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5 Bluetooth headsets to help you talk to yourself in public

The humble Bluetooth headset has come a long way over the years. Gone are the days when Bluetooth headsets were only for the business elite (or maybe business dork). Now, Bluetooth headsets aren’t just there for taking calls — they can also be used as a portal to your digital assistant and provide you with vital information when you need it, without the need to pull your phone out.

Related: Altec Lansing’s everything-proof Bluetooth speaker tackles the outdoors with you

There are a ton of things to consider when buying a Bluetooth headset, however, such as battery life and audio quality. If you need your headset available to you all day, for instance, battery life might be the first thing to consider. Of course, you’ll also want to keep design and various features in mind. But which Bluetooth headset should you get? With all the options out there, it can be a little difficult to decide. Below are some of our current favorites.

Jawbone Era ($50)


The Jawbone Era may be a few years old, but that doesn’t make it any less of a great device. The original Jawbone Era was released back in 2011, but the company re-released and redesigned the device in 2014. The Era is perhaps most notable because of its design — it’s arguably the most stylish Bluetooth headset on the list, thanks to its sleek arm and discreet earpiece. Basically, this headset won’t draw immediate judgement as you walk down the street. Not only that, but it’s available in four colors (silver, red, bronze, and black) and comes with ear tips that fall within three size categories (small, medium, and large).

The Era also features Jawbone’s “Noise Assassination” technology, which is targeted at cutting out as much background noise as possible when you’re on a call. There’s one button on the device, so it may take a few days to learn all the shortcuts. Jawbone claims that the device will last up to 4 hours on a single charge, but thankfully, there is an optional battery case available. Still, if you’re after something to last you through the day, the Era may not be for you. As far as connectivity goes, the Era features Bluetooth 4.0.

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Plantronics Voyager 5200 ($60)

Plantronics Voyager 5200 Thumb

Arguably a little less stylish than the Jawbone Era, the Plantronics Voyager 5200 looks a lot more like what you might expect a Bluetooth headset to look like. While it won’t win any awards when it comes to design, it still has a lot going for it. The Voyager 5200 hooks around the ear, so you won’t need to worry too much about it falling off, which is great for those that lead busy lives. The design is completed by the small microphone arm, which is noticeable, but not overly large.

As previously noted, the Voyager 5200 doesn’t stand out in terms of design, but it does have a few cool things going for it. Plantronics says the device should last up to 7 hours on a single charge, for instance, though some reviews note that it will likely last somewhere between 5 and 6 hours. That’s still not bad compared to other devices on our list. Like the Era, the Voyager 5200 also has an optional charging case, which grants the device two extra charges. The Voyager 5200 offers excellent audio quality, too, and while the noise cancellation may be a little too aggressive for some tastes, it helps mute background noise in spades. The device can even withstand a few raindrops if it needs to, given its IPX4 rating, meaning that splashes of water from any direction shouldn’t harm the device.

Buy one now from:

Amazon Plantronics

Plantronics Voyager Legend ($90)

Plantronics Voyager Legend Thumb

Plantronics has been a big player in the Bluetooth headset market, so it makes sense that there would be two devices from the company on this list. The Voyager Legend may be a little older than the 5200, but it’s still a great choice. The design is similar to that of the Voyager 5200, and thus it hooks around your ear. The built-in microphone arm is pretty big, however, and the device screams “Look at my Bluetooth headset.” It’s huge, but if you don’t mind the size too much, then perhaps this is the headset for you. The Legend also has two buttons, one for voice calls and one for other calls, both of which are located on the microphone arm. Like the other Plantronics device on our list, it feature three ear tips (small, medium, and large) to accommodate different ear sizes. Also, like the 5200, the device is said to provide up to 7 hours of continuous power on a single charge.

Buy one now from:

Amazon Plantronics

Sennheiser Presence-UC ($141)


When buying an audio product, you might want to consider an established name in the audio world — like Sennheiser. Sennheiser has long been a dominant force in both consumer and pro audio, and for good reason. The Presence is a pretty sleek device, one that is certainly a lot sleeker than either of the two Plantronics headsets on our list. The design is a combination of black and silver with a microUSB port for charging and an LED light on the back. It features an ear hook like most Bluetooth headsets, however, unlike others, that ear hook can be removed and attached as needed. The device utilizes Bluetooth 4.0 and implements Sennheiser’s “SpeakFocus” tech, which is designed to enhance voice clarity in all scenarios. It also uses the company’s WindSafe tech, allowing it to eliminate — you guessed it — wind noise. Plus, Sennheiser claims it will last between 8 and 10 hours on a single charge.

Buy one now from:

Amazon Sennheiser

Jabra Motion ($100)

Jabra Motion Thumb

Last but not least is the Motion, from the lesser-known Jabra. The Motion looks similar to various Plantronics devices, and as such, it features an ear hook and a microphone arm. The microphone arm on this bad boy, however, can be folded up when not in use, rendering the device slightly smaller when you’re toting it on the go. The device also uses NFC to aid with the pairing process, ensuring that it can quickly pair with your phone. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the Motion is that it has a built-in accelerometer, which allows you to answer calls when you pick up the device or activate noise cancellation when moving. These features don’t work particularly well, but that doesn’t mean that the device is useless. It still boasts excellent audio quality, up to 7 hours of battery life, and the ability to create multiple profiles for different situations.

Buy one now from:

 Amazon Jabra