Bluetooth headsets, although very practical , still, in my opinion, haven’t received the widespread acceptance they deserve. Perhaps it’s the fact that they’re just another battery that needs charging, perhaps people just forget them or perhaps it’s there size. With many states introducing laws that require drivers to use some sort of hands free device when using their phone in their car it’s time people got behind owning and using a Bluetooth headset.
If size is one of the issues that’s been keeping you from using one the SmallTalk Mini Bluetooth Headset from Mobile Fun is just what you’ve been looking for.
Mobile Fun was kind enough to send me a unit to review. The SmallTalk arrived in a retail box which includes an instruction manual, the headset, USB cable and car charger. The USB cable allows you to charge the headset via your computer USB ports. The cable can also be used in conjunction with the supplied car charger to charge the headset in your vehicle.
The SmallTalk’s cable doesn’t use Mini or Micro USB though so you’ll be forced to use only the provided cable when doing your charging. It’s nice that they offer both the cable and a car charger adapter as well though.
The SmallTalk has a LED built into the front of the headset which glows red as it charges from your computer’s USB port. A full charge is completed in only a couple of hours.
Once you’re read to use the headset you place it into pairing mode by holding down the power button for a few seconds, until the LED blinks blue & red. You can then pair the headset with your phone.
One of the nice features of the SmallTalk is the fact that is uses “Multi-Point” technology. This allows you to pair the headset with two devices at the same time. When a call comes in the headset knows which phone is ringing and will connect to the ringing phone automatically.
I tried testing this with my iPhone and my Mac Book Pro running Skype and was unsuccessful. While I was able to make and receive calls using the headset on both devices I could only seem to be remain connected to one device at a time. That being said though I believe this is a limitation of the iPhone and not the fault of the headset. (No surprise there, thanks Apple.)
Let’s get this out of the way first. This thing is small. I mean tiny. It weighs only 6 grams.
The SmallTalk front button is used to both answer calls and initiate them.
Pressing the button initiated the Voice Control feature on my iPhone 3Gs and I had no issues telling it who to call over the headset.
There are two other buttons, one along the top, and one along the bottom which control the volume levels of the headset. These are pretty small and I found it easiest to remove the headset, raise the volume level to the highest setting (which is where I keep it anyway) and then just leave it there.
The SmallTalk features an optional ear loop so you can wear the headset either in your ear or over your ear. The unit it so small that once you’ve had it on for a few minutes you soon forget it’s even there.
The SmallTalk’s battery will provide you with 100 hours of standby time and 3 hours of talk time. 3 hours isn’t a huge amount of time, but it shouldn’t be unexpected based on the unit’s size. I haven’t been getting much more than 4-5 hours of usage on my iPhone 3Gs lately so that means I’ll just have to charge both devices at or around the same time. Not a big deal.
Call quality on the SmallTalk was average. Not the best sounding bluetooth headset I’ve tested but certainly not the worst either. And with a price tag under $25 you shouldn’t buy this thing expecting unbelievable audio quality either. In my opinion this thing performs remarkably well for such a small cost.
Buy the SmallTalk for its size and convenience factor. You’ll get a comfortable fitting headset that’s small enough that you can slip it into your pocket and forget it’s there, except when you need it. Then you won’t have anymore excuses when you’re sitting on the side of the road being written up for talking on your phone while driving!
M.S.R.P. - £15.47 (at time of review $23.45)
What I like - small, easily portable, can pair and connect to multiple devices.
What I don’t like - doesn’t use micro or mini USB for charging.