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Rich Tehrani

[March 9, 2004]

Product Review: Allways Wireless Headset



From a product positioning perspective, the best way to enter a crowded market with a new product is to find an untapped niche and exploit it. With so many heavyweights producing bluetooth headsets, a company named Allways has come out with a product that is unique. The Allways wireless headset differentiates itself by being the only bluetooth headset that clips on to your glasses as well as being able to loop around your ear.

This unit has great sound clarity and has exchangeable color plates for the fashion conscious. The headset weighs under an ounce and has a short microphone. Wind noise was not excessive and the claimed talk time, while not tested in this review, is six hours -- which is quite good. So is the 130 hour standby time which was not evaluated either.

What I did find is that this device is uniquely good in some ways and lacking in others. The ear loop that comes with the headset is quite good. At first, the headset seemed very loose on my ear but I decided to mold the loop tightly around my ear and was surprised to learn that this headset is very secure when properly adjusted. It was also very comfortable to wear but could be fatiguing for some after long periods of use. Using a SonyEricsson T610 phone, I was less than successful in having all of my calls successfully sent to the headset. Approximately 50 percent of my calls stayed in the phone and had to be transferred manually. The range of the device is not incredible either. It was about half of what others have been in prior tests -- 15 feet. This is not a big liability in my opinion, as you usually don�t wander too far from a bluetooth phone.

Where the headset shines is its ability to clip over your glasses. When used in this configuration, by replacing the ear loop with a specially designed glasses clip, you get a very secure and comfortable headset experience. It takes a few moments to switch from the loop to the clip, but once this is achieved you have a very comfortable wireless experience.

I suggest you don�t overlook how important this ability is. It is not very comfortable to wear glasses and a bluetooth headset together. Here is a unique solution that should appeal to my myopic brothers and sisters out there as well as those that live in excessively sunny climates.

At an average street price of over $80 I think this device is as good a value as it is unique. On the other hand, it isn't as small as others on the market. The flipside to the size is great battery life, which is above average for the size. The Allways Wireless Headset is a good solution to a common problem and definitely worth considering. I recommend trying the headset as long as you have a refund policy in place, as I believe that personal taste will be the deciding factor in being happy with this device.

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