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Dongle Works Great Headset Not So Much

Reviewing: Best Buy Ent. Services Insignia Headset W/Dongle  |  Rating:
lexxia By lexxia on
Badge: Advisor | Level: 20 | Audio & Visual Expertise:

In my quest to become the most Bluetooth powered being on the planet ;) I decided to go for yet another impulse buy the other evening. In reality, my decrepit laptop which is Bluetooth equipped is unable to work as such due to the fact that its wireless capabilities haven't worked since last year so the Bluetooth feature doesn't work either. Of course I didn't think about that little factoid until, while trying to connect my Jabra headset to work as a mic & headset with my computer, a repeated "cannot find Bluetooth device" error drove that little issue home.

I now had to purchase a Bluetooth Adapter if I wanted to use my Jabra headset - well, you know me by now, any excuse for a shopping trip (and a review). I first checked one store which didn't have anything of interest and I quickly moved on to Future Shop. Here I found a sales person who was more than helpful - lesson: if you recall the price of a product don't tell the customer until you've double checked it. This fellow was incredibly integrity oriented - when I asked if they had any Bluetooth adapters available he mentioned they had a headset with a dongle but nothing separately. Did I wish to see it? I already have a great stereo headset but what can I say - Bluetooth dongle or Bluetooth dongle with headset - well we do have two ears, why not two headsets - er - three - ok, so let's pretend I have three heads shall we?

The price he stated for the headset with Bluetooth adapter was $49.99 but when he went to show me the item the price was $59.99 - realizing his mistake he turned and said, "well, I did say $49.99 didn't I - if you want it I'll give it to you for that price." Ok, so the only other thing you don't wave in front of me is a "deal".

With my new found dongle and headset I rushed home and quickly prepared to be Bluetooth overdosed - the adapter installation was my first problem. Not the fault of the product itself but rather of my ... you guessed it... decrepit laptop! What a problem child this is. The DVD didn't want to read the installation CD. No problem, I'd simply transfer the files from the cd to a flash drive via my husband's speedy little machine. Well...no joy there either. For some reason my husband's system disables his USB Ports every so often (honestly I think he does this just so no one will use his machine...shhhh he thinks I don't think that!). So, my next recourse was to locate the drivers on-line. Once I found them the installation proceeded without problem.

The dongle works very well, without any problems at all. It connected my Jabra headset, my cellphone and the headset that came with the dongle in record time and without issues.

The headset which is the NS-BTHDP/NS-BTHDST, is one of these wrap around the back of the head types - not really crazy about those and what makes this particular set difficult is that believe it or not, I think I have a smaller than average head! These little fella's simply don't want to stay put - but that doesn't seem to be a problem due to the fact that I have tried to get even the slightest beep from these headphones and nadda. For whatever reason (my problem child laptop???) this bluetooth headset does not want to work.

I'm certain that it's something I (or you know what) is doing wrong or refusing to allow to do at all - but I don't truly understand how everything else can work just fine, including the headset indicating it's connecting but is continuing to fail at the sound level. I thought perhaps the volume settings were pushed off but after pressing the + button numerous times and trying again, there was still no sound.

I've rated the set based on the dongle more so than the headset itself - many dongles I've priced have fallen in the price range of between $39 and $69 and so to pay $49 and not be able to use the headset - well I'm okay with that. Others wouldn't be I realize, but I will say that if you are looking for a decent bluetooth headset with or without dongle I wouldn't recommend these.

The headset is non-adjustable - the wrap around band is one size only and if you happen to fall in under the prerequisite head size this set will simply fall right off and the ear pieces will work better as neck pieces. Trying to position it so that the earpieces stayed anywhere near my ears was almost impossible. Another issue that this headset will pose is that the volume, on/off and channel selection buttons are a little difficult to depress when on the head which leads me to comment that overall this headset is definitely not the best designed one out there - no, let me rephrase that - it's probably one of the poorest designed headsets I've ever come across.

I'll continue to try and work through the issue and see if I can get the headset to emanate any sound but personally, if I had bought these alone without the bluetooth dongle, they'd be going back to the store. The dongle works as it should and the ability to connect to several different devices is a simple matter of point, select, click - it actually works better than the dongle that came with the Bluetooth mouse I had for a short duration so with that aspect I'm very pleased.

For the price, this is one time I got exactly what I paid for - the price of a dongle = a dongle, and the headset - well they could have kept that. I'll update this review if/when I should get the headset operating but I'm pretty good with gadgets and figuring out what is going wrong and honestly, this headset is just plain not worth the time or the money. The dongle however - a definite keeper.