Belkin is the prototypical jack-of-all-trades: It makes everything from cell phone and handheld accessories to video game peripherals and networking products. The thing is, when a company dabbles in so many disparate products, it's no wonder that for every device that's a hit, another is a definite miss. Such is the case with the Belkin Bluetooth Hands-Free Headset. Sure, the headset looks cool, but the fit is so loose and uncomfortable that it's nearly unusable. It's also way overpriced at $129.
The Belkin's silver and gray headset has a fairly simple design. There's no protruding boom mic, and the device weighs a slight 0.7 ounce. It has a moldable ear hook that, in theory, should comfortably attach the device to either ear. The problem, however, is that theory often differs from reality. In the case of this headset, no matter how we adjusted the ear hook, the device was always loose, and we never felt comfortable wearing it. The ear hook also had a tendency to pull off a little too easily, and though we were given a choice of three rubber earpieces, none of them felt exactly right.
Criticisms aside, the Belkin Bluetooth Hands-Free Headset is easy to use. It has a simple LED window that flashes either blue or red, depending on its current state of pairing. It also has a multifunction toggle on the rear, and this handles everything from adjusting the volume and pairing to answering and ending calls.
The headset supports a hands-free profile, so you can it use with a phone that has voice commands. All you need to do is press the multifunction button, and you can place a call without ever touching your mobile.
We tested the Belkin Bluetooth Hands-Free Headset with the Samsung SCH-i730 smart phone, and pairing the devices was a snap. Audio quality during calls was really good and loud, making for clear conversations. Likewise, callers had no problem hearing. When it comes down to it, the electronics on the Belkin Bluetooth Hands-Free Headset are excellent. It's the fit that is so bad. Belkin promises up to 5 hours of talk time and 120 hours of standby time.