Known for stylish and unique Bluetooth headsets, Bluetrek has released an updated version of its BlueTrek Tattoo headset ($49.95). The update gives the headset greater battery life and a new selection of tattoos.
If a solid black headset isn’t to your liking, the Tattoo continues to hold true to its name by having eight new interchangeable, colorful skins that will definitely add a dash of color to your life. But will the vibrant colors of the skins, out shine the headset’s performance?
Read on to find out!
Out of the Box
Bluetrek packages the Tattoo with a wall charger, USB charging cable, a car charger adapter, an assortment of ear hooks and ear buds (Ergobuds) in various sizes, the skins and a quick start guide.
The Tattoo is extremely light, weighing in at only .28 ounces and is approximately 1.6 inches long. The headset has two controls, a multi-function button which it the upper portion of the headsets surface and volume keys that are located on the side of the headset. There is a semi-circular LED light that confirms/alerts users of headset functions. Audio tones accompany the LED lights for function confirmation/alerts.
The multi-function button was a little rigid, compared to other headsets and is incorporated into the surface of the headset. You simply press down on the area near the LED light area.
As with other Bluetrek headsets, the Quick Start Guide gives you enough information to get started but for more detailed information, you have to go to the company’s website and download the full manual. The Tattoo is a basic headset with standard features such as rejecting calls, last number redial, voice dialing (phone dependant), and muting. For this device, most will find all they need in the Quick Start Guide.
Battery life is reported as being up to 8 hours talk time and 10 days standby time. With the wide range of charging options Bluetrek provides, battery life should not be an issue.
Pairing the Tattoo with my Samsung BlackJack II was simple. Just remember to start the pairing process with the headset off and as you press and hold the button for seven seconds, don’t release the button when the LED flashes green. It will take a few more seconds past that point for the LED to flash red/green to indicate it’s in pairing mode.
The connection between the Tattoo and phone was good. Every so often I would get a burst of static but nothing too bothersome. Call volume was good and the microphone picked up my voice good when using a normal tone and volume. I does not filter out background noises very well. The car radio, traffic and other background noises were often distracting during calls.
The Tattoo can be worn with or without the ear hook. The headset is more secure with the hook and I’d advise using the hook if you are going to use the headset during any physical activity (e.g. jogging, bicycling, golf, etc.). The Tattoo rides comfortably either way but after about 45 minutes, the ear hook gets uncomfortable. I think it would have been more comfortable if the ear hook didn’t have the dip in it.
The earpiece itself seems a little larger than normal and they may attribute to the discomfort as well. In using a smaller Ergobud, the discomfort wasn’t as noticeable after prolonged wearing. This only stresses the importance of choosing the right size ear bud and the importance of manufacturers providing an assortment of sizes.
As mentioned, the headset gets its name from the included skins that tattoo onto the surface of the headset. This will add to the appeal this headset has for the younger consumers and the black finish will appeal to those who are more conservative. For those who like the appeal of the skins, they come on/off easily and do not leave any residue. My teenage son thinks they are cool but they are more suited for t-shirts/shorts than a business suit.
I liked the Tattoo. While there was a little static with the connection to the phone, it was intermitted and was not a distraction. Call quality was good with ample volume in the earpiece and good microphone performance. Background noise isn’t filtered out as well with the Tattoo but it’s manageable. You just need to remember to turn down the car stereo or roll up the car window when talking.
The Tattoo’s features cover the basic needs of most headset users. When you toss in the colorful skins, you have a very unique, stylish headset. If you are in the market for a quality mini Bluetooth headset with basic features, I would put the BlueTrek Tattoo headset ($49.95) on a short list along with the Motorola BH680 and the Samsung WEP410.
Ratings (out of 5)Pairing/Connectivity: 4.5/5Ease of Use:5/5Build: 4.5/5Sound Quality: 4/5 (eliminate some of the background noise and you’ll have a 5/5)Comfort: 4/5Battery Life: 5/5
ProsSmall sizeLight Weight
ConsA little static in the Bluetooth ConnectionBackground noise not filtered out as well as with other similar headsets
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It arrived in time and looks great so how can I complain... okay so the range is severely limited compared to my Motorola H350 but sound quality is a bit better.
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