I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Bluetooth headsets. On the one hand, having a wireless connection to your phone is great, and as technology has improved over the years the sound quality and comfort has increased. On the other hand, though, I seem to easily lose or break my headsets. Since I don’t like looking like a Borg, I don’t typically wear my headset all the time. If I remember to bring it with me when I leave the house, I put it in my pocket or jacket, where it then doesn’t have a very good survival rate. And since headsets have gotten so much smaller, they’re easy to lose amongst the clutter of my desk. They’re hard to keep up with, and never seem to be charged up when I need them. Enter, the MoGo Talk XD2 from id8-mobile. Could this be the headset I’ve been waiting for?
The MoGo Talk XD2 is an innovative Bluetooth Headset and slim case for the iPhone4. The headset is lightweight and incredibly slim, and actually snaps seamlessly into the back of the Slim MoGo Grip case. This means I never have to worry about where I’m going to put the headset when I’m not using it, while still having it easily accessible for when I need it. There is also a micro-USB port on the case, just under the dock connector, where you charge the headset through a normal USB connection.
This is easily the slimmest Bluetooth headset I’ve had the opportunity to use. It weighs in at only 9 grams, and comes with 6 interchangeable eartips to use to allow for a truly custom fit. It can pair with up to 5 devices, so you can use it with you iPhone, your computer for Skype calls, even your Xbox 360 or PS3. It works with Apple’s Voice Control feature on the iPhone as well, so you can control all your functions hands free. Add in SmartAudio Noise and Wind Reduction technology, and your conversations are clear no matter the environment. The headset is rated at 4 hours talk time, and 3 days of standby, and my experience roughly mirrored that rating.
I’ve always been very picky about cases for my iPhone4. I’ve never felt comfortable with any of my phones going naked, be it Nokia, Motorola, Palm, or Apple, but I generally put it in my pocket instead of using a belt clip so it’s important that a case not add a lot of bulk. I was a little skeptical of this case, just because I knew that I was going to be clipping a Bluetooth headset into it. Surprisingly, though, it didn’t add very much bulk at all to the phone, and in my hand it feels a lot like the curved back of the previous generation iPhone (which, frankly, I preferred a little bit instead of the flat glass block that is the current iPhone). The case is a hard polycarbonate shell with a felt lined interior, with clear access to all the buttons and ports. However, this case suffers from the same issue that a lot of case manufacturers are still facing with the iPhone4 – dealing with the flash. Photos taken using the flash will be washed out. Again, that doesn’t seem like a problem unique to the MoGo Talk XD2 case, but it’s still something to keep in mind.
Now, the most important part – how does it work? After you choose the eartip that best fits you, simply snap the headset into the case and plug it in to charge it up, full charge in about one hour. After a painless pairing procedure, you’re off and running. There is only one button on the headset, allowing you to answer a call, activate Apple Voice Control, or power on or off depending on how long you hold the button down. Initial calls from a quiet location were clear on both ends, so I decided to try the Noise and Wind Reduction technology with a few non-scientific tests.
Walking outside with a small breeze, the headset performed pretty well with the noise and wind reduction. However, as the wind picked up with some gusts, the audio did start to cut in and out. Forget driving in a car with the windows down, that’s going to overload the wind-noise reduction circuitry. Now, on the flip side, I could hear just fine – the outside noise reduction and volume adjustment worked great. I could very easily hear my wife telling me that she couldn’t hear me in just about every noisy environment I tried.
So, to sum up, I really like the form factor and design for this headset and case. It addresses several issues I’ve had dealing with Bluetooth headsets and cell phones, but unfortunately it does not solve those problems completely. I will certainly be keeping my eye on id8-mobile for the next iterations, though, I think with a little more work on the wind-reduction and case fit this would be a very compelling choice. The MoGo Talk XD2 is available now for around $100.