Now that wireless headphones with integrated microphones compete for your valuable ear real estate, Bluetooth headsets are not quite as ubiquitous as they once were.
However, there are still plenty of reasons for why you might want a dedicated Bluetooth headset.
For one, these devices are ultra portable, and offer great battery life for day-long use. A Bluetooth headset can also help you take calls while multitasking. You can even use them to answer calls on multiple phones.
Another use for Bluetooth headsets is easy GPS directions, making them a great (and legal) car companion.
You can even use them to listen to music as long as the track doesn’t have strong stereo separation.
You can find a number of great headset options out there, but which one best suits your needs depends on factors like size, battery life, call quality, and price.
Read on below to check out our ten favorite Bluetooth headsets.
1. Best Overall: Plantronics Voyager Legend
As its name suggests, the Voyager Legend from Plantronics is one of the most recognized Bluetooth headsets available. It is compact and long-lasting.
The Voyager Legend is one of the easiest headsets to use. Once your headset has been initially paired with your phone, it will automate a number of functions for you.
Its smart sensor allows it to automatically answer calls when you take the headset out of your pocket. It will also redirect audio back to your phone if you set it down.
The Voyager also has voice recognition technology, which allows you to make simple voice commands while wearing it.
This is limited to “answer” or “ignore.”
Phone calls sound excellent through the earpiece. Outgoing audio is crystal clear thanks to noise cancelling powered by three separate mics.
The Voyager’s battery lasts for for seven hours of talk time, plus you can also buy a magnetic battery case that holds enough charge for an additional fourteen hours of use.
Note that the charging connector is a proprietary system, so be sure not to lose the cable.
Overall, the Voyager Legend is a headset that can go with you anywhere, making it one the best hands-free choices for a businessperson on the go.
Price: $67.95 (32 percent off MSRP)
- Voice recognition
- Powerful noise cancelling
- 7 hours of talk time
- Proprietary charging cable
- Charging case/stand sold separately
- Notification voice can be overly chatty
2. Best Audio Quality: Sennheiser Presence Bluetooth Headset
For those who cringe at the thought of digitally undersampled audio, the Sennheiser Presence will stand out among the competition. This headset is one of the best sounding headsets available, offering HD sound for you and your caller.
The features that really set this headset apart are its advanced multi-mic noise reduction, and its automatic protection from sudden volume surges.
The latter feature comes in handy, often, as the volume on the Presence is quite impressive.
For all of these fantastic audio features, the Sennheiser Presence is quite a bit larger than other headsets. Yet it is still plenty comfortable to wear.
And its larger internal battery is rated for over ten hours of talk time. As with all wireless headsets, this promises an absurd amount of standby time.
The controls are easy to learn, and you will have no trouble operating the Presence.
The device is powered on and off by simply sliding the boom to the appropriate position. The headset also recognizes several voice commands.
Since you might keep a Bluetooth headset in your ear all day, it is definitely reasonable to opt for the best sounding quality.
Just don’t forget that phone calls can realistically only sound as good as the microphone on the other end.
But if you have the extra cash and spend a lot of time on the phone, the Sennheiser Presence will take your calls to the next level.
- Noise reduction and hearing protection
- 10 hours of talk time
- Versatile and comfortable fit
- High price tag
- Somewhat bulky design
- Does not announce caller ID
3. Most Portable: Jabra Motion
The Jabra Motion is an ultra-compact headset that offers some unique functions for the power user, and connects to your devices seamlessly with either Bluetooth or NFC.
The Motion has a fold-out boom that makes it easy to store in a pocket when not in use. It also has a motion sensor that not only auto-answers calls when put up to your ear, but also auto-adjusts its volume for your environment.
This headset recognizes a number of voice commands if you prefer to use them. The headset also talks right back, providing battery life information when powered on, and providing caller names when receiving calls.
There are also handy touch commands, making it easy to redial the last number or accept and reject calls. The touch controls for volume can be a bit finicky though.
The behind-ear design can be worn over either ear. You can easily adjust the height of the speaker tower for your best fit.
One downside of this lightweight headset is that the plastic casing doesn’t hold up well to rough use. You won’t want to jam this one into your pocket too hard, or you’ll risk breaking it.
The battery life offers seven hours of talk time, but note that this headset does not ship with the latest firmware.
You will need to plug it into a PC via its included micro-USB cable and update it for maximum battery performance.
Most importantly, this headset’s mic captures crisp and clear audio. The passive noise cancelling does a respectable job, even in a car with the windows down.
The different control interfaces can take some getting used to, but those who value flexibility and audio quality above all else will be highly satisfied with the Jabra Motion.
Price: $98.48 (24 percent off MSRP)
- Motion sensor technology automatically answers calls and adjusts volume
- Provides battery life and caller information without taking phone out
- Crisp, clear call quality with noise cancellation
- Needs a firmware upgrade out of the box
- Volume control hard to use
- Flimsy plastic material
4. Best Battery Life: Havit HV-H961BT
Even if nothing else impresses you about the Havit HV-H961BT, its low price will be the reason it earns your recognition. But aside from being only $15, it is a sturdy and comfortable headset that offers many convenient functions.
The earpiece is small and lightweight, but those with larger ear canals will need the included ear hook to keep it from falling out.
Its wireless Bluetooth 4.1 connection is solid, and enables connection to two devices at once. Connecting devices is simple thanks to the Havit’s simple two button setup.
The answer call button can be used to enter pairing mode for first time connections. Otherwise, it allows you to answer a call (or reject it by long-pressing), plus invoke Siri if you aren’t receiving a call.
Incoming audio sounds nice and clear, although max volume is somewhat low. Outgoing audio is of decent quality as well. Its noise cancelling isn’t incredible, but helps alleviate the fuzziness of windy weather.
The battery provides for an excellent thirteen of call time, and with all of these features considered, it can almost make you feel silly for wanting to spend any more than $10 for a functional Bluetooth headset.
Price: $14.99 (40 percent off MSRP)
- Low price
- Simple yet effective controls
- 13 hours of talk time
- Low earpiece volume
- Does not offer a tight fit
- So-so audio quality
5. Best Headphones: AYL Bluetooth Headphones
I know what you’re thinking. Didn’t I just say that a headset is preferred over a pair of Bluetooth headphones? Well, it is. But headphones are still a viable option if it means buying one less gadget.
Typically, your headphones’ the earpiece quality often takes precedence over its mic quality, but the AYL Bluetooth headphones offer solid audio input and output for a reasonable price.
This headset has ear fittings built to stay in while running, so you will have no trouble keeping them in your Just keep in mind that it is illegal in most state to drive with headphones in, and likewise, can be dangerous to occupy both ears while walking.
On the plus side though, these headphones have an above-average battery life. It offers seven hours of talk time. Also, a pair of headphones is definitely a more versatile tool.
Given the upsides and downsides that using a full headset offers, you will know immediately if a pair of headphones will work for your headset needs. And if it doesn’t, then no problem. We’ve got plenty more awesome headsets to suggest.
Price: $24.99 (69 percent off MSRP)
- Solid noise cancellation
- Great earpiece sound quality
- 7 hours of talk time
- Microphone not as nice as dedicated headsets’
- Covering both ears while driving can be dangerous
6. Most Comfortable: Motorola H720 Headset
The Boom H720 is Motorola’s newest wireless headset, which offers notable improvements in call quality and usability over previous models. This headset comes with two different hooks and two different flat earpieces.
The headset is lightweight, although a kind of ugly. It has a flip-out microphone that turns the device on when unfolded. While fun to use, this extra area of articulation can break with rough use, so should be treated carefully.
You can easily pull it out of your pocket to answer a call, or use the easily accessible call button.
Call quality is acceptable, and its noise reduction is on par to multi-mic cancellation setups on pricier headsets. You can also long press to invoke Siri for voice commands.
The battery offers a decent 8 hours of talk time, and a tri-color LED provides an unobtrusive way to measure charge.
The Bluetooth performance is impressive, allowing you to pair via NFC and switch between different audio devices.
All in all, the Boom offers some great features at a reasonable price, and as long as you don’t mind its foldout design, makes for a great middle of the road option for users.
- Lightweight and comfortable design
- Clear call quality with noise reduction
- NFC pairing and solid Bluetooth connection
- Somewhat bulky form factor
- Flip-out boom is not durable
7. Best Controls: Plantronics Explorer 50
Though Plantronics’ Explorer 50 does not carry the prestige of their Voyager Legend, this lower priced option has a lot of the same quality components for a fraction of the price.
This headset is lightweight and offers an ergonomic fit that works in either ear, even though some users report that the eartip pokes too roughly into their ear.
The Explorer 50 offers an impressive eleven hours of talk time. Calls have crystal clear audio. The only real downside to its sound is that the headset’s max volume is a little too low for busy settings.
Noise cancellation is pretty solid, and you will rarely have issues with wind or background noise bleeding into your microphone
The headset has handy button controls for power, calls, and volume, plus a mute function which has a variety of uses. Unfortunately, they don’t feel distinct, so you will need to get used to their positions.
You will be missing out on some more premium features by going with a budget option, but for its price, the Explorer 50 is an all-star headset that will meet the needs of most.
Price: $22.65 (24 percent off MSRP)
- Solid noise cancelling
- 11 hours of talk time
- Low price
- Low earpiece volume
- Buttons don’t feel distinct
- Some find the design uncomfortable
8. Best Build Quality: Jabra Talk
Jabra’s Talk may be their entry level Bluetooth headset, but this compact and durable device offers a majority of the features that might draw you to their top of the line Jabra Motion headset.
This version gets an equivalent six hours of battery life. Some even consider its on-ear design to be more comfortable than the Motion headset. Both headsets also have noise cancellation for outgoing audio.
Controls are easy to use, with buttons to change volume and answer, end, or reject calls. There are also button chains for activating voice dialing and redialing the last number.
One downside is that the call button placement makes it easy to accidentally click it when you put the headset on.
As can be expected from Jabra, the earpiece quality is excellent. This makes this headset a great candidate for getting Google Maps directions, or even streaming audio on a commute.
Whatever you’re using it for, the Jabra Talk is likely to impress. If your budget is tight, give this sturdy little headset a try.
- Clear audio quality
- Light and durable
- Low Price
- Annoying volume up/down beep
- Limited voice controls
- Awkward call button placement
9. Most Stylish: Jawbone ERA
This headset is a stretch to include, as it is no longer manufactured. However, it is still coveted by advanced call takers all over for a good reason. The Era is considered the pinnacle of Bluetooth headsets.
Its included ear fittings are parallel to none, and this compact headset is one of the lightest you’ll wear. The controls are easy to use and support some voice features as well.
Call quality is great, and on your end, you have the coveted NoiseAssassin technology blocking out background noise as you talk.
One downside is that the headset only offers four hours of call time on its own. Thankfully, many versions you’ll find online still come with their pocket-sized charging case, which can add an additional ten hours of call time to your day.
If you can find a refurbished Jawbone Era in good condition, it should be an instant purchase. But in the case that you can’t, there’s a distinct possibility that we may have witnessed the end of an Era.
Price: $46.99 and up
- Included charging case
- Compact and lightweight
- Excellent noise cancellation
- Discontinued by manufacturer
- Headset battery life could be better
10. Best Cheap: Toorun M26 Bluetooth Headset
If your criteria for a good piece of gear includes the words “simple” and “cheap,” then the Toorun M26 Bluetooth Headset is a great option for you. At about $16, this headset offers some of the best bang for your buck.
This unobtrusive headset has a rather simple ear hook and on-ear speaker design, with easy access to controls.
4.1 Bluetooth connectivity is fairly quick, but can cut out briefly if you are any farther from your phone than you need to be.
Sound quality is fair for the price, but despite this headset advertising noise cancellation, there really isn’t any to be found. The max volume is acceptable.
Earpiece audio is fine for the price, but even at max volume, the sound can be drowned out in a loud setting. On the other hand, outgoing audio sounds fine and has some basic noise cancelling to enhance your voice clarity.
This headset offers about five hours of call time, and a handy LED to track remaining charge. If you find it hard to justify dropping almost $100 on a headset, the Toorun M26 is going to stand out for its no-frills efficiency.
- Low price
- Easy to pair
- Comfortable and snug fit
- Limited Bluetooth range
- Poor noise cancellation
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