Mini Review: Jabra Freespeak BT250 Bluetooth Headset

Jabra – FreeSpeak BT250

I got a new toy tonight – a Jabra FreeSpeak BT250 Bluetooth headset for my new phone (which I will reveal soon!).

It’s my first Bluetooth headset, and I haven’t had a chance to use it much so far, beyond charging, and the initial pairing and testing.

Read on for my initial impressions.

Before anyone says anything, yes, I know it kind of looks like a weird, cybernetic slug. Part of the reason I chose the Jabra over the popular Motorola and Sony Bluetooth headsets is the fact this this one goes behind the ear, rather than “outside” the ear. I wanted something that wouldn’t interfere too much with my Sony MDR-EX71 earbuds that I use with my iPod during my commute, which is when I’ll probably use the BT250 the most. The part holding the “ear gel” in the ear is very flexible, so I can comfortably leave it out of my actual ear canal while I’m listening to my iPod, and pop it in when I get/make a call.

I have two coworkers that recently got this unit to pair with their iPAQ 6315 Phone Edition devices, and they like it well enough. It does kind of make you look like a Borg while wearing it, but I’m a pretty hardcore geek, so that doesn’t bother me much. I told my wife that it’s all part of my “geek chic” style statement.

The initial pairing process was pretty seamless – turn on the BT250 and put it in “pairing mode”, then enable Bluetooth on the phone, search for new devices, and enter the default PIN (“0000”) to complete the pairing. I did run across a weird bug where turning off Bluetooth on the phone while paired caused the phone to reboot. I’ve read of other people having this problem on some forums I read, but it’s not clear if this is just a glitch, or a repeatable bug. More testing is in order.

I made some test calls, and my testing partner (my wife) said that the quality was quite good – as good, if not better, than the handset itself. Of course, this was with me in the bedroom and her in the living room. We’ll have to do some more testing under normal conditions (walking outside, on the train, etc.) to see how well the noise reduction of the unidirectional mic works.

Stay tuned for usage updates as I put this headset through its paces, and let me know if you have any questions.