Turn your iPhone into a wireless headset

The aptly named Headset app could be a dream come true for folks who run VoIP apps (like Skype and Google Talk) on their PCs. And it's a bargain at 99 cents.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read
The Mobiola Headset pairs nicely with desktop VoIP apps like Skype, and can even record your conversations. Shape Services

Alarm clock. Metronome. Guitar tuner. TV remote. The list of real-world items the iPhone can replace just keeps getting longer. The latest entry: wireless headset.

Shape Services' Mobiola Headset app turns your iPhone or iPod Touch into a wireless headset, suitable for use with Skype, MagicJack, or any other VoIP-powered applications. (I'm assuming it would work with games as well, though I haven't tried this myself.)

The 99-cent app works with all iPhone models and second-gen Touches (though the latter will need a plug-in headset, as it would for any kind of telephony).

On the PC side (Windows only, I'm afraid), you'll need to install the free Mobiola Headset utility, which connects your device to your PC over your home Wi-Fi network.

I tested Headset on an iPhone 3GS and a PC running Windows 7. The two apps recognized each other immediately (following a couple of firewall approvals), and from there it was smooth sailing.

The idea here, of course, is to avoid having to buy a wired headset for use with, say, Skype or Google Talk. And Headset gives you the freedom to mosey around the house while on a call--no need to stay tethered to your PC.

Now, you may ask yourself: Why bother with Headset when I could just run the infinitely-more-convenient Skype iPhone app? To which I would answer: Um, I don't know, that's a good point.

However, Headset does have one ace up its sleeve: call recording. The tap of an icon is all it takes to record your conversation (to your PC, in WAV format). The Skype app can't do that.

Furthermore, fire up iTunes (or your music player of choice) and Headset can turn your iPhone into wireless stereo headphones. (Just one wrinkle: On my system, I had to open Windows' audio settings and choose Mobiola as my default playback device. It's too bad the utility can't do that for you automatically.)

I even tried watching a movie this way, though there was just a hint of lag between the video and audio. Still, as a poor-man's wireless headphones, this is not a bad way to go.

Headset is a simple, effective app that works as advertised. It's way cheaper than any wired (or, for that matter, wireless) headset, and its option to record calls could prove very handy. Heck, you could even use it as a wireless microphone, if that's all you need.

Bonus item: Today only, Oceanhouse Media is offering all six of its stellar Dr. Seuss iPhone apps for 99 cents apiece. That includes the interactive e-book "The Cat in the Hat" and the fun, clever Dr. Seuss Camera. These usually sell for $2.99 or $3.99, so don't pass up this deal.