When I recently reviewed the nXZEN PLUS 5500 BT Headset, I was very impressed by its noise cancelling capabilities, so much so that even though the 5500 was larger than the AX2 I was using, I started using it instead. Well, now the one thing that I missed about the AX2 has been replicated in a Gennum device: Meet the , a very petite BT headset which combines the excellent noise cancelling properties of the larger nXZEN models with the tiny size I like.
Included in the box are the headset, a miniUSB charging cable, a USB AC Adapter two differently sized ear hooks, and three differently sized flexible ear pieces. I received an early unit which came without a manual in the box (retail versions will include one), but with only three buttons the headset was not difficult to figure out.
Measuring just 1.46″ long x 1.05″ wide x 0.53″ thick, the teardrop shaped nX6000 tops the scale at a featherweight 0.4 ounces. The headset’s body is composed of a minimalistic black matte plastic, with subtle flash created by the three silver buttons on the rear and bottom of its body. The removable earhook has a silver tip, which also gives it a bit of panache without any over the top drama.
- Bluetooth 2.0
- Available in Black
- DSP Performance – 120 MIPS
- Talk Time: Up to 6 hours
- Standby time: Up to 90 hours
- Battery: Lithium Ion
- Three-Button Operation
- FRONTWAVE Extreme noise cancellation
- Digital Voice Isolation with dual-mic pickup
- Amplified outgoing voice and incoming audio
- Can be worn on either ear
- Removable ear loop, compatible with eyeglasses
- Fully supported hands-free Bluetooth profiles
- Quick power-up and auto-connect to handset
-Low battery indicator/signal
- Standard miniUSB Charging Port
- Multiple Device Pairing
- Can be worn with or without ear loop
The nX6000 uses a miniUSB charger, which plugs into the exposed port on the rear. The translucent plastic that you see on half of the USB port is the housing for an LED indicator, which will glow red while charging, solid blue when fully charged, blink light red when the battery is low, flashes blue and red very quickly when pairing, and slowly blinks blue when operational. Because the headset uses a common miniUSB port to charge, it can also accept downloaded features fromafter purchase. Not surprisingly, since the headset isn’t officially available yet, there aren’t any downloadable features available yet, either.
The plastic earhook is completely detachable, which means that the nX6000 can be worn simply by sticking the rubber tipped earbud into the ear. Using the headset without an earhook will keep it from interfering with sunglasses or prescription glasses, but it is obviously not quite as secure as having the thin earhook installed. The good news is that this earhook is smaller than most, so it may actually work with the wearer’s glasses even when in place.
There are three buttons on the body of the headset, a volume +, volume -, and a multi-function button which when pressed after charging will pair the headset with up to three devices, or it will redial the last number called when tapped, initiate call-waiting or initiate voice dialing on phones that support it. When pressed and held it will turn the headset on or off; if the headset is being worn while the button is pressed and held, an upward trill will sound as it powers on versus the downward trill as it powers off.
When worn on the right ear, the volume + button is on top, the other two buttons are on the bottom edge, so when the earhook is reversed for left ear wear, the button layout will be swapped.
Here is a shot of the Nextlink Bluespoon AX2 next to the Gennum nX6000. As you can see, they are similar in size, although the nX6000 is slightly wider. I like the cleaner style of the nX6000 better, and I also like that the ubiquitous flashing blue light is on the back of the headset instead of its side.
When using the nX6000, I had a mixed bag of results. With the headset already in my ear, I called a friend and he couldn’t tell that I was wearing one. I thought he was exceptionally clear, but I did notice a slight hiss in the background. However the hiss wasn’t too distracting, and I was actually pretty impressed with the otherwise very clear results. But after I had removed the headset I received another call, and after fumbling to put the headset back in my ear, I was told that he could tell I was on a headset and I didn’t sound very clear. Just to be certain, I called another friend, and she told me that I sounded clear as a bell, so go figure. Even with music or television playing in the background, the guinea pigs I called said that they could hear little to nothing in the background and that my voice was clear. The same held true when I tested the headset while taking a drive in my diesel ranch truck. I guess my results mean that if the headset is already seated properly in your ear, calls will be perfectly clear. If not, it may take a moment to get everything situated.
Overall, I think that the nX6000 is one of the nicest Bluetooth headsets I’ve tried. Its size is not obnoxious, it won’t make its wearer look like a borg, and the sound quality is really very good. Although it is not yet available, once the nX6000 is released I think that it will prove to be a very popular choice.
What I Like: Compact design; easy to operate; excellent and clear sound; custom fit with assorted earhooks and rubber buds
What Needs Improvement: There is a slight hiss noticeable on the wearer’s end, some may find it distracting