Do You Still Need a Bluetooth Headset?
The era of the traditional Bluetooth headset is coming to a close. If you look at Amazon or any other major retailer, you see that the single-ear headsets of 10 years ago have largely evolved into stereo Bluetooth headphones, almost all of which include microphones for you to make calls with. While there are still mono headsets on sale, many of them are either low-quality, no-name products, or several years old.
That means many people will want to head over to our list of the Best Wireless Headphones and the Best True Wireless Earbuds. Most have microphones and call control buttons, and we detail call quality in each review. But you don’t want to wear headphones while driving, for instance, and that’s not the only case where a traditional single-ear Bluetooth headset comes in handy.
Picking the right headset might seem simple, but it actually comes with a challenge that’s unique to all headphones, and, well, anything that needs to be placed in your ear: It’s tough (and not completely sanitary) to try products out before plunking down the cash for them. But a major component of a headset’s success depends on how it fits and feels—and that varies widely from person to person, or even from ear to ear. Other important factors include sound quality, design, style, battery life, and extra features. We’ve come up with the main points you should consider when shopping for a Bluetooth headset:
See How We Test Bluetooth Headsets
How well you can be heard when you’re in a speeding car with the windows down, or in your office on a VoIP call, can quickly separate the good performers from the bad. Headsets with two or three mics usually perform the best, as there’s at least one mic dedicated to detecting ambient noise, which the headset can then cancel out using adaptive digital signal processing algorithms.
You definitely pay a premium for advanced noise cancellation, but depending on what you need your headset for, it might be worth it. We test noise-cancelling performance in every one of our reviews. For more on noise cancellation and how it works, head over to our roundup of the best noise-cancelling headphones.
February 3, 2021