Talk to the (Bluetooth) headset

BlueAnt calls its V1 headset the first voice-controlled Bluetooth headset. And it even talks back.

BlueAnt Wireless V1
BlueAnt Wireless

Since most people wearing Bluetooth headsets already look like they're talking to themselves, it won't seem that much odder when they start talking to their actual headsets.

They'll now be able to do that (and get something out of it) with BlueAnt Wireless' new V1. The device, which the company calls the first voice-controlled Bluetooth headset, lets users sidestep the buttons and instead control functionality with phrases like "pair me," "call home," "call favorite," "call Goog-411," and "accept or ignore call."

Guy in car with BlueAnt V1
Driving alone? Now you can chat with your headset. BlueAnt Wireless

But this is no passive Bluetooth headset. The BlueGenie Voice Interface software on the V1 talks back to consumers, alerting them of settings like battery power level and connection status. The software also tells users how to set up the device and contains an instruction manual and menu options, all accessible via preprogrammed English voice commands.

BlueAnt says the V1 incorporates "voice isolation" technology so you and your headset can chat in peace.

The $130 peripheral offers up to 5 hours of talk time, or up to 200 hours of standby, and can be charged via USB, and car and wall chargers. It pairs with up to eight Bluetooth devices.

But voice commands may be on their way to other headsets, as well. Sensory, which makes the Blue Genie Voice Interface app, has released a "BlueGenie Lite" version for lower-cost headsets that don't have the memory or processing power for the full BlueGenie getup.

About the author

Leslie Katz, Crave's senior editor, heads up a team that covers the most crushworthy (and wackiest) tech, science, and culture around. As a co-host of the now-retired CNET News Daily Podcast, she was sometimes known to channel Terry Gross and still uses her trained "podcast voice" to bully the speech recognition software on automated customer service lines. E-mail Leslie.


Discuss Talk to the (Bluetooth) headset

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments