Some things are better heard than seen, including Bluetooth headsets. The problem is that headsets with those silly-looking low-hanging booms tend to sound better than the new, sleeker models. We tested three of the latest less obtrusive designs to see how they perform. Here are the results.
|CALLPOD DRAGON V2||JABRA STONE||MAVERICK NICA|
|Style and comfort||COST: $99.95
The new Dragon is about 2.5 inches in diameter and fits snugly with an in-ear bud and over-ear clip.
The least obtrusive of the bunch, the sliver-thin Stone weighs just .25 ounces and barely can be felt on the ear.
About the size of a silver dollar, the .5 ounce Nica lacks an earbud but stays in place with an over-the-ear hook.
|Call quality||Call volume is so-so compared with that of larger headsets, and the line tends to be buzzy. A plus: The Dragon can connect to a phone as far away as 300 feet.||The Stone's call volume is also poor by comparison, but the connection sounds better than the Dragon's, with only a slight background hum.||The Nica has better volume and clarity than the Dragon or the Stone, but people we called from the headset had trouble hearing us.|
|Charge quality and other features||The headset lasts roughly a day on one charge and can connect to two devices at once, so you can use it to talk over Skype on your laptop, for example, and your mobile phone.||The Stone includes a 2-inch chargeable holder that you take on the go for up to eight hours of juice. Another plus: You can use the headset to listen to music and podcasts.||The Nica attaches to its charger with a magnet that holds it firmly in place. On the downside, a charge yields only about four hours of talk time.|