When the Jabra BT160 came out last year, it was one of the first Bluetooth headsets to come with interchangeable cover designs. It doesn't add anything to its features or performance, of course, but it's a nice touch for those who are keen on personalising their gadgets.
Jabra has released its successor, dubbed the BT3010. Available for around £15, the BT3010 has pretty much the same features and sound quality as the BT160, but it has a slightly different design, with as many as 33 different design covers included in the package. You can even design your own cover by visiting Jabra.com.
Aside from the interchangeable cover designs, the BT3010 looks like a normal Bluetooth headset. Measuring 50 by 22 by 24mm, the BT3010 has a very simple all-black plastic casing. The front cover is transparent, which you can take off to replace the design faceplates.
At the very top of the design cover are three buttons -- the multifunction button in the middle and two volume buttons on either side. We thought all three buttons were a little too small for our liking, even though they are all sufficiently raised above the surface of the headset. The two volume buttons are especially tiny. The multifunction button also houses the LED indicator light.
Turn the headset over and you'll find a simple rubberised earpiece plus an optional ear hook. We found that the earpiece fits a little loosely in the ear, so we needed the ear hook to keep it in place. The ear hook can be rotated to fit on either ear. We were disappointed that the ear hook is not very flexible. The earpiece itself fits comfortably within the folds of the ear just outside the ear canal. It's not the most comfortable headset we've worn, but it's good enough for short time periods.
Other features of the BT3010 include the regular answering, ending and rejecting calls, last number redial, voice dialing support, call waiting, three-party calling, and the capability to transfer calls from the headset to the phone and vice versa. The BT3010 also comes with a carrying strap.
We tested the Jabra BT3010 with the RIM BlackBerry Pearl. Call quality was decent, but nothing spectacular. Callers reported that our voice sounded muffled and there was hiss and static in the background. They could still hear us just fine, but only in quieter environments such as in a car or the office. For us, we could hear them without a problem, though again, there was more distortion in noisier situations.
It has a rated talk time of 8 hours and a rated standby time of 12.5 days.
We weren't pleased with the Jabra's tiny controls. If you don't mind these slight drawbacks, the BT3010 is a fun little Bluetooth headset with passable sound quality.
Additional editing by Shannon Doubleday