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Most headsets today are designed to be as small and light as possible, but this also makes them quite fragile. If you tend to use headsets in harsher environments such as factories and building sites, then you've probably found that most models can't take too much abuse before they finally give up the ghost. The X3 from Bluetrek promises to be a different beast altogether as it's designed to be shock, dust and splash-proof.
We looked at the Plantronics ruggedised Explorer 370 last week, but as it proved to be a pretty disappointing, not to mention uncomfortable experience, we were interested to see how the X3 would fair. From the outset the X3 looks like a much more appealing headset. For starters it's a great deal smaller. In fact, as it measures just 55mm long and 22mm wide, it's really no bigger than a standard headset, with only the rubberised casing giving any indication that it's a deviation from the norm. It's also got a pleasingly sculpted look with its curved rear giving way to a more pointy front-end.
When it's sitting on your ear the headset is held in place via a thin wire hook. This connects to the main body via a small spring clip that snaps into a circular plastic slot. This slot doesn't look all that sturdy, so we're not 100 per cent confident in how it will stand up to repeated long term abuse, but to be honest we didn't have any problems with it during our review period.
Thanks to the spring mechanism the ear hook can be easily removed, rotated and reattached, so you can use the headset on either ear. The wire is also malleable enough that you can bend it to better fit the profile of your outer ear which helps improve overall comfort. Bluetrek supplies the headset with two spare ear hooks of different sizes so even if you've got the ears of Jumbo you should still be able to get the headset to sit comfortably in place. In the box you'll also find four different rubber ear gels so you can get a snug fit on the inside of your lughole. This is a major bonus, as some competitors, such as the Plantronics Explorer 370, have a fixed ear piece that makes them quite uncomfortable to wear.