Gennum nX6000 Bluetooth headset
Though we've enjoyed Gennum's previous Bluetooth headsets--such as the Gennum NxZen--for their performance, we haven't always been impressed with the design of the headsets. However, the company's latest model, the Gennum nX6000, boasts a sleeker and more lightweight design, prompting us to take special notice of it at CES 2007. Now it's finally on the market at $129.99.
The Gennum nX6000 has a wonderfully minimalist and compact design. Measuring only 1.75x0.8x0.5 inches and weighing in at a very light 0.38 ounce, the nX6000 is wrapped entirely in black save for the three silver buttons that adorn its sides. On the front are two tiny holes that make up its dual microphone array, and there is an LED and a charger jack on top of the device. The left spine is home to the multifunction button and the volume decrease button, and the volume increase button is on the right. While the controls are flush to the surface, they still have enough texture to provide tactile feedback when the headset is worn on the ear. The buttons were a little stiffer than we'd like, though we still managed to press them without too much effort.
Moving on to the back of the headset, there's a nice soft eartip that acts as the earpiece and a flexible ear hook. The earbud is the kind that sits deeper in the ear, similar to the earpieces on the Sony MDR-EX71SL earbuds. We're big fans of this style because it fits securely and comfortably in the ear, and the nX6000 is no exception. The nX6000 also comes with a few other earbud sizes so you can choose the right fit for your ears. We also found the ear hook quite comfortable sitting around our ear, even when wearing glasses. The ear hook can be turned around to be worn on either ear.
Although we were mostly pleased with the design of the headset, we couldn't help but find the controls a little awkward. Like most Bluetooth headsets, you have to press the multifunction button in certain lengths of time and listen for a certain tone depending on what function you're trying to perform. However, the nX6000 seems a little more time-sensitive than most. For example, the difference between ending a call, muting a call, and putting a call on hold is about one to two seconds of button pressure between each step. If you're a second late or early, you might end up performing a completely different function. We did finally learn how to time our button pressing, but you should read over the user manual to get the hang of it.
We tested the Gennum nX6000 with the T-Mobile Sidekick 3, and we were able to pair the headset with the phone without a problem. We were very impressed with the noise-cancellation digital signal processor of the headset, as we were able to hear our callers just fine even while standing near a busy traffic intersection, and vice versa. Aside from answering, ending, and rejecting calls, the nX6000 can also mute calls and put calls on hold, and it supports call waiting and three-way calling. Other features of the headset include Bluetooth 2.0 functionality, a battery charge indicator, as well as a mini-USB charging ability that lets you download firmware updates from Gennum's site. The headset has a rated talk time of six hours and a rated standby time of 3.75 days.