    12
  • Andy Chen May 13, 2012, 7:48 pm

    I don’t remember. The PDF can be found here.

    http://www.myblueant.com/downloads/manuals/Q2_UserGuide_EN.pdf

    13
  • Ken b September 6, 2012, 8:44 pm

    I have had my swapped out 6 times since dec 2011 and I still having problems with it saying no active phone when my phone is on my side. Then a couple of seconds later it says your phone is connected. I really wish they would just give me a refund so I could just get a different type. I would not recconmend this lieant q2 to my worst enemy. Save your money. Btw I have a iPhone where they it doesn’t make a difference.

    14
  • Sean September 10, 2012, 3:53 am

    I love the Q2. Period.

    15
  • Freda M February 11, 2013, 11:03 am

    Love everything except it continues to lose connection with my phone, regardless of the proximity to it. Wish they would send out a update fix for that.

    16
  • terris October 6, 2014, 3:30 pm

    I am trying to pair my device to my phone but it will not do so. I have had my headset for a couple years now a d have used it on a few different phones. My phone will search for my headset device but come up with nothing. Also when I say “pair me” into the headset it responds with “pair list is full”. Please help me pair headset with phone.

    17
  • Andy Chen October 6, 2014, 3:34 pm

    I would try resetting the headset. From the instruction manual:

    Resetting the Q2
    If you are having problems with the Q2, you can reset it and start again.
    Resetting the Q2 will clear all the stored pairing settings on the Q2, delete any stored contact details and put the device back into pairing mode.
    To reset the Q2:
    1. Delete any existing pairing information from your phone and turn the phone off and back on again to clear the phone memory.
    2. Make sure the Q2 is switched on but not connected to any phones.
    3. Click Vol +, Vol – and the MFB together. Note that you need to quickly press and release all three buttons at the same time (do not hold down the buttons as this will not reset your device).
    4. The Q2 will announce that it has been reset.
    5. Now use the hardware switch to turn the Q2 off and back on again. You will now need to pair your phone with the Q2 again.

    18
  • Julie Strietelmeier October 6, 2014, 3:34 pm

    @terris it sounds like you need to hard reset the headset to clear the pair settings. Here are the instructions I found when googling for the manual:

    To reset the Q2:
    1. Delete any existing pairing information from your phone and turn the phone off and back on
    again to clear the phone memory.
    2. Make sure the Q2 is switched on but not connected to any phones.
    3. Click Vol +, Vol – and the MFB together. Note that you need to quickly press and release all
    three buttons at the same time (do not hold down the buttons as this will not reset your
    device).
    4. The Q2 will announce that it has been reset.
    5. Now use the hardware switch to turn the Q2 off and back on again.
    You will now need to pair your phone with the Q2 again.

    19
  • Andy Chen October 6, 2014, 3:35 pm

    Yup, what she said.

    20

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