Pros Good incoming/outgoing audio as used with an iPhone 3G. Standard Voice Isolation works well. Max Voice Isolation eliminates all but the most transient loud sounds. Voice activated commands work great.
Cons Sadly, BlueAnt's pre-configured calling commands/positions limit the V1 from being a great fit with the iPhone 3G. None of the included earbuds provide good seal/fit.
Summary While the Voice Control features work really well, BlueAnt sadly chose to pre-populate the first five voice-activated speed dial positions with voicemail/home/office/favorite/GOOG-411... meaning you have to speak those very phrases to dial your first four iPhone calling favorites and the fifth GOOG-411 entry overrides your phone's fifth favorite and cannot be changed. The decision to configure the V1 presets this way seems like a marketing choice and not a well thought out engineering choice. Simply configuring Speed Dial 1, Speed Dial 2, Speed Dial 3, etc, would have been far more functional and adaptable for most users.
Obvious to U.S. iPhone owners is that they don't need the voicemail retrieval entry, since they have Visual Voicemail, and since they have Google Maps app and Google Search app they really don't need an unchangeable GOOG-411 overriding their 5th favorite entry. The iPhone has such a nicely accessible interface for phone number favorites, it's a shame to have them pushed out of the way by a BlueAnt/Google contractual agreement.
BlueAnt ought to provide a firmware update to move the GOOG-411 down to the 9th speed dial position and just add normal voice prompts for positions 1-8. I think users of all types of phones would be lot happier.
Pros Good voice commands
Cons - Horrible voice quality: the other side cannot hear me even in a totally quiet enviroment; voice quality on my side is also choppy. It is impossible to have a conversation using this headset.
- Customer service is very bad and did not help at all.
Summary - I am using it with a Blackberry Pearl which works well with other headsets I have tried.I wanted to add if anyone has any suggestions, pls let me know. I'd like to make my headset work and since BlueAnt won't replace it, I am stuck with it! Newegg would charge restocking fees and with shipping costs, it's costly & time consuming to return.
- I called customer service 5 times and spent a total of about 2 hrs with them: updated firmware twice, used on a different phones, tried other tricks but to no avail.
- They refused to ship a replacement unit because they said many other users are reporting the same problem and I would just have to wait for the next firmware release. I explained that I need a headset for driving everyday and I can't wait indefinitely. The agent explained they're just at an outsourced call center in Canada and have been forbidden to ship replacement units!
I am extremely disappointed. I bought the BlueAnt V1 rather than Aliph and other top headsets based on the reviews on this site but if I can't even use it for a simple conversation, all other features are useless. I think I might have received a bad piece but BlueAnt's unwillingness to replace it because others are having the same problems only leaves an even worse after taste.
Updated on Oct 31, 2008
Updated on Nov 29, 2008BlueAnt finally replaced the V1 for me. I had to pay for return shipping and received the replacement headset in 2 weeks. On rare occasion, I still had the same problem with choppy voice but I figured that each time I charged my BlueAnt if I turned by Bluetooth feature off and on on my BB Pearl, the voice quality was fine. Yesterday, I upraded to the BB Bold and the BlueAnt V1 works perfectly with it. Now, after a month of hard work, I can finally appreciate why others like this headset so much. It works flawlessly and the voice commands are indeed a differentiator that sets this apart from the competition. I just wished BlueAnt had better customer service...
Pros Great design, lightweight, voice commands work great, noise isolation, LOUD on both sides. Great packaging.
Cons Voice command system is RESTRICTED. You CANNOT dial a number by voice if it's not previosly stored in a phone and/or headset memory. Firmware upgrade and FAQ online are not yet available.
Summary First of all, my kudos to designers of the headset's look and the packaging. It's stylish, very well thought out. Looks very european (unlike other competitors' headsets). Packaging is just amazing. Hard to open though. I had to supress a temptation just to cut through the plastic with a knife. Well, for those who are not 100% sure whether they're going to keep the headset or return it after a trial, here is a tip: it opens from the bottom. Simply insert something flat and dull between the clear plastic and the silver bottom (I used a small metal ruler) and move it along the gap to separate the bottom part. Glue is really sticky, so you have to push hard, but be careful not to break the plastic.
The headset, as promised, has very light weight, and fits well next to ear. It comes with two rubber earpieces of different size: regular and a really small one (for girls?), two foam earpieces (also two sizes) that work as those pinky ear plugs. You have to sqeeze the foam and insert it in your ear and it expands in there and holds tight. Standard ruber earpiece fits next to ear really well, but you have to use the hook with it to feel it secure. The foam piece does not need a hook. There are two hooks: standard metal-rubber and a clear plastic one. I preferred the clear plastic, because it's lighter, less noticable and you don't feel cold metal when you put the headset on.
There are also AC recharger, car recharger, USB cable (to recharge from USB connection and for firmware upgrades), and a USB converter for using with a third-party USB cable with a mini-usb connector most commonly used with cell phones, cameras and other USB devices.
V1 works as promised, very easy to operate, you can turn OFF the blinking blue light, which is very helpful for professionals to look...err... professional. But by default, it's ON, so if you turn V1 OFF and then ON, it blinks again, so you have to remember to turn the light OFF every time you turn the headset ON. This is not good.
I use it with smarphone HTC 5800, which has voice commands feature on its own. And V1 provides a nice way to use that feature, so I can use a voice dial list in the phone containing hundred entries. And not just phone numbers, but also for starting applications in the phone (for example, I often use Excel Mobile to enter customers info). So, I just say: "Phone commands", then the voice tag I stored for a particular contact or application, and here we go, it's calling the number or opening the application. Great! But to do so, you have to prepare a list of those speed dial entries with stored voice tags for each of them. If you don't have voice command feature in your phone or PDA, then you can still create a list of voice dial entries in the headset itself. It can be up to 9 entries and first five are preset to Voicemail, Home, Office, Favorite, GOOGLE 411 (free service with this headset). You have only 4 entries for other numbers. This is not good. I understand the limitation of the number of entries (not enough memory) and I don't have anything against a free service from GOOGLE 411, but I would prefer to be able to re-assign those predefined entries. And also, it's not possible to store voice tags for those last four (out of 9) voice dial entries stored in the headset, so you have to say: "Call SpeedDial 7" instead of "Call mom" as I can do when I use voice dial entries stored in my phone.
When you recieve a call the headset tells you the number. This is nice. I'm not sure whether it's going to say "Home" or it's going to say "555-1234" if someone calls you from your home. I haven't tried it yet.
And finally, the most important drawback with this headset. You CANNOT make a call by voice dialing just saying "555-1234". Nope. It has to be either a pre-stored voice tag to a corresponding number saved in a phone's and/or headset's voice dial list, or... just use your fingers and the phone keypad. And this diminishes the whole idea of being "hands-free" using this headset.
I also noticed that currently there is no firmware upgrade available on BlueAnt's website. Even FAQ is not available yet (says: coming soon).
Overall, the guys from BlueAnt are in the right direction, and I'm sure they'll fix all those things in the next model. The Bluetooth stack they use, developed by CSR, and I used to work for one of their competitors 8 years ago. We also made one-chip solution, wrote a Bluetooth stack and a headset profile along with other profiles, but never got to the final product because of poor and voluntaristic management, so I know how hard it was to create something like V1. Way to go guys!
Pros Easy to use, easy to pair to a phone, easy to place and receive calls, just
Cons Fit on ear is slightly uncomfortable. Sometimes feel like it is loose.
Pros Decent call quality
Cons Single button control is confusing; ear hook slips after time, eventually cannot support unit on ear; ear bud deteriorates quickly with use
Summary After having read much about this item and purchasing the BlueAnt ST3 for my car, I wanted to like this. However, within 2 months after I began using it, the ear hook began sliding up and down. No matter what I did, I could not prevent this, and the unit kept falling off my ear. Then the ear bud deteriorated and fell off (rubber). I cannot recommend this unit.