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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [08.26.04]
Manufactured by: Bluetake, DFI, Logitech

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Something for Everyone

Even though we mostly cover PC Hardware mostly, we still like to talk about things that we think will be interesting to everyone. If you use a mobile phone, you'll want to pay attention to this.

How many times have you been talking on your mobile phone, annoyed at having a hand tied up? It's difficult to drive, write, or surf the web (everyone know you need at LEAST one hand for web surfing!)

You may or may not have tried a wired "hands-free" headset. But honestly those are even more annoying than not having one at all! The wire gets tangled up all over the place, and let's face it, you look like a total dork talking into a wire hanging from your head, down to your pocket (and most of the time you have to hold the microphone to your mouth, so it kind of defeats the purpose).

Enter Bluetooth

We first started playing with Bluetooth with these products from Bluetake. As you might guess, Bluetake started off as a division of Thermaltake back when they were still creative. They were one of the first to grab onto the Bluetooth spec, and one of the few who are still into it.

Now that more and more mobile phones and PDA's are starting to support Bluetooth, we are starting to see more and more companies jumping into the Bluetooth pool. Today we're reviewing three hands-free headsets from companies you are surely already familiar with.

On the left is the 3rd generation headset from Bluetake, which was just released last month. On the right is DFI's latest project. DFI is really broadening their product line with this headet, and a 5.1 headset with an integrated soundcard that we saw at Computex.

And finally there is the Logitech headset. While you might not know it, Logitech is a HUGE presence in the mobile industry, with a wide range of headsets and earphones. This headset is their first (and currently, their only) of the Bluetooth variety.

As you can see, each product differs drastically in design. Let's find out which one is most worthy of your attention!

The Matrix

First up, we have to look at some specs at a glance:

  Bluetake BT400 G3 DFI BTHS-101 Logitech Mobile Bluetooth
MSRP: $69.99 $60-70 $99.99
Street: $60-70 None found yet $60-70
Est. Talk Time: 9-10 Hours 4-5 Hours 5-6 Hours
Standby Time: 350 Hours 128 Hours 400 Hours
Weight (w/ battery) 26 g 18.5 g 30 g

They are all available in roughly the same price range. Even though the Logitech has a suggest price of $99.99, we were able to easily spot it for much less than that, such as $71 at Buy.com, $68 at eCost, or even $66 at Shopperwiz.com. The other two headsets are brand new, and harder to come across just now. However, when they do hit the streets, expect them to be in the exact same $60-70 price range.

In terms of battery power, the DFI lags behind the other two significantly in standby time. This is very noticable too, as you will need to charge the DFI headset every other day, while you can get away with leaving the others on for up to a week without worrying about charge. Talk time is roughly the same for the DFI and Logitech, but the Bluetake stands out with an amazing 9 hour talk time average.

One important thing that affects comfort is the weight of each unit. At 18.5g, the DFI is VERY light, and fits comfortably (as we'll get to soon). The Logitech is the heaviest at 30g, and it is noticable compared to the other.

I tested all units over a long period of time with my personal O2 XDA II Pocket PC phone. If you're in the market for a Pocket PC, but don't want to have to lug it around in ADDITION to a cell phone, then you should really look into this unit. It would stand alone as a great PDA even without the mobile phone capability! It might be hard to find in the US though (it's sold under various names; Carrier Devices calls it the iMate, T-Mobile calls it the MDA II, and it is also known as a QTek 2020).

Now let's have a closer look at each headet (in alphabetical order of course!)

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