What Should I Consider When Buying a Hands Free Device?
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.
In my experience with wireless hands-free devices, the best ones are wired. The problem with Bluetooth connectivity and any other type of wireless connection is the signal quality and voice quality that is affected by any efficient and under performing products.
At least with a wired connection you can ensure that the distortion of voice quality is not from your hands-free device that just may be the result of your cell phone or carriers network.
We all live in the day and age were cell phones can be very unreliable and have horrible call quality. Unfortunately this is just reality the type of technology we have available the market today. At some point hands-free wireless technology might become better in the voice quality that carries, until then I suggest using a wired device.
I have actually had a lot of luck with the wired hands-free device that comes with an iPhone from the manufacturer. This set of headphones has a microphone built into the cable that works quite well.
While you may not want cable dangling from your ear, this is a great free alternative that comes with the cost of the phone and should be considered as a high quality means of communicating hands-free. One part in part to remember though, when using these headphones you must only have one headphone put into a single year while you are operating a vehicle in most states.
The hazards that come along with having both of your ears covered by headphones are truly dangerous. You may miss things like sirens behind you and car horns warning you of impending danger.
It may be worth your time and money to purchase a hands-free wireless device of my recommendation is to at least consider the wired devices if a wireless option is not available to you. Mobile hands-free communication is essential and one that must be taken seriously if we are to continue a society with this advanced technology.
Just as @millhouse suggests, there are numerous advantages to a wireless device. One thing to keep in mind however, is that there is a large difference in quality available for hands-free wireless devices on the market today.
The connection quality and ability to speak and hear clearly will make a huge difference in how the device works for you. Sometimes people think Bluetooth is to competition for them once they realize that it is a very basic and now legally required device to communicate especially while in the car.
If you have been resisting the use of a hands-free device please stop now, give in and save people from dying on the road.
When you drive your car hands need to be free. Hands-free car kits are available for an extensive amount these days and there is no excuse to be driving incapacitated while talking on your cell phone. While there are some hands-free phones with built-in speakerphone capability, the speakerphones are usually very difficult to use and understand while driving on the road.
If you have an option and use your cell phone frequently, I recommend getting a wireless headset over a wired headset. I've used both and the increased freedom that a wireless headset (i.e., bluetooth headset) affords over a wired headset makes the decision (in my eyes) a no brainer. I also prefer headsets that go around the ear rather than in the ear -- I think the around the ear kind is more comfortable.
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