15 Best Bluetooth Headsets For iPhone (2018 Update)

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Are you looking for the best Bluetooth headset in 2018 for your iPhone? You can stop your search now because you’ve come to the right place. This article is designed to help you understand all the important things about headsets. We are going talk about all the differences between headphones and headsets, give you some short history lesson on headsets, explain the importance of Bluetooth technology, list all the advantages of Bluetooth over wired headsets, and explain all the important features you should be paying attention to when buying a Bluetooth headset. After a short introduction, we are going to give you some choices. We’ve picked for you 15 best Bluetooth headsets in 2018 that you can use with your iPhone. Hopefully, you will find all this stuff helpful and you might even find just the perfect headset for your needs right here.

Best Bluetooth Headsets For iPhone In 2018 – Top 15

Bluetooth HeadsetsModelRatingReview
Lebowex4.8Read Review
Mpow Pro4.4Read Review
eGe4.3Read Review
Plantronics M1654.0Read Review
Firegram4.2Read Review
Plantronics Voyager4.0Read Review
Mpow Single4.3Read Review
FRiEQ4.0Read Review
Cshidworld4.1Read Review
Plantronics Explorer4.0Read Review
VXi BlueParrott4.1Read Review
Plantronics 52004.0Read Review
Plantronics Focus4.3Read Review
Sennheiser3.8Read Review
Bose4.1Read Review

What Is the Main Difference Between Headphones and Headsets?

To simplify things, the most important difference between headphones and headsets is the microphone – headsets must have mic and headphones don’t. All the other differences come from this one. Both headphones and headsets have earpieces although headsets can sometimes have only one instead of two. The main purpose of headphones is listening to music and that’s why they don’t have to be equipped with microphone, while the main purpose of headsets is communication (whether you use them for making and answering phone calls, for gaming, for online conference calls via Skype or any other service) and that’s why the microphone is essential part of any headset. Bunch of today’s headphones (especially those earbuds that come with smartphones) have built-in mics and can be considered headsets. Most of the headsets on our list are those with one earpiece, but we are going to mention some with two earpieces that could be used for listening to music and for communicating. One-earpiece (or monaural) headsets can also be used for listening to music or for podcasts but they are optimized for communication and the listening experience will never be the same like with stereo headphones.

Development of Headsets – A Long Journey from The Invention of First Headset to The Mass Production

Headsets are, believe or not, a century-old technology. The first headset was invented in 1910 by Nathaniel Baldwin who was, at the time, a student at Stanford University. Unfortunately, mass production of headsets didn’t happen then but some 50 years after the invention. The headsets were first used by American pilots during WWI, but the US Army ordered only 100 headsets and that wasn’t mass production. During the 1960s two airline pilots Courtney Graham and Keith Larkin established company Plantronics and made the first lightweight headset for pilots – Plantronics MS-50. The airline industry (and not only this industry) was very happy with this headset and the mass production began, but even then, only a few thousand of headsets were produced every year. The real need for headsets emerged during the 1990s along with the mass production of cell phones. During the last decade of the 20th century, headsets have become popular worldwide.

The Introduction and First Implementation of Bluetooth Technology

The appearance and application of Bluetooth technology was (and still is) along with the appearance of cell phones, very important for the worldwide popularity of headsets. Bluetooth technology was introduced in 1989 by two scientists from Ericson Mobile. Their original idea was to implement this technology into headsets and make them wireless. Eventually, they managed to do this 11 years after the first appearance of Bluetooth. The wireless headset was the first device that featured Bluetooth technology. Mass production of Bluetooth headsets started in 2000.

The popularity of cell phones and smartphones, along with the rising popularity of wireless technology made Bluetooth headsets a must-have piece of equipment.

One more thing that made Bluetooth headsets so popular is the fact that Bluetooth headsets work with Apple, Android, or Windows devices. Bluetooth is universal technology but some headsets have certain additional features if you use them with iPhones because of some small pieces of software that are compatible with iOS. For example, you will be able to monitor battery status of some headsets with an iPhone while you can’t see that if you pair the headset with an Android phone. But, you should be able to use any Bluetooth headset with both iPhone and Android.

Benefits of Bluetooth Headsets

Greater Mobility

The fact that you are not restrained by all the cables means that you don’t have to stay at one place when communicating with someone. Today, you don’t have to leave your headset when you get tired of sitting and you want to stretch out. You can now wear the headset while walking, running, or doing anything else and you don’t have to worry about cables. You will, unfortunately, have to worry about the battery, since all the Bluetooth headsets are battery-powered.

Easier Multitasking and Increased Productivity and Effectiveness

Since you have an earpiece in your ear, you don’t have to hold the phone in your hands, which makes both of your hands free. You can do whatever you like – if you are in the office you can write, send e-mails, clean your desk, do whatever you need to. Wireless headset makes multitasking much easier since you have both hands free. The same thing goes if you are at your home. You can clean rooms, cook, wash dishes, or do anything else and communicate with someone at the same time. The headset makes multitasking much easier, and with multitasking comes greater productivity and effectiveness.

Legal Benefits

Believe it or not, there are even some legal benefits that come with the usage of Bluetooth headsets, especially those that go in one ear. Some states (California, for example) have traffic laws that prohibit crossing the street or driving (or being involved in traffic in any way) while having headphones covering both of your ears (or having earbuds inside both of your ears). On the other hand, having one earpiece inside your ear is usually allowed. By using a one-earpiece headset (either for listening to music or for communication) you won’t make any offense and you will avoid traffic penalties.

Bluetooth Headsets Are Lifesavers

Traffic studies proved that 25% of all the traffic accidents in the US during the last decade were caused by people who used their phones while driving. Using a headset for making and answering calls reduces the number of accidents significantly. Texting while driving still remains a problem, but talking on the phone is not such a big problem anymore. You have headsets now. Even reducing the number of accidents by 1% makes the headsets incredibly useful, we dare to say, lifesaving devices. We don’t recommend talking on the phone while driving, but if you have to do that, it’s definitely better to use headset than holding a phone. That way, you can have both of your hands on the wheel, you’ll be more aware of your surroundings, and your reaction time will be shorter.

Downsides of Bluetooth Headsets

It would be great if the usage of Bluetooth headsets comes only with benefits but there are some downsides. The number and importance of benefits overcomes the number of downsides, but still, we have to mention some of them.

Battery

Every Bluetooth headset is powered by a battery (usually rechargeable) so you will have to pay attention to the battery status. You don’t want your headset to stop working because of the empty battery just when you need it the most. Most people don’t see the fact that you have to charge the battery as such a big issue.

Listening to Music Is Always Better with Headphones

Well, this is pretty much obvious. Having stereo sound (having earpieces in both of your ears) is always better than having only one audio channel. You will never have the same experience with a monaural headset. You can’t enjoy the music with this type of headsets, but they are definitely good enough for podcasts. Even the headsets with two earpieces don’t sound as good as the headphones made for music. Headsets are usually optimized for communication which means that the accent is on the voice (vocals) while low and high frequencies don’t sound clean and articulate. Of course, there are always exceptions from the rule and we have tried to find some headsets that offer pretty good listening experience.

Limited Range

The fact that there are no cables definitely increases mobility and freedom but the range is still limited. Bluetooth connection usually offers the range of 33ft, sometimes even more. That means that you will have to be no more than 33ft away from your Bluetooth-enabled device to get a stable signal. If there are any obstructions between the headset and your device (walls, trees, people), the range shortens and you will have to pay attention to this fact if you want unhampered connection.

This was all that you need to know about headsets, at least for now. The next part of this article will present you with some choices. There will be something for everyone’s pocket. Some of these products are not the best on the market but rather best within certain price range but you will also find here some high-end headsets with incredible features.

If you want to know more about the features you should pay attention to when buying a headset for your iPhone, you should scroll all the way down to the final part of our article.

 This is our list of 15 best Bluetooth headsets for iPhone in 2018.


Lebowex Bluetooth Headset with Noise Reduction Mic

Buy Now at Amazon.com

Lebowex Bluetooth headset is one of the highly-praised headsets on the market so we had to test it. In short, there are some pretty cool features but there are also some flaws especially when it comes to design and performance that could be deal-breakers for some people. Keep reading to find out more about this affordable one-earpiece headset.

The headset comes in a really nice black box. Everything looks so stylish – it made us think that this one should be more expensive. Even when you open the box, the impression stays the same. You will find the headset inside nice little carrying case with see-through cover. Besides the headset and the case, you will get two additional silicone ear tips in different sizes (there is one ear tip on the headset already), three foam ear tips, USB to micro USB charging cord (it’s shorter than 7 inches, so you will have to find the right USB port to charge the battery), user manual, and one-year warranty.

The headset looks really nice and stylish. It’s meant to go around your ear so it has thick ear hook. The headset is black with nice red details and that’s the only version available. The headset itself is not too heavy (slightly heavier than 1 ounce) so that’s not an issue. The manufacturer tried to make it as comfortable as possible by making the part with the earpiece and mic rotatable for 270 degrees and the hook can be extended to fit different ear sizes, but all that effort wasn’t enough and some people still don’t find this headset comfortable (mostly people with really big or really small ears). We highly recommend trying this headset before making the purchase, especially if you want to use it every day. The other comfort-related issue we have to mention are the ear tips. They are simply too big to fit the earpiece and it happened more than once that the ear tip fell off the earpiece.

There are three control buttons on the back side of the ear hook. The upper button can be used to mute the mic during calls or to activate Siri or Google Assistant (some customers say that you can use it with Alexa). The middle button is a volume button and track management button at the same time. The button is oddly designed and you will have to push the button up to turn the volume down or play the previous track and to push the button down to turn the volume up or skip the track. The last one is ON/OFF switch and pairing button (pairing process starts automatically when you turn on the headset). Micro USB charging port is at the bottom of the ear hook. There is also one multifunction button on the earpiece itself and you can use it to answer/end calls or to play/pause tracks.

Lebowex Bluetooth headset uses Bluetooth V4.1 technology. Pairing starts the moment you turn on the headset. Pairing is done in a few seconds and the connection quality is very good. We didn’t encounter any signal loss. The range is roughly 33ft. The good thing is that you can pair two Bluetooth-enabled devices (two iPhones, or iPhone and PC) at the same time with this headset – you just have to pair it with one device, then turn off the headset and disable Bluetooth on the first device, pair it with other device, and then enable Bluetooth connectivity on the first device.

Battery is definitely the best feature of this device. It offers up to 9 hours of talking time or up to 7 hours of listening to music. Recharge takes only 2 hours.

Sound quality is more than satisfying for a headset, you can even use it for music, although lows and highs don’t really seem rich and full enough. The voice of the person on the other side is loud and clear and that’s more important than the fact that you can use it to listen to music.

The mic quality is problematic. Lebowex claims that this headset has noise reduction mic, but the reduction is almost non-existent so the person you are talking to will not hear you well if you are in some noisy place. The mic picks up an incredible amount of background noise and that’s the biggest issue. If you are going to use it only in your office or at your home then you’ll be fine. If you want to use it outdoors, look elsewhere.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Stylish design

Simple and easy-to-use controls

Bluetooth V4.1 with 33ft range and stable connection

Can be paired with 2 Bluetooth-enabled devices simultaneously

Excellent battery life (up to 9 hours of talking time)

Decent sound quality

 /  Comfort issues for some people (but most people will find it comfortable)

 /  Mic is satisfying if you use the headset indoors

Poor noise reduction


Mpow Pro Trucker Bluetooth Headset

Buy Now at Amazon.com

If you need something really cheap but still functional, the next few products on the list are the best options.

Mpow is not a small player on the market anymore. It is a relatively young company, but it already made its name. Mpow makes affordable products that offer decent performance. Mpow’s products are not high-end in any way, but they are good enough for everyday use and the good thing is that even if something breaks you don’t have to despair since it didn’t cost you that much. Every Mpow product comes with an 18-month warranty, and if something happens within the warranty period, Mpow will quickly replace your product with a new one. Customers had only words of praise for Mpow’s customer service.

Pro Trucker headset comes in a simple cardboard box with Mpow label on it – nothing special really but for 20 bucks you can’t expect more. Along with the headset, you will get a USB charging cable. user manual, and 18-month warranty.

The headset doesn’t really look stylish or elegant, but it looks professional. Unlike those headsets that go into your ear, this one has soft, padded headphone that goes on your ear. The headphone doesn’t cover your ear completely (this is not over-ear headphone unless you have really small ears). It actually lays on your ear and that could be a little bit uncomfortable after a few hours of wearing but the clamping force is, in fact, not too strong and this headset is one of the most comfortable on the market. The headband is just like the headphone very light and very comfortable. It is also adjustable so you can be assured that size of your head will not be a problem. The first bad thing about these headphones is build quality, specifically the headband quality. It looks really thin and fragile. The headband is made of some kind of aluminum alloy, but it doesn’t seem strong enough.

All the controls are located on the headphone. You will find two volume buttons at the top of the ear cup. Between volume buttons, there is a small LED indicator – it will flash blue when you turn on the headphones, then blue and red when in pairing mode, and steady blue when connected. It will also blink red if the battery is low – unfortunately, there will be no voice alert so if you are wearing the headset you won’t be able to see the warning. In the center of the ear cup, there is one multifunction button – you can use it to power on or power off the headset, and to answer or end calls.

Pro Trucker headset features Bluetooth V2.1, which is the oldest version of Bluetooth that’s still in use. We didn’t expect it to offer such a good performance in terms of connection quality and signal stability but this headset really surprised us. The range is pretty much standard 30ft, even if there is a wall between your headset and your phone. The connection is stable and we haven’t experienced any signal loss. You can even pair two Bluetooth-enabled devices with the headset simultaneously. There is, unfortunately, one bad thing we have to mention. The Bluetooth doesn’t support A2DP protocol (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) which means that you can’t use the headset for listening to music, only for talking.

The headset features one 1A rechargeable battery. Battery offers up to 12 hours of talking time which is amazing. Recharge takes up to 3 hours.

Pro Trucker is optimized for calls, but not all voices sound the same. Most of the voices will sound perfectly clean, but if you are communicating with a person with really deep voice, the sound might get muffled. You can’t use the headset for music so there is no point in explaining frequency response.

The microphone is surprisingly good. It doesn’t pick up too much noise and enables relatively smooth communication, even if there is some background noise. The person on the other end will hear you clearly.  That doesn’t mean that everything you say will be loud and clear on the other end, but the mic is definitely better than we expected.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Professional looks

Available in 3 colors – black-silver, black, and violet-blue

Comfortable and lightweight

Bluetooth V2.1, 30ft range, stable connection

Very good battery life – up to 12 hours of talking time

Decent sound quality

Pretty good mic quality for the price

The headband doesn’t seem durable enough

You can’t use this headset for listening to music


eGe RR-12-27-1 Bluetooth Headset, Wireless Earpiece

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Another cheap product on our list is eGe’s Bluetooth headset. Just like the previous one, this headset is also very popular and highly rated, but if we would have to choose between the previous one (Mpow Pro Trucker) and this one, we would probably pick the one made by Mpow. If you really want your headset to be able to play music or podcasts, Mpow is not a choice.

eGe RR-12-21-7 comes in a surprisingly nice packaging. The box is black, and the headset is nicely snugged inside the box. Except for the headset, you will get a USB charging cable (it’s really short), user manual, and 1-year warranty.

The headset looks really stylish and trendy. It’s super-small and lightweight (0.28 ounces). The arm with mic is blue, and the ear hook that comes with the headset is made of some kind of soft plastic and it’s transparent. You will get only one ear hook and one ear tip so if they don’t fit your ear, you won’t have other option. Even though it’s small and light, not everyone thinks this headset is comfortable. Depending on the size of your ears, you might not be able to find the right fit. And this is not the only problem – the ear tip doesn’t seem comfortable enough even if it fits your ear. The best thing you could do is try to find this headset in a local audio store and try it before making the purchase since the comfort is highly subjective category.

The controls are on the plastic arm that contains the earpiece and mic. On the outer side, there is one black button used to power on/power off the headset (pairing process starts when you turn on the headset), to answer or end calls and to play/pause tracks. When you want to turn off the headset you will have to hold the button for at least five second, which is, maybe, too long. Just above the earpiece, on the same plastic arm, there is a small button that you can use to mute the mic so the person on the other end can’t hear you or to activate Siri (when the headset is on standby mode). At the bottom, below the earpiece, there are two volume buttons – the one at the back is used to turn the volume up and the other is for turning the volume down (it’s a little bit weird maybe, but this is not the first nor the last device with strange button arrangement). The multifunction button is a little bit too sensitive so you’ll have to be careful when placing the headset into a carrying case or in your pocket because it might turn on by accident.

eGe RR uses Bluetooth V4.1. The pairing process is simple but it takes too long. When you turn on the headset it will pair automatically with your iPhone (or any other Bluetooth-enabled device) and the LED light will be blue when the pairing is done but you won’t be able to use it for another 10 seconds – we don’t know what might be the reason. Bluetooth range is 33ft (without obstacles), but in reality, it’s definitely less than 20ft. You can pair two phones simultaneously with the headset.

The headset has decent battery. The manufacturer claims that you will get up to 10 hours of talking time, but you will get 7-8 hours at most (if you use it for listening to music, the battery will last less than 7 hours). Recharge takes up to 2 hours.

The sound quality is not perfect, voices are sometimes muffled, but most of the time you will hear the other person loud and clear. The headset doesn’t offer great listening experience and we don’t really recommend using this headset for listening to music. Podcasts, on the other hand, sound pretty good.

The mic doesn’t offer good noise reduction, and it will pick up great chunk of background noise. If you want to use eGe headset in your office (indoors, in general) than you should be just fine. Using it in a noisy environment is not recommended.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Affordable price

Stylish design

Lightweight

Bluetooth V4.1, 20ft range, A2DP profile supported

Decent battery durability – up to 7 hours of talking time, recharge takes 2 hours

Satisfying sound quality for the price

 /  Mic is ok for indoor use, bad for outdoor use

Only one ear hook and one ear tip – it won’t fit every ear

Button issues – buttons are small, ON/OFF button is too sensitive

Pairing process takes too long


Plantronics M165 Marque 2 Ultralight Wireless Bluetooth Headset

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If you have read the introduction part of our article you probably know that Plantronics is the company that started mass production of headsets. This is the oldest player when it comes to headsets and it has the greatest reputation. Plantronics is one of the best brands when it comes to headsets but their high-end headsets cost much more. They’ve tried to make some more affordable models and Plantronics M165 is one of those. You won’t get the best quality with this device but it is much better than other devices within the same price range. After all, Plantronics has some reputation to save, and that’s why we always set our expectations high when it comes to Plantronics headsets.

The headset comes in a nice and stylish black and white box with some of the key features listed on the box. Along with the headset, you will get an AC outlet charger with micro-USB connector on the other end, three different-sized tips (S, M, L), 3 different-sized in-ear loops, user manual, and 1-year warranty. You won’t get carrying case but you can buy it separately for $3.00. You can also buy separately set of additional ear tips and ear hooks (both in-ear and over-ear hooks) for $4.50.

The headset looks very elegant. It’s available in 2 colors – black and white. It weighs only 0.3 ounces. The ear tips with ear loops look a little bit bulky and that’s probably the only problem regarding comfort but with three different sizes of ear tips and ear loops, you should be able to find the right fit. There is one problem when it comes to durability. This is not something we’ve experienced but something we’ve read about in customers’ reviews. A few customers complained that the headset literally melted while charging (not the whole headset just the part where charging port is). This would be a major flaw if there were more complaints, but it actually happened on 2 or 3 occasions and thousands of M165 headset were sold so we can’t claim that there is something wrong with the headset. You should probably maintain your electrical installations properly. M165 is made of plastic, which might be an issue for some people since it doesn’t look durable enough. Sure, it will probably survive an accidental dropping but you should take good care of it.

The controls are located on the headset right next to your ear. On the front side of the headset, there is one nice multifunction button which can be used to answer or end calls, to start pairing process, to play or pause tracks, and also to activate Siri (and other voice assistants on different devices). On the top side, there is one long volume button, you will press one side to turn the volume up or the other to turn the volume down. At the bottom, there is small and simple power switch. Just above the controls, there is micro-USB charging port.

This headset has decent but not great battery. You can talk for about 7 hours or listen to music for 5-6 hours per one charge. Recharge takes 2 hours.

The thing about this headset that we really loved are the voice prompts and ability to answer or make voice calls. Whenever you turn the headset on, you will hear the voice prompt saying how much battery is left. If you want to pair the headset with an iPhone you will get step-by-step process explained by the voice prompts. You can also answer or ignore calls by just saying ‘’Answer’’ or ‘’Ignore’’. If you don’t like this function, you can turn it off by pressing call and volume buttons simultaneously. Unfortunately, there are some things that are available only for Android users. Any Android phone will show you battery status of the headset at any time and there are also two mobile apps that work only on Android phones.

M165 features Bluetooth 3.0. We have already explained the pairing process – it’s pretty simple since you have the voice prompts (you don’t even have to read the manual). The headset can be paired with two Bluetooth-enabled devices at the same time which is a plus. The connection quality is maybe the biggest issue of this headset. We have noticed that anything further than 20ft causes sound to cut out. Also, if you have phone in your pocket and you move a lot, the signal will disappear from time to time. We are not happy with the connection quality. One more thing we should say is that this Bluetooth version supports A2DP protocol so you can use this headset to listen to music.

Plantronics M165 offers decent sound quality, you can hear the other person loud and clear the most of the time but sometimes some kind of crackling noise appears from nowhere and that’s a bit annoying. Listening to music with this headset is not a great experience – lows and highs don’t sound natural at all.

Dual mics offer decent communication, although the person on the other end will definitely notice the difference in sound when you use headset instead of a phone. When you are indoors (any relatively quiet place) mic is almost perfect, but it’s not great for outdoor use (crowded and noisy places). Mic reduces a certain amount of noise but during the process, your voice also gets a bit muffled.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Minimalistic and stylish design

Affordable price

Comfortable and lightweight

Simple and easy-to-use controls

Voice prompts

Voice answering

Decent battery life – up to 7 hours of talking

Deep sleep mode (prolongs battery life up to 180 days)

Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP profile

Decent sound quality

Pretty good microphone

Durability issues (entirely made of plastic)

Poor connection quality and range


Firegram Wireless Bluetooth Headset with Noise Cancelling – Dual Microphones

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Firegram is another affordable headset that offers decent performance. For the price, Firegram headset is probably a good deal along with some previously mentioned headsets.

The headset comes in a simple box along with silicone ear tips in different sizes, micro USB to USB charging cable (there is no wall charger), small carrying pouch, user manual, and 1-year warranty.

The headset looks elegant, it’s made of plastic with some aluminum details. It looks kind of bulky. It is a little bit heavier than some previous headsets (approx. 0.4 ounces), but it is still light enough to be comfortable. Unfortunately, the problem is its bulkiness – the headset comes with that plastic ear hook that goes around your ear (you can’t remove it because all the controls and charging port is on the hook). Because of the ear hook, we didn’t manage to find the right fit and headset kept falling out. There is also no ear loop that would make it more stable in ear – there is just an ear tip keeping the headset in place. The headset is mostly made of plastic and we don’t expect it to last long, especially if it keeps on falling out.

Most of the controls, as well as the charging port, are on the ear hook, behind your ear. You will find there ON/OFF button at the top and two volume buttons right below the power button. Between these two buttons, there is small LED indicator. Beneath the ‘’volume down” button, there is rubber flap covering micro USB charging port. At the beginning of the microphone arm, there is one multifunction button – you can use it to answer/end calls, play/pause tracks, and start pairing (press and hold button until the LED indicator starts flashing blue and red). You can mute the mic during calls if you press and hold ‘’volume down” button. If you want to activate Siri, you just have to press multi-function button when the headset is in standby mode.

One of the worst features of this headset is the battery. It offers 3.5-4 hours of talking time which is probably not satisfying for most people. It’s even less than 4 hours if you want to listen to music. Recharge takes 1.5 hours.

Firegram headset features Bluetooth V4.2. The pairing process is simple and quick and connection is stable most of the time. Bluetooth range is approximately 30ft when there are no obstacles. Like with many other headsets, you can pair two Bluetooth-enabled devices with Firegram headset. Bluetooth V4.2 supports A2DP protocol so you can use this headset for listening to music.

The headset offers pretty good and surprisingly loud sound. You will hear the person on the other end loud and clear, there is absolutely no need to turn the volume up to the maximum. We haven’t encountered any problems regarding sound quality, even if you decide to listen to music with this one, you won’t be completely disappointed (but of course, it’s always better to buy a pair of headphones and enjoy stereo sound).

Microphone is good for indoor use when there is no too much noise, but if you try to use it on the street, or in some noisy area, you won’t be happy. The mic picks up a lot of background noise and the person you are talking to will hear all that noise so you will have to speak louder and repeat things you’ve said.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Affordable price

Stylish design

Simple controls

Bluetooth V4.2, 30ft range, stable connection

Decent sound quality and surprisingly loud sound

Decent mic quality (very good when there is no too much background noise)

Not comfortable enough (bulky, thick ear hook)

Durability issues (made of plastic)

Weak battery – up to 4 hours of talking time


Plantronics Voyager Legend Bluetooth Headset

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Plantronics Voyager Legend is, just like the name says, one of the legendary Plantronics products. This headset has been one of the most popular on the market for some time. It’s simply one of the smartest headsets that you can buy for $60 or less. This is not the cheapest one, but for this kind of money, you really get more than you could expect. Plantronics Voyager Legend offers very good price-quality ratio.

The headset comes in a standard black and white Plantronics-branded box with all the key features listed on it. There are a lot of fake products out there (especially when it comes to Plantronics headsets) so pay attention – the box might be the first sign that you bought a knockoff. Inside the box, you will find Plantronics Bluetooth headset, three silicone ear tips in different sizes (S, M, L), two different-sized foam covers for ear tips, AC wall adapter with magnetic charging port (not micro USB), user manual, and 1-year warranty. There is also bunch of additional equipment you can buy separately – carrying and charging case, desktop charging stand, charging adapter for car, micro USB charging adapter, and set of ear tips.

Plantronics Voyager Legend looks quite elegant and visually appealing with that nice matte finish and aluminum arm with microphones. There are two models available – black and gold. The headset is meant to go around your ear. There is thick ear hook with three control buttons and charging port and earpiece that goes into your ear. The part with the earpiece and mic is rotatable so you can wear it on either ear. The headset is not too heavy (0.5 ounces) and it is quite comfortable. At the same time the headset is a bit loose but if you don’t move your head too much and don’t use it at the gym, it will stay in place. The headset is also water resistant thanks to Nano-coating. Plantronics doesn’t offer info about IPX waterproof rating, but still, this headset should survive a little bit of sweat or some light rain.

Plantronics Voyager Legend headset has more control buttons than any headset we’ve mentioned previously. Some control buttons are on the back side of the ear hook (behind your ear) – there are power switch, two volume buttons, and magnetic charging port. Plantronics decided to make proprietary port and charging cable in order to make the charging faster. Now, the charging is probably a little bit faster, but if you lose the cable you will hardly find another one in some local audio store. You will have to order it directly from the manufacturer. It would be better if there was micro USB charging port instead of this one. Two control buttons are located on the microphone arm. There is one multifunction button for playing or pausing tracks and muting the mic during the call. You can also use it to activate Siri. The other one is for answering/ending calls (but you can do that through voice commands – ‘’Answer’’ and ‘’Ignore’’).

The battery is one of the good features of this headset – it can offer up to 7 hours of talking time. Recharge takes 1.5 hours.

Voyager Legend features Bluetooth V3.0 and has 33ft Bluetooth range. Pairing is simple and quick and voice prompts will guide you through the process. The connection could be more stable. There is occasional signal drop that kind of spoils the impression about this great headset. The signal loss doesn’t happen often, it’s actually really rare but it is still annoying. The headset can be paired with two Bluetooth-enabled devices simultaneously. Thanks to A2DP protocol, you can use Voyager Legend for listening to music.

Just like the previous Plantronics headset, this one also has all that cool voice prompts that make it user-friendly. You will get voice alert about battery status whenever you turn on the headset. You will also get the info on connection status after pairing. If you mute the microphone, the headset will remind you every 10 minutes that you pressed the mute button. Voyager Legend can also follow your voice commands – when there is incoming call, the headset will tell you the caller ID, and you can just say ‘’Answer” to talk to that person or ‘’Ignore” to redirect it to voicemail. The headset is also ‘’smart” – it has sensors that actually can determine if you are wearing the headset. If the headset is not on your ear, your phone will start ringing and when you put the headset on it will automatically answer the phone call (just like picking up the phone).

If you are going to use the headset for communication you will be very happy. The music won’t sound great, but all the voices you’ll be hearing will be crystal-clear. The sound could be a bit louder, but it’s definitely not quiet.

Microphone enables pleasant and easy communication. It’s definitely better than mics on all the previous models. Even if you are in a noisy environment, talking to someone will not be so painful. Mic will not isolate all the background noise, but your voice will be clean on the other end.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Stylish design

Comfortable (and just a little bit loose)

Water resistant (Nano-coating)

Bluetooth 3.0, 30ft range, connection should be more stable

A2DP supported

Decent battery life – up to 7 hours of talking time (1.5 hours recharge)

Voice prompts

 Answer or ignore calls through voice commands

Thanks to smart sensors, the headset ‘’knows’’ when it’s on your ear

Very good sound quality and satisfying loudness

Excellent mic quality for the price

Occasional signal loss


Mpow Single Wireless Earbud, Cell Phone Bluetooth Earpiece for iPhone Samsung Android

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At the moment, this is the cheapest headset on this list so don’t raise your expectations too high. This headset is decent at best but for the price, it’s probably more than satisfying.

The earbud comes in a simple box with Mpow logo on it but the content of the package is rather surprising considering the price. You will definitely get more than you could expect for this price. Aside from the earbud, there are 3 silicone ear tips in different sizes, black zippered carrying case, 2 wireless magnetic chargers with USB connectors, user manual, and 18-month warranty,

The earbud is super-small (practically invisible). It goes inside your ear and the right ear tip should provide a good fit. It weighs only 0.1 ounces so you won’t even notice that it is in your ear. Comfort is definitely not an issue with this earbud. Three colors are available – black, ‘’nude”, and rose gold. There is only one button on the outer side of the earbud and LED indicator above the button. This earbud doesn’t have plastic or aluminum arm with the mic – mic is built into the earbud. The earbud is made of sturdy plastic and it seems durable, but some customers experienced some issues regarding durability – the earbud doesn’t get broken but rather stops working without any apparent reason after six months or so. That’s probably the reason why this earbud is cheap – you shouldn’t expect great durability for that kind of money.

The multifunction button on the front side of the earbud can be used to power on (hold for 3 seconds), power off (hold for 4 seconds), answer or end calls (short press), to reject calls (press for 2 seconds), redial the last number (double press) or to enter pairing mode (hold for 5 secs – LED will flash blue). If you use the earbud for listening to music, you will only be able to play/pause tracks, and you will have to use your phone to adjust the volume or skip track.

The earbud uses Bluetooth V 4.1 with EDR (Extended Data Rate) for better reproduction of audio files. Mpow claims that EDR also enables longer Bluetooth range – the advertised range is up to 50ft but you’ll be happy if you get 30ft without obstacles. The connection is stable but there are occasional signal losses. Like all the other Bluetooth headsets on this list, you can pair this earbud with two different Bluetooth-enabled devices. Bluetooth V4.1 supports A2DP protocol, so you can use it for listening to music.

Battery is just ok – it can provide up to 6 hours of talking and recharge takes 1 hour.

Sound quality is not impressive. You won’t get great sound, not even during calls. We don’t recommend listening to music with this earbud – it’s probably best to use it for podcasts and audiobooks. The sound is pretty quiet even at maximum volume.

Mic is probably the worst feature of this earbud. If you are in your office, or in your car, you might even get decent performance and the person on the other end will hear everything you say (it won’t be loud and clear, but you will be able to communicate). If you are in some noisy environment, or some crowded place (like concert or street) the mic won’t isolate any background noise whatsoever and you will have to yell all the time.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Super-cheap

Minimalistic and elegant design

Lightweight and very comfortable

Bluetooth V4.1 with 30ft range and relatively stable connection, A2DP protocol supported

Decent battery life – up to 6 hours of talking time, recharge takes 1 hour

 /  Sound quality is satisfying at best; it’s pretty quiet but good enough for calls and listening to podcasts and audiobooks

Poor mic quality


FRiEQ Noise Canceling Wireless Bluetooth Headset with Microphone

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FRiEQ took a bit traditional approach when designing this headset. This one is similar to Mpow Pro Trucker. It looks like an upgraded and more expensive version Pro Trucker.

The headset comes in a simple box along with spare headphone pad and mic sponge, micro USB to USB charging cable with wall charger, small carrying pouch, user manual, and only 3-month warranty (this one made us a little bit suspicious – why only three months?).

The headset looks simple like the old one-earpiece headsets with a headband going over your head and some rubbery head pad (or cushion) on the opposite side from the headphone. The headset is a little bit heavier than those small ones but it’s not too heavy and comfort is not a problem. FRiEQ headset is very comfortable but after a few hours of using you will have to take it off for a while. The headband is not padded but it is still very light and very comfortable. It is also adjustable – whether you have big or small head, this headset will fit. You can rotate the mic arm for at least 270 degrees so you can wear it on either left or right ear. The arm is also flexible, so you can adjust the position the way you like. Build quality is not as good as comfort. The headset looks kind of cheap – it’s mostly made of plastic, and our guess is that the weakest parts are headband and rubbery head pad. We didn’t try to break them, but they do look fragile.

There are only two control buttons on the headset. Silver button on the front side of the ear cup is multifunction button used to power on/power off the headset (pairing starts automatically), answer/end calls, and play/pause tracks. The other one is volume button and it’s weirdly placed on the side of the headphone.

The headset features Bluetooth V4.0. Pairing starts when you turn it on, and it’s pretty quick. Advertised range is 66ft (that’s what the manual says) but in reality, range is nowhere near that. It’s less than 30ft (between 20 and 30ft). The headset can be used for listening to music thanks to A2DP profile. You can also pair two Bluetooth-enabled devices with the headset. The process of pairing two iPhones with the headset is basically the same with every Bluetooth headset and you have it explained in the first review.

Battery is the best feature of this headset – it provides up to 30 hours of talking (900 hours in standby mode) which is quite amazing, and recharge takes only 2-3 hours.

The headphone provides pretty good sound quality. You will hear the other person loud and clear, and even music sounds good.

We are not impressed by the mic, but it is definitely not useless. The manufacturer says that mic will isolate almost 100% of background sound. That’s, of course, far from the truth. The first thing you should know is that your voice sounds much better when you remove the sponge that protects the mic. With this sponge on, your voice will sound muffled, but with sponge off, the situation gets much better. Mic should be no further than 3cm away from your mouth (that’s manufacturer’s advice), but performance is actually better when you move it away a bit more. Noise isolation is not good at all, but considering the shape and size, you are going to use this headset indoors (in an office, in a car) rather than outdoors.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Old-school headset design

Comfortable

Bluetooth V4.0, 30ft range, A2DP profile (you can use it for listening to music), multipoint pairing

Excellent battery life – up to 30 hours of talking

Very good sound quality

 /  Mic is not the best and it performs better when you remove the sponge protecting the mic

Poor durability and construction quality

Noise isolation doesn’t exist (avoid using this headset outdoors and in noisy environment)


Cshidworld True Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Mini Headset (Truly Wireless Earbuds)

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This one is similar to Mpow’s Bluetooth earbud but Cshidworld earbuds come in pair and cost more. They also offer slightly better performance.

Cshidworld earbuds come in a really nice white box. The earbuds are inside one smaller case, which is not only carrying case but also charging case (like the case that comes with Apple Airpods). Along with earbuds and case, you will get 3 pairs of rubber ear tips in different sizes (S, M, L), and charging cable (USB to micro USB). These earbuds are charged by the case, so you will have to charge the case and then charge the earbuds through the case.

The earpieces look stylish and elegant. They are really tiny and very lightweight (0.16 ounces). Earbuds are made of sturdy plastic and look quite durable. The comfort is not an issue – you get 3 pairs of ear tips so you can find the right fit easily. The earbuds are covered with Nano-coating and have IPX5 water resistant rating (which means they can withstand heavy sweating or light rain). Since they are sweat-proof, they can be (theoretically) used for working out or running but in reality, you can’t really move a lot and expect them to stay in your ears. They will stay in your ears if you are walking or lifting weight but running, jumping, or doing any physical activity that includes a lot of movement is not an option.

You can use one earbud at a time, or you can wear two and get stereo sound. Each earbud has one multifunction button and LED indicator. When you wear only one earbud, this multifunction button is used for powering the earbud on or off, pairing, answering/ending calls, playing/pausing tracks and activating Siri or any other voice assistant. If you decide to use both earbuds at the same time, you should know that one will always be the main earbud (the one that pairs first with your phone). You should use the main earbud to control everything. If you answer a call while wearing both earbuds, you won’t hear stereo sound – you will hear the voice of the person on the other end only through the main earbud.

Earbuds feature Bluetooth V4.2 with EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) so you can listen to different audio files without cutting out. Pairing is quick and simple – if you want to use only one earbud, you can press the multifunction button until it enters pairing mode, and if you want stereo sound press this button on both earbuds simultaneously, they will pair with each other first, and then, the main earpiece will be paired with your phone. There is no rule which earbud is the main one– sometimes it’s left and sometimes is the right one. You can also pair one earbud with two different Bluetooth-enabled devices at the same time.

The earbuds themselves have relatively small batteries (60mAh) and they can offer up to 6 hours of talking or 3 hours of music but you can charge them on the go thanks to magnetic charging case with 1000mAh battery. This case can charge both earbuds 5 times. Recharge takes 1-2 hours and there is no fast charge option (like with Airpods).

The earbuds offer decent sound quality, nothing more and nothing less. They are not the worst on the market, but you’ll get what you paid for. The bass is surprisingly good, mids are articulate, and highs lack some clarity. When you use the earbuds for talking on the phone, you will hear the voice through one (main) earbud and it will be clear. The biggest issue is that annoying static noise. It’s present all the time and it’s less noticeable if you turn the volume up. But then, there is distortion when the volume is at maximum. One more issue we have to mention is that they are not good choice for watching videos – there is always 1-second sound delay and there is no way to synchronize them with the video.

Just like Mpow’s earbud we’ve reviewed previously, Cshidworld earbuds have awful microphones. If you use them in some quiet environment, communication will be smooth but if you try to use them in a noisy area, you will realize that there is no noise reduction at all.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Affordable

Simple and stylish design

Lightweight and comfortable

IPX5 water resistant and sweatproof

Bluetooth V4.2 with EDR

Magnetic charging case with 1000mAh battery (you can charge both earbuds up to 5 times)

Earbuds have decent battery life – up to 6 hours of talking and up to 3 hours of music and you can charge them on the go

Satisfying sound quality

Not stable enough for running, jogging, and working out

Constant static noise in the earbud (especially noticeable when there is no music)

Synchronization issue when watching video

Poor mic quality (good for indoor use, not so good in a noisy environment)


Plantronics Explorer 50 Bluetooth Headset – Retail Packaging

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We have decided to end the first part of our list with another very popular model. It’s one more headset made by Plantronics but this is absolutely inevitable. After all, they were the first to start mass production. The headset we are going to review is Explorer 50. This is one of the cheapest Plantronics models but it still offers plenty of great features.

The headset comes in standard Plantronics packaging with all the key features listed on the box. Along with the headset, you will get transparent ear hook made of soft plastic (the ear hook is removable), USB charging cable (no AC wall adapter), user manual and standard 1-year warranty. You can buy carrying case separately for about $3.00.

The headset looks really nice and stylish with hexagonal print on the front side. E50 is very light – only 10 grams (0.3 ounces). You won’t get different ear tips, so you might want to try this headset before buying it – there is a chance that it won’t fit you. Or, you can buy additional set of ear tips and find the best fit. Once you find the perfect ear tip, you will see how comfortable and stable this headset is, especially if you use the ear hook, too. E50 looks and feels durable, and there were no complaints regarding durability in the past.

There are three control buttons on the headset. Multifunction button is on the front side – you can use it to answer/end/reject calls, play/pause music, activate Siri or any other voice assistant and make voice calls. The power switch is at the bottom and volume button is at the top. You can use this volume button to mute the mic during the call (by pressing ‘’volume down’’ for two seconds).

E50 features Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP so you can use this headset for listening to music or for listening to GPS directions. Pairing is very simple and super-fast. Bluetooth range is 33ft, and connection is stable most of the time, although it happens every now and then that headset disconnects and reconnects for no reason. Bluetooth supports multipoint pairing so you can pair it with two phones or your phone and your PC (if your PC has Bluetooth). You can’t connect it to more than two devices.

The battery on this headset is very good. You can talk for up to 11 hours, it can be on standby for 12 days, and you can also put the headset in DeepSleep mode to save battery. Recharge is done in 2 hours.

Like all the other Plantronics headsets, this one also has voice prompts and alerts telling you battery status and connection status. Also, you will be able to see the battery status of your headset on all iPhone and Android phones.

Sound is maybe the biggest issue of this headset. Not the quality or clarity but loudness. You will hear the person talking to you clearly, but if you are in some noisy place, it will be difficult to understand that person. The headset is simply too quiet.

Microphone works well when you are in a quiet place (at your home, or in your office), but it doesn’t cancel background noise at all (in fact, it amplifies it somehow) and the person you are talking to won’t understand you clearly if you are in some crowded place.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Affordable price

Stylish design

Pretty good build quality

Lightweight and comfortable

You can wear it on either ear

Simple controls

Bluetooth 3.0, 33ft range, A2DP profile for streaming music

Great battery life – up to 11 hours of talking, 2 hours to recharge

Voice prompts

Satisfying sound quality and clarity

Decent mic quality

Occasional disconnecting and reconnecting

Too quiet


 All the previous headsets were affordable and all of them performed well but none of them were high-end products. We are now going to mention some high-quality headsets that come with bunch of great additional features. Be aware that with high quality comes equally high price. All the headsets below cost more than $100.00, and some of them even more than $200.00 which is kind of unusual for such a small piece of equipment. If your only criterion is quality and you don’t care about the price, here are some great choices.


VXi BlueParrott B450-XT Noise Canceling Bluetooth Headset

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This is one of the cheapest among high-end headsets. Although it is a little bit on the expensive side, VXi BlueParrott B450-XT is the greatest headset so far on this list. It offers better clarity, sound quality, and better microphone than any of the previously mentioned devices.

It comes in a simple white box along with spare ear cushion, charging cable, mobile charger, and instruction manual. You won’t get carrying case, but you can buy it separately for about $11.00.

This is another old-school headset with one big headphone that covers the whole ear and strong thick headband. This is also the bulkiest and heaviest headset so far and for some people that might be a deal breaker. If you need something inconspicuous and small, this is definitely not the headset for you. If you are going to use it only while driving, or in the office, or at your home, this is one of the best options. The headset is heavy, but thanks to well-padded ear cushion and headband it’s not too uncomfortable, although you should take it off from time to time to let your ear breathe. The headband is adjustable, and microphone arm is rotatable so you can put it on either left or right ear. The headset is made of sturdy plastic combined with metal parts and feels pretty durable.

There are 4 buttons on the ear cup – the first one (at the top) is called Parrott button and this one is programmable so you can install BlueParrott app on your phone (the app is available for both Apple and Android devices) and assign some function to this button. The next three buttons are power button and two volume buttons. By using these 4 control buttons you can do bunch of stuff (besides the obvious) – you can do voice dial, redial the last number, mute the microphone, reject call, transfer audio from the headset to your phone, turn LED indicators on or off, pair with 2 devices simultaneously, etc.

The headset features Bluetooth V4.0 with A2DP profile (you can stream music or GPS instructions) and PBAP profile (you can access your phone book with this headset). Pairing is fast and it is possible to pair 2 devices simultaneously. The headset is also able to memorize up to 8 different Bluetooth-enabled devices and pair with them automatically when they are in range. The manufacturer claims that Bluetooth range is 300ft without obstructions. In reality, it is significantly smaller but it is more than satisfying. The connection is stable, there is no signal loss or cutting out unless the headset is out of range. We were very happy with the connection.

VXi BlueParrott BT450-XT features also incredibly large battery. You can talk for up to 24 hours per charge. In standby, mode battery will last up to 500 hours. Recharge takes only 3-4 hours.

If all these things impressed you, wait until you hear about the sound quality. Unlike all the previous headsets, this one actually has good frequency response, and it has decent bass. Don’t be mistaken, there are many high-end headphones with better sound quality, but for a headset this one is amazing. You will hear every person talking to you loud and clear, there is no doubt.

Microphone is excellent compared to all the previous headsets. Your voice will sound natural and clear. Even if you are in some noisy place or in a car the mic will isolate decent portion of background noise. The mic will perform well even during windy weather.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Old-school headset design

Well-padded ear cushion and headband

Bunch of features – voice dial, redial the last number, mute the microphone, transfer audio from the headset to your phone, turn LED indicators on or off

Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP and PBAB profiles

Multipoint connectivity – pair two phones with the headset at the same time

Exceptional battery – up to 24 hours of talking per charge, recharge takes 3-4 hours

Great sound quality for a headset

Very good microphone

NFC pairing (only for Android users)

 /  Bluetooth range is much shorter than advertised 300ft, but it is more than satisfying (still better than regular 33ft)

A bit bulky and heavy, maybe a little bit uncomfortable after a few hours of using


Plantronics VOYAGER-5200-UC Advanced NC Bluetooth Headsets System

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Plantronics has at least one headset for any price range. This one is designed for businessmen and people who really need reliable device with perfectly clear sound and very good microphone (this headset has four of them) for smooth communication.

The headset comes in a recognizable packaging with Plantronics logo on it and all the important features written on the box. Inside the box, you will find this great headset, carrying and charging case with docking station, USB charging cable, USB Bluetooth adapter (in case your PC doesn’t feature Bluetooth), ear tips in three different sizes (S, M, L), user manual, and 2-year warranty. You can buy separately AC wall charger, auto charger, and ear tips with foam covers.

The headset looks very stylish, very professional. It has ear hook which is a little bit bulky (because there are some control buttons on it). The ear hook is supposed to go behind your ear and it should provide additional stability but because it’s too thick the stability is not the best feature of this headset. Voyager 5200-UC is pretty lightweight and it doesn’t cause any discomfort. The headset looks very durable – the arm with 4 microphones is made of aluminum and the ear hook is made of thick plastic and then covered with some kind of rubber.

At the back of the ear hook, there is power switch with small LED indicator and on the top of the ear hook, you will find two volume buttons. Below the power switch, there is micro USB charging port. On the microphone arm, you will see two control buttons. The first multifunction button allows you to answer/end/reject call, play/pause music, or pair the headset, and the second one is used to mute the mic during call or to activate Siri when the headset is in standby mode.

Voyager 5200-UC features Bluetooth V4.1. The pairing process is super-fast and simple. You can pair two phones (or any Bluetooth-enabled devices) simultaneously. Bluetooth range is significantly longer than with cheaper Plantronics headsets – you can be as far as 98ft from your phone and connection will still be stable (if there are no obstructions). In reality, the range is not that long but the connection is stable even if there is wall between the phone and the headset. Bluetooth also supports A2DP so you can stream music, GPS instructions, podcasts, or anything else.

The headset doesn’t offer amazing battery life. You can talk for up to 7 hours, but the good thing is that you can charge the headset on the go thanks to the charging case (but you need to charge the case previously). The case offers additional 14 hours of talking time if it’s fully charged. It takes up to 2 hours to fully charge the headset.

Like all the other Plantronics devices, this one also has voice prompts that will guide you through the pairing process. Voice prompts will also tell you your battery and connection status and caller ID. You can answer phone calls by saying ‘’Answer’’ or ‘’Ignore’’. Thanks to smart sensors, the headset will know when it’s on your ear. If the phone starts ringing and you don’t have headset on your ear, the moment you put it on ear the headset will become active. When the headset is not in your ear, the headset will transfer all calls to your phone (you will hear the phone ringing, not the voice alert from the headset).

Voyager 5200-UC offers very good and clear sound and you will hear the person on the other end clearly. Loudness is probably the only thing we don’t like about this headset. It’s not that this headset can’t be louder – Plantronics actually installed small piece of software called SoundGuard that limits the loudness in order to protect user’s hearing and that’s why the headset is a bit quiet.

This headset has four omnidirectional microphones with dynamic noise reduction technology. Microphones perform well. Talking in a noisy environment or during windy weather is still a bit of a problem, but the amount of noise will be reduced significantly.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Stylish and professional design

Comfortable and lightweight

Simple and easy to use controls

Bluetooth V4.1 with 98ft range, A2DP profile

Decent battery life – up to 7 hours of talking + 14 additional hours of talking time thanks to the charging case

Voice dialing

Voice answering

Voice prompts and alerts about battery and connection status

Battery status info on your iPhone

Smart sensors

Crystal-clear sound

Very good microphone

Stability is not the best (ear hook is maybe a little bit thicker than it should be)

Not loud enough for some people


Special Mention 1

Plantronics Voyager Focus UC Bluetooth USB B825 202652-01 Headset with Active Noise Cancelling

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If you run a small company or you need something reliable for your office this headset might be just the right choice. It is definitely more expensive than it should be but that doesn’t change the fact that this is still one of the best headsets on the market.

Voyager Focus UC is not monaural headset like the others – it has two over-ear headphones (rather on-ear since they are kind of small). The headset is not too heavy and the headband and headphones are well-padded so the comfort is not an issue (clamping force is maybe just little bit too strong so you will have to take the headset off every few hours). The headset seems very durable – there are some metal parts, hinges between the headband and headphones look strong and headband is made of metal and then reinforced with plastic and covered with rubber.

The headset features Bluetooth 4.1. Just like all the other Plantronics devices Voyager Focus UC pairs fast. The only flaw we have to mention is the range. Plantronics claims that the range is 47m (about 150ft), but it’s much shorter. We’ve got 50ft without obstacles, but we don’t recommend going further than 30ft. This headset can be used with 2 Bluetooth-enabled devices simultaneously just like all the other headsets on the list and it features A2DP Bluetooth profile so you use it for listening to music. The headset works with all kinds of devices – iPhones, iPads, laptops, even PCs without Bluetooth (you will get USB Bluetooth adapter along with the headset).

Battery enables up to 12 hours of talking (10 hours if you turn on the ANC) or 15 hours of listening to music (12 hours with ANC). Along with the headset, you will get a charging station and you can place the headset on it when not in use and charge it.

The headset is optimized for UC (Unified Communication) so if you use various communication tools and applications for work, Voyager Focus UC will not let you down. This is one of the main advantages of this headset, along with great sound and mic quality.

Just like all the previous Plantronics headsets, this one also features voice prompts and alerts (battery and connection status, caller ID, sound alerts when you mute the mic), There are also smart sensors – when you put the headset on while your phone is ringing it will automatically detect that the headset is on your head and it will answer the call.

You also have an option to install different software tools (for iOS, Android, Windows, Mac) in order to get even more from this headset.

Sound quality is very good with great balance between lows, mids, and highs. Those of you who like punchy bass might not love the sound. Also, if you expect great loudness you might be disappointed because there is SoundGuard hearing protection software which limits the loudness in order to protect your hearing.

The headset features Active Noise Canceling technology, but to be honest, it doesn’t work very well. Compared to Bose headphones from QC series, ANC on this one is poor. It’s not like you won’t get any noise isolation (after all, your both ears are covered) but we have expected more from such an expensive headset.

Voyager Focus UC has triple mics with Digital Sound Processing software. Mics perform very well – as long as you are not in a really noisy environment, the person on the other end will hear you loud and clear.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Binaural

Comes with charging station, Bluetooth adapter, and carrying pouch

Comfortable and durable

Bluetooth V4.1, fast pairing, A2DP profile, very good range and connection quality

Optimized for UC

Great battery life – up to 12 hours of talking without ANC, up to 10 with ANC

Voice prompts and alerts, smart sensors, additional software tools

Great sound quality compared to other headsets

Great mic quality

The Bluetooth range is shorter than advertised (advertised is 150ft, in reality, it’s more like 50ft)

ANC is not great

Too expensive


Special Mention 2

Sennheiser Presence Bluetooth Headset for Universal Devices

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If you are a fan of Sennheiser’s products and you need something that sounds better than all those budget headsets, this headset made by Sennheiser might be the right choice but there are some downsides that could be a deal breaker for some people.

Sennheiser is one of the big players in the audio industry and it’s one of the synonyms for high audio quality. This audio company didn’t make many headsets of this kind in the past but it still managed to manufacture great high-end product. Still, we think it’s a little bit overpriced and you could probably find a device with similar performance for less money.

First of all, like all the Sennheiser product, this one also comes in premium packaging – you will get Presence headset, three ear tips in different sizes, one ear hook, USB Bluetooth adapter (in case your PC doesn’t feature Bluetooth), car charger, very short charging cable, and sturdy carrying case with Sennheiser logo. So, plenty of accessories.

Comfort is the biggest issue of this headset – the ear tips are weirdly shaped and you should try this headset before buying it. They are shaped like that in order to seal your ear perfectly but it all depends on the shape of your ear. If your ear is ‘’appropriately’’ shaped, you will be able to find the best fit and it will seal your ear better than most headsets.

Sennheiser Presence is well-built, it’s simple with no additional buttons and details, but it is very strong and durable.

The headset features Bluetooth 4.0 with up to 25m Bluetooth range (that’s the advertised range). In reality, you will get pretty much standard 10m. Pairing is simple and quick and connection is stable without signal loss – Sennheiser Presence enables smooth communication without interference. You can also use this headset for listening to music since Bluetooth supports A2DP profile.

The battery offers up to 10 hours of talking time (14 days in standby mode) and charging time is 1.5 hours.

The sound quality is not the best, there is bunch of Sennheiser earbuds with better sound quality, at least when it comes to music. Still, Sennheiser Presence offers better sound quality than majority of other headsets. If you are communicating with someone, you will hear the person on the other end perfectly clear, there will be no crackling or any other interference, the voice of the other person will sound natural.

The mic (in fact 3 of them) performs well but there are some flaws. If you are somewhere outside and if it’s windy, your voice will be muffled and the person on the other end will hear most of the background noise. If it’s not that noisy, communication will be smooth.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Premium packaging

Great durability and build quality

Bluetooth 4.0 with 25m range, A2DP, multipoint pairing

Great battery life – up to 10 hours of talking time, recharge takes 1.5 hours

Voice alerts about battery status

Good sound quality for a headset

 /  Pretty god mic performance even in a noisy environment (wind is the biggest issue)

Considering the performance, it’s slightly overpriced

Some people find the ear tips uncomfortable


Special Mention 3

Bose Bluetooth Headset Series 2

Buy Now at Amazon.com

Bose is, just like Sennheiser, one of the most reputable audio companies. They are not famous for making headsets, but they are famous for making great noise canceling headphones and we were interested in noise reduction on this headset (this one doesn’t feature ANC). To be honest, noise isolation is decent but we were not impressed and considering the price we’ve expected much more. You should also know that Bose doesn’t make this headset anymore, the production was discontinued in 2015 but we still had to mention it as one of the best compact high-end headsets. There is one more thing we have to say before the review – no matter how good this headset is, it is extremely overpriced and you can find some much cheaper and equally good headsets on the market.

Bose series 2 comes in a premium packaging along with small carrying case, 3 in-ear hooks with ear tips in different sizes, AC wall charger, charging cable, and user manual.

The headset is very comfortable if you find the right size of ear-hooks. It’s not too heavy, although it’s not the lightest on the market. You will have to take it out and rest your ear a little bit after an hour or two. Build quality is very good, the headset is by all means durable.

Bose Series 2 headset features Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR (we have expected newer Bluetooth version, at least on models made in 2015). Pairing is simple and fast, and range is 30ft but the connection is not so stable – there is occasional signal loss even if you are within the range This happens rarely, but it is still disappointing considering the price. A2DP profile is supported and you will be able to listen to music. It is also possible to pair two Bluetooth-enabled devices with this headset.

Battery offers decent life for a cheap generic headset, but for a high-end Bose product, 4.5 hours of talking is simply not enough. Recharge also takes too long – almost 3 hours.

Sound quality is one of the good things about this headset. You will hear the person on the other end without any problem (no static or hissing noise or anything like that). Music sounds pretty good although it lacks some bass.

We had great expectations from the microphone but we ended up disappointed. Everything sounds pretty good when you use it indoors (quiet places are not a problem). If you want to use it outside, there will be some issues. Wind noise makes communication almost impossible. Microphone doesn’t isolate the wind noise. In fact, it makes it even louder. The person will hear noise instead of your voice. Basically, any type of noisy environment represents a great problem for this headset.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Premium packaging

Great design and comfort

Great build quality

Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR, A2DP, multipoint pairing

Very good sound quality

Mic is good for indoor use (quiet places); there are some issues when using headset in noisy environment

Poor battery longevity considering the price – 4.5 hours of talking, 3 hours to recharge

Occasional signal loss even if the headset is within the advertised range

Highly overpriced


Conclusion

We’ve promised that we are going to give you a few pieces of advice and tips you should follow when purchasing Bluetooth headset for your iPhone.

 First of all, you should SET YOUR BUDGET

Not so long ago, headsets were very expensive and you couldn’t find anything decent for less than $100. Fortunately, further development of technology and mass production made these devices affordable. Today, you don’t have to splash $100 or $200 in order to get decent-quality headset. Of course, there are still some pricey high-end headsets with bunch of great features, incredibly durable battery and super-clear sound (you can find some of those on our list, too), but you can get pretty good performance for less than $50. If you don’t want to spend too much, there are some decent choices even for $30 or less.

After determining the budget, you can start your search. The number of available headsets is still huge but you can narrow it down by establishing more criteria. Battery durability, Bluetooth range and quality of connection, sound quality, mic quality, and some other additional features are the things you should pay attention to, and depending on these features the price may vary from $20 up to $200 (or even more). We are now going to explain all these features and try to give you an info on what to expect from a certain headset depending on its price.

Things to Pay Attention to When Buying Bluetooth Headset for iPhone

Build Quality

Build quality is incredibly important, especially if you are buying an expensive product. The best option is to look for headsets made of aluminum alloys combined with plastic, headsets with metal parts, or at least those made of hard industrial plastic. Some rubbery finish is always a plus. You can find all these things even for less than $50.

Comfort

Comfort is not highly dependent on the price. You could find very comfortable headset for less than $30, but you can also find extremely uncomfortable expensive headset – there is no rule. We have tried to find the most comfortable ones and present them to you since there is no point in buying really expensive piece of equipment that you can’t use for more than an hour. It doesn’t really matter if the sound quality and microphone are great if you can’t stand having the earpiece in your ear.

Battery Longevity

In order to function properly, every Bluetooth device has to be powered by battery and Bluetooth headsets are not an exception. The battery life is really crucial for a Bluetooth headset and you should be looking for those that could offer at least 6 hours of talking per one charge. Anything more than that can be considered great and there are, in fact, some headsets with long-lasting batteries. Of course, you will have to pay more for those, but you can still find relatively affordable headset (for less than $50) with more than decent battery.

Bluetooth Range and Connection Quality

The usual range for any Bluetooth device is 33ft but only if there are no obstacles between your headset and Bluetooth-enabled device (your iPhone in this case). If there is any obstacle between them, the range gets shorter. What you should know is that there are some headsets that don’t really have this range even if there are no obstacles between them and your iPhone. On the other hand, there are some Bluetooth headsets with extended range (up to 100ft) but they usually cost more. We have tried to test the range for every headset on this list and we did emphasize this fact. You really have to pay attention to this feature because it basically determines the amount of freedom you will have while wearing a headset.

The connection quality is the other Bluetooth-related feature. It happens sometimes, even if you are within the advertised range, that connection breaks for no apparent reason. Some headsets offer better connection quality than the others and we have pointed out every connection issue that we’ve encountered.

Sound Quality

Just like any pair of headphones, one of the most important things about headsets is sound quality. Now, you can’t expect the perfect balance between lows, mids, and highs because their main purpose is not listening to music but talking. So, the accent is on vocals, while lows and highs might lack some authority and clarity (and in some cases, they can be simply awful).

Mic Quality

Microphone is the thing that separates headphones from headsets and it is incredibly important to have good-quality mic, especially if you are going to use your headset outdoors (because there is much more background noise when you are outside). You should be looking for the mic that picks up your voice and isolates background noise as much as possible. Finding great mic is really important for smooth communication.

Noise cancellation

Active noise canceling is not something to expect if you are buying some cheaper headset. ANC is pretty expensive technology and you will have to pay significantly more to get ANC, and even more to get ANC that actually works (they usually cost more than $100).

Let’s now clarify what is, in fact, Active Noise Canceling. This is technology that isolates background noise and allows you to hear the sound coming from your earpiece (or earpieces) perfectly clear. ANC also isolates most of the sound coming to your mic and makes your voice clearer for the person on the other end.

Cheaper headsets don’t feature ANC but rather some kind of passive noise canceling (or noise reduction) technology and they are not equally good at isolating background noise. Some budget headsets enable smooth communication while the others make communication impossible (especially if you are in a noisy environment). All of the headsets on our list offer at least decent performance and some of them were really amazing.



HeadphonesEncyclopedia has an affiliate relationship with amazon.com and other related companies. HeadphonesEncyclopedia team provides you with links to amazon (.com, .ca, .co.uk, etc.) that you can find in our reviews. These links will redirect you to the Amazon’s website where you can buy the product you’ve been reading about. If you click on some link in our review and buy the product, we get a small percentage of the money you spend. That’s how we monetize our work. Amazon and headphone/speaker manufacturers don’t have any influence on the process of product evaluation and we are not obliged to write positive reviews. We are serious when it comes to our integrity and we are trying to give you unbiased reviews, findings, and opinions.


 

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Hello, my name is Danny Brown.

I am writer and editor at HeadphonesEncyclopedia, I’ve been reviewing all kinds of electronic devices, audio and video equipment for almost a decade. My specialty is audio equipment and I have a strong passion for headphones, speakers, and home theater systems. I spend hours and hours testing and evaluating audio equipment in order to offer you unbiased reviews. Since we all have different tastes when it comes to sound, don’t take my reviews for granted. They can offer you a lot of useful info but you should definitely test (hear) the headphones/speakers before making the purchase.

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