Best Bluetooth Headsets: Top Picks for Multi-Tasking When Driving
Enjoy making high-quality, hands-free calls with these Bluetooth headsets.
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BY Noelle Talmon / LAST UPDATED ON April 14, 2021
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.
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.
- $50 and up: 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 more than 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 Headsets Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- 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?
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?
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?
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.