Thinking of buying a Bluetooth headset but can't decide between a standard mono one or a snazzier stereo version so you can also listen to music from your phone? Well, thanks to this clever headset from Bluetrek you no longer have to make that decision. As its name suggests the Bluetooth Duo can be used either as a standalone mono in-ear headset or can be quickly converted into a pair of wireless stereo headphones complete with built-in support for SRS WoW HD pseudo surround sound. So the question is whether it's a jack of all trades or a master of none?
The Duo comes as two totally distinct parts. The first part looks pretty much like any run-of-the-mill mono headset. It's short and stubby with rounded edges on both sides and comes supplied with four different ear gels of differing sizes. However, unlike many other headsets, none of the gels supplied here are designed so you can use the headset without an ear hook. Perhaps this is because the Duo is ever so slightly fatter and heavier than most headsets. It certainly needed the extra support of the ear hook to hold it stable on my ear. There are two of these supplied in the box (large and small), and as they clip around the earpiece they can be mounted on either side so lefties will have no problems.
The Duo isn't exactly laden down with controls. In fact there are only two buttons. The first is the volume rocker switch which takes the form of think chrome strip and is mounted on the top edge of the headset. The second is the small multifunction call handling button that sits toward the back of the outer face of the Duo. The multifunction button also has an integrated multicoloured LED to let you know when it's charging, in paring mode or needs to be topped up with juice.
On the rear of the headset you'll find a microUSB port. On most headsets this is used purely for charging, but that's not the case with the Duo. Here it also doubles as a kind of expansion port because this is where you plug the Duo's stereo headphones.
The headphones are actually supplied in two parts. The first part is an adaptor that attaches to the microUSB port, with the stereo headphones then plugging into this via a standard 3.5mm jack. As this adaptor also houses the hands-free microphone it means you can really use whatever headphones you like with the Duo. However, the supplied headphones are specially designed so the headphone cable forms a neck loop. The result is that when they're attached to the headset it hangs around your neck like a dog tag. Or that's the theory at least; instead it tends to hang at an awkward angle as the earpiece on the back stops it from lying flat on your chest. Because of this the look of the whole setup isn't perhaps as elegant as it could be.