5 new Bluetooth headsets: Not just for phone calls anymore

These small headsets offer style, features and their own apps. We look at five of the latest models.

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Motorola CommandOne

It's hard to believe that something as small as Motorola's CommandOne can do so many things. It's comfortable to wear and had excellent audio, but the headset's biggest shortcoming is that many of its coolest features won't work on every phone.

Bluetooth headsets
Motorola CommandOne

At one-fifth the size of the Plantronics Voyager Pro UC, the CommandOne has a sleek gray case that is about the same size as the EasyChat 306. It weighs 0.38 oz., much less than the Voyager Pro UC and slightly more than the Jawbone ERA.

The headset comes with an AC adapter with a generous 3-foot MicroUSB cable and five silicone ear tips. The ear loop is removable, and the CommandOne works just as well in the right or left ear. There are three buttons, to turn it on and off, increase or decrease the volume, and start or take a call.

The CommandOne tells you the battery level and has a battery gauge that displays three different LED colors to show charge level.

It may not have the variety of apps provided by Jabra, Jawbone or Plantronics, but Motorola's free MotoSpeak application can read e-mails and text messages as well as let you respond to them. However, it works only on Android and RIM phones, and certain Motorola devices.

I found the CommandOne to be the most comfortable headset of the group -- I was able to wear it for hours on end, and at times I forgot it was there.

In daily use, its voice command system was quite effective, with the phone announcing who was calling. To duck or take a call, say "Ignore" or "Answer." Unfortunately, to start a call, you need to tap the Call button; in contrast, the Jabra Stone2 can start calls with a voice command.

The CommandOne's diminutive size is not at the expense of battery life. It was able to run for 4 hours and 2 minutes on a charge, more than enough for a full day of on-and-off phone use. It stayed connected to my phone for 25 feet, the shortest distance of the five.

The CommandOne offered outstanding audio quality on both ends of a call. On a par with the Voyager Pro UC, it was able to convey clear, rich and precise speech without any echoes, regardless of whether I was in a quiet office or driving with the windows rolled down.

Bottom line

In the final analysis, the CommandOne is everything a headset should be: small, with excellent audio and long battery life. Too bad its MotoSpeak app doesn't work with all phones.

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