Cellular Headset Roundup
by Jim Hanks
Although similar bans
have been proposed in 41 states, New York is the first to pass a socially responsible
bill for cell phone use. The new law forbids drivers to communicate using their
cellular phones unless a headset or a speakerphone is attached.
Even though this law will increase safety, many people are apprehensive about
the ban for two reasons: 1.) vanity they think headsets look silly; and
2.) comfort they think headsets are a nuisance. But headset design has
come a long way in the last few years. New models equipped with noise-canceling
microphones and high-quality speakers are discreet looking and comfortable to wear. More importantly, they give drivers full
peripheral vision and two-handed steering.
Below are a few headsets
available on the HelloDirect.com web site right now. Once you decide which features
are most important to you, choosing the one that's best should be pretty easy.
JABRA, one of the front-runners of headset design, currently offers 4 models
on the HelloDirect.com web site, 3 of which use the in-the-ear style. These
dime-sized headsets fit inside your ear canal through the use of EarGels® patented
speaker covers that let the ear breathe and ensure a snug, comfortable fit.
JABRA® headsets are designed for a variety of cellular phone models.
($39.99) incorporates a microphone into the earpiece, so there's no boom mic
to worry about. Speak into the air and the highly sensitive microphone will
pick up your voice. The EarBoom®
($24.99) is similar to the EarSet except that it uses a boom microphone. Despite
being only a few inches long, the adjustable boom works well if you're looking
to keep out background noise in your immediate surroundings (from road activity
or your car stereo, for example). The EarBud™
($19.99) is similar to both the EarSet and the EarBoom except that it has an
inline microphone on the cord, which in turn can be clipped to your clothing.
Diverging from their earbud models, JABRA's EarWrap™
($29.99) is good for people who'd prefer not to put speakers directly into their
ear canal. This stable headset rests over your ear. In addition to turning in
excellent clarity and performance, the EarWrap gives you a variety of customizable
Note that JABRA headsets can plug into most cell phones with 2.5 mm connectors.
If your phone doesn't have that connector, it's easy to get special adapters
at Hello Direct. In addition, they offer custom-built JABRA headsets for many
phones that don't have 2.5 mm headset jacks, such as Nokia, Ericsson, and Nextel
Cellular headsets generally plug into the 2.5 mm jacks common to most cellular
phones. Should your phone not have that connector, however, you will need an
adapter to accommodate the headset. Audio adapters for Nokia, Ericsson, and
Nextel phones can be found at Hello
Direct. Too, Hello Direct offers custom-built JABRA headsets for many phones
that don't have 2.5 mm headset jacks, such as Nokia, Ericsson, and Nextel phones.
You never know when you're going to need to make a tricky maneuver while driving
your car. If you're holding a phone to your ear, your hand is blocking your
peripheral vision when it should be on the steering wheel. Best to buy a headset
to be on the safe side. It's a pretty small investment, and you'll also benefit
from enhanced call clarity (you'll hear your conversations more clearly, and
so will your callers) so it's a good deal all around.