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Summary:

I am constantly analyzing the way I use mobile technology, and as a result, I often change the way I do things. I am in the fortunate position where I get exposed to lots of technology and that exposure keeps me looking at how I use […]

I am constantly analyzing the way I use mobile technology, and as a result, I often change the way I do things. I am in the fortunate position where I get exposed to lots of technology and that exposure keeps me looking at how I use it. A recent survey of mobile phone users disclosed that many in the U.S. who own Bluetooth headsets don’t use them. It pointed out that while 43% of them used the headsets previously, only 26% of them use them currently. That’s a significant drop in usage, and in a group of people who already own a headset.

This got me thinking about my own headset usage. I get to try lots of cool Bluetooth headsets and I probably own three or four of them. There was a time when I used a Bluetooth headset every day — in fact it was a common sight to see me with one in my ear even around the house. I never left the home without one.

That changed at some point recently, and I didn’t even realize it happened. I rarely use a headset these days; In fact I can’t remember the last time I put one in my ear. It wasn’t a conscious decision, I just stopped using them. This realization surprised me quite a bit. I was a big believer in the technology and the benefits of using a headset, yet I stopped using them. To tell you the truth I haven’t missed it at all. If I had not run across this survey that made me think about it I wouldn’t even be writing about this.

So how about you? Do you use a headset? This poll is strictly driven by my own curiosity about Bluetooth headsets and how others view them. If you want to respond to the poll, great. Otherwise it’s no big deal. I’m just trying to figure out if I’m alone in my lack of headset usage.

  1. This one’s a little unfair. I mostly stopped using a headset for two reasons:

    1) Integrated Bluetooth in my car. Why use the earpiece when you can pause your music *and* take a call with one button?

    2) iPhone. I do use my Motorola S9 headphones from time to time, but usually, I’m using much higher quality dual-driver earbuds, with the same effect.

    It’s not that the wireless option isn’t nice, it’s that I don’t need it as much anymore.

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  2. James,
    this is exactly what happened to me as well. While 1 year ago I was always wearing a BT headset, today I use only Plantronics P590 for listening music without the risk of missing a phone call. But I do it only when I can not disturb people around me with my musical taste. I do believe the main reason I abandoned the BT headset use is related to the annoyance of having to remember to charge batteries for one more device.
    Stefano

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  3. Everyday for 1.5 hrs minimum. My car has a manual transmission so its a necessity for me.

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  4. I use one on days when I am going to be on conference calls – anytime I know I am going to be on the phone for more than 15 minutes, I’ll pop mine in. I love the freedom of not having to hold the phone.

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  5. Having an iPhone 3GS i much more prefer using my modded Sennheiser CX300 IEMs with the apple remote/mic cable. Since it has a mic, I can use it as a headset, so I don’t need bluetooth.

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  6. I think a small but significant reason for the decline in usage has to be the negative perception of indivduals wearing such headsets. No one wants to be that annoying person talking to a headset in line at the Starbucks anymore.

    But I think a bigger reason just has to be that more and more cars integrate the phone into the cabin tech.

    Of course, maybe Bluetooth headsets are just a fad.

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  7. I used to wear my Lubix LC1s every day, all the time. but that all changed with my phone plan (unlimited to prepay) and the fact that my new main phone no longer supported A2DP.

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  8. In the car and at home I use A2DP bluetooth. (At home only for the times I want to listen to Pandora instead of a specific CD).

    Otherwise though, I use a wired Etymotic stereo headset (hf2) to get near total noise isolation with great sound quality and a microphone and mic/playback control button.

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  9. James, wish you would have included an option for “Switched to wired”. I got on the bluetooth bandwagon and then got off because of the wired set I picked up.

    I used to have two bluetooth devices, one for voice and the other for music. The over-the-ear for music didn’t do calls very well and I found I liked being able to listen to music while not on the phone. Instead of carrying two devices, I downsized to one that gives me decent music and decent voice at a fraction of the cost.

    Yes, I have to untangle the wires from time to time, but at least I don’t have to remember to charge it or carry two pieces of equipment to fit my particular mood.

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    1. Agreed. I listen to a lot of music on my phone via Slacker (8330). None of the stereo BT headsets have really impressed me with the sound (though the Jabra BT3030 comes closest), so I used a hybrid headset as well.

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  10. I like using my bluetooth headset with my iPhone 3Gs so my hands are free. I especially prefer using it in the car. Just easier, plus I hear better. I use a Sound ID 200.

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