The Good The BlueAnt Q1 is a slim and stylish Bluetooth headset with an innovative voice user interface that lets you control the headset entirely with your voice. There's no voice recognition tutorial, and the audio quality is very good.
The Bad The voice controls on the BlueAnt Q1 sometimes would not work properly if the alignment is off or if you're in a particularly noisy environment. It takes some fiddling to fit the headset properly.
The Bottom Line Despite a few minor issues, the BlueAnt Q1's voice controls and good audio quality sets this apart from other headsets.
BlueAnt Q1 Bluetooth Headset
When BlueAnt introduced the BlueAnt V1 last year, we were blown away by BlueAnt's unique voice user interface, making the V1 the world's first voice-controlled Bluetooth headset. Indeed, we could pair and manage calls just by going through a series of voice prompts, without ever having to look at the manual. The sound quality wasn't too shabby, either. BlueAnt has not stopped there, though. This year, it introduced an updated version of the V1 with the BlueAnt Q1, a headset with the same voice user interface plus a new design. We encountered a few issues with it; however, it's overall a quality headset with great performance. The addition of voice controls and incoming caller ID is particularly helpful in places with hands-free calling laws for drivers. The BlueAnt Q1 will be available in May for $129 MSRP.
One of our criticisms of the BlueAnt V1 was its less than remarkable design. BlueAnt seems to have taken that to heart, as the Q1 looks dramatically different from its predecessors. Measuring 2.17 inches long by 0.63 inch wide by 0.27 inch deep, the Q1 has a sleek gunmetal design that's slightly curved outward. On the front is large multifunction call button with the BlueAnt logo on it, while the volume keys are on the right side. All buttons are easy to press, though the volume increase key is a bit on the small side.
On the back of the Q1 is an earpiece covered in a soft silicone ear bud. The ear bud is slightly tapered toward the bottom to fit snugly in the ear. The Q1 comes with two different size ear buds for different size ears. There's also an optional ear hook for additional stability. We found the ear bud to fit quite comfortably, but we admit that it does take a bit of fiddling so that it fits just right. This is especially important since the dual microphones on the Q1 needs to line up with your mouth for the best performance. Wearing the right size ear bud is quite crucial to this--wearing one that is too small or too large might result in the Q1 shifting ever so slightly away from this alignment. When the alignment is off, the voice controls won't work as well.