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Reviews

Jabra BT8010 Bluetooth Headset

By Legacy August 18, 2008, 12:00 am

Most Bluetooth headsets are used for conveniently answering phone calls while keeping your hands free. However, if your mobile phone supports the Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP), the proper headset will not only answer phone calls, but it will allow you to listen to your MP3 library in stereo quality sound. The Jabra BT8010 supports the A2DP Bluetooth profile. We'll see how it lives up to expectations. Read on for more!

WHAT'S HOT

Key features:

  • Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP)

  • Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP)

  • 10 hours talk time; 300 hours standby; 6 hours music

  • Multipoint connections

  • Personal phonebook

  • Equalizer

POCKETNOW VIDEO OF THE DAY

SETUP

Setting up the BT8010 involved charging the main headset and pairing it to a Bluetooth device.

Charging takes less than two hours using either the AC power supply or USB cable.

Pairing follows the standard procedure used with other Bluetooth devices, but the BT8010 provides a Wireless Stereo service in addition to a Hands Free service.

Pairing follows the standard procedure used with other Bluetooth devices, but the BT8010 provides a Wireless Stereo service in addition to a Hands Free service.

PRODUCT FEATURES

The Jabra BT8010 includes two ear-piece headsets. The larger headset can be used alone for mono audio or it can be joined to the smaller headset for stereo sound. The smaller headset is powered and controlled from the larger headset, so it does not require charging.

All controls are located on the larger headset. Along the top of the headset are a power button (which is also used to initiate pairing), a menu button, and a button for toggling between music and phone modes. The mini-USB slot is used for charging and for connecting the smaller headset for stereo sound.

Here's a shot of the blue OLED screen.

When paired to a mobile phone, the BT8010 can be used to place and answer hands free phone calls. Answering a call is done by simply pressing the button in the center of the headset. Pressing the center button a second time will end the call. When placing a call from your phone, audio will automatically be transferred to the headset on most phones, but you may need to press the center button after starting the call on some phones. It is also possible to initiate a call from the BT8010 by navigating its internal call list where the last 15 incoming calls are remembered.

When audio is transferred to the headset, the volume will be automatically adjusted based on ambient noise, but the ring around the answer button is a dial that can be used to adjust the volume up or down. The automatic volume adjustment worked very well during testing and the headset always had plenty of volume to spare.

When paired to a phone or other device supporting the A2DP Bluetooth profile, the BT8010 can be used to listen to stereo quality music. (Using only the larger headset will allow you to listen to music, but it will just be mono instead of stereo.) If your device also supports the Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP), the BT8010 headset can be used for basic playback controls as well (play, pause, next track, and stop). As a convenience for those who are particular when listening to their music, the BT8010 has an equalizer with settings for Rock, Pop, Jazz and Classical music.

Because the BT8010 is a multipoint device, it can simultaneously pair with a primary and secondary device. For example, if your phone doesn't support A2DP but your laptop computer does, you can pair to both devices and stream music from your computer while still using the device as a wireless headset with your mobile phone.

HELP SUPPORT

Jabra offers product specific support on their web site, including knowledge base articles and online product documentation. Also, you can check compatibility with specific phones before making a purchase. An online pairing guide provides step-by-step instructions for pairing a Jabra headset with many popular mobile phones. Other support options may be listed in the front of the user manual depending on your country

OPTIONS

The optional BT8010 Control Center software can be downloaded from the Jabra website, which allows you to program phonebook entries into the headset for placing calls from the headset. You can also download new languages and firmware to the headset from the Control Center.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

Using the A2DP and AVRCP features of the Jabra BT8010 requires a Bluetooth device that also supports these profiles. Jabra's online pairing guide can help determine if your phone is compatible with the BT8010. Successful A2DP pairing with a PC will depend on your PC's Bluetooth adapter and drivers. I found pairing with a Dell TrueMobile 355 Bluetooth adapter on Windows Vista wouldn't work until I installed the third party drivers from BlueSoleil.

BT8010 Control Center requires a USB port and less than 4MB of disk space on your PC.

BUGS AND WISHES

The main earpiece of the BT8010 is larger than I'd like. It's roughly as long as the height of a dollar bill. The secondary earpiece is about the size I'd like for both earpieces.

However, even with the larger size, the earpiece never felt heavy or uncomfortable on my ear. (The weight of the primary earpiece is 23 grams; together, both earpieces weigh 37 grams.)

The side of the primary earpiece contains an LED display which is used for caller ID display and for dialing from the call list. It is also used for configuring the headset. Though the feedback during pairing is much more useful than blinking lights, I didn't find much use for it while using the headset. Obviously, if you're going to use the caller ID information or place calls from the headset, you will need to remove it from your ear and I didn't find it worthwhile to do so. Even so, this doesn't impact performance; the design is just a bit puzzling to me. I think I'd rather replace the LED display with additional buttons for AVRCP control. You can currently skip to the next track in a playlist, but you can't move backwards. Buttons for jumping forward and backward would be more useful to me.

Related to my above thought about additional AVRCP buttons, I wonder if it would make sense to add track navigation buttons to the second headset since it's intended for use with stereo sources. However, adding controls to the second earpiece may require additional size.

PURCHASING

The Jabra BT8010 has a list price of $149.00, however, it can be found online at considerable discounts. The pocketnow.com store carries the BT8010 for $69.95.

Pros

  • Listen to phone calls or stereo music
  • Simultaneous connection to two devices (e.g. phone and PC)
  • 10 hours talk, 300 hours standby, 6 hours music

Cons

  • Primary earpiece is a little large
  • OLED space could be better used for playback controls

OVERALL IMPRESSION

The Jabra BT8010 proved to be a very nice Bluetooth headset. I found the fit to be comfortable and the adjustable arm on the earpieces provided suitable adjustments. Both mono and stereo sound quality were very good and microphone pickup worked very well when talking on the phone. I will continue to use the BT8010, primarily when travelling in the car, but it will also serve as an acceptable headset for Skype calls or for listening to music on my laptop.

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