Tekkeon EzTalker Digital review: Tekkeon EzTalker Digital

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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The Tekkeon EzTalker Digital has great performance, a small display with caller ID, a comfortable fit, and a full range of features.

The Bad The Tekkeon EzTalker Digital has an uninspiring design, and some of its features are not intuitive.

The Bottom Line The Tekkeon EzTalker Digital packs quality performance, but its high-end features could be easier to use.

7.3 Overall

Tekkeon EzTalker Digital

Though we had never heard of Tekkeon before we reviewed the company's EzTalker Mini Bluetooth headset last year, we liked the comfortable fit, the cool design, and the solid audio quality. So when we received the company's next-generation model, the Tekkeon EzTalker Digital, we were excited to try it out. And once again, we aren't disappointed. Overall, the EzTalker Digital is a quality, high-functioning Bluetooth headset that delivered good voice calls. On the downside, the design isn't the most stylish, and some features aren't very intuitive, but it's a good choice if you're looking for a headset with some oomph.

For its EzTalker Digital, Tekkeon took a cue from the Jabra BT800 and designed the headset with a tiny OLED display. The screen sits on the face of the oval-shaped main body of the headset, which is both compact (1.2 by 2.2 by 0.9 inches) and lightweight (0.9 ounce), yet we aren't entirely pleased with the design. Though the earpiece itself is pleasantly styled in a simple gray and black, it's overshadowed by the monstrous ear hook that plugs into either side. As the ear hook holds the headset's battery, it's far from inconspicuous, and the overall look is awkward. What's more, because the battery is in the ear hook, you can't switch the headset between ears when you're on a call. On the upside, though, the battery is user-replaceable.

Criticisms aside, the headset's overall fit is comfortable, and it slips on and off with ease. Despite its large size, the ear hook is highly flexible at its midpoint, so you should be able to wear the headset on almost any size ear. The earpiece juts slightly into the ear canal, but we were able to keep the headset on for long periods without feeling uncomfortable. On the other hand, we would've preferred a selection of rubber ear tips in different sizes.

Controls on the EzTalker Digital are small, but they're easy to find and use even when worn. A round button to the right of the display turns the headset on and off, as well as makes and receives calls. On either side of it are volume buttons that also control some of the headset's higher-end feature (more on those later). There are two LED indicators as well. A small blue light on the earpiece blinks when the headset is on, while a tiny amber light on the ear hook glows during charging.

As on the BT800, the Tekkeon EzTalker Digital displays caller ID as well as some useful information not available on Jabra's products. First, a battery meter lets you keep track of how much juice you have left--a rarity in Bluetooth headsets. It also shows the volume and displays the headset's status, such as whether it's paired with a phone. Moreover, the headset displays not only the number of your caller but also their name if they're in your contacts list; in contrast, the BT500 shows only the number. Of course, you can't see the display when the headset's on your ear, but it's a nifty feature nonetheless. The screen is monochrome and understandably small (64x68 pixels), but the blue text is easy to read in low light. Still, people with visual impairments should test the headset before buying.

If the above features aren't impressive enough, the EzTalker surpasses the Jabra BT800 in yet another way. While Jabra allows you to access only the last number called for redialing purposes, Tekkeon lets you scroll through last 15 dialed numbers. But wait, there's more. Unlike the BT800, the Tekkeon EzTalker can also access your phone book if you want to call someone completely new. Though it's a cool feature, its execution isn't so great; in fact, it's downright screwy. Instead of scrolling through your phone book alphabetically, numbers are displayed in the order they're stored in your phone, from newest to oldest. If you don't keep track of who your newest friends are (who does that anyway?) you'll spend a lot of time scrolling through a list of numbers--an especially tedious endeavor for popular people. Keep in mind that you won't be able to access numbers on a SIM card.

Other features include voice dialing, call reject, call transfer, and call waiting. We tested the Tekkeon EzTalker Digital with the Sony Ericsson W600i . The pairing process was painless, and we were ready to go in seconds. Voice quality was good. We could hear our callers plainly with little interference and static. Volume was also satisfactory, save for the tones that sound for incoming calls. It was fine for our purposes, but users with hearing impairments should take note. Callers could tell we were using a headset, but they could hear us clearly. The headset picked up a slight amount of wind noise, but it was nothing out of the ordinary. The EzTalker promises 5 hours of talk time and 6.6 days of standby time; we measured 4.5 days of standby time in our tests.

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