Best Cell Phone Accessory of CTIA Wireless 2008: BlueAnt V1 Voice-Controlled Headset

BlueAnt V1One of the downfalls of Bluetooth headsets are the button pushes and holds required to pair and control these miniscule devices. The BlueAnt V1 is different. As the world’s first voice-controlled Bluetooth headset, the BlueAnt V1 allows users to easily control most functions using the ‘BlueGenie Voice Interface’. Simply speak to it while holding down a button, and the V1 will talk to you. You can ask it to “pair” and it will go into pairing mode; ask it for “battery life” and it will repeat back a percentage of power remaining. The design of the headset is simple and its single activation button provides users with total control. The BlueAnt V1 is a Bluetooth breakthrough. [flv:/flvs/blueant.flv 320 240]

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  1. Mac.Intosh Says:

    PROS: Very good incoming and outgoing audio when used with an iPhone 3G or Nokia E61. No paring or use issues so far. Standard Voice Isolation works well to reduce medium level background noise. Max Voice Isolation eliminates all but the most transient loud sounds, though callers note that my voice has some noise artifacts in that mode. Voice activated commands work great… pre-recorded prompts are clear and intelligible. Flashing blue standby mode status indicator is easily disabled (though it must be done every time the V1 is powered on). Status indicator doesn’t flash during a call whether or not Standby flashing is defeated. Nice headset, especially considering the small size.

    CONS: Sadly, BlueAnt’s pre-configured calling commands/positions limit the V1 from being a great fit with the iPhone 3G. The Voice Control features work really well, yet BlueAnt chose to pre-populate the first five voice activated speed dial positions with voicemail/home/office/favorite/GOOG-411… meaning you have to speak those very phrases to dial your first four iPhone calling favorites and the fifth GOOG-411 entry overrides your phone’s fifth favorite and cannot be changed. Obviously U.S. iPhone users don’t need the voicemail retrieval entry, and since they have Google Maps app and Google Search app they really don’t need an unchangeable GOOG-411 overriding their 5th favorite. BlueAnt ought to move the GOOG-411 down to the 9th speed dial position and just add normal voice prompts for positions 1-8. I think users of all types of phones would be lot happier.

    OTHER THOUGHTS: BlueAnt includes two earhooks, one metal, one plastic, two sizes of rubber ear buds (highly flexible mushroom-shaped… the center stretching over a notched stem), and two expanding foam in-canal ear buds. I didn’t care for any of them. I found that the clear silicone ear gels that came with the Plantronics 925 fit the BlueAnt V1 nicely, and provided a far better seal/fit for my ears (the V1’s plastic stem protrudes through the ear gel slightly… something I plan to cut off since I’ll never use the BlueAnt buds).

  2. Miye Says:

    Great Pros and Cons Mac.Intosh on the BlueAnt V1, interesting that the GOOG-411 can’t be overwritten with your own 5th favorite voice entry. I found that this bluetooth headset with voice commands to be better than other headsets so far.

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