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Review: Jabra BT150

TreoCentral's James Hromadka Reviews the Jabra BT150 Bluetooth Headset

(First posted at TreoCentral on March 8th, 2006

Now that Bluetooth headsets are no longer a novelty, many headset manufacturers are refreshing their product lines with updated models with improved features. Last year I took a look at the Jabra BT130 Headset [review | Buy] and found it to be a good starter headset. Jabra has updated the headset and now offers the Jabra BT150 for only a few dollars more. Is it worth the extra cost?

Features

After I wrestled the Jabra BT150 out of the package (I hate plastic packaging), I was immediately struck by how much more stylish it is over the Jabra BT130. The updated design uses a rubber ear hook instead of a plastic one that is far more comfortable. No color plates like the BT130; the BT150 headset is solid black, save for its chrome action button on its side and volume controls (on the bottom when the headset is worn on the right ear). The action button also houses a multicolor LED that is blue under most circumstances and flashes red when low on power, which is a nice touch.

The Jabra BT150 uses the same kind of power connector as the Jabra JX10 [Review | Buy], though it doesn't come with a charging stand or USB cable like the JX10. Then again, the BT150 is also almost a third of the price of the JX10. The power adapter is designed to work well in a power strip and doesn't overtake other plugs.

To pair the Jabra BT150, make sure it is on and then hold in the action button and the volume up button until the LED is solid blue. Passcode is 0000.

Usability

Just like the BT130, you have to hold the action button for about 10 seconds to turn the Jabra BT150 on and off. That's way too long, especially compared to the JX10 which only requires you press the button for a second to power on and about 5 seconds to power off.

Once you finally power on the Jabra BT150, it suffers from blinkinitis, with a blue LED flashing every three seconds while in standby mode. It's even worse while on a call when the headset blinks every second!

The Jabra BT150 quickly auto connects when making and receiving calls. When I used the headset with a Treo 650, I had to keep the Treo nearby otherwise both sides of the call would hear static. I couldn't even keep the Treo in my pocket without hearing some static. When I was outside, the other caller complained that traffic noise made it difficult to hear me.

On the other hand, the Jabra BT150 worked very well with a Sony Ericsson K750. I could keep the K750 in my pocket and not hear any static at all, while outside surrounding noises didn't drown me out. Once again, the Treo 650's poor Bluetooth capabilities limit a headset's performance.

When wearing the Jabra BT150, the headset feels loose; it stays on but doesn't pass the shake-your-head-violently test and bends away from the face when leaning over. The ear hook is far more comfortable than the one that comes with the BT130 and doesn't cut your ear like the older model. You can switch ears very easily, and I like how light the BT150 is.

Conclusion

If you are comparing the Jabra BT130 with the Jabra BT150, the latter is a better choice because of its increased comfort and more stylish looks. If you are looking for an inexpensive headset and have a phone besides the Treo 650, the BT150 will sound great and is a good choice for the money. But Treo 650 users will have some audio issues with this headset.

To reiterate, since this site is TreoCentral, I must give the Jabra BT150 low marks in sound quality. However, if you are looking for a headset for someone that doesn't have a Treo, this is a great low-cost headset.

Ratings (out of 5)

  • Sound Quality: 3
  • Usability: 3
  • Design: 3
  • Cost/Benefit: 5

Overall: 3

Pros

  • LED flashes red when low
  • Auto connects quickly when making calls
  • Sleek black looks
  • Good audio quality when used with non-Treo phones.

Cons

  • Poor audio quality for Treo 650 users
  • Excessive blinking while on calls and in standby mode
  • Have to hold power button for 10 seconds
  • Not very secure

(First posted at TreoCentral on March 8th, 2006

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Reader comments

Review: Jabra BT150

2 Comments

trying to pair the jabra bt150 as i just found it after not using for a year. i got it turned on. charged it. can not get it to pair with my envy2. i can not remember the procedure. please help!!!!????

ty, Amy

I found the headset with my LG VX8100 so I do not return it ... Otherwise I might have. Sound quality is fair at best. Whenever I heard the buzzing by me and the other end there is a volume on the turn. On a positive note, all you can do to adjust the ear hook is very rested.