Bluetooth® headsets are wireless devices used for hands-free communication, commonly on a cell phone. Bluetooth® headsets may also be used by employees in a call center, by people working on a computer in their homes, or even for video gaming. The most common use, however, is while talking on a cell phone.
To use a Bluetooth® headset on a cell phone, it is necessary for the phone to offer Bluetooth® compatibility. This is quite common in cell phones now, particularly smartphones. The headset is able to "pair" with the phone with the press of a button, and may then be used to make and receive calls.
Many Bluetooth® headsets are designed similarly, with a hook that fits over the ear, and a built-in earbud and microphone to rest close to the face and remain in place while walking or driving. Bluetooth® headsets of the past may have had an extended microphone, to place the microphone closer to the mouth, but this type of design is fairly rare now in headsets used for cell phone communications. Headsets for call centers or computer work may have extended microphones, but they may also have a more traditional headphone design with two earpieces rather than one.
The features found on Bluetooth® headsets may vary, but all are able to answer and reject phone calls. In addition, if the cell phone to which the headset is connected supports voice dialing, many headsets can perform that task as well. Some are designed to help eliminate background noise, such as wind or driving sounds, to improve call quality and voice clarity. Some pricier Bluetooth® headsets are capable of connecting to more than one device at once, such as a cell phone for personal use and one for business use, for instance. Small LCD screens and increased security features are also becoming more commonplace on these Bluetooth headsets.
The benefit to using a Bluetooth® headset is that it is completely wireless, and does not need to be in the line of sight of the cell phone, just within a certain range. In many areas, it is illegal to talk on cell phone while driving without a hands-free device, so Bluetooth® headsets can make driving safer. Beware, however, that some state prohibit "talking while driving" even with a hands-free device. These headsets can be purchased at most cell phone retailers or online, and there are many different designs to suit personal preferences and varying needs. It may be necessary to try a few different headsets before finding one that is both comfortable in the ear, and compatible with one's phone.