There are many options to consider when buying a hands free device, so it is important to know how and when you are most likely to use the device before making a purchase. These devices vary in many aspects, including size, type of connection, phone compatibility, placement, range, and features.
Phone compatibility is perhaps the most important aspect to consider when buying a hands free device, because it determines whether or not you will be able to use the device with your phone at all. If you are using a cellular phone, it is especially important to make sure that the device you are interested is compatible, because there isn't one standard that all cellular phones follow. It is often best to choose a device that is designed by your phone manufacturer and contains your phone model in the list of compatible phones. If you are looking for a device for a land phone, there is a more common standard for headset outputs, but you should still make sure that the device you purchase is compatible.
Next, decide whether you want to get a Bluetooth® device. Bluetooth® is a short range form of wireless data transmission that can transmit audio as well as other forms of data. Bluetooth® is a very popular hands free technology, because there are no cords involved, but it still provides excellent sound quality. If considering a Bluetooth® hands free device, make sure you have a Bluetooth® compatible handset and that the two will connect without difficulty.
The most common type of hands free device is the headset, but there are also hands free devices that operate like a speakerphone, which may or may not include a corded microphone to enhance outgoing audio quality. Such devices can be convenient in a car or other location where you frequently need to communicate hands free. If you decide to purchase a headset, consider the size you prefer. Sizes range from a small single ear bud to a full-head device resembling a pair of headphones with a microphone extending towards the mouth. In general, people who tend to use hands free devices on the move prefer a smaller ear bud, while people who use a headset for an extended period of time at a single location, such as a computer, prefer a more comfortable full-head device.