Let’s be honest for a minute – our lives continue to get busier, and we’re constantly juggling our keys, wallets, hand bags, groceries, and who knows what else. At the same time phones continue to get bigger, laws change to prevent distracted driving. Yet here we are with these fancy smartphones and we don’t have enough free hands to hold them up to our heads and take a call. Sometimes our smartphones just don’t feel so darned smart. Enter the BlueAnt Q3 - a “look at the geek” headset for your phone.
Look at the geek
Again, being honest I still feel awkward and silly with one of these things in my ear and yes, I still think NERDS!! every time I see someone with them in the store or walking through the parking lot.
I still wonder if someone is talking to me when they start yabbering along and when I realize they’re in mid-call, I feel like a n00b.
Yet for some reason, when I get on a call in my office the first thing I reach for is my trusty Plantronics CS70 headset and it feels totally natural to sit on a conference call while my hands are free. So, why do I feel so awkward with bluetooth headsets for my smartphone?!
Here’s the thing, despite my self-consciousness issue the BlueAnt Q3 is excellent. I’ve been using it regularly for the past couple weeks and while I still feel awkward I really enjoy being able to continue doing what I’m doing and not have to stop to answer the phone.
Being the geek
Yesterday I was outside working in (my wife’s) garden, replacing some sprinkler lines as we’ve redesigned and I had to get water to new places. So, I’m playing in the dirt when the phone rings. Without having to reach for my phone, the Q3 announces the caller and I simply responded with “answer”. The call gets connected and now I’m blabbering on with my mother about the events of the week all without having to stop making mud.
Not all bluetooth devices are created equal. Some are really stylish but can’t perform when the wind kicks up. Others look terrible but can perform pretty well (I’m looking at you huge boom headset guy in the F150 that always seems to follow me on my way to work). The Q3 in my opinion is really reaching for the best of both worlds. As you can see it’s quite small, and once you get it in your ear it’s so light it almost disappears. Truth be told if it wasn’t for the fact that having the Q3 in your ear limits hearing of outside noises on one side of your head there’s times you would forget you’re wearing it.
Call quality and sound production was superb. Not once (I’m on AT&T) did someone ask me to repeat what I said because of noise or wind. Not once did I struggle to hear an incoming call or navigation announcement from the phone, even when the radio was going. Those really are the key features of any headset – and the BlueAnt Q3 excelled at both.
Thanks to the ability of the Q3 to connect with various functions of your device (both Android and iPhone), you can use voice commands to do a variety of things like check your battery status, make, answer or ignore a call and have the device read you your incoming messages (android/Siri).
I touched on this, but it’s also nice to have the stereo cranked listening to your favorite tunes in the car, and still be able to hear the navigation software announce you’ve got a turn coming up. For me this has turned into the killer feature and one of the main reasons I’ll be keeping a headset in the car from now on.
BlueAnt also built in a conference mode which lets you put calls on hold while taking another one, or merge calls together. If you’re one of those weirdos who actually uses their smartphone for phone calls – this is a killer feature and one not found on anything but BlueAnt devices.
Battery life – stated at 7 hours talk / 180 standby. Sorry, I can’t confirm those numbers. I’m just not a talker. But the Q3 survived a couple days off the charger taking a few calls, responding to texts, voice typing emails and navigating to and from a couple locations I wasn’t familiar with. All in all I was pleased with the battery life.
The supplied charger and MicroUSB cable was a nice touch – many devices have stopped shipping chargers which I find mildly annoying. Charging time was very good – stated at 2 hours to full or 30 minutes to 50% and I found that to be accurate.
Placement of the controls made sense and I didn’t find myself hunting for the raised command button or the volume slider although the latter is further into my ear than I liked. Activation of both while the device is in your ear was still quite simple however.
Finally along with a stabilizer hook, there’s also a nice assortment of ear buds included so you don’t have to struggle with getting a good fit.
- Voice Isolation Technology Patented Wind Armor Technology – crystal clear communication in wind speeds of up to 22mph
- Dual microphones and advanced DSP Streaming Bluetooth audio via A2DP
- Announced names of incoming callers
- “Answer” or “Ignore” commands to answer calls
- One-touch controls
- iPhone on-screen battery meter
- Smartphone battery notification Multipoint connectivity for connecting two phones at once
- Talk time of up to 7 hours, standby up to 180 hours
- Black or Platinum styles
It can’t be all good right? The ONLY complaint I have is getting the Q3 situated in my ear. Something about the ear hook stabilizer and positioning the device just doesn’t work well for me. Once I get it right the device is solid as rock… but getting there can be a little frustrating. This is most likely a “me” issue, and I’d bet it all boils down to user error – YMMV.
There’s a lot to be said for having your phone in your pocket, but still being able to make/take calls, read/respond to messages, and get your directions. The BlueAnt Q3 did all of these for me while I was testing it out, and while I still feel a little geeky with a headset on, I’ve grown to love the added benefits of having the Q3.
You can pick up the BlueAnt Q3 directly from BlueAnt for $99 or you can find it at many retailers including AT&T stores throughout the US if you’d like to see it in person first.