Buying a Bluetooth headset is a very personal task, in which comfort and ease of use are considered along with sound quality. For some people, the headset's appearance and style are equally as important. The models in this section all deliver excellent quality in one or more of these categories. Although we didn't limit our selections by price, both of these headsets are only $50.
The Aliph Jawbone Icon (*Est. $50) stands out for its sound quality thanks to its highly customizable software and unique military-grade Noise Assassination system. The Icon blocks out noise by touching your cheek and following the vibration of your jaw to transmit your voice. Callers' voices sound clear and natural. Editors at TopTenReviews.com describe the Icon's sound quality as "nearly unrivaled."
According to reviewers, this Bluetooth headset has it all -- functionality, design and a low price. However, the lack of a volume button on the Aliph Jawbone Icon draws critique from both users and experts, who claim that the auto-adjust volume doesn't always do the job. Icon users can adjust its volume from their smartphones, but many would prefer a dedicated button on the headset. When it comes to design, not everyone agrees: One reviewer the headset's design and selection of finishes "beyond stylish to avant-garde," and another says it looks like a piece of costume jewelry.
The BlueAnt Q2 (*Est. $50) also gets solid marks for sound quality, although reviewers say it's not quite up to par with the Jawbone Icon or Plantronics Voyager Pro series. In tests at PCMag.com, the Q2's Wind Armor technology performs very well in strong wind conditions. Its multi-function button and volume buttons receive mixed reviews in both professional and owner reports. Some appreciate the separate volume up/down controls, but others find the buttons too small to use comfortably. Q2, like the Icon, is sleek and cool-looking, sporting a matte black finish with a mesh overlay. However, users say the mesh attracts dust, lint and small bits of debris.
Through a downloadable Android application, the BlueAnt Q2 has an extensive menu of voice recognition commands, including text-to-speech for all smartphones. The Jawbone Icon offers increased functionality via its MyTalk apps. Users can download apps like voice dialing to a chip inside the headset, as well as choose from six different voices and languages for the text-to-speech function.