BlueAnt V12 LCD Bluetooth Headset

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INTRODUCTION

    Over the last year, the number of individuals wearing a Bluetooth headset has proliferated at an amazing speed. The technology now provides good sound quality and decent battery life, however I have two issues with Bluetooth headsets. The first is that I don’t like having something in my ear for long periods of time and second I like to know who is calling before answering. It is easy for me to have the headset in my pocket and pull it out when a calls comes, but I still have to look at my T-Mobile MDA to see who is calling and end up using the handset instead of the headset. BlueAnt Wireless, a company specializing in Bluetooth accessories, has just released a Bluetooth Headset with an LCD that displays caller ID information; the V12 LCD. Let’s see how well it addresses my issues!

WHAT’S HOT

   The BlueAnt V12 features include:

  • Bluetooth 1.2 compatible
  • Supports Bluetooth HeadSet Profile (HSP) and Hands Free Profile (HFP)
  • Backlit LCD with 12 digit Caller ID
  • Vibrate alert for incoming calls
  • Ambient Noise Reduction
  • Full duplex
  • Displays & stores the last 10 numbers received for re dialing
  • Pairs with up to 5 devices
  • Up to 12 hrs talk-time or up to 360 hrs standby

Bluetooth Headset

Our Rating
Talk Time | Standby (hours)

Street Price
Bluetrek Metal
5 | 180
$50
Jabra BT8010
10 | 300
$70
BlueAnt Z9i
5.5 | 200
$70
Aliph Jawbone 2
4 | 192
$119
iqua BHS-303
6 | 150
$35
Gennum nx6000
6 | 75
$110
10 | 300
$75
5 | 150
$80
5.5 | 200
$70
4 | 75
$50
6 | 120
$110
9 | 250
$40
12 | 360
$75
3 | 100
$120
6 | 300
$45
3.5-10 | 80
$80
7 | 180
$50
4 | 250
$40
5 | 120
$60
6 | 300
$80
6 | 300
$60
30 | 700

$40
15 | 300

$80
7 | 300
$80
6 | 300
$55
7 | 100
$115
5 | 250
$40
2 | 100
$250
8 | 1000
$25
unrated
4 | 200
$40

SETUP
(all images link to higher resolution)

    The setup is simple; charge, pair and go.


The BlueAnt V12 LCD Bluetooth Headset retail package.

The BlueAnt V12 LCD Bluetooth Headset package includes the headset, a small ear hook, a large ear hook, 100-240 Volt AC charger, a neck lanyard to carry the headset, and a manual.

    The V12 LCD has a micro USB connector for charging. This is too bad since most accessories these days are using mini USB connectors for charging. This means lugging along another charger or adapter tip. A full charge takes about 3 hours. The micro USB connector is also used to attach the lanyard.

    The Bluetooth pairing process is very simple, with the V12 LCD off, depress the Multi-Function Button MFB (blue arrow) until "PAIRING" is displayed on the LCD. Establish a new partnership from you Bluetooth enabled device and enter 0000 as the pass code.

The T-Mobile MDA Windows Mobile 5.0 uses the Bluetooth Hands Free Profile to connect to the V12 LCD.

PRODUCT FEATURES

    The BlueAnt V12 LCD Bluetooth headset provides many features in a small package:

    The Multi-Function Button or MBF (black arrow) provides access to power on/off, pairing, answer, reject, hang up, redial, and voice dial functionality. The LCD displays; Bluetooth connectivity (red arrow), vibrate indicator (yellow arrow), battery status (green arrow), and paired phone (blue arrow). Up to 5 phones can be paired to the V12.

    The voice dial function is initiated by pressing the MFB firmly. The LCD will display "VOICE dIAL" and a beep will be heard. The voice dial application will prompt the user with a second beep when it is ready to receive the voice tag.

The Voice Dial function works very well with the T-Mobile MDA Windows Mobile 5.0 Voice Speak application.

Holding the MFB down for 3 seconds will redial the last number.

    There are two buttons on the bottom of the headset which control volume as well as scrolling through the last 10 number received history and turning vibrate mode on and off. Vibrate mode is very useful when carrying the V12 LCD in your pocket.

    The key feature of the BlueAnt V12 LCD Bluetooth headset is its ability to display the caller ID phone number when a call is received. It also stores the last 10 numbers received in history. The history mode (blue arrow) is accessed by pressing both volume buttons (red arrows) simultaneously. The volume + and – buttons are use the scroll through the number history. Pressing the MFB initiates a call to the selected number.

    Another great feature of the headset is the ability to transfer the audio from the headset to the handset during a call by pressing the MFB for 3 seconds. At 16 grams the headset is heavier than most, but I found it comfortable to wear for extended conversations. The sound quality is very good and I had no problems with call volume. Callers could hear me clearly in noisy environment like the street or shopping malls, although in quiet environments they commented on hearing some white noise.


HELP SUPPORT

    The BlueAnt V12 LCD Bluetooth has a 2 year replacement warranty. Support is handled via a contact form on BlueAnt’s website here. The included manual is well written and complete. A .pdf version of the manual can be downloaded here.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

    A Bluetooth compliant phone with the Bluetooth Hands Free (HFP) and/or HandSet (HSP) profiles.


BUGS AND WISHES

    The headset worked well for me and I had no issues with pairing, connectivity or audio comprehension issues. Since there is always room for improvement, here our my wishes:

  • Improve the quiet environment audio quality for the caller.
  • Display the caller ID name
  • Replace the micro USB connector with a mini USB connector

PURCHASING

    The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price for the BlueAnt V12 LCD Bluetooth headset is $79.99. A list of stores carrying the V12 can be found here. Amazon.com is currently selling the V12 LCD for $58.99 here.

PROS


  • Caller ID display and history


  • Works well in noisy environment


  • Vibrate mode


  • Headset initiated handset audio transfer

CONS


  • Micro USB charging connector


  • Caller ID name not displayed


  • Some white noise in quiet environment

Value
Ease
of Use
Features

Overall

What
do these ratings mean
?

OVERALL IMPRESSION

    The BlueAnt V12 LCD Bluetooth headset addresses my issues with having a headset glued to my ear 24 x 7. I can carry it in my pocket, it will vibrate when a calls come in, I can retrieve it, and view the caller’s phone number before choosing to answer or reject the call. When I want to make a call I have the option to pick a number from the V12 LCD’s history or initiate voice dial. All of this without touching my phone. The ambient noise reduction works well in noisy environments, however caller’s did mention hearing white noise in quiet environments. In the end, the V12 LCD works for me. With a little sound quality improvement in quiet environments, a mini USB charging connector and name display, it would be perfect.
The BlueAnt V12 LCD gets a solid pocketnow.com rating of 4 in my book.




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