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sometimes blue
DrewI am a thirty something married gay boy living in Sydney, almost on top of the gay scene but not in it! Why Sometimes blue?, because I love blue, but also I am sometimes blue :)
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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Review of the BlueAnt X5 Bluetooth Headset

I finally received the package containing my new Bluetooth headset after the mix up with the products on Friday just before we left for our long weekend away.

To Planet Wireless's credit they did send me the correct product in an overnight bag, even if they did send it the day after I asked for the correct product.

I didn't have any time on Friday to play with it so I waited until yesterday afternoon to charge it up and try pairing it with all the devices.

Firstly I decided to try pairing it with my Sony Ericsson K800i, I love this phone and have been successful in connecting it via bluetooth to my Sony Notebook computer all the time.

The process was relatively easy to do after reading the instructions on the X5 and I could pair the device with no problems. I wanted to use my phone for music and calls instead of my iPod, which is fine for when I don't need to answer calls but useless when I am working.

The quality of the sound is a bit variable, but I think some of the quality is distorted by the quality of the recordings themselves.

I could listen to all my music easily which is stored on a Micro SD 2gb card and when my phone rang I could transfer between phone and music easily by clicking the play button on the headset.

My only complaint is that when the headset get's out of range of the phone I end having to reset the phone to reconnect to the headset.

Next I decided to play with the audio streamer.

To be honest I am a little disappointed by this feature, but I will get used to it. The Audio Streamer is the same size as one of the headphones and uses a standard audio plug to plug in to your audio out of your computer.

Also unlike I expected, to actually use the headset with your computer you need to use the special audio streamer and plug in the microphone and audio into the streamer.

I has hoped that I could just use my inbuilt Bluetooth for this to connect to my computer but the trouble I had was a nightmare!

When I tried to connect the headset to my computer via my bluetooth, it seems to pair OK but never connects. I use the Widcomm bluetooth stack and I tried updating that but the whole bluetooth stack dies and I ended up having to roll back my computer to a system restore point which I do not like doing.

As far as I can tell the Widcomm bluetooth driver I have dfoes not suport the AD2P standard the headset uses. I will call Blueant Support and see if they can't help me out.

Whilst the audio streamer is fine for my iPod and for connecting to my normal phone in my office (I need to get an adaptor for this) I would much prefer to have the headset connect via bluetooth to my computer.

Overall I am happy with the headset, the sound is as good as I expected and the range is outstanding, I can have the phone at the other end of the apartment and still get excellent reception and sound.

The bluetooth issue with my computer need to be fixed, but it's more an issue with my computer than the headset.

Using the headset and pairing it with everything is not nearly as intuitive as I would like, and I am still learning all the quirks of using the damn thing.

But all in all it's a great move forward and I am very happy!

I will get myself a powered USB hub and use this as my 'recharger' station for all my different USB charging devices like my phone, iPod, headset etc. I hate having all the different chargers lying around and I hate having USB cords connected to my notebook computer.

So that will be my next gadget and I will use some mini USB cables to connect them all! Does anyone have a recommendation for a cheap Powered USB Hub that will only be used to charge devices?

And yes I am a geek and I love it!

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