Jabra BT5010 Bluetooth Headset
As a business user, phone calls are such a big part of my day that I always need a wireless headset to help me through it. Sadly, though most headsets in the market are light and attractive, they lack focus on the true needs of a headset and render poor sound quality, tons of static and you just can’t hear or be heard. Things get worse when noise comes to town and if I have to be returning to my handset when it does, than the use of a headset is pointless. The fact that they are just mobile phone oriented is also a big minus and I know most of us would love a solution that handles both my desk phone and my mobile at the same time. Jabra claims to offer a high end solution for both of these needs with their BT5010. Is Jabra on the right track with the solution? Read on for a full review.
Having a sliding boom has been around ever since the first headset I remember, but Jabra revisited the concept we’ll cover later with their BT5010. What makes it different is new technology and specs like:
- Wind-noise reduction technology
- Up to 10 hours talk time and up to 300 hours standby
- Vibrating and visual alert
- MultiPoint connections
- USB cable included for charging
- Multi-colored LED for Bluetooth, call and battery indications
- Weighs 20 grams
- Bluetooth 2.0 supporting headset and hands-free profiles
I know many current headsets offer some sort of noise cancellation technology but I’ve never heard of one offering multipoint connections for handling two phones at the same time. This is the first things I looked into.
Talk Time | Standby (hours)
5 | 180
10 | 300
5.5 | 200
|Aliph Jawbone 2|
4 | 192
6 | 150
6 | 75
10 | 300
5 | 150
5.5 | 200
4 | 75
6 | 120
9 | 250
12 | 360
3 | 100
6 | 300
3.5-10 | 80
7 | 180
4 | 250
5 | 120
6 | 300
6 | 300
30 | 700
15 | 300
7 | 300
6 | 300
7 | 100
5 | 250
2 | 100
8 | 1000
4 | 200
Probably one of the things that caught my eye after I opened the box for the first time was a big black device which I later learned was a Jabra A7010 bluetooth hub included! Judging by what jabra states is in the box, I’m honestly not sure or can guarantee it will be in your box after you buy it, but the box’s design sure shows it should be.
(all images link to higher resolution)
Beside the Bluetooth Hub with wall outlet and land line connection, you get a micro USB PC cable for charging and a Wall Charger.
Probably one of the things I like the least is the micro USB availability of this headset. It is the next step after the widely-used miniUSB, but there are very few devices or adapters available to cover for it so if you loose your cables or if the headset runs out of battery while on a long drive, no car charger was included to help out.
Setting up the headset is pretty standard. You pair it with your mobile device and you’re off.
Even though hardware features are standard, you’ll notice that the On/Off pairing button is separate and the ear hook design is curved for comfort. One of the things I like about the LED indicator is that it’ll let you know of the battery status every time you turn the headset on and off. In what pertains to sound notifications, I must say I’m fairly disappointed. Even though sounds are all built in to let you know when the signal strength is gone, low battery, incoming call (with an annoying vibrating option that can be disabled), call active and call drop sounds, each of these block your ability to hear the caller. Though this feature is also available in many Motorola Headsets I’ve used, none block what you hear and stay in the background. If you’re low on battery or if one of your paired phones has lost signal, you might as well choose to end the call because the repeating sounds won’t let you hear the conversation.
In the command arena, there are good and bad options. I enjoy the fact that the On/Off pairing buttons are separate to avoid turning it off if I pressed the call button too much. I don’t understand though why I have to press and hold the call button to activate voice command on my mobile device. I sometimes held it long enough and sometimes didn’t and my phone would not understand the command every time.
Jabra A7010 Bluetooth Hub
Many of you may wonder how you could handle two phones or even a combination of both a mobile phone and a desk phone at the same time. Multipoint technology allows you to work with both at a time making the option for the Bluetooth Hub something very nice to have. Simply follow the instructions for pairing without a password and you’re off.
The way to handle the desk phone depends on the availability for a headset connector on the phone or not. My desk phone has one so things were fairly a simple plug in.
Sound Quality vs. Design
Having the boom retracted has quite the professional sexy appeal to it. The speaker is definitely sharp to ensure you hear closer to your ear than a regular phone would allow.
The extended boom allows the microphone to be closer to your mouth. Design wise, I don’t like those silver screws. I tend to wonder why they are hidden on the sales banners.
I must congratulate Jabra on sound quality. Even though the design compromises are not good news for many, I can hear and be heard just as good in silent and noisy conditions. I do get some static whenever I move my phone around, but not as bad as I’ve experienced with other phones. I do recommend that get’s fixed. Using voice command as an example, I fell in love with the headset the moment I would use my normal tone of voice for commands and get full recognition. What I didn’t like at all about the design, is that I can’t choose whether to use the boom extended or retracted. If I don’t extend the boom, I get an annoying sound reminding me to extend it and since the microphone is in the inner section of it, I’m not heard at all if I keep it retracted. I do believe jabra should consider making this flexible since the headset is already big without the boom extended. Another advice would be to make it spring assisted.
Size and Comfort
Size is definitely not it’s key strength if we were to compare it with other headsets in the market.
In a fair comparison, the Motorola H500 and H700 are definite winners in size. Weight differences are not really significant.
But then the BT5010 would beat them in what’s really important, which is the ability to simulate the size of a real phone and render that sound quality we need.
And when it comes to comfort, the curve design of the ear hook allows custom fit to even big ears like mine. The first day was probably a bit hard to get use to because of the initial tight grip, but it was all gone on the second day. One thing I do enjoy of this design is that the BT5010 doesn’t slide off my ear nor move whenever I nod my head like other headsets do. It allows me to concentrate in the call and not in keeping my headset on.
I do consider the BT5010 to have a decent battery performance. All headsets would normally give you good performance but this one gave me 5 days under hardcore use without the need for a recharge. With a quick 2 hour charge, you’re quickly back in business.
Though their user manual is not very specific, I like the fact that the quick start guide at least uses some images to clear that out. I also found that their web site offers additional support and Frequently asked questions in case anybody is interested.
Being Bluetooth 2.0 compatible, It should work on just about any device but if you’re in doubt, head on the the Jabra Web site and check it out for your self on the compatibility section. I ran all my tests with an HTC Herald p4350 and a Motorola KRZR K1.
BUGS AND WISHES
One bug I noticed is the fact that I would sometimes have my BT5010 paired to both my Herald and my K1 and even after disconnecting Bluetooth on my Herald, if I would ever turn the phone app off on it, the headset would start making ugly sounds notifying of no signal reception. I would have to end up un pairing them for the annoying noise to end. The other is the speed it would take to call voice command on my phone. Last but not least, the static problem that should not exist on a high end headset.
Wishes I have many, but I’ll try to make the list short.
- Sound notifications on the headset should be in the background enabling the user to hear his conversation uninterrupted.
- The ear hook ring enters flush into its holder and seems a bit fragile. A replacement should be included.
- It would be great if they add a car charger while micro USB becomes famous.
- Enable the option to have the boom in or out for calls. There is a call/end button already so having a sliding boom that answers or end calls with the boom is not necessary.
- Change the chromed screws for black ones and spring assist the boom.
Jabra offers the B5010 at $79.99 at their Jabra shopping web site. I would consider it a very competitive price when the competition currently costs just about the same for something less sophisticated.
- Great sound quality for both quiet and noisy environments
- Multipoint service allows you to control more than one mobile device
comfort with curved ear hook design
- The ability to be used with a desk phone solution
- Sliding the for calls is not optional
- Annoying sounds and static decrease call quality on occasion
- Boom is not spring assisted
After a week of testing, and after owning three Motorola headsets in the past, I must say Jabra has found a new customer. In the end, the best feature I found that doesn’t compare to other solutions is the fact that I haven’t needed to hold my phone close to my ear in days now. The BT5010 is definitely strong in what headsets should truly focus on; it does live up to it’s slogan as a more voice – less noise solution.