07-09-2008, 02:38 AM
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| | VXI Blueparrot B250 headset review!
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Yup, most people have never heard of them because their products aren't marketed to consumers. See v x i corp.com for more about the company and product line.
Anyway, I just wanted to pass along my thoughts on using their newest Roadwarrior model, the B250 with my Verizon 8330:
On the suggestion of a truck driver friend I ordered one from VXI. It's big and ugly but it freakin' WORKS man, it's the best sounding headset (bluetooth OR wired) I've ever used before by far, and I've tried most of the best, including the Plantronics 925, BlueAnt and Jawbone 1 (haven't tried the JB2), which are all known for working well in noisy places.
The first thing that surprised me is that both the incoming and outgoing audio quality are BETTER than my 8330's handset, which is amazing enough (well not really, Blackberry's have never been known for great audio).
The best part is the noise canceling microphone and high quality, very loud speaker. Nothing harsh or tinny about it, incoming callers sound warm and clear and my voice sounds better to callers than the mic in the 8830.
I was an audio engineer for 20 years and still have friends in the industry. I called one earlier today from my quiet home office for a baseline and he said I sounded better than just using the phone. Cool. Then I called him back later and said "how do I sound now?" He said I sounded exactly the same.
Interesting, because I was jamming down a Los Angeles freeway at 70MPH in my small car with it's loud motor, A/C at full speed, radio on just a bit, and both windows down, and traffic all around me! He couldn't even tell I was in a car! How awesome is that??
Called another engineer friend and he said the same thing. Right as I was talking to him a Harley with an open exhaust ripped past me in the next lane. He couldn't even hear it and he's got an ear for everything (he mixes sound effects for major motion pictures).
Then I did another test: a carpenter was here at my house fitting a door to the frame with a skill saw. While he was cutting I was leaving a message on my answering machine - from 20 feet away the saw was inaudible, and just barely so from 5 feet away. I was talking very quietly specifically to check the signal to noise ratio. Simply amazing.
Point being, there is NO better bluetooth headset for noisy environments than this one! Not even close. It's SO nice to finally be able to talk in a normal quiet voice even in a very noisy environment and be heard without problems. Oh, and the range is great, about twice what I got from other BT earpieces.
The only practical downside is that when you turn off the headset then turn it back on, you have to tell the phone to connect to it. My 8330 just finds other headsets except this one. Minor inconvenience though. Other functions work as expected though, one touch voice activation, answer and end calls, and volume up/down are pretty conventional (did I mention that at full volume it's loud enough to be painful?). Oh, and it's an over the head headset so if you have long, styled hair it'll mess it up. But if you're the kind of person who really needs the performance it offers, that's not likely to be a problem.
In terms of everyday use - if you want something glued to your ear all day while being in public places, well this definitely isn't for you. If you wanna be "that guy" get something else. I have a couple friends who are "that guy" and 90% of the time I ask them to shut it off and call be back on the phone because I can't hear them for donkey dung among all the background noise and horrid sound quality. That includes a friend with a Jawbone, which indeed cancels noise well, but also makes him sound like he's calling me from the moon in 1967 when all the electronic noise cancellation kicks in. The B250 uses ages old but well refined analog cancellation: a directional microphone with a foam windscreen; no magic there, they just implement it very well.
Other than that - pure awesomeness, if you don't mind looking like you're launching the Space Shuttle while driving (or mowing your lawn or cutting lumber while trying to use your cell phone), there just isn't anything better. It's very comfortable to wear for extended periods, has excellent battery life if you follow the instructions, has tremendous range, and is built to last.
If you need or want the ultimate BT headset to use in noisy environments there just isn't anything better on the market for any price. If you need to hear and, most importantly, BE heard, the B250 is simply the best.