Kent GermanFormer senior managing editor / features
Kent was a senior managing editor at CNET News. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he reviewed the first iPhone and worked in both the London and San Francisco offices. When not working, he's planning his next vacation, walking his dog or watching planes land at the airport (yes, really).
BT200, the Jabra FreeSpeak BT250 looks more like a science-fiction movie prop than a headset. Its innovative design ditches the aesthetics of a standard headset by wrapping behind the ear in a gray-and-black crescent. At $99.95, its price tag is high, but you get a quality headset.
A short boom mike extends from the bottom of the crescent, which holds the battery and the control buttons, while the earpiece curves in from the top of the device on a flexible rubber appendage. Though the design sounds radical, it gives the BT250 an extremely secure, comfortable fit and allows it to be worn on either ear. We especially liked the MiniGel earpiece, which you can swivel and mold to your liking (two sizes are included). Though it's not terribly compact, the headset weighs only 0.8 ounce.
Controls on the Jabra consist of a volume rocker and a multifunction button that turns the headset on and off, manages calls, and prepares the headset for pairing. Both generously sized buttons were easy to locate and press while the headset was in use. Pairing the headset with a phone took only one try, and the buttons took no acclimation to use. A tiny light flashes when the headset is on and when it's ready to pair.
We tested the Jabra FreeSpeak BT250 on the Nokia 6820, the Motorola V600, and the Sony Ericsson T616. The headset's impressive audio quality made our conversations clear. We had no problem hearing callers, and they said we sounded great as well.
Jabra promises a total 8 hours talk time and 10 days standby time with the FreeSpeak 250. We managed 11.5 days of standby time--an impressive figure. The FreeSpeak BT250 includes a travel charger that comes in two pieces (one of which doubles as a belt clip), making it a bit bulky for frequent flyers.