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Cardo Scala 500 Bluetooth headset

Quick Take: When we reviewed Cardo's Allways Bluetooth headset earlier this year, we were only moderately pleased. Though battery life was admirable, call quality was a bit fuzzy, and the fit was uncomfortable. Fortunately, Cardo has made some improvements with its stylish and functional Scala 500. At just half the size of the Allways (0.58 ounce), the Scala 500 is easy to put on, and with no protruding earpiece, it's comfortable to wear. Likewise, the highly flexible ear loop can be worn on either ear, and the amply sized controls are tactile and easy to use. While you don't get changeable faceplates, the streamlined black form factor is attractive.

We tested the headset on the Sony Ericsson K700i and the Nokia 7610. The overall performance was good for the 7610, but we encountered some static when using the K700i. We'd recommend testing the headset with your particular phone. It should be noted, however, that the Scala 500 requires a charging cradle that's, thankfully, small enough to take on the road. In-the-box accessories include a small belt clip, a neckband, and an eyeglass clip. Cardo promises nine hours of talk time and seven days of talk time; in our tests, we managed a respectable five days. For more Bluetooth headsets, check out our roundup.