great as headsets can be, they are all flawed in a significant way. Most
of us have to have separate headsets for our cell phones and office
phones. They are basically different designs and aren�t compatible. There
are few exceptions but generally speaking this is a nagging issue that
forces many people to have to switch between headsets all day. I virtually
always wear a bluetooth headset when talking on my cell phone. Many times,
when I am in the office, with my normal office headset on, my cell phone
rings. Instinctively, I take off one headset, and put on another. I then
take the cell phone call. Usually, I ask if I can call back on a land line
and thus a second annoying switch back to the office headset. I have
experimented by switching one of the headsets to work with my left ear so
that I can wear both headsets simultaneously. As you might imagine, this
makes a less than a flattering fashion statement and comes with a certain
degree of inter-office teasing via cyborg and related geek jokes
The solution to this quagmire is GN Netcom�s GN 6110 and GN 6210
headsets. The 6110 is reviewed in this article but a GN 6210 will be
available soon and will look very much like a
Jabra Freespeak. This invention is pure genius and exactly what the
market needs. Bluetooth is still not being adopted as quickly as I would
like but it is beginning to be accepted. Even carmakers such as Acura are
equipping their cars with
this technology now. As I have mentioned before, talking on the phone
in your car without a bluetooth headset is like playing Russian roulette
with your life. Even a corded headset, which is better than a phone, is
not as safe as bluetooth, as you have to worry about a cord that can get
caught on a seat belt, parking brake, steering wheel, keys, your arm, the
button on your shirt or jacket and just about anything else. Using a
bluetooth headset is the safest way to drive and talk on the phone at the
BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE
Back to GN Netcom and their brilliant new invention. Using what they
call DuoLink technology, the headset works equally well with your
office/home phone and cell phone. If you have a bluetooth cell phone, you
can connect directly to the headset; otherwise you need an adapter that
plugs into your phone. In case you are interested, Verizon still does not
offer a bluetooth phone as bluetooth works only on phones that operate on
GSM networks (Cingular, AT&T and T-Mobile in the US and just about all
other worldwide wireless carriers such as Orange, etc). This will change
soon. To connect with your office or home phone, you attach the base,
which functions as a charger, into the handset cord of the phone.
BLUETOOTH: NOW IN CONVENIENT NEW SNACKING SIZE
The size of the headset is misleading as it folds to quite a
diminutive size when compared with its full operating mode, in which the
microphone folds outward toward your mouth. Speaking of your mouth, the
device is about the size of a triple stuff Oreo if such a thing exists. I
spent quite a bit of time in the local supermarket researching this
comparison, so thanks to Grade A/ShopRite here in Norwalk, CT for your
support in writing this article. As a side benefit of this review, I was
reminded that eating Oreos can pack the pounds on quickly, which is why I
am glad to report that the headset weighs in at under an ounce.
The headset is smart. If you initiate a call by
pressing the appropriate button on the headset, it checks your office
phone first and if in range, makes a connection. If not, it defaults to
your cell phone. I had trouble making a bluetooth connection between my
cell phone and the headset. I tried about seven times and it finally
worked. I credit this to a quick installation guide that isn't as detailed
as the user's manual, specifically leaving out instructions to open the
boom within three seconds after the blue pairing light comes on. I have
used the phone at least 20 times and in all but two cases, the phone and
headset connected flawlessly. This is as good or better than SonyEricsson
headsets I have used but not as good as Jabra. In case you are interested,
my test phone was a SonyEricsson T-610 phone.
The headset is definitely comfortable to wear for long periods of time
and it is the only one I have seen to come with a professional looking
charging base. Another plus is that there are four green LEDs on the base
to tell you the state of charge at all times. The range of the headset is
also quite good. I haven�t had a chance to test wind noise thoroughly, but
initial tests on breezy days show that this shouldn�t be a problem. I must
mention that battery life seems very good and I attribute this at least in
part to the fact that the headset turns off when the microphone is closed.
This is a unique ability as far as I can tell. The only drawback to this
design is that it takes a bit longer to make a connection between the
phone and headset when the phone rings. I think the folding microphone is
a good design idea.
NEED A LIFT?
The base of the headset has a jack that plugs into a remote handset
lifter named the
GN 1000 RHL. This device is wonderful. I have used it for many months
with a different GN Netcom headset. It glues under the handset of your
phone and attaches to the base. It lifts and hangs up your phone whenever
needed, automatically. After many months of use, the adhesive connecting
to my phone has come loose meaning a bit of touch up glue is in order. But
overall, this is the best headset lifter I have seen.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
I would prefer the volume of the headset be louder, and the look of
the headset -- while not terrible -- could be a bit more modern. At $299,
I consider it to be a good value. Remember, it plugs into two phones.
Besides, the street price is already as
low as $200. There is an eject button on the base you are supposed to
press before removing the headset or you will damage the charging
contacts. I repeatedly forget to press this button and instead, force the
headset out by lifting it aggressively. Whether this is a design flaw or a
reviewer defect is for you to judge.
This is without a doubt the best bluetooth headset anyone with
multiple phones can use. I have reviewed many
other bluetooth headsets and this one is the most practical. I should
also mention that there is a travel charging cord included. Without
question, the convenience offered by the GN 6110 will make you more
productive as well as safer on the road. This is a true technological
breakthrough and GN Netcom should be congratulated for the achievement.
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Rich Tehrani is TMC's president. He welcomes your comments.
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