Review: Jabra BT2020 Bluetooth Headset | webOS Nation
 
 

Review: Jabra BT2020 Bluetooth Headset 12

by Derek Kessler Tue, 22 Sep 2009 11:02 am EDT

Jabra BT2020 Bluetooth Headset

Despite a strange design, the Jabra BT2020 bluetooth headset has a battery that will last and last.

While Jabra attempts to describe the BT2020 headset as being discrete, it frankly is anything but. While it may not show nearly as much as a traditional headset, the design is so thoroughly different that it actually draws your attention. That said, the oddness does have its benefits: the BT2020 has both excellent battery life (thanks to the large behind-the-ear design) and a relatively inexpensive price. If you’re willing to deal with the weirdness of it all, you’ll get a decent bluetooth headset for less than two Jacksons.

Voice Quality

There’s one area that’s incredibly important for every bluetooth headset, and that’s how good it sounds for both ends of the conversation. It doesn’t matter if it’s a $20 headset or a $200 one, if it sounds like crap, it’s worth nothing. Thankfully, despite the low price tag, the Jabra BT2020 provides decent sound quality. The speaker isn’t fantastic and doesn’t get loud enough to overpower more intense environments like a city street, but it gets the job done. The microphone is a different story, callers reported that my voice came through clean and clear, on par with or exceeding the quality of the Pre’s own microphone. Most couldn’t even tell I was on a headset, which is a testament to the Jabra’s microphone. Of course, I had to ask them to repeat their praise because I couldn’t hear them over passing traffic.

The problem with the speaker is its orientation. For whatever reason it faces forward instead of into your ear. This requires that you use the special ear gels included with the headset to direct the sound into your ear. Since they are soft rubbery plastic things, they aren’t all that great at reflecting sound around, and consequently voices will sound muffled with no direct shot from the speaker to your ear canal. It’s a remarkably poor design decision that could have been corrected with an easy 90 degree turn.

Controls

The BT2020 has just two buttons, but thankfully they’re easy to find with your fingers. There’s the power/call button and the volume button. Tapping the volume button raises the volume, while holding it decreases the volume. In between the two is the Mini-USB port flap, which takes some getting used to, as the raised fingernail catch initially feels like it too should be a button.

Comfort

While the BT2020’s comfort level will vary depending on your ear size, the design will be comfortable for most, though after several hours of wear it can become a little weighty. The headset is entirely not adjustable, though the earbud arm does flex some to make it easier to put on. Four squishy ear gels are included to fit large, medium, and small ears. They are directional gels (they cover the speaker entirely and have a single hole for sound emission) and you will need to wear them to get the sound into your ear.

Jabra BT2020 Bluetooth Headset

Style

I won’t lie, this sucker is big. And while style is a subjective valuation, it’s also pretty darned ugly. Like I said earlier, Jabra says the BT2020 is discrete, but its really not. Some headsets have a large behind-the-ear hook that holds the battery and balances the forward part of the headset, but very few have an exclusively behind-the-ear design. That uniqueness will always draw a glance as it is quite simply different than most everything else on the market. That said, it won’t draw attention to itself by incessantly flashing everybody around you with blue light. The BT2020’s single LED light is both small and sufficiently dim to not attract wayward eyes and moths.

Jabra BT2020 Bluetooth Headset

In the Box

Included with the Jabra BT2020 you’ll find a manual and safety information, a Mini-USB charger, and three replacement ear gels. That’s it. The box itself is surprisingly unattractive and does little to make the headset look good. But we don’t buy our headsets because of the box (though it does certainly help with shelf appeal).

Jabra BT2020 Bluetooth Headset

Conclusion

Despite its odd shape and behind-the-ear design, the Jabra BT2020 is a decent headset, especially for the price. Outgoing voices will come through crisp and strong, but if you work in a loud area the speaker may disappoint. It’s not pretty, but it is good enough.

The Jabra BT2020 Bluetooth Headset is available in the PreCentral store for $29.95, a savings of 50% off the $59.95 list price.

Pros

Excellent outgoing voice quality

Cons

Frankly, it