Jabra BT500v Review

Jabra BT500v Review

November 20, 2006

By: Joshua Yates

3.0 of 5


Bluetooth headsets have blasted the market in the last year as an alternative to walking around literally wired to your phone. With so many choices — many of which are coming from the same company at different price points and with different features — heres the low-down on Jabras BT500v, which was tested using a Treo 700p.

Jabra BT500v review

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How It Works

What you get: Open the package and you will find the headset itself, a user manual, an AC power adapter/charger, a USB cable, and four “MiniGels” — two small and two standard size — for fitting the Jabra in your ear.

Jabra 500v unboxed

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How to charge: The BT500v can be charged with the included AC wall charger/adapter or the included USB cable via a USB port on a computer. The charging receptacle on the headset is proprietary and only a Jabra charger can be used. For this review I charged the BT500v with the AC power adapter/charger as soon as I took it out of the box and charged it overnight to ensure a good charge. The headset has separate Bluetooth and charging LEDs so that there is no confusion as to what is going on with the headset: a red LED indicates a charging process and a green LED indicates a fully charged headset.

Jabra BT500v Bluetooth Headset

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Pairing: Pairing for the BT500v is probably the easiest I have seen compared to other Bluetooth headsets. The headset has a dedicated pairing button, located just below the volume control buttons, which allows immediate paring of the device with your Bluetooth enabled phone. In order to pair the device with your phone, set the phone to discover new Bluetooth devices and press the pairing button on the BT500v. Once the phone recognizes the headset, enter the PIN and all is ready to go.

Jabra Bluetooth Headset upclose

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Usage: One you decide which gel to use, the Jabra BT500v works like other Bluetooth earpieces: insert it into your ear and youre done. The answer/end button is located just under the mic on the front of the headset, and volume levels are adjusted on the back of the headset behind the ear with clear volume up and volume down buttons. In order to answer or end a call, tap the answer/end button. In order to call the last number dialed or to reject a call, simply press the answer/end button. Both features worked flawlessly.

Jabra Ear Gels

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Freaky features: A feature that might freak some out and others will love is the vibrate ring. I like that I not only get an audible tone in the speaker of the headset on an incoming call, but my ear vibrates as well! For some, this might be too much of a jolt, but for me, it works great. The vibrate function can be turned off and on by holding down the volume buttons as described in the user manual.

Sound quality: As long as I had clear line of sight to the Treo, the BT500v had no problems up to about 12 feet. However, I carry my Treo on my right hip with the Treo Leather Side Case from Palm and I had some cracking issues while standing up (the distance from my hip to my ear is about 3 feet). I had no problems while sitting at my desk or in my car. The cracking problem ranged from a minor annoyance to the headset losing connection and dropping the call. The latter has only happened a few times and overall, in my everyday use, its a great headset with good sound quality.

Daily use: While the BT500v pairs with the Treo very easily, everyday use can be a bit tricky. Heres why: I had no problem with the headset while I was close to the headset, but if I ever left the room or lost connection with the Treo, I could not re-connect without resetting both the Treo and the headset. However, this seems to be an issue with the Treo and not necessarily the BT500v as this is an issue with other headsets as well. Also, I found that the call was routed directly to the headset and sometimes the headset would ring/vibrate before the Treo would ring. I had no problems with call routing unless there had been a disconnect as already described.

Jabra Connector

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I have come to believe that most problems with Bluetooth headsets are caused by the Treos Bluetooth capabilities or the lack thereof. Since the Treo has some Bluetooth limitations, only some of the BT500vs features work with the Treo. But I have to say that I love the design of this headset. The fit around the back of the ear and the inner ear speaker does wonders, and sound level is not an issue at all. The BT500v gives me the design I want and not a huge loss of functionality. Overall, I found it to be a great headset.

How To Get It

The Jabra BT500v retails for $84.95 and can be purchased at the Everything Treo Store.

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