With Bluetooth headsets, we usually only see high-end features such as multipoint technology and voice prompt assistance in more expensive models like the Aliph Jawbone and the BlueAnt V1. The iVoice Baby-ai, though it has an unusual name, is one that bucks the trend. It not only has the noise-canceling features of most headsets, but it also has more advanced ones, such as the aforementioned multipoint technology and voice prompt assistance. It has all this at a surprisingly affordable price of about $70. It also has pretty good audio quality, and the firmware is upgradeable via an included USB cable.
At first glance, the iVoice Baby-ai looks a lot like a previous BlueAnt headset, the BlueAnt Wireless X3 micro. In fact, the design is almost identical, except for the slightly different blue accent color. Measuring 1.7 inches long by 0.8 inch wide by 0.7 inch thick (if you don't count the earpiece), the Baby-ai is a bit pudgier than most headsets, but it's still compact and lightweight.
On the front of the headset is a round multifunction button surrounded by the volume controls--the volume decrease is on the top while the volume increase is underneath. We found the arrangement a bit crowded, and the volume buttons felt a little too small for our liking. Surrounding the controls is a blue LED indicator light. On the back is an in-ear earpiece that fits snugly inside the ear. The Baby-ai comes with a variety of earbud covers so there are more choices for different size ears. The headset comes with two optional ear hooks, both of which are flexible and can be adjusted to fit either ear. Although you could wear the headset without the ear hook, it's not very secure, and we would recommend wearing the ear hook for additional security. Keep in mind that the ear hooks are on the large side, so you might not be able to wear glasses at the same time.
The iVoice Baby-ai has a surprising number of features for such an affordable price. Not only does it have the noise cancellation and automatic volume adjustment found in a lot of headsets, but it also offers unique features such as an intelligent voice operator that announces the caller ID, plus a voice prompt that helps you when pairing. It also has multipoint technology that lets you connect up to two devices at the same time. Also, the Baby-ai is firmware upgradeable via an included USB cable. Other features are pretty standard: it can answer, end, and reject calls, redial the last number, voice dial, mute calls, and switch calls between the phone and headset and vice versa. You can pair it with up to eight devices, plus check its battery status.
We tested the iVoice Baby-ai with the Apple iPhone 3G and were able to pair the headset without a problem, even without the voice prompt, though we imagine the voice prompt is helpful for those new to Bluetooth headsets. We were pleased with the call quality. We tested the headset in a variety of environments--on a busy sidewalk, in the car, and in a quiet office building. Its dual microphone noise-cancellation feature did the trick in crowded environments, and it does a good job in reducing the amount of engine noise in the background, callers said. However, we did notice a couple of important downsides. Voice quality can sound a bit robotic, and there were times when we would get a lot more static than we would like. Still, overall audio quality is good, and we like that it has automatic volume adjustment as well; for example, the volume for the quiet office environment was automatically lower than when we were outside.
The iVoice Baby-ai comes with an AC adapter, a USB cable, and a car charger. It has a rated battery life of 6 hours talk time and 8.3 days standby time.