Available early this year for about $200.
Pros: New lithium battery gives tons of talk time before recharge (five hours). Streamlined, fluid design.
Cons: You’d better like blue, because that’s the only color plate available to jazz up the looks.
Bottom line: Ericsson is part of the Bluetooth consortium and has a lot invested in the technology’s success. With this second-generation device, they’ve improved the design, lowered the weight, and upped the talk time. A great accessory, especially if you have an Ericsson phone, though it will work with any phone equipped with a Bluetooth chip.
GN Netcom Bluetooth phone headset Available now under the Motorola name for about $180.
Pros: Microphone arm folds into headset to turn the unit on and off when not in use. Includes GN Netcom’s well-known noise-reduction technology.
Cons: If you don’t have a Motorola phone, you’ll have to wait to buy one.
Bottom line: The Danish GN Netcom is one of the oldest and biggest players in the headset market and in this case, experience counts. This sleek second-generation headset is one of the most stylish and compact around, and includes proprietary perks like volume orientation (senses when user switches ears and adjusts volume accordingly).
Plantronics M1000 Expected to hit market early this year for about $150.
Pros: Adjustable boom for convenience and multiple users.
Cons: First-generation device (although it uses a second-gen chip) so it has none of the improvements others boast, such as longer talk and standby time, or lightweight, non-bulky design.
Bottom line: A fine option at a good price, but shorter talk time is a drawback. Plantronics, however, is also an old-timer in the headset business and likely to catch up with the competition quickly.