If you take Peter Greenberg’s advice when traveling, there are two types of luggage: carry-on and lost.
But while you’re toting around those cumbersome bags, your cell phone starts ringing away in your pocket or purse, which you then sandwich between a raised shoulder and ear, all the while scurrying off to your terminal.
Wouldn’t it be a relief instead to wear a wireless headset?
Of course, not all wireless Bluetooth headsets are created equal, so gadget gal Monique DeJong traveled-tested three wireless headsets—the Z9, NX6000, and Jawbone, and she reports on her findings.
nXZEN NX6000 by CellPoint Connect AB
As the least attractive of the three, the NX6000 by CellPoint Connect AB looks like a small, plain, black blob connected to your ear.
For those hirsute individuals, you can conceal this wireless headset more easily, but its audio quality is the poorest of the three.
Although the NX6000 has the patented FRONTWAVE Extreme acoustic processing, which supposedly creates clear phone calls, voices often sounded fuzzy, and occasionally the individual on the other end complained about not hearing my voice.
It is slightly lighter than the Jawbone and weighs about the same as the BlueAnt, but considering that the price is $120—which is more than the Jawbone—consider passing on this headset.
Jawbone Headset by Aliph
Slightly cheaper than the Z9—$119.99— the Jawbone Headset prides itself in being one of the best-rated wireless headset on the market. It’s much larger than the Z9 and NX6000, and felt bulky in my ear, and I had to re-situate it several times for it to feel somewhat snug.
The sound quality far surpasses the NX6000, and the noise-canceling technology helps you facilitate conversations that need to be made near loud intersections.
Its minimalist, streamlined, and design has no visible buttons and looks less clunky than cheaper headsets.
It definitely makes a statement with its grandiose appearance, but for the demure at heart, this headset is not for you; however, if you are concerned about people thinking you are conversing with yourself, a larger headset may remedy your paranoia.
Z9 by BlueAnt
My personal favorite out of this wireless headset bunch is BlueAnt’s Z9. This conspicuous, sleek headset has an easy-to-find auto-connection and reconnection button—just look for the cute, blue-flickering ant.
This button is larger than the NX6000 button, so your fingers don’t have to fuss to answer a call.
Its new Digital Signal Processor, called “Voice Isolation Technology,” creates noise suppression, wind noise reduction and echo cancellation, and it does not distort voices. Voices didn’t sound fuzzy, unlike the NX6000.
Awarded for its innovated design, the Z9 is a great deal smaller than the Jawbone, and its lightweight design rested comfortable in my ear.
At $129, the price difference from the others is negligible, and I suggest splurging the extra few dollars on a well-functioning wireless headset, rather than straining to hear sub-audible phone calls—especially if you and your cell phone spend a significant time together.
By Monique-Marie DeJong for PeterGreenberg.com.
Need gift ideas? Check out the rest of our travel gadgets section.
Previously by Monique-Marie DeJong: