Unlike most other headsets, the BT8040 really shines when it comes to features. Probably the most interesting feature is that it is the only mono Bluetooth headset we know of that actually supports A2DP, meaning that it can stream music wirelessly. Most A2DP devices on the market today are stereo Bluetooth headsets or portable speakers. The question then becomes: Why would you want to listen to music with a mono headset, when you can listen to it with a stereo headset? The answer lies perhaps in the purpose of the BT8040--streaming music isn't its primary role, it's simply a bonus for those who want to listen to a bit of music while doing other things, like waiting in line at a cash register. More serious audiophiles would probably opt for the stereo headset, while the casual fan might opt for something like the BT8040 instead.
Aside from the A2DP support, the BT8040 has MultiPoint technology, which not only lets you pair up to 8 devices, but it also lets you connect to two of them simultaneously. Therefore you can use the same headset with two cell phones at the same time if you so choose. It also has an intelligent call handling feature that interrupts music when there's an incoming call. Other features include answering, ending, and rejecting calls; auto pairing; voice command support; last number redial; mute; a quiet mode; call hold/call wait support; plus a low battery status indicator.
We paired the Jabra BT8040 with the RIM BlackBerry Pearl and the Helio Mysto. Pairing process was smooth with both phones, taking less than a minute with each. Call quality was excellent--nearly zero echoes were heard, and callers reported a smooth and clear sound from our end. We also heard our callers very well, with plenty of volume without it being too loud. This might be because of the number of audio-enhancing technologies the BT8040 has, such as Active Noise Reduction, Intelligent Volume Settings (equalizes the audio volume), and Acoustic Shock Protection, which protects the ear from a sudden loud spike in volume. Even though we did get a tiny bit of static occasionally, and it didn't block out a lot of background noise, the overall call quality was great.
As we mentioned above, the BT8040 also streams music wirelessly. Since it's a mono headset, we couldn't get a full stereo listening experience, and the music quality was predictably lack luster. But it did stream music when we wanted it, and that's all we expected from it.
The Jabra BT8040 has a rated battery life of 6 hours of talk time and 8.3 days.