Review: Blueant Q1 Voice Controlled Bluetooth Headset | webOS Nation
 
 

Review: Blueant Q1 Voice Controlled Bluetooth Headset 23

by Derek Kessler Sat, 19 Dec 2009 11:08 pm EST

Blueant Q1 Voice Controlled Bluetooth Headset

The Blueant Q1 Voice Controlled Bluetooth Headset takes the voice-control formula from its older brother, the Blueant V1, and crams it into a slimmer and much more attractive design. The end result is a stylish headset with some handy controls quite literally available at the sound of your voice.

Voice Quality

Blueant Q1 Voice Controlled Bluetooth Headset The Blueant Q1 offers two voice isolation modes: regular and max. As an audio snob, I like the option to completely turn off such voice isolation modes when they’re not needed (e.g. at home) and have the headset deliver my voice straight to the phone. I can’t do that with the Q1. Maximum voice isolation is works well and reduces outside noise to a murmur, but as with many voice-isolating headsets, it also cuts some of the depth out of your own voice and leaves you sounding somewhat digitized. The regular voice isolation mode isn’t so bad that it is noticeable, but you can tell.

The incoming call quality is fairly good, with a decent balance between highs and lows, though there was often light static during calls, but nothing too distracting. During my initial testing I experience abysmal battery life when paired with the Pre, though it turns out that the webOS 1.2 update has fixed the problem and the Q1 should now get close to its claimed 100 hours of standby time usage. Before the update the battery drained in four hours with no calls, which as you can imagine is not a good thing.

Controls

The shining point of the Q1 is the controls. While the headset features the standard call/power button and volume rocker, it also sports an impressive suite of voice control features. To access the voice controls, all you need to do is tap the call button and the miniature man inside the headset will instruct you to “Say a command.” You tell the phone to redial the last number or check battery (which returns both headset and phone ratings) or answer call or any of a few dozen other commands and it does just that, often with a confirming repeat from the man in the headset.

The Q1 does feature speed dial controls as well, and the set up guide tells you that you can use your stored speed dial contacts on your phone (e.g. spouse as #2 on the dialpad, #3 as the office, #4 your mother, and your mother-in-law nowhere to be seen) via the Q1, simply by saying “Call speed dial three.” Sadly, this does not work with the Pre. You can store numbers on the Q1 as speed dials, but they must be calls that have been received through the headset (i.e. it has to have been told the number by the phone). There is no way to manually program speed dial contacts onto the headset without first receiving a call from the person you want.

Blueant Q1 Voice Controlled Bluetooth Headset

Comfort

Like the V1 headset, the Q1 features a highly customizable fit, with four different ear inserts available and an option swivel/tilt ear hook. The pre-installed ear gel works fine on its own, holding on to my rather average ears with sufficient grip. But if you’re like me, you like an ear hook just for safety’s sake, and in that case neither of the ear gels will do the job, as the hook tilts the headset up and pulls the gel out of the right position in your ear. Without that in-the-ear grasp, the headset is left to swing wildly from the ear hook. If you really must use the ear hook, you’ll have to do so with the foam ear pads, which squish like foam earplugs and provide much better grip inside the ear canal. That is, of course, assuming that you can get them onto the speaker stem.

Blueant Q1 Voice Controlled Bluetooth Headset

Style

My biggest beef with the Blueant V1 was with the styling, and the folks at Blueant have fixed that issue admirably with the sleek lines of the Q1. The outside features a nicely curving metal-finish case (though it actually is plastic) with a large round Blueant-emblazoned control button at the rear. Personally, I find the ant logo to be a touch on the tacky side, but it’s nowhere near as distractingly bright or obvious as on the V1. For all the voice control hardware packed inside, the Q1 is also quite thin, coming in about a quarter of an inch thick along its entire length. All-in-all, it’s an attractive design.

Blueant Q1 Voice Controlled Bluetooth Headset

In the Box

The Blueant Q1 Voice Controlled Bluetooth Headset ships with the standard complement of manuals and safety cards, a six-inch Micro USB charging cable, an AC-to-USB adapter (which frankly is silly when all you have to pair it with is a six-inch cable), a replacement smaller-size ear gel, ear hook, and two foam ear inserts.

Blueant Q1 Voice Controlled Bluetooth Headset

Conclusion

With decent battery life, an attractive design, and good voice control options, the Blueant Q1 Voice Controlled Bluetooth Headset is a great entry into the top tier of headsets. Couple that with good outgoing and incoming sound quality and you’ve got a best-in-class contender that will put the likes of Plantronics and Jawbone on notice.

The Blueant Q1 Voice Controlled Bluetooth Headset is available in the PreCentral Store for $99.95, a savings of 23% off the list price of $129.95.

Pros

Good voice quality

Cons

Speed dial integration doesn