Qstik EVOQ Bluetooth Headset

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INTRODUCTION

    A short while ago, I was asked if I would be interested in taking a look at a new product called the Qstik EVOQ. I was sent a couple of links to check out. I was intrigued by the unconventional shape of the EVOQ Bluetooth headset – it was circular! Strange design aside, it claims to have "adaptive audio processing software." Perhaps that’s why the unit has a non-standard shape. Read on for the full review!

WHAT’S HOT?

    You almost need a communications degree to really grasp everything the Qstik BT headset can do. Sadly a lot of great headsets forget that not only does your caller have to hear you – you have to hear your caller, and sometimes a little music too.

    So, what makes the Qstik special? The technology. You almost need a degree to understand it all, but let’s try to sort it out. In almost a required fashion of BT headsets the Qstik includes noise cancellation. Not just any kind but military grade bi-directional noise cancellation meaning not only is the background noise filtered from your voice, but any background noise is also filtered from your callers voice. SLC – Speech Level Control technology, AAEC – Adaptive Acoustic Echo Canceller and B-ASL – Bidirectional Acoustic Shock Limiter are also utilized to help control the sound quality of your calls. In a nutshell the technologies listed all work together to automatically control the volume of the call depending on your environment (no pushing buttons), filter out the cellular echo we all sometimes get, as well as filter unexpected high volume sounds like shouting or barking. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention … A2DP which provides high quality music streaming.

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

Product Features

(all images link to higher resolution)

    On the outside the Qstik EVOQ really isn’t all that different from many of the the other headsets you’re going to see on various ears around the world. Sure it looks a little different, but as I quickly came to find out making the headset work is a near non-event despite all the cool technology inside.

   

 In the “box” is of course the EVOQ as well as a few other items like the charger (UK), a pair of headphones, a charging stand and a manual on CD.

It really was impressive how they managed to stuff this much stuff into the box and keep it well organized.

Behold the Qstik EVOQ! And no… it’s not a UFO.

    I don’t recall using a headset that is as simple to operate as the EVOQ. As you can see all controls are very large making it easy to determine which button you’re hitting. The (+) and (-) are also elevated making things even easier. Along with that all the fancy functions like noise cancellation and automatic voice control are all handled by the unit so there’s no buttons to fiddle with during a call.

    Along with the nice big controls is an odd looking, almost USB-style port. After a couple attempts at actually putting a mini USB cable into this jack I soon figured out this isn’t a charging port, but a headphone port! So, how does one charge this headset?

  The EVOQ is charged by placing it into what I have come to lovingly call the "egg holder." Mainly because it sort of looks like the ones my mom used to put hard boiled eggs into for breakfast. Seriously though this is one of the coolest charging stands I’ve seen.

    Notice the black part on the back of the stand. That’s actually a magnet system that lets you position the charger however it best suits you. Heck you can even attach the "cup" part of the charger to a metal object around your wall socket and just leave it there. The real downside to all of this is that unfortunately you need to have the charging stand available any time you run low on battery. No last second charging in the car…

 

    And yes .. it really is as big as looks. Seriously, this thing is massive compared to a lot of the other units I’ve tried. It sounds really good, but the geek factor on this one is huge. Basically what I’m saying here is while this headset will keep you in the conversation no matter what the environment is like, you may have a hard time carrying on a conversation since everyone tends to look at you a bit weird.


HELP AND SUPPORT


    The product ships with a “quick start” mini manual that covers the basics of getting connected. Everything else you may need to know is on a PDF manual found on the CD. I didn’t need any other support but the EVOQ does ship with 1 year of warranty should you have any issues.

BUGS AND WISHES


    While I really liked the EVOQ, I found myself a little uncomfortable with the overall size and being seen wearing it. I guess I wasn’t really concerned with how big it was, but how out of shape it was. Headsets of this size are usually elongated and rectangular not round like a hockey puck. I also think the unit could have fit much more snug around the ear and in the ear canal. The sound quality is really good, but when you’re constantly adjusting the unit because you’re afraid it is going to fall off/out it is just as distracting as outside noise.

PURCHASING

   The Qstik EVOQ can be found online from the Qstik website for roughly $80.

PROS

  • Great bi-directional sound quality
  • Pretty good battery life
  • Neat charger
  • A2DP/AVRCP Bluetooth support, stereo headphones included

CONS

  • Large! Needs a better-looking shape
  • Fits very loose on the ear
  • Have to use the charging stand
Value
Ease
of Use
Features

Overall

What
do these ratings mean
?


OVERALL IMPRESSION

   Well, despite the looks the Qstik EVOQ is definitely not a UFO. It’s a very high quality headset with a lot of really nice features, and a decent value for the money. The only thing I think holding this headset back from being a top notch, recommend it to everybody type of device is the shape and the fit. Given the size it feels very unstable my ear and I think overall impression suffers because of it. If Qstik can come up with a better shape and a bit more stability for the EVOQ v2 I wouldn’t think twice about buying it.




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