Review: BlueAnt V1 Voice Controlled Bluetooth Headset
Price: $69 in the store
Summary: Great sound quality and noise cancellation make it a great bluetooth headset, but the built in voice control technology often makes the V1 more complicated than it is useful.
Technology: What makes the V1 different than any other bluetooth headset is that it has a built in processor that translates voice commands before sending it to the phone–instead of your phone having to figure out what you are trying to say, the BlueAnt V1 does the translation. The V1 doesn’t necessarily add functionality to your headset/phone setup that you didn’t have before (because every phone that has bluetooth probably has voice command software). But, the V1 voice recognition may be significantly more accurate than your phone’s program, making the whole voice activation a bit easier.
Voice Control: When turning on the V1 for the first time, the voice guides you through setting up your phone via bluetooth and getting it up and running. But the audio guide fails to really explain how to command the headset to do what you want. So you are left constantly asking the headset “what can I say?”. But even after reading the whole manual, there really isn’t much to say. Besides for the obvious “call home” and similar functions, the voice control doesn’t really do anything. Does anyone really need to say “answer” instead of just tapping the earpiece button? After days of using the V1, I just can’t really figure out the point of voice control that is processed in an earpiece instead of the phone. Phone based voice controls just offer better accuracy and functionality. For instance, the built in Blackberry voice control allows you to call all your contacts without having to set up anything.
Sound Quality: The V1 earpiece fits snug in your ear and gives you great sound quality. But the real news here is the voice isolation technology that cancels out background noise. In a noisy kitchen while doing dishes my dad was able to hear me perfectly (which is usually a challenge). As a normal headset, the V1 was crisp–one of the best headsets I have ever used.
Side Notes: The V1 uses a super small charging port, which made me nervous about another adapter in my socket. But the V1 does come with a small adapter that you can place over a regular Blackberry plug and fit into the V1. Another plus is that the V1 has a built in clip that allows you to clip the V1 to your shirt or pants. I haven’t figured out how to do that in style just yet, but it seems like it could be a neat feature.
Final Verdict: The voice controls of the V1 are almost completely useless. In fact, the overly complicated software on the V1 makes ending a call almost impossible. I keep trying to push the button at the end of a call and I keep activating another feature–its just too much. But when using the V1 as a simple bluetooth headset you can’t do much better than this. The quality is way above par and you won’t be disappointed.