The Jabra BT8040 is one divine Bluetooth headset! At a nicely priced mid-range cost of $49.99 this light weight headset comes equipped with a list of features that provide plenty of "gadgetry" and as I found out, even a few pleasant surprises.
At just under 10 grams (0.35 oz) in weight this headset measures all of 3/4 of an inch in length and less than 1/2" in width. It comes with a CD for setting it up on the computer although I had to download the program from the internet thanks to my - er- laptop's problem child namely the dvd which refused to work. A USB cable for charging the headset and 6 soft gel ear pieces, 2 small, 2 medium and 2 large. The headset has no hard plastic ear wrap piece like my other headsets have and which I find hard to get use to, as the gel ear piece is designed to sit snugly in the ear. I was very pleased to discover that although the smallest ear piece was still a little bigger than I'd like, it does indeed fit into the ear well and stay were it's placed sitting comfortably and without any problems. The gel pieces appear to be relatively sturdy although I'd not want to tug on the earpiece too enthusiastically for fear of pulling off the little "helper hook" attached to it that aids in slipping it over the actual receiver piece on the headset.
Now, the features - of which there are a few. The headset has a power supply indicator that glows Green for full, Yellow for partially full and Red for low power (with about 10 minutes talk time available at that level before recharging is necessary). It also has a Pairing indicator that glows blue when ready to be discovered and purple when the software that comes with it is to be installed. The software is one simple click and Jabra then completes the installation unaided. Connecting it with my cell phone was a simple process and it operated without any problems. It offers Digital Signal Processing which seems to provide literally flawless communication power.
I've set my phone to auto-answer and after 2 rings the headset automatically announces the connection by emanating a little "chirp" that isn't irritating as far as I'm concerned. It then indicates another "chirp" to announce the call has ended. Powering on is announced with an equally non-irritating tone that ends in a high note and powering off is similar ending in a low note. I have my phone set up with what it calls a "magic" word - a word I've chosen to say when I want to answer the call immediately - and the headset works flawlessly under both conditions. I can also answer the call just by pressing the on/off button which is easily located by touch alone on the headset and works effortlessly with a very gentle depression of the button. The headset works well for my voice dial feature as well making the combination truly hands free.
The one feature I wasn't certain it had as the salesperson who recommended this headset didn't believe that it had the capability - and that is the ability to be used as a headset for listening to music from my cell which is equipped with an MP3 player and a walkman. I actually discovered this feature by accident the other night when my cell - which I've not yet fully mastered all the features of - decided to serenade me with some music my daughter had uploaded to it. I had no idea what I'd hit to turn it on which meant I couldn't turn it off! As I was trying to figure this out with music blaring in my ear a call came through - the music muted and the call was answered. When the call was released the music resumed. I was very pleased with this feature as according to the salesperson this particular "cool must have" was only available in high end units - bonus!
The headset also has auto volume adjust capability otherwise known as "intelligent volume" - it intuitively decreases or increases the volume based on the person speaking - if you are a "shouter" as my husband can be - especially if he's on a long distance call, the headset accounts for this and lowers the volume so that the person on the other end hears a well modulated and nicely volume regulated voice - if the person is a whisperer again Jabra accounts for this and increases the volume just enough to make certain your voice will reach the person on the other end clearly. If you are in a noisy environment or things such as Emergency vehicle sirens are blaring around you or there is a crowd of people - the Jabra accounts for this as well and filters out these noises to the point where your conversation is still crystal clear and the person on the other end will only hear your voice and little else.
The range of this headset is rated at 33 feet from the cell or other bluetooth device - however I was over 40 feet away from the cell and two rooms away with just as many walls between my cell phone and myself and I received a call without any problem - the caller indicated that I sounded as though I was speaking to them from the same room they were in - the reception was exceptional.
For the money I spent on this headset I can't possibly say enough great things about it - I charged it two evenings ago and have used it quite a bit since and today it is still at about 98% charged - it claims 6 hours talk time with 200 hours standby - impressive. It further works as a headset for the computer so will work well for Skype calls or as a mic and can be paired with things like PDA's and other bluetooth devices - it's capable of connecting with up to 8 devices which it then works 2 at a time - intelligently working between them as necessary. I'm very pleased with this headset, it is by far the best one I've owned to-date and I've yet to find any reason to fault it. It's a solid, well built unit that is definitely worth every cent. In my opinion Jabra develops exceptional products that don't break the bank but definitely exceed in functionality. Highly recommended!
Update On Jul 07, 2009: Jul 7/09: After sitting for at least 3 months untouched and having only charged this headset once when I initially got it, all I can say is "wow, impressive!" I turned on the earpiece yesterday fully expecting it to need recharging - the charge indicator is still Green, indicating there is still plenty of charge available and it works flawlessly!! Jabra you are amazing - other headsets I have can't even come close to you! This unit does not seem to lose any charge while sitting turned off for weeks, or months in my case unlike the other headsets I have. Truly a great buy in my opinion!