7.17 PM Wednesday, 7 June 2023
  • City Fajr Shuruq Duhr Asr Magrib Isha
  • Dubai 03:59 05:25 12:21 15:42 19:11 20:37
07 June 2023

Wireless on the go...

By David Tusing


It’s hard to imagine the technological marvel we now call Bluetooth traces its roots to Denmark some time during the 10th century.

Legend has it that there was once a wise Viking leader called Herald Blatand who set about uniting warring factions of Denmark, Norway and parts of Sweden. King Blatand, it appears, was so fond of blueberries that his teeth were constantly stained blue, thus earning him the moniker Bluetooth.

So what has that bit of history got to do with a 21st century technology that allows the wireless exchange of data between devices? The key word here is “unification”.

In 1994, Swedish telecommunication devices manufacturer Ericsson initiated a technology that would “unite” computer and communication appliances over a secured, short-range frequency. Four years later, the technology came to be owned by a consortium of major manufacturers including IBM, Intel, Toshiba and Nokia, who decided to call it Bluetooth.

Many manufacturers have since joined the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), which specifies a qualification process that products must be tested in accordance with before they may be branded with the Bluetooth trademarks and sold to consumers.

Bluetooth, as we know it today, eliminates wire clutter between devices and allows devices such as mobile phones, laptops and even gaming consoles to connect and exchange information – making our lives easier and less messy.

Not too long after that, when mobile phones had already become a part of our daily lives, the first Bluetooth headsets began to appear in the market. And with a flood of manufacturers spurred by the ever-growing sector, the headset industry quickly caught up to suit demands. High-flying businessmen constantly on the move were quick to adopt this latest gadget.

Our three featured products this week boast the two main universal design philosophies – one that is held in place by a loop around the ear and the other that is jammed into the ear – and gives you the option to change. But that’s not all they’ve got.

Take the Nokia BH-702 for instance. This 10-gram wonder takes chic to an entirely new level, and is something you won’t be ashamed to wear – or make you risk looking like you just walked off a tacky space-age movie set. This stylish gadget features easy-to-use call handling features and up to six hours of talk time. Style and substance: check.

The smaller Motorola H680 meanwhile is another classy device – half the size of a lipstick tube, yet it is perfect for the constant conversationalists looking for complete wireless freedom. Do not underestimate this petite statement maker. With a talk time of up to eight hours, the offering from the American communications giant is one of the best in the market. Ergonomics and functionality: check.

Headset specialists Jabra definitely made the BT 3010 for those who like their stuff with a bit of an edge. With eight hours of talk time, this headset also comes with interchangeable covers to add a bit of colour. What’s more, you can also design your own covers on their website. At just about 11 grams, this piece, like the other two, features the latest Bluetooth 2.0 technology and features a no-nonsense set-up. Discreet and stable fit: check.

While Bluetooth technology itself is a dynamic one, new, improved versions are being introduced now and again. My trusted mobile phone experts at Cellucom tell me constant innovations are bound to make headsets more and more sophisticated.

What most people are concerned about for now is the talk time, says Ron. While size and functionality requirements usually compromise on battery power, headsets with about eight to 10 hours of talk time should be ideal. “People want something very small, good- looking, comfortable and which you can use for a long time,” he says.

“The basic idea is freedom of movement. A lot of business phone users use wireless headsets because they are always multi-tasking.”

But while Bluetooth as a technology espouses liberty from the wires and cords that bind us, concerns have also been raised about security. Mobile phone specialist Ron reassures me Bluetooth headsets are not susceptible to such dangers. All the devices featured here – and most of the newer headsets in the market now – need to be paired using a key code. Default pairing pass keys are usually set at “0000”.

So however sleeker, smaller and lighter these headsets become, King Blatand is going to be proud of just how far his namesake has come. (All products available at Jacky’s Electronics)

Nokia BH-702

Weight: 10 grams

Dimensions: 55x14x11mm    

Talk time: Up to 6 hours

Bluetooth version: 2.0

Price: Dh325

Motorola H680

Weight: 12 grams

Dimensions: 41x18x12mm    

Talk time: Up to 8 hours

Bluetooth version: 2.0

Price: Dh269

Jabra BT3010

Weight: 11 grams

Dimensions: 50x22x24mm    

Talk time: Up to 8 hours

Bluetooth version: 2.0

Price: Dh129

Editor’s choice:

Motorola h500
Offering improved comfort and sound quality over its predecessor, this petite model should not be underestimated for its price. The sleek, ergonomic design fits nicely into your ear and boasts up to eight hours of talk time. Perfect for multi- tasking with flair. Price: Dh99.

Motorola h670

This headset’s design matches the MOTOKRZR K1 phone. With its reflective finishing and sleek design, this is sure to turn heads. Also featuring are interchangeable ear hooks for a comfortable and snug fit, up to eight hours of talk time and the latest Bluetooth technology. Price: Dh139.