“Blue in the Tooth” or “Do I Look Like a Trekkie Now?”

I have had headsets for my cell phone in the past – wired ones back in the day, and a couple of different bluetooth options in the recent past. None of them were very comfortable, and without exception, the person calling me heard an echo of their voice when they talked to me.  So I have never used one for more than a couple of days.  I have tried a variety of brands and models, including the super-expensive used-by-the-FBI “Jawbone” ($129).  The Jawbone may well be an awesome headset – it just does not fit my face at all – and for it to work properly, it MUST rest against your cheek. It didn’t. I gave it to YS. He doesn’t use it either. While his facial shape is very similar to mine, his ears are like his dad’s – big. I figured it would fit his ear better, and as a result possibly sit on his face properly. I don’t know if he even tried it.

The biggest problem I have is that I have smallish ears, and small ear holes.  For example, I cannot wear iPod earbuds. They hurt like the dickens!  I had to order the $79 iPod in-ear earbuds that come with 3 different sized “mushroom” tips.  I use the smallest tip.  Most bluetooth headsets don’t fit into my ears comfortably.  Additionally, they tend to push against the cartilage in my ears, so that after a few hours, they are downright painful.  I’ve tried Motorola headsets, the Jawbone, Jabra headsets, and others.  When I had my old LG VX8300 phone, I had the wired headset with earbuds very similar to iPod earbuds. They were actually okay. I used them several times. They didn’t echo, and I could listen to music on my phone’s MP3 player and easily take a call at the same time.  But I got a new phone, and really did want a bluetooth headset.  So, when I’d see someone with one, I’d ask them how they liked it, how the reception was, if there was an echo, and about the comfort.

Finally, I had narrowed down my options.  I consistently heard good things about the Plantronics headsets.  My brother has an older model that always sounded good, and through which I never heard my voice echo.  When I asked him about comfort, he said it was so comfortable, he often forgot he was wearing it, and had even gone into the shower with it on.  He had sort of jury rigged the earpiece, though – something I wasn’t willing to do.  Then, a copier tech guy came into work to setup our new copier wearing a headset.  I asked what brand it was.  It was a Plantronics, and just a slightly newer version of the one my brother had.  So, I decided to get one and give it a try.

I went to Best Buy and got a Plantronics 360 – the model the copier guy had.  It is lightweight, has great sound, and not one person has complained about hearing an echo, the sound quality, or anything.  In fact, most people are surprised to learn I am using a headset.  The first couple of days, after several hours, my ear was kind of sore, but I’ve now gotten used to it, and it is actually very comfortable. The earpiece part doesn’t really sit in your ear like earbuds do, so my small ear holes are not a problem.  And now that I have a headset, I don’t know how I’ve managed without one all this time. I place all my calls now using voice commands – I just say, “Call The Spouse Mobile” and it dials him.  I can put on my makeup, make dinner, type with both hands, and so on… all while talking on the phone.  It is SO much safer and more productive. And yes, it is very comfortable! The best part of all?  I now look like a REAL techie – or rather, Trekkie.  Compare for yourself:

Star Trek earpiece
Star Trek earpiece
Plantronics 360
Plantronics 360

Have I mentioned how much I love technology?

Star Trek earpiece