I was offered a Jabra BT530 Bluetooth headset and USB adapter for review and at first thought it was a strange product - these days almost every laptop comes with a built-in Bluetooth adapter so why was Jabra distributing some product with a USB adapter?
Reading the documentation accompanying the product I realised the USB adapter in the bundle is not a Bluetooth adapter for your PC, although it does use Bluetooth to communicate with the headset.
This means it's just a voice adapter and when the appropriate software is installed your operating system sees the adapter as a new sound device on your PC - but you can't use it to add Bluetooth to your laptop if you don't already have it.
This makes a lot of sense. The product is clearly aiming at voice chat users that have problems finding good headsets for that perfect voice call over Skype, Yahoo! Messenger or Windows Live Messenger and offer a bundle that work together with not complicated procedures.
The Bluetooth headset is a BT530, which is really small and light. When fully charged you can get up to 5:30 hours of talk time or 250 hours stand by. Operation is simple and most interestingly it has a sliding switch to turn it on and off - which I think is great when compared with other headsets that require you to press and hold a button to turn the unit on and off.
The USB adapter is a small device that you plug into your laptop after installing the software. It will then be seen as a new sound device - both headset and mic.
On first use you need to pair the headset and the adapter - which as I said is a Bluetooth device but only for communicating with this headset. You only need to do this once.
When ready to place a voice call over those IM services you just need to start it and the software will automatically redirect the sound to your headset.
The headset can also be used with mobile phones. I tried the headset with a few mobile handsets - Windows Mobile and Symbian - and it performed well with all of them.
The sound during voice calls is crystal clear and you can go over longe phone calls without feeling tired. It's almostl like the headset is not hanging from your ear.
Overall a very easy to use product, which clearly gets to the point.
- very small and light headset
- clear voice communicatios over IM services, no background noises
- easy to use
- still need to install some software from a CD or downloaded from Jabra website (the most up-to-date version). I would recommend having a small flash storage on the device itself to make it easy to install the software directly from the device but this probably would add to the cost of the product.