As state and provincial governments ban hand-held mobile devices for motorists, it’s crucial to pick the right Bluetooth headset. A guide to the best-available models. March/April 2009
As governments, worldwide, begin to legislate and institute bans on driving while operating a hand-held mobile device, motorists must find solutions to avoid costly fines (upwards of $100). In Canada, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador already have legislation in place, and Ontario is expected to follow suit. Across the border, five states — California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Washington — along with the District of Columbia have also banned the hand-held. Bluetooth headsets pair with mobile devices, offering drivers a hands-free solution that seamlessly and wirelessly transfers data to the ear. With the click of a button, you can answer and dismiss a call without ever touching your phone.
Editors’ Pick – The New Jawbone Bluetooth headset
The New Jawbone Bluetooth headset
Available at: Bell, Rogers Wireless and Telus Mobility retail stores, and online at jawbone.com.
Suggested retail price: $139.99 CDN. Allowing you to talk up to 10 metres from your phone, this lightweight headset slips comfortably into the ear (with an optional leather earloop), functioning as a stylish accessory (available in black, gold, silver, rose and blue) and practical device. Originally developed for military use, Jawbone technology distinguishes your voice from background noise, allowing for a clear, uninterrupted conversation no matter the surroundings (read: downtown rush hour or busy trade-show floor). The battery allows for up to four hours of talk time, while the userfriendly design makes operation effortless, even for technophobes.
Available at: Best Buy, Circuit City, jabra.com.
Suggested retail price: $79.99 USD. Introduced late last year, the BT530 offers automatic volume control, which adjusts to the level of received audio, while protecting your ear from raised voices or sudden noise surges. With a dedicated ‘on’ and ‘off’ switch, it is designed to be worn comfortably all day long, so you’ll never have to worry about misplacing it.
Available at: cardowireless.com.
Suggested retail price: $84.99 USD. The Cardo S-800’s non-invasive earpiece rests comfortably against the ear canal’s outer contours, transmitting sound clearly. The unique ‘Hot Dial’ function allows you to initiate calls from your headset to your top three speed-dial contacts — meaning you won’t have to search for your phone or attempt to dial while operating your vehicle.
Motorola MOTOPURE H15
Motorola MOTOPURE H15
Available at: Bell, Rogers Wireless and Telus Mobility retail stores, other major retailers and online at motorola.ca
Suggested retail price: $119.95 CDN. Offering background noise/echo cancellation, the H15 lets you connect to your BlackBerry and personal mobile phone simultaneously, letting you switch from phone to phone without having to reset the pairing function.
Available at: BlackBerry retailers and online at shopblackberry.com
Suggested retail price: 149.99 CDN. This compact BlackBerry headset is compatible with most BlackBerry phones and can be charged using any BlackBerry power charger. Stylish, lightweight (9 grams) and provides clear conversation with digitally enhanced sound.
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