Logitech Mobile Traveller Bluetooth Headset

Advertisement

INTRODUCTION

   
Update: Logitech
notified pocketnow.com that the headset we received
for review was part of a preliminary production run
that had a few issues. None of the faulty headsets
made it to the retail channel however, the faulty
units did make it to some reviewers. Logitech sent a
replacement headset and as such we are updating the
review to more accurately reflect the actual
shipping retail product. Throughout the review any
text that is new or changed will appear in bold.

   
There is lots of
discussion on the web regarding the usefulness and
user-friendliness of Bluetooth products. Some people
absolutely love Bluetooth while others avoid it like
the plague. Personally, I happen to like Bluetooth
quite a bit… especially where my mobile phone is
concerned. I was a relatively early adopter of
wireless headsets going back to my first
Bluetooth-enabled phone, a SonyEricsson T68i. I
purchased Jabra’s first Bluetooth headset to go
along with it and was forever sold on the concept of
not having wires to connect headsets to my mobile
phone. Today, I use my Motorola e815 handset with a
Bluetooth headset, my BMW has a great Bluetooth
speakerphone system installed from the factory and I
use Bluetooth to connect my PDA to my phone.
    When looking at Bluetooth headsets, consumers should
investigate five main criteria before deciding which
to purchase: pairing ease, stability, comfort, call
quality and battery life. Let’s take a look at how
well the Logitech Mobile Traveller fares in these
four areas.


WHAT’S HOT

    Taking a look at the key features that
Logitech lists for this headset, one can’t help but
be initially impressed:

  • Headset
    features a compact form factor (weighing 0.6
    ounces)
  • Includes
    patented Windstop technology
  • The headset
    uses advanced Bluetooth 1.2, which includes
    Adaptive Frequency Hopping to reduce WiFi
    interference
  • Features a
    nighttime mode, which enable people to turn off
    the blinking LED light
  • Easily clips
    on either ear
  • Offers seven
    hours of continuous talk time and up to 300
    hours of standby time
  • Supports
    features built into many handsets including
    voice dialing, three-way calling and mute

SETUP


(all images link to higher resolution)

   


This
is the retail box for the headset.

   
Since the headset runs off of a rechargeable
battery, the first thing the user must do is charge
the battery. Included is a simple AC adapter to
accomplish this. Simply plug the adapter into a wall
socket and into the headset and the headset’s small
LED will light up to let you know it is charging.
When the LED goes out, the headset is fully charged
and ready for use.

   
Once charged, it is time to pair the headset with
your handset. Usually this involves two parts:
first, you must prepare the headset for pairing. In
this case, you simply hold the multi-purpose button
(the long thin rectangular button) down until the
LED begins to flash blue and read (about 10
seconds). Second, you must have your handset search
for the headset. This second part is different for
each handset. My Motorola e815 found the headset
with no problem and I selected to pair with it. Like
most Bluetooth headsets, the Logitech uses 0000 as
the PIN number for pairing. I entered this number
and presto… the pairing was complete. All-in-all,
the pairing process took less than 30 seconds which
is excellent! Throughout the course of my testing,
the two devices never lost the pairing and were
always available to work with one another. In the
first of the four Bluetooth headset criteria, the
Logitech passes with flying colors.

PRODUCT FEATURES
 



The only items
included in the box are the headset, a wall charger,
an extra ear foam and instructions. No carrying case
or alternative charging methods are included.

   
The headset itself if very easy to use. There are
two controls on the headset, the long rectangular
multi-purpose button and the volume control which is
the round button with the Logitech logo. That’s it.
Everything but volume is controlled by the
multi-purpose button including power on / off, call
start and end, voice dialing, etc. Volume control is
a bit awkward however as I was trying to press up
and down to raise and lower volume. In fact, you
have to press backward and forward to raise and
lower the volume respectively. There are plus and
minus signs on the volume button showing this, but
they don’t do a whole lot of good when the headset
is on your head. I understand why Logitech set up
the volume controls this way… the headset can be
worn on either the left or the right ear and the
volume button configuration keeps the volume
controls consistent regardless of which ear you wear
the headset on. There are other headsets that are
able to sense which ear you have the headset on and
will adjust the up and down of the volume controls
accordingly, but Logitech chose not to do so with
this headset. Overall, this is not a deal-breaker by
any means, but it does take a little getting used
to.


Here
are pictures of the multi-function and volume
buttons. The LED is contained within the
multi-function button.

   
The second criteria I mentioned when choosing a
Bluetooth headset is comfort. Generally, comfort is
rather subjective since we all have differently
shaped and sized ears. I would say that there are
two main things to look for regarding comfort:
weight and fit. In the weight category, the Logitech
excels. The headset is so light you could almost
forget it is there. It is well balanced too. In the
fit category, the Logitech also performs very
well after you discover an undocumented trick. The
earloop that is attached to the headset contains a
wire inside that can be bent. This is not written
anywhere in the instructions and in the initial
review of the headset I did not realize this was
possible. I discovered it by accident when Logitech
sent the replacement. Even though this is
undocumented, it makes all the difference in the
world. I can now say that this is a VERY comfortable
headset and since you can adjust the earloop to your
ear it also stays on very securely.


Here
you can see the earloop. Notice that there is a hinge which allows the
headset to be worn on either ear.

   
Many would consider the true test of a Bluetooth
headset to be call quality. A common question people
ask is, "Can you tell I am on a headset?" In the
case of the Logitech the answer is mixed.
In the initial review, I mentioned there was a
persistent static problem. The static is not present
in the retail shipping version of the product which
is very welcome news. There is however, a very
noticeable echo for the other party. I did some
testing around the echo and found it was worse the
louder the volume on the headset was set to. If the
volume was very low, the other party barely got any
echo. Unfortunately, at normal headset volume the
echo is very noticeable.
In comparison, my other Bluetooth headset is
a Motorola HS850, which does not suffer from the
echo problem.

   
Logitech also talks about the Windstop feature of
the headset which is supposed to allow a user to
talk in windy environments. I did not find that this
worked at all. In normal conditions, the Windstop
filter made me sound muffled and in windy conditions
it did not seem to reduce wind noise to any
noticeable degree
. The Windstop
technology is a neat idea, but perhaps it is not
quite ready for primetime.



Although the WindStop filter looks like soft foam,
it is actually a hard substance.

   
The last of the four criteria I mentioned is battery
life and here the Logitech somewhat redeems itself.
Battery life is very good and definitely in line
with other Bluetooth headsets in the same price and
size category. Logitech claims 7 hours of talk time
and I would agree that this is accurate. Most
headsets average 6-8 hours of talk time so the
Logitech is right in line here. 


HELP SUPPORT

    Logitech does their usual
great job with the instruction manuals, with the
exception of the earloop adjustment not being
mentioned
. There
is both a detailed instruction manual as well as a
quick start guide for those that suffer from short
attention spans (like me). Both manuals are
easy to understand and are printed in three
languages.


OPTIONS

    One option that is
unique to this headset as far as I know is the
ability to enter a nighttime mode. This mode
disables the LED that flashes normally during a
conversation. Many people complain about
Bluetooth headsets for this very reason… they
don’t like having lights blinking from their head in
public! Logitech should be commended for
including this feature and I would strongly
encourage other headset manufacturers to follow
suit.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

   
All you need
to use this headset is a Bluetooth enabled handset that supports the
handsfree and / or headset profiles. You can also use the headset
with a Windows PC assuming it uses the WIDCOMM Bluetooth stack as the
Microsoft stack does not support Bluetooth headsets. Also, the
headset supports Bluetooth 1.2 which should reduce interference from
nearby Wi-Fi signals assuming that the handset or PC also supports
Bluetooth 1.2. I am not current aware of any that do, but I’m sure
they are out there somewhere.

BUGS AND WISHES

   
Logitech


really needs to focus on the echo problem of this
headset. People want a headset that
sounds good and looks good. Logitech got the
looks good part right, but the sounds good part
needs a bit of work.

   
As I mentioned, the headset comes with a wall
charger. I really wish that Logitech has
chosen a USB-type plug for the headset side instead
of a proprietary socket. Considering that this
is a "traveler" headset, it would be really
convenient to be able to charge the headset via USB
while on the road instead of lugging another (albeit
relatively small) AC adapter. Another option
would be to make the charging cord retractable to
reduce cable clutter while travelling. Personally, I try to only bring one AC adapter
(for my laptop) along
when I travel and I charge everything else via USB. Since
the Motorola headset I have uses the same charging
socket as my handset, I can charge both via a
retracting USB cable. Since I
would have to bring along the wall adapter for the
Logitech headset, I probably would not travel with
it.

PURCHASING

   
The retail price of the
headset is $79.99 over
at Logitech.com. If you search Froogle, you can find the headset for around $50.

PROS

  • Lightweight and comfortable
    to wear
  • Very simple to pair, pairing stable during use
  • Great
    battery life
  • Bluetooth
    1.2
  • Ability to turn off the
    flashing LED

CONS

  • Other party will hear echo
    at normal or high volume
  • WindStop
    feature does not work
  • Volume
    controls are a bit counter-intuitive
  • No
    carrying case
  • No
    alternative charging methods available
Value
Ease
of Use
Features

Overall

What
do these ratings mean
?

OVERALL IMPRESSION

   

Overall, this is a pretty good headset for the price
range. If you move up to the $100 range sound
quality issues like the echo problem would be more
serious, but in the sub-$80 price range, audio
quality is not going to be perfect. The headset
looks good, is easy to use and comfortable to wear.
If Logitech fixes the echo problem in the next
version, they will have a top-notch product.


Share This Post
Advertisement
What's your reaction?
Love It
0%
Like It
0%
Want It
0%
Had It
0%
Hated It
0%
About The Author
Legacy