Bluetooth Headsets

It could be argued that music is an international language for human expression; happiness, love, anger, joy, envy, fear – it can all be expressed through the wonderful world of music. The Windows Phone that you carry around in your pocket is the gateway to that music, whether you use Xbox Music, Spotify, Rdio, or Beats Music.

Today, we are going to look at a pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones by SOL REPUBLIC, whose controls actually play well with the Windows Phone OS.

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If you are in the market for Bluetooth stereo headphones for your Windows Phone, you may want to take a gander at the Mpow Bluetooth 4.0 Foldable Headphones.

The foldable headphones are well built, have strong audio quality and priced in the neighborhood of $35 are very budget friendly. We recently took the Mpow headphones out for a test drive and found them to be solid performers when paired with a Windows Phone, PC or tablet.

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As Chief Media Officer of Mobile Nations, I'll admit, I was a little worried for Dan to take to the #CESlive stage on Wednesday. Dan has a lot of passion for Windows Phone, but sometimes when you ask Dan to do to things that he's less passionate about or he doesn't feeling like doing, well, sometimes you get grumpy Dan.

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Nokia's Bluetooth headphone setup, currently codenamed 'Guru,' looks like it might be released under the official name BH-121, according to FCC documents showing a device similar to a previously leaked rendering. Additionally, at least one retailer in the Czech Republic is already listing the BH-121 on their sites with an availability date of December 16 and a retail price of 1050 CZK (about $54.00).

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If you're looking for a neat Bluetooth headset for your Windows Phone, the Nokia Luna Headset should be on your short list. Especially seeing that the Microsoft Store is offering the Luna for $19.99 (regularly $59.99).

The Luna features a unique cradle that doubles as a charging base and portable charger. When docked, the Luna's maximum standby time jumps from 35 hours to 60 days. Additionally, the Luna has NFC support to let you tap to pair the headset with your Windows Phone. Granted your Windows Phone needs to have NFC as well.

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We’ve been itching to get a pair of the Nokia Purity Pro wireless headphones for some time now. The over-the-ear design plus active noise cancelling feature always sounded awesome, but the $349 price tag gave us pause.

Luckily, right now on Amazon.com, you can pick up the Purity Pros in either black or white for over $100 off (unfortunately red and yellow are still at the high price). Specifically the black model is discounted to $249 and the white model is a cheaper $223 ($125 savings). That’s not a bad deal or at least, it’s a significant drop from the full retail price.

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If you follow all things Windows Phone you’re no doubt aware that when it comes to premium accessories, it’s fairly slim pickings out there. Like all things for our beloved ecosystem though, one OEM is taking things seriously enough to push manufacturers for accessories designed to work perfectly with Windows Phone; Nokia. Through partnerships with JBL, Monster and Fatboy, the Finnish giant’s sponsored accessories are squarely aimed its own Lumia line of course, but as they’re designed to work best with Windows Phone you’ll still get a great experience from your HTC 8 series or Samsung Ativ phones.

All of which brings us nicely to today’s review, the Monster/Nokia Purity Pro headset. This isn’t Monster and Nokia’s first dance together, the ‘Purity’ brand has already been applied to another set of over-the-ear cups and also to a set of ear buds, and yet those forays into the brightly coloured accessory world have been met with some mixed reviews, and in my personal opinion the wired Purity HD earphones leave a lot to be desired. We initially went ‘ears on’ (last time I use that phrase I promise) with the headset at the Mobile World Congress this year, and came away impressed, but a little bewildered by the initial cost of entry. Now we’re lucky enough to say we own a pair and have spent a week using them out and about to gauge just whether or not you can justify the relatively high price point.

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Finally! a quality sounding Nokia Monster headset! - My exact thoughts as I listened to a track straight from my own Lumia 920 paired to Nokia's Monster branded headset only a few moments before.

Here are MWC Nokia have announced a slew of accessories, mostly focussing arround the wireless charging being offered with the new Lumia 720 and 520. However there are also a few of the older accessories on show for us to try out, and despite the purity pro headset winning an award at CES, we haven't yet put the cups over our ears - that changed today.

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The Nokia Purity Pro headphones have been honoured at CES with a prestigious innovations award. The wireless headphones support both NFC and Bluetooth, which makes the accessory perfect for use with Windows Phone hardware. With Monster on-board, Nokia has been able to produce something special for those who enjoy music while on the go and now efforts have been recognised at this year's electronics event.

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The LG HBS-700 Bluetooth Headset is an impressive, yet odd looking, headset option for your Windows Phone. While the design catches your attention, the headset's performance makes a very good first impression that lasts.

The HBS-700 is comfortable to wear, has really nice sound quality, is water resistant, and has multipoint capability. While we had reservations on the LG HBS-700, it turns out to be an exceptional wireless headset for your Windows Phone and any other Bluetooth device you may have.

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You have to give Nokia credit—not only do they appear to be getting to release some innovative and boundary pushing phones, they’re creating a great ecosystem to go with it.

Such is the case with the super-expensive Purity Pro Wireless headphones made in conjunction with Monster (the company behind Beats). The headset features NFC pairing, Bluetooth streaming, 24-hour battery life for calls and music and is made from polycarbonate plastic (like the Lumia) for sturdiness.

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The new wireless Purity Pro headset

Along with the new PlayUp mobile speaker from JBL-Nokia, it looks like those Purity headphones (over the ear) from Monster will also be getting a slight makeover.

The new version, which should be available later this year are not cheap: €299 or about $376. Last we checked, that’s a lot of money for some headphones.

The good news is you’re getting some neat technology this time around as Nokia has made these wireless with NFC pairing and Bluetooth streaming (you can also pair via BT).

The headphones come in four colors including black, red, yellow and white. Sadly, no cyan just yet but that yellow color seem to be the big new color for the Lumia line this year.

Source: Nokia Conversations

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Jabra Drive - Review

For those who have never gotten used to the Bluetooth headsets and still need a hands-free solution for their Windows Phone, enter the Bluetooth Speakerphone. Jabra makes a nice assortment of speakerphones and today we turn our sights on to the Jabra Drive.

The Jabra Drive is a basic Bluetooth speakerphone that is solidly built, has just enough features to make it appealing and decent call quality. Moderately priced at $49.95, the Drive might be a good choice for those looking for a hands-free solution that doesn't have too many bells and whistles. To see how well the Drive performed, follow the break.

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Plantronics latest addition to the Bluetooth speakerphone market is the K100. The K100 is a slim, low profile speaker that slides on to your car's sun visor to allow hands free operation of your Windows Phone.

Not everyone is comfortable with a Bluetooth headset and the K100 gives drivers a hands-free alternative. Additionally, the K100 provides an FM transmitter that allows you to stream audio files from your Windows Phone through your car stereo.

To see if the K100 is worth the investment, make the jump past the break.

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Traditionally noise cancellation and price have been the difference makers when shopping for a Bluetooth headset. High-end headsets like the Plantronics Voyager Pro and various Jawbone headsets have set the bar for business users requiring great sound quality. The average consumer tends to be more comfortable purchasing one of the myriad of headsets in the $30-$50 price range, sacrificing sound quality for value.

Product design in Bluetooth headsets is becoming one of the ways that manufacturers differentiate their products from competitors. Motorola added functionality and usability to the Oasis headset by focusing on the product design, while Jabra added both functionality and style in their Stone headset. With the second version of the Stone Jabra continues to improve on their design, as well as cleaning up some minor flaws with the original model.

For the full review of the Jabra Stone 2, keep reading.

Pros: 
Good sound quality, comfortable, sleek design
Cons: 
Expensive
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Bluetooth headphones come in a variety of shapes and sizes. I’ve had the opportunity to review several different models in the past, and they all have different strengths. My Samsung SBH600 headphones are perfect for listening to music or watching a movie for a long period of time while the Motorola S305’s are my personal favorite in terms of comfort and portability. When it comes to using Bluetooth headphones for exercising, Motorola’s S10-HD sets the bar.

Pros: 
Sweatproof, perfect for use while exercising
Cons: 
Not the most comfortable or best sounding headphones.
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Noise cancellation in Bluetooth headsets is something that manufacturers have thrown all kinds of technology and techniques at, with mixed results. For high end headsets like the Jawbone Icon or the Plantronics Voyager Pro, noise cancellation is a top priority.

Motorola is one of those electronics companies that seem to have their fingers in every aspect of the industry. I’ve reviewed several of Motorola’s Bluetooth offerings in the past, and have met with generally favorable results. The Motorola Finiti is the follow-on to the HX1 Endeavor, which uses bone conduction technology to achieve the highest possible sound quality.

The full review follows the break.

Pros: 
Superb noise cancellation, Bluetooth audio
Cons: 
Not particularly comfortable
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Jabra Cruiser 2 - Review

Jabra has been producing quality Bluetooth accessories for years ranging from wired to Bluetooth headphones and speakerphones.  The latest Windows Phone accessory from Jabra is the Cruiser 2.

The Cruiser 2 is a Bluetooth in-car speakerphone that is billed as having "superior sound for hands-free calls in the car". Jabra incorporates their Noise Blackout technology, along with dual microphones, to offer clear, understandable calls.

We liked the original Jabra Cruiser and to see if the Cruiser 2 lives up to the Jabra standard, follow the break.

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