The bluetooth headset has become a commodity accessory. The novelty has worn off and there are a number of wired and wireless solutions for interacting with audio on our phones. As with all technologies which survive the novelty phase, the commodity phase holds in store ever improving technology at leaner and more competitive prices.
MPOW is a company working on delivering wireless and battery charging accessories, and their Bluetooth Headset features some pretty neat tricks.
Their headset employs a simple wrap around the ear design. Battery and controls live behind the ear, the ear piece and microphones live just in front of the ear canal. The ear piece swivels allowing the headset to be worn on either left or right side of the head.
It’s a very lightweight affair, comfortable to wear for long periods of time, and features noise reduction microphones. Callers on the other end of my conversations said I sounded better on the MPOW than on my Jabra Bluetooth speakerphone. The audio playback also features noise and echo reduction, but as the earpiece does not fully block the ear canal, it can still be overpowered by traffic and road noise. It’s respectably loud, ad only in the noisiest environments was I unable to continue a conversation.
The MPOW utilizes a Bluetooth 4.0 connection. It had excellent range, and the battery easily lasted me two days using it to listen to several hours of music and podcasts each day. It also supports dual device connections, and it was handy connecting it to a tablet and a phone at the same time.
If there’s a nitpicky to be found, it’s in a slightly confusing main button control arrangement. There are volume up and down buttons, then one single main control button. Everything else is controlled through that main button. Answering and ending calls is a single press. Redialing the last called number is a quick double click. Turning the unit on and off is a really long press, and initiating a voice dial is a somewhat finicky three-seconds-ish button hold. If you don’t hold the button long enough, no voice dial. Hold the button too long and the MPOW shuts off. It took me a couple days to not only figure out all the controls, but then to get a feel for operating the MPOW so I could reliably execute the control I wanted.
All in all, it’s a solid collection of tech, and competitive with many of the name brand headsets I’ve used in the past, often undercutting those other headsets. It comes in at a street price around $33. It’s a simple affair, and overlooking the control quirk, it offers up an attractive bang for buck.