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What Is a Bluetooth® Headset?

A Bluetooth® headset.
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  • Written By: Cathy Rogers
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 09 September 2014
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A Bluetooth® headset allows a wireless connection between a headset and a Bluetooth®-enabled cell phone. For those who are not completely up with the advancements of technology, Bluetooth® is a rather low-cost means for different devices to communicate with each other via a secure, short-range radio frequency. With this technology, up to seven connections can be made at one time, including cell phones, headsets, cameras, global positioning system (GPS) devices, printers, keyboards, handheld computers, and even Bluetooth®-capable cars.

In the case of cars, a headset allows the driver to use a cell phone through the car’s audio system and an onboard navigation screen. For two devices to work together, a simple connection is established. Bluetooth® technology has a range of 30 feet (10 m). Compared to wireless fidelity, or Wi-Fi™, Bluetooth® uses the same frequency range but does not reach near the distances. Wi-Fi™ also requires costlier hardware.

A Bluetooth® headset is small and lightweight, with some models weighing less than 1 ounce (28 g). It can provide up to five hours of talk time and as many as 100 hours of standby time. The headset allows the wearer to use a cell phone without wires, even if it is in a bag, pocket, piece of luggage, or nearby room.

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As newer versions of Bluetooth® are released, it is important to for headset owners to make sure that their Bluetooth® devices are compatible. The newer versions resolved issues from previous versions, such as identity snooping and tracking, by adding an anonymity mode. Adaptive frequency hopping is a benefit when it comes to crowded frequencies.

When choosing a Bluetooth® headset, consumers should keep several factors in mind. Ergonomics are important, so a shopper should find out whether the headset is easy to put on and remove and whether it is comfortable. Also, consumers will want to make sure that the volume and other controls are easy to use. They should find out whether the battery is replaceable, how many devices the headset can connect with, and its typical range. The device should also come with a clear, well-written, helpful manual.

Along with the term Bluetooth®, which derives from the name of a 10th century Danish king who unified Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, some other catchy buzzwords developed. Bluebugging defines eavesdropping and bluesnarfing occurs when a hacker accesses a phone’s information, such as the contacts stored in the phone. Bluejacking, a play on the word hijacking, involves a teasing or otherwise enticing message sent as a text message. For added security, Bluetooth® devices can be secured with a code or placed in hidden mode when not in use.

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Discuss this Article

bagley79
Post 6

Whenever you see someone walking around the store or driving in their car talking without holding a phone, you assume they are using a Bluetooth headset. Even though I see this quite often, it still strikes me as funny seeing people just walking along when it looks like they are talking to themselves.

I have really never had a reason to use a headset like this and am also concerned about the possible radiation. I don't know if there have ever been any conclusive studies on whether the constant use of cell phones has negative effects on our health in the long run.

If there are negative health consequences, adding a wireless headset would only seem to make it worse in my opinion. As long as I am not required to use something like this I don't intend on buying one. If I have to make a phone call when I am driving I pull over or wait until I am at my destination before pulling out my phone.

golf07
Post 5

@SarahSon-- I tried using a Bluetooth headset for awhile but gave up on it. Not only did I not like having something next to my ear like that, but I couldn't seem to hear very well when I was using it.

I don't know if I had a bad connection because I had a cheap headset, but there always seemed to be too much background noise. I thought this would be really convenient at first, but now the headset sits in my drawer and never gets used.

SarahSon
Post 4

I have seen several office personnel use Bluetooth headsets while they are working at their desk. If they are on the phone a lot during the day, this frees their hands to work and do other things while they are using the phone. I have never used a headset like this and wonder how long it takes to get used to something like this attached to your ear?

julies
Post 3

My husband drives a commercial vehicle and has to use a Bluetooth headset if he wants to talk on his cell phone while driving. Our state recently passed a law saying you could not manually talk on your cell phone while you are driving any commercial vehicle.

I think this is a good safety precaution and wouldn't be surprised if many more states begin passing something like this. I am sure not everyone follows this rule, but the fine is pretty high if you get caught. I think some states may also pass something like this if you are driving any kind of vehicle.

Right now you are fined if you are caught sending a text while you are driving, but we can still talk on our cell phones without being fined. Using a Bluetooth headset makes driving and talking on your cell phone so much safer for everyone.

bobrmr
Post 2

I have the same concern as jankutts. The real question is does the headset only transmit RF energy when I'm actually making a call? or is it continuously communicating with the cell phone in between calls. If it's the latter, then even though it's low power, I'm getting a continuous dose of radiation as long as I'm wearing the headset (all day).

jankutts
Post 1

The article above was interesting n i myself am using a bluetooth headset with my mobile!

I just wanna know whether it is safe to wear the blue tooth device on one's ears all day long, coz the bluetooth radiations might affect our health right? like how they say aboue the radiations transmitted while talkin on the mobile phone!

Kindly pass ur comments ASAP!

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