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Bluetooth Headsets 4: Jabra BT530

Compared to some other sexy designs, the Jabra BT530 is a wonderfully straightforward headset, especially good for occasional use. It has dedicated single-use buttons, instead of requiring memorized multi-tap sequences. There's actually a separate power slide switch on the bottom, individual volume up and down controls that cover the entire back of the faceplate, plus the small answer/end button on the side.

The design is also compact -- shorter and thinner than the Jawbone Prime (see previous post), for example. It's also designed with lots of wearing options -- eight ear gels in two styles and three sizes, plus two sizes of optional earloops to hold over your ear for active wear. The ear gels have a flange to help hook inside the opening of your ear canal, and come with and without an additional open rung loop to stabilize the unit in the folds of your outer ear when you wear it without the earloop.

The BT530 includes Jabra's Noise Blackout technology with dual mics for background noise elimination with natural voice quality, plus intelligent volume control to adjust the level of received audio, and Audio Shock Protection to guard against sudden noise surges. The result is good, but a bit below the Jawbone and Voyager PRO, with a more choppy outgoing voice with background noise, and somewhat muffled incoming voice.

The Jabra BT530 is priced significantly less than these other headsets at $79, with even lower street prices. It's a nice design, particularly for occasional use, with clear and obvious controls to make it easy to set up, use, and then put away.

See my Audio Accessories Gallery for details and related products.

    Find the Jabra BT530 headset on Amazon.com

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