The Yada with direct charger is one of two Bluetooth hands-free kits that feature the YD-V1 Bluetooth headset (the other is the Yada with phone holder).
Packaged with a 12-volt direct charger and a USB charger, the YD-V1 is billed as a "car-centric" headset. With a design that all but eliminates fumbling with buttons and power cords, we can see how the YD-V1 could be easy to use in a vehicle in motion.
However, the convenience of the YD-V1's design and its neat charging system is outweighed by the device's lackluster performance.
If the YD-V1 has one thing going for it, that thing is design.
The attractive Bluetooth headset is both small (less than 2 inches long) and simple. A single button on the unit's face controls answering and ending calls, as well as manual control of the power. On either side of the device are buttons for volume up and down. The tip is where the pinhole microphone is located.
The unit fits into the ear snugly and is packaged with three ear gels for different-size ear canals. For short calls, we found the fit to be quite comfortable. However, at the end of calls lasting longer than 15 to 20 minutes, we experienced a slight soreness. Again, your mileage will vary depending on your ear's unique shape and ear gel choice.
When not in use, the unit fits snugly into the 12-volt or USB direct charger that it ships with and is firmly held in place by brackets that clasp the ear piece. We found it quite easy to place and remove the YD-V1 with a single hand while driving, much to our sore ear canal's relief.
What we liked best about the YD-V1 is how it interfaces with the 12-volt and USB direct chargers.
First, the YD-V1 automatically powers on and connects with the last paired device when it senses power. So, when you crank up your car, the headset will automatically spring to life and connect to your phone. No action is required on your part past the initial setup.
Next, when the unit senses an incoming call, removing the YD-V1 from the charger automatically answers it. So, there's no need for multiple button presses to pick up a call while driving. Also, fitting the unit is as simple as sticking it into your ear.
Once the call is over, simply remove the YD-V1 and replace it in the charger to end the call. Again, no button presses.
The YD-V1 will also automatically power down if it doesn't sense a connected device after an hour. The combination of always available charging and a reasonably long 6-hour talk time and 105-hour standby time mean that the YD-V1 will pretty much always be ready to go.
Like most Bluetooth headsets, the YD-V1 is also compatible with VoIP telephony when paired with a computer with a Bluetooth adapter. The included USB charger operates in a similar manner to the 12-car charger.
While we like the YD-V1's simple design and ease of use, its performance leaves much to be desired.
Bluetooth transmission power is lacking and we found that our call quality suffered when the YD-V1 was more than a few feet from the paired phone. Obstructions created even more interference, such as when the paired phone was in a pocket on the opposite side of our body, resulting in spotty audio quality.
Wind also acts as a foil to calls made from the YD-V1. There are no noise reduction measures present, so be sure to roll up your windows before taking that call.
Even in the best of conditions, callers complained that our voice sounded hollow and tinny. Incoming voices, on the other hand were quite clear, although underscored by a noticeable static hissing.
The YD-V1 represents a great deal of potential, with a simple, aesthetically pleasing design and a well-thought-out control scheme that requires almost no button presses past the initial pairing.
However, all of that means nothing if the call quality isn't up to snuff. The YD-V1 needs a drastic improvement in both audio quality and Bluetooth signal strength before we could seriously consider recommending it.