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Orange Micro Blue 2 Wireless Headset

This is the only headset in the group to be designed equally to make connection with a PC or a mobile phone. We know this as it comes complete with Orange Micro's Blue2 USB to Bluetooth converter included in the box. The headset itself is a re-badged Jabra device.

The system is simple to set up. You plug in the USB to Bluetooth adapter, about the size of a key fob, into any USB or USB 2.0 socket on your PC and install the supplied software to add Bluetooth support to Windows. It works with Windows 98SE or any later version.

Although Bluetooth doesn't theoretically require line of sight between transceivers, we found it best in all cases to position the Blue2 adapter at desk level or above, for good reception. Orange Micro seems to appreciate this, as it supplies a one metre USB extension lead, in case you keep your PC under your desk.

The headset itself is a rather different design from most others. A flexible, curved arm at the top ends in a gel bud which fits into your ear and the main body of the device sits behind the ear with a small boom microphone extending to the front. This is an extremely comfortable headset, which you can wear without effort all day.

It comes with a small circular holder which you slide the headset into at night to recharge it. While wearing the Blue 2, you can pick up a call by pressing the small button on the back of the device, and again there's a small toggle button to adjust the volume up and down.

In use, the headset was easy to pair with both a Bluetooth mobile phone and the Blue2 adapter and sound reproduction was distinct and without notable distortion, piped straight into the ear via the mini gel. Voice pick-up wasn't as good as with the Logitech or Plantronics devices and speech recognition was barely adequate using the Blue2 – we had to make a lot of corrections when using it.

It's a shame that this device didn't provide better voice reproduction as in most other respects it's the most convenient headset to use. It’s certainly fine for use with mobile phones or as a hands-free headset for gaming or video-conferencing, but with speech recognition it was out of its depth. If you want a complete Bluetooth solution for a PC or notebook which is not already Bluetooth-enabled, this package is convenient and well-designed.

Verdict

The Blue2 is a comfortable headset to wear and comes with everything you need to connect it to both mobile phone or PC. Unfortunately the voice reproduction is disappointing and the price quite high.

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