As far as good eye pleasing design goes, Logitech has been doing its thing for some time, with some great results. Their wireless range has been incredibly popular – perhaps even the first choice in non-standard peripherals – and their emergence into the mobile phone accessory market with the Mobile Cordless Headset follows the trend. The design is eye-catchingly good – smooth lines and a refined finesse. Everything looks right, and feels right. The example we tested was for the Ericsson, but it is also available for the Nokia. The phone we used for the test was the Sony Ericsson T68i.
So what do you get? You get the mobile headset, the wireless dongle receiver/transmitter, and a neat storage case which doubles as the charger when used with the accompanying power supply. Before use, you have the charge the headset, so let’s start with that. The case/charger is well designed, and has that ‘spaceage’ look about it, as you expect from Logitech. It is somewhat ballistic in appearance and is about the size of a decent hotdog in a bun. The headset and receiver sit neatly in it. Whilst this is aesthetically very pleasing, it does mean that if you want to charge your headset on the move, you need the charger and the case – not ideal if you want to travel light. According to the Logitech website FAQ, there is a car adapter, but I couldn’t find it. (A Google search revealed one from a German company for €8.99, but don’t take that as gospel.)
The headset is light (only 30g) and clipping it to your ear is simple and relatively secure – the headset/ear ‘interface’ can adjust in a number of directions, so if you have ears like the BFG, it should still fit. The boom mic can also swivel to the optimum position. Once you have stuck to the side of your face, you have some basic controls – a volume control, and a dubious multi-function button, that turns it on, answers a call, ends a call, and if supported, activates voice dialling. The receiver part clips to the bottom of the phone the same as every other Ericsson accessory – this does mean you can’t attach anything else whist using the headset.
Ok, so lets get to the crux of the matter – talking. Talking is, well, normal. It is almost no different from using the phone, only you look like something out of Star Trek. As far as the caller is concerned, they have no idea you are handsfree – the voice quality is as it would be using the phone itself, which these days, is very good. The mic picks up the voice and has the ubiquitous noise-cancelling technology. All in all, no difference from using a phone, except it isn’t in your hand, which is the point. The phone can be up to 3m away – useful for strolling around the kitchen, or leaping round your office. There is little more to say about actual function – ‘it does what it says on the tin’, and does it with no problems.
It is only fair to take issue with the plug-on receiver, which provides the wireless connection. As we were using the T68i (and a blast on the T28 for good measure) which comes with Bluetooth capability, the dongle is essentially useless, an extra that we want to avoid, but you have to use.
We also found that the dongle could get knocked off easily, as the Sony Ericsson interface is rather soft – I had it in my pocket whilst driving, and once I got out of the car, found it had separated. This isn’t really a reflection of Logitech, but a limitation of the original Ericsson connection design. Anyway, my point is, that having shelled out for Bluetooth on my mobile, I want to use it. The argument for/against Bluetooth is simple – Logitech point out that they can sustain longer standby and talk times (8 hours of talk time rather than 4 on the HBH-30). Bluetooth, of course, has a range of about 10 meters, over the Logitech’s 3 meters, so it swings both ways.
In sum, it’s about functionality and price – the product performs spectacularly and is a great design. But do you want Bluetooth or not? Admittedly, this headset brings mobility to those of us with Bluetooth-less phone.