"The BEST BT headset I've used yet!"4.5 starson by Soapboxhothead
Pros: Selectable NR, looks, lite-weight, battery life
Cons: Ear hook a little funky
Summary: My summary comment is no hyperbole! To date, this is the best darn bluetooth headset I've used and believe me, I've been thru a drawer full! I'm a professed gadget-dork. If it's new or cutting edge, chances are good I've got it. I tend to go thru cellphone handsets at the rate of about one every 6-9 months out of sheer boredom. (I'm in business sales for ATT so I get them easily.)
Ever since I switched to BT technology for a headset I've struggled with noise or lousy voice quality over BT. This is my number one pet peeve because I spend 2-4 hours a day on the mobile as I'm nearly always in the car during con calls. I felt it was tacky & disrespectful to my clients to have them suffer thru the So.Cal road noise or background racket (trash trucks and leaf blowers seem to plague me!) while we discussed business.
I've owned a handful of BT sets including: Jabra JX10 & BT160, Plantronics Discovery 610 & 650 and the Moto H500 & H700, not to mention a couple other off brand models. Suffice it to say I've spent the $$$ on these things struggling to find the right one. I've paired all or most of them with the RAZR, SLVR, Samsung Sync, Blackjack and D807 and currently with the BlackBerry Pearl & Curve (my corp device). With all but the Discovery 610 and the Jabra JX10, background noise to the caller was either overwhelming or otherwise completely distracting. Both the 610 and JX10 did a better than average job of knocking down noise but the most common response I got from the people I called was I sounded like I was "in a tunnel" or "holding the phone at arm's length" so they struggled to hear me in all but the most quiet places and even then commented on the poor quality of my voice over the BT set. Frustrating! The Jabra JX10 was the best of the lot (especially with the BlackBerry's) but even it was passable until I came across the BlueAnt Z9!
NOTE: If you own a BB device and have trouble with your outbound sound quality, disabling encryption & turning off echo control IS A MUST! Also contact your carrier to be sure you have the latest BB patch or software rev level, VERY important in fixing many user issues!
The BlueAnt Z9 is near flawless with my Pearl and Curve with ATT service here in LA. (Barring those pesky dropped calls in the canyons) :-D Folks on the other end can barely hear background noise in my car, even on the NR low setting. Isolation Max produces a slightly "processed" or robotic sounding voice when pushed to block out significant noise (see garbage trucks). The standard NR setting is very natural sounding. Voice dialing works beautifully, sound quality in-ear is top-notch and plenty loud. Volume control is easy and intuitive once you get the "feel" for which button is which. The unit is very light and can be worn for hours w/ or w/out the hook and I found the earpiece to be plenty comfortable. Looks are top-quality and I get comments on the unit all the time. Battery life is among the best. My only real complaint is I sometimes fight with the earhook to get it comfortable but that's a highly subjective comment as I prefer the hook for additional stability.
This unit is as good as they get, especially for the price. I've not had the chance to use the Jawbone so I can't be purely comparitive but BlueAnt's dual-mic, DSP technology works as advertised. If the size, weight and price of the Jawbone give you pause, look no further than the BlueAnt Z9!!! I certainly won't !!!