Best Bluetooth Headsets: Top Picks for Multi-Tasking When Driving
Enjoy making high-quality, hands-free calls with these Bluetooth headset
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PUBLISHED ON October 13, 2019
A Bluetooth headset helps you make hands-free calls and listen to audio devices while your eyes remain glued to the road. It can also be used at home or outdoors if you want to keep your hands free while working in the garage or camping outdoors. We have researched some of the best Bluetooth earpieces on the market that will help you avoid touching your smartphone while you drive.
- Best OverallPlantronics Voyager Bluetooth HeadsetSummarySummaryA Bluetooth 3.0 hands-free headset that senses when it’s being worn to automatically answer callsProsProsClear calls and audio. Lightweight and comfortable design. Noise-cancelling technology. It offers seven hours of talk time. Water-resistant. Operates on voice commands. Siri, Cortana, and Google Now compatible. Includes a magnetic charger connector.ConsConsMay disconnect calls unexpectedly. May experience rebooting issues after discharging. Loud incoming volume.
- Best ValueMpow Pro Bluetooth HeadsetSummarySummaryAn affordable overhead cell phone headset with an external microphone for clear conversations.ProsProsWireless technology. Stylish. Great sound quality. Fully adjustable headset. Blocks out unwanted noise. Omnidirectional operation. It has a high roaming range. 12 hours talk time. Includes comfortable and skin-friendly ear cushionsConsConsSlow to connect. May develop battery issues with time. Fragile. It can't stream music.
- Honorable MentionFOCUSPOWER Mini Bluetooth EarbudSummarySummaryA small wireless headset with a mic that can connect to two separate devices at the same time.ProsProsSix-hour playtime. Lightweight and comfortable. Secure fit. Siri and Google Now compatible. Reliable connection. Fits in both the left and right ear. USB charge was compatible. Includes three ear tips of different sizes.ConsConsNot long-lasting. May have issues with the mic. May experience charging and battery issues.
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of a Bluetooth Headset
- Road safety. A Bluetooth headset helps you avoid the distraction of using your phone or tuning your stereo while driving. You can focus on the road and take calls at the same time with the help of voice-assist technology. You can also get GPS directions when driving to unfamiliar destinations.
- Entertainment. Most Bluetooth headsets will allow you to listen to music from your phone, and the high-end versions will allow you to stream music. A good-quality wireless headset allows you to enjoy some entertainment options in your car without fiddling with the buttons on the stereo or your smartphone.
- Wireless technology. Most Bluetooth devices don’t have cords that can hinder or limit your movement while driving. That’s a big perk, since you don’t have to worry about adjusting the wire while you are driving or doing something else, such as jogging.
Types of Bluetooth Headsets
A mono Bluetooth headset has one earpiece and a microphone. It’s best for communication as opposed to entertainment. It typically delivers clear voice quality and is lightweight and easy to use. The units have a small profile that’s ideal for outdoor use. You can also use mono headsets to listen to music, audiobooks, or podcasts if you don’t mind getting the sound on only one ear.
A stereo Bluetooth headset comes with two earpieces with either an in-ear or over-ear design. It may also come as a full-size headset with padded ear pads and a protruding microphone. Stereo headsets are used for voice calls as well as for entertainment. They deliver a well-balanced sound, since both earpieces receive the same sound frequency.
Plantronics is a California-based electronics company that was founded in 1961. The company makes audio products and develops consumer software packages. Some of its products include gaming headsets, wireless headphones, and some of the best Bluetooth headsets for phones. One of its best-rated products is the Plantronics Voyager Bluetooth Headset.
Jabra is a communication equipment manufacturer that makes professional and consumer wireless headsets and headphones. The company was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. Some of its products include fitness-tracking sports headphones, call center headsets, wireless earbuds, and noise-canceling headphones. One of its best mobile phone Bluetooth headsets is the Jabra Talk High-Definition Headset.
Mpow is a US-based manufacturer of audio and communication devices that was founded in 2013. Some of its products include gaming headsets, Bluetooth speakers, sports earbuds, stereo headphones, and noise-canceling headphones. One of its best-quality Bluetooth headsets is the Mpow Pro Bluetooth Headset.
Bluetooth Headset Pricing
- Under $50: Most Bluetooth gadgets within this price range are mono wireless headsets. Most will help you make hands-free calls and will read incoming texts. The units typically offer a talk time that’s less than seven hours and will only last for two years before developing issues with reception. These cheaply priced gadgets are best used for short commutes, since most aren’t designed for long-term use.
- Over $50: At this price range, you are paying for durability and a headset that allows you to make clear phone calls in noisy environments. The headsets are typically larger and offer more talk time hours. Most have a large, padded ear cushion with superb noise-canceling technology. You will also find great stereo headsets that let you enjoy powerful music playback as you drive.
The fastest and most reliable Bluetooth versions are Bluetooth 4.0 and above. These devices are more responsive and better at making and receiving calls. They also allow you to pair with multiple Bluetooth-enabled devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and head units. Prioritize headsets that can pair with at least two devices at the same time.
If you are wearing the headset for a long drive, it should be adjustable and a comfortable fit for both your left and right ear. Most Bluetooth headsets come with earbuds of different sizes since people have different ear shapes and sizes. A fully adjustable headset with an ear hook allows you to change the position to get a comfortable fit in case it’s not the right size.
Choose a headset that offers over five hours of talk time on a single charge and an even longer standby battery life. That will be more than enough to get you through your daily commutes or a long drive before you get somewhere you can recharge it.
- Noise Cancellation: It’s a huge perk if the headset features noise-cancellation technology. It helps you make clear phone calls by filtering out the sounds in your environment, such as the wind, loud passengers, and noise from other vehicles.
- Transmission Range: The best headsets have a high transmission or operation range of at least 30 feet or more. This allows you to take calls outside your car or engage in other outdoor activities while your phone is charging in your vehicle.
- Multiple Microphones: If possible, choose the fancy headsets that have multiple microphones for enhanced call quality. Some gadgets have up to four microphones for better audio quality, and you won’t have to keep on repeating your message when making calls.
Best Bluetooth Headset Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Overall: Plantronics Voyager Bluetooth Headset
The Plantronics Voyager is a wireless Bluetooth 3.0 headset with triple mic technology that reduces background noise to deliver enhanced sound clarity. It’s also designed with smart sensor technology, which can detect when the earpiece is on your ear and automatically answer calls. It redirects the calls to your phone once you put the headset down. The device also features voice-recognition technology, and you only have to say “answer” or “ignore” to receive or reject phone calls without touching your phone.
The headset is coated with P2i Nano-coating technology to protect the device from rain, sweat, moisture, and drinks spilled in your car. It takes only 90 minutes to acquire a full charge and will offer up to seven hours of talk time. Generally, the device feels comfortable in your ear and is durable. It’s also compatible with Android apps and other Bluetooth 4.0 headsets.
However, a major problem you may experience with this device over time is that it may disconnect calls unexpectedly. The smart sensor may develop issues and disconnect the call with minimal body movement. Also, the incoming volume may be too loud, and you may also have to reboot it a couple of times if you leave it discharged for a long time.
Best Value: Mpow Pro Bluetooth Headset
The Mpow Pro Bluetooth Headset is designed with a noise-canceling feature that blocks out unwanted noise to deliver a loud and clear voice through the mouthpiece. It makes it seem like you are in a noise-free environment, even when heavy winds are blowing past your face. The unit is lightweight, the headband is flexible, and it features padded ear pads for enhanced comfort as you drive.
This Mpow headset pairs easily with Bluetooth devices and has a connecting range of up to 30 feet. It offers up to 200 hours of standby time and 12 hours of talk time on a single charge. In addition, it only takes two hours to acquire a full charge. The device delivers enhanced voice quality and is great for truck drivers, video calls, call centers, and all Apple and Android devices.
A major drawback of this car Bluetooth headphone is that it’s made of cheap-quality products and may break easily. It may develop battery issues in less than a year and offers less than six hours of talk time. Moreover, it’s slow to connect when receiving a call, and you may miss a few calls if it’s not turned on. It also can’t stream music.
Honorable Mention: FOCUSPOWER Mini Bluetooth Earbud
The FOCUSPOWER Mini Bluetooth Earbud is a small and lightweight earbud that fits comfortably in your left or right ear. It has a built-in microphone that delivers loud and clear sound. The unit features Bluetooth 4.1 and EDR technology with a connecting range of up to 33 feet. Multiple connection technologies allow the device to connect to two mobile devices at the same time.
This gadget runs on a high-quality lithium accumulator that can be charged with a USB magnet charger. It has a long battery life and offers about six to eight hours of talk time at 40 percent volume and 4.5 hours of battery life on full volume. The device delivers a powerful sound, and you can use it for listening to music, podcasts, audiobooks, and making hands-free phone calls. It’s compatible with iPhone and Android smartphones.
A major drawback of this unit is that it’s not long-lasting. It may die after only a year or develop some issues with its features. The battery may take longer to charge, and it may not hold a charge for a long time. Also, it may develop mic issues, and you will have a hard time using it for making or receiving phone calls.
- Do not completely enclose your ears while you’re driving. Most headsets have noise-canceling technology, and you may be blocked out from what’s happening around you. You should at least leave one ear open to maintain awareness of your surroundings.
- Do not overcharge the headset. Ensure that you unhook it from the charging plug once the battery is full to avoid damaging the charging system or shortening the battery life. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on how long you should charge it.
- Clean the headset regularly with a damp cloth to remove dust, ear wax, and dead skin cells. You can use a gentle disinfectant to remove microorganisms from the earbuds that can cause ear infections.
- Always store the headset in a case when not in use. That helps to prevent dust and moisture from damaging the earpiece.
- Disconnect the headset from your phone or any other device after use. Switch it off to preserve the battery life of the headset and the connected device. Also, don’t turn the volume too high when using the earpiece. You may damage the speakers.
- The best operating range for a Bluetooth headset is about seven feet from the connected device. At that range, you will get the best sound quality with minimal interference from other Bluetooth devices.
Q: Does a Bluetooth headset kill the phone’s battery?
A: It depends on your phone’s battery life. Bluetooth headsets almost never have a long-term effect on a phone’s battery. Most modern smartphones can last for several hours with Bluetooth enabled. Answering and receiving phone calls may not have a significant effect on battery life. However, you may have a faster drop in charge if you stream music from your phone.
Q: Will I get a good reception when using a Bluetooth headset outdoors?
A: You will get a good reception as long as you are within the limits of the gadget’s transmission range. However, you may experience some interference in the reception if you are using a low-quality headset in public places. Some interferences such as walls may also block the signal.
Q: Can Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Connections interfere with each other?
A: Typically, no. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signals use different technologies to transmit signals that cannot interfere with each other. Both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth can be used simultaneously without resulting in any performance or connection issues with your phone and headset. That’s why you can stream music from your phone and get the best sound quality in your headset.
Our top pick is the Plantronics Voyager Bluetooth Headset. It's one of the best Bluetooth headsets with a comfortable design and stellar audio quality. The gadget has a voice-assist feature and will eliminate all the wind and noise from your voice as you speak.
Our best budget pick is the Mpow Pro Bluetooth Headset. It’s a fully adjustable wireless headset that lets you stay in touch with your friends and business partners when driving.