Gadgets

Bluetooth Headset for noise-free calls with an ending you won’t be expecting

I am mad with Google and other Android OEMs who all have enthuisiastic in removing headphone jack, but not making an affordable Bluetooth or USB-C earphone

There are a few categories of gadgets that never work well for me. The top one in the list will be Bluetooth headsets. Over the years, I should’ve at least a dozen of them, I am unable to recall being happy even with one of them. I am not an audiophile, but I enjoy good audio quality, so I get satisfied with a reasonable reproduction.  Till now I have not been able to find a Bluetooth headset that has allowed me to make clear voice calls when I am outside.

After much research online, I bought Jabra Elite 65t for Rs.13, 000 (USD 180). Within a few days, I realised it was useless to make calls when I am walking on the road or at the local park. Anyways, I lost it during a Delhi trip.

After which I went cheaper with a Sony WI-C300 for Rs.2,400. This was slightly better than Jabra Elite for voice calls, but still, the people I speak to were complaining of external noises during my calls. A friend recommended I go with the famous Plantronics headsets which feature a boom mic. They are expensive in India, so I checked in Amazon USA, I was overwhelmed with the models which started from $25 and going up to $150. I didn’t want to overspend money by going for the top-end one or by a model which didn’t have good call support by going for a middle one.

Lastly, I checked Aliexpress where many Chinese sellers were sporting models which resembled the Plantronics models. I purchased the “K10 Wireless Business Bluetooth Headset” from AIRERSI for US$22.61 (Rs. 1565) including free shipping to India, as many other sellers were selling the same K10 model under their own names, so I figured this should be a successful one. This seller had explicitly called out the feature I was interested in – “Ambient noise cancelling: the headphone with a microphone comes with CVC 6.0 noise isolation technology and ANC (ambient noise cancelling) earbuds, creating a quiet environment for you to enjoy music or making calls in a crowd“.  Though it was estimated to be delivered in 18-25 days, I received the parcel in 10 days.

"K10 Wireless Business Bluetooth Headset" from Aliexpress
“K10 Wireless Business Bluetooth Headset” that I purchased from Aliexpress
"K10 Wireless Business Bluetooth Headset" from AIRERSI - comes with various sizes of earpiece pads
“K10 Wireless Business Bluetooth Headset” from AIRERSI – comes with various sizes of earpiece pads

I am liking the well-placed controls on the headset for volume up/down (which double up as skip and rewind), power ON/OFF, and a dedicated mute button. The best part is the in-built MicroUSB port for charging, you don’t need to open a flap or attach a separate coupling for charging. I am yet to try it out extensively. In the initial few days of usage, my friends who I call, say they are able to hear me well even when I am walking on the road or under a fast running ceiling fan. The battery life seems to hold. The Audio quality when listening to songs or podcasts is good for a single earpiece. If you are looking for Bluetooth headset that is cheap and can make good voice calls, and you don’t mind experimenting with a “Chinese” made from Aliexpress, you can try this.

Yesterday, while I was travelling by a local autorickshaw, I saw the driver making hands free calls while driving the auto and it felt like the other party was able to hear him properly. If a headset can work on a noisy auto, then it will work easily on my walks. On enquiry, the driver told me about the various headsets he had tried and recommended two models – the first (which he was currently using) was the Mi Bluetooth Headset for Rs.899 (US$13) and the other was from Samsung Bluetooth Headset (HM1100 or HM1000) which retails for about Rs.1000 (US$15).

2 Comments

  1. My needs have been changing from hearing music to conference calls on bluetooth headset.
    I have done lot of research in finding out the most suitable Bluetooth headset but I still had some issues while using it. Its is not related to the call quality but I generally get some headache on the side on which I used my Bluetooth headset. I did some research and I found articles were many people have complained about it in the same way I had felt then. It struck me that this convenience comes at a cost on health and why not avoid it.
    Of course radiations from mobile phones are still debated but that cannot be avoided in this age and headset can be. So decided not to go for a Bluetooth one but went back to the wired connection which serves the purpose very much – of course the inconvenience of having to get connected through a wire always exist which I believe is worth the risk.

    https://www.healthline.com/health-news/are-wireless-headphones-dangerous#Scientists-believe-the-current-EMF-guidelines-are-inadequate

    • I can understand your concern. We understand very little about the effects (NIL or bad) that radio waves in general, have with living tissues, especially short-range waves like BT. For each individual, the effects may be different, so if you are facing headache then you should stay away from them and turn off BT that’s ON in default in the devices around you. Unfortunately, there are no good USB-C based headsets and that’s why I am MAD with Google and other OEMs.

      For me, I will NOT be overly concerned as my usage is very limited. Hardly 30-60 minutes a day and only during my walks, which are highly irregular in the summer.

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