Updated May 2014
Bluetooth headsets provide a relatively hands-free extension for your cellphone. To determine which ones make your life easier, and which ones will look good on you, ConsumerSearch editors examine reviews from top tech experts and read hundreds of user comments. The latest Bluetooth headsets take advantage of the high-tech features of smartphones.
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Aliph Jawbone Era (2014)
Aliph Jawbone Era (2014)

Best Bluetooth headset

The Aliph Jawbone Era (2014) continues the Era legacy by providing good sound quality in the smallest and most stylish headset available. The voice command function works with Siri on iPhones and Google Now on Android devices for a hands-free experience. The short battery life can be extended with the optional charging cradle.
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Aliph Jawbone Era (2011)
Aliph Jawbone Era (2011)

Cheap Bluetooth headset

The Aliph Jawbone Era receives high ratings for its fashion-forward style and great sound quality, courtesy of its large speaker and NoiseAssassin technology. Motion-sensing software and a built-in accelerometer allow the headset to respond to shake and tap actions on its surface to perform a variety of tasks. However, the adaptive volume is sometimes too loud.
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Est. $60 Estimated Price
Plantronics Voyager Legend
Plantronics Voyager Legend

Best boom-style Bluetooth headset

With its excellent sound quality, the Plantronics Voyager Legend is designed for business professionals who wear a headset all day. The Legend doesn't win high marks for its style, but it is very comfortable and its control buttons are well-placed for ease of use.
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See a side-by-side comparison of key features, product specs, and prices.

Bluetooth Headsets Runners Up:

Aliph Jawbone Icon Est. $40

6 picks including: About.com, Amazon.com…

BlueAnt Q2 Est. $40

2 picks including: Amazon.com, CNET…

Jabra Supreme Est. $80

2 picks by top review sites.

Plantronics BackBeat Go Est. $45

1 pick including: Amazon.com, CNET…

Bluetooth headsets: the original wearable technology

Bluetooth headsets allow for almost hands-free operation of your cellphone. Bluetooth is a short-range wireless technology and while most Bluetooth headsets have a single earpiece, a few have two, allowing the wireless streaming of stereo music from your phone. Users can toggle between music playback and phone calls, and most of the headsets are smart enough to automatically mute the music when a call comes in. With many states now banning the use of hand-held cellphones while driving, these headsets are one way to comply. A high-quality Bluetooth headset model costs around $80.

What was once advanced technology in Bluetooth headsets has become mainstream. All of the headsets in this report have text-to-speech capabilities and are Advanced Audio Distribution Profile-enabled (A2DP) for streaming audio. Standard features include the ability to connect to two cellphones simultaneously and a visual battery meter display on smartphone screens, and many headsets now recognize voice commands. As part of the burgeoning wearables category of technology, Bluetooth headsets fall into two camps: professional models in which comfort trumps style and more casual models in which design is as important as functionality.

If you're looking for Bluetooth headphones for an MP3 player and don't need a microphone, Bluetooth headphones designed specifically for music players are covered in our report on wireless headphones.

We studied evaluations of Bluetooth headsets from both experts and users, and CNET has the most expansive collection of reviews. Editors test new headsets as they're released, although a discontinued model is occasionally spotted in their roundups. While PCMag.com's coverage isn't nearly as extensive, editors there do a great job of testing these units and comparing models. Reviews from PC World are thorough and allow for comparison between different headsets. User feedback at Amazon highlights the pros and cons of various models, as well as durability and comfort issues over time. As the Bluetooth headset field has been relatively quiet for awhile, we've left in older reviews as these, and the headset models they examine, are still relevant.

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