The BlueAnt Q1 voice controlled Bluetooth headset for iPhone [$109.95 - iMore Store] is the higher end version of the BlueAnt V1 I tested last month, and came away impressed with. How impressed? It's a piece of hardware I would recommend it to anyone in the market for a new bluetooth headset. Now that the good folks over at BlueAnt were nice enough to send me the Q1, will I make the switch? For all of the juicy details follow us after the break!
Similar to the BlueAnt V1, this new and improved Q1 boasts many accessories in the package. Along with the sleek gunmetal voice-controled headset you get large and small earbuds, ear hook, USB cable, AC adapter, and a quick start guide.
In my V1 review I mentioned that the Q1's improvements may not warrant the higher price to upgrade. I can now honestly say I was wrong. From a first glance, the Q1 looks much more visually appealing to the eye but it does not stop there. The Q1 measures 2.16 inches long while weighing in at .30 oz without the optional ear hook attached and .38 oz with it attached. These specifications help make this headset, hands-down, the most comfortable headset I have ever used. Even with the ear hook attached I can easily go a full day wearing it and not feel any discomfort. With the different sized ear buds and the ear hook you are bound to find a great comfortable fit. The controls are kept simple, you have the volume up/down buttons and the BlueAnt button which acts as power on/off, answer/end calls, and enables voice command.
Now lets get to the good stuff - performance. The BlueAnt Q1 simply out shines all of the competition I've tested in the performance category in every way except for battery life. My biggest complaint is that the headset gets 4 hours of talk time and 100 hours of standby. Sure that does not sound bad but when the Q1's older sibling, the V1, gets one more hour talk time and 100 hours more of standby time... it makes me wonder how BlueAnt dropped the ball on that one. Moving on let's break down the key features.
- Voice Control with the BlueGenie™ Voice User interface
- Multipoint technology allowing you to connect two handsets at once
- Voice Isolation Technology
- Revolutionary Noise Suppression and Echo Cancellation
- Custom internal wind-shields reduce wind noise to whisper
The first thing I noticed with the improved voice control present on the Q1 was speed dialing. On the V1 I found voice speed dialing worked a bit less than perfectly. I'm happy to report that on the Q1 it works flawlessly. You simply go by your favorite contacts stored within your iPhone. A simple tap of the BlueAnt button and a voice command of "Speed dial 1" will call the first contact stored within your favorites. Not only can you use voice commands for speed dialing but other things such as checking your battery life, answering/ending phone calls, calling back the last incoming call, redialing your last outgoing call, etc... A great feature that 99% of the time understood what I was saying and completed the task.
Another feature, called multipoint technology, is one that some of you out there can appreciate while others will have no use for. Multipoint technology simply means that you can connect two phones to the Q1 at the same time and answer whichever one happens to be ringing. A nice feature for those of you dual-wielding 2 phones such as your beloved iPhone and say your Blackberry. I know with my previous headsets it would be a pain to have to repair the headset to another one of my phones so this is a welcomed feature.
The biggest improvement I have noticed coming from the V1 to this Q1 is all of the voice isolation technologies that are being implemented within the headset have been improved. When I was in a room with complete silence the person on the other end of the line would hear me crystal clear. The big test was how would it perform in a noisy situation. I am happy to report it faired pretty well. While the BlueAnt Q1 does not use a similar technology to the Jawbone's noise assassin, the DSP technology in the Q1 does it's job extremely well. The headset places all ambient noises and makes them sound very distant while raising the sound level of the users voice. Not a single caller complained about not being able to understand me or hear me loud and clear. The biggest improvement over the V1 was made in the wind-sheilds. Living in Chicago I had a great environment to test this out. While all wind noise was not erased, the caller on the other end always was able to hear with me clarity, even with a strong city wind smacking me in the face. Job well done.
Overall the BlueAnt Q1 voice controlled Bluetooth headset for iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS is a excellent, top quality headset that should not be passed up if you are in the market for a top of the line piece of technology. Buy it now!