I've used the Era for several weeks now and it does just fine in the car and home. I'm assuming it would do equally well in an office. On two occassions I've used it in windy environments and people had trouble hearing me, so the "noise assassin" software did not perform as well as advertised. But for car, home or normal work use the Era should be fine. It connects well and stays connected with a good usable range of 20 to 30 feet (or a little more), including on the other side of a wall. Much better than the four other BT's I tried.
Hope this helps.
More detail from my earlier post: I have a 4S with iOS 5.0.1 on Verizon. My issue is the poor sound quality (garble) that is heard by the person I am talking to when using a Bluetooth headset (which is supposed to be the purpose of this post). I am a longtime BlackBerry user that made the switch to iPhone 2 months ago (I'm not sure the iPhone is a great phone for mainly email and phone usage). I purchased an iPhone at Best Buy within a week of being released to try it out. I used my old Plantronics Discovery 975 with it and the listener said sound quality was almost as good as a landline. I returned that phone, since we were going to buy through corporate account through Verizon. When the new phone came in (it now had 5.0.1 on it), my Discovery had horrible sound (unusable) to the listener. I tried it on 2 different 4S phones we have in the office, and while they were better, they still sounded very poor. I tried on even older Nokia on my phone, which was better than the Discovery, but still poor. I then bought a Jawbone Era and a Voyager Pro HD to test. The Era sounded very bad to the listener. The big HD sounded excellent, actually better than when I talked directly on the iPhone, but not as good as a landline. Since then, I am in the north woods on vacation, so haven't used as much, but now they say quality is still pretty good, but not as good (have no idea if it could be something to do with this network, but they say quality was now the same between using iPhone directly or the HD). I just left a voicemail message for me at work (I hadnt tried that before, so cant compare to how it was) using the HD and on playback, I thought it sounded very good. I get about 25' of range.
ilbanker, I'm gonna write my experience once again, since as I've seen you don't seem to have read my earlier posts... No matter WHAT Bluetooth headset you are using, the garble become even more noticeable to the other party IF HE or HER is in a noisy environment. That is, if you talk to your friend over the headset and he's at home, chilling, he'll hear you OK. If you talk to him again and he's downtown, you'll hear him saying that he can't hear you at all!
Thanar, Actually, my phone is almost exclusively used for business purposes, so everyone is almost always in a quiet office environment, even though I am either in a car or quiet room. So, all of my tests and usages have been consistent, with horrible to great sound quality, with all in the same quiet office environment and mostly to the same person. I have not tried noisy environments, but my point is that these are the results in a consistant environment and there are definately issues.
Here's my update. This is a very strange phone, at least so far. Per my earlier posts, I was having a horrible time with range and quality. I did a full shutdown of my phone last night and noticed afterwards that my bluetooth was working better than ever. I discovered this when I received a call and was a floor away from my phone. Bluetooth picked right up. Haven't checked this AM and can't relate call quality as yet (I didn't end up talking to the caller last night), but it would appear that something changed that fixed the range issue. I have read in other posts that resetting can temporarily right these problems, so we'll see if it lasts. But yet another data point.
Thanar, I must say I can't understand your post, just doesn't make sense to me. Yes, if the person is in a noisy place, it is harder to hear, but if you are saying the garbled is merely the perception on the part of the listener, you are mistaken. I recorded voicemail yesterday and it was horrible. I was standing in my kitchen. Also I've been using a bluetooth device for more than two years. Where the person i'm calling is located has nothing whatsoever to do with the performance of my bluetooth. Yes, if it is noisy they can't hear me, but that's no different whether I use the phone or bluetooth. I really don't understand your point.
Tom, let me explain my thesis once again... I started having issue with my Bluetooth headsets beck when I owned an iPhone 3G with some ancient software I can't remember. After some software update from Apple, people started complaining that they could not hear me well. I did some tests, by calling myself to my landline and found out that the iPhone when talking through Bluetooth headset was NOT operating in full-duplex mode.
That is, if you call yourself on the landline, pick the corded up and place both to your head and start talking, you'll notice that yourself on the landline gets cut-off, hence the garbled sound. If you cover your landline with your hand, you'll be hearing yourself on the landline just fine.
Another more technical way to explain it: Apple was having issues with its own Bluetooth headset, there was lots of echo when it was first launched. The person you were talking to, was hearing himself back. That was happening because Apple's Bluetooth headset was so small and badly engineered that it's microphone was actually capturing the voice from its speaker and sending it back to the other party. What did Apple do to face it? They added some echo cancellation software on the iPhone that "muted" the headset's speaker whenever there was input from the other side of the line. That killed the echo issues but also damaged the full-duplex of the conversation.
That's the best way I can describe my point of view. This also explains why the issue goes away after an iPhone restart and comes back after a while: the DSP software that manages the echo cancellation on the IPhone starts over-behaving and cuts more and more sound in the process.
I just "upgraded" from iPhone 3 to 4S. With my 3 I had been using Plantronics Voyager Pro with good results. With the 4S, though, I am experiencing the audio problems described in this string of 500+ posts. Last week I talked with both Apple and Plantronics support, went through the same restart/reset protocols described above. The problem seemed to go away for a brief period of time, but came back within 5 minutes or so.
I have not received reports of people not being able to hear me, but it's very difficult for me to hear them. Thanar's most recent post makes the most sense to me about what I'm hearing--a cutting, rythmic sound from my headset.
Plantronic support took me through the same protocol, then told me the problem was probably my 2 year old headset. Yesterday I bought the new Plantronics Voyager Pro HD/R, HDST, US. Same problem.
This is very frustrating, especially since Apple and Plantronics both seem to be in denial.
Does anyone know of a Bluetooth model that DOES work with iPhone 4S?
Thanks. Misery loves company.
Exact same problems here. Iphone4s (OS 5.0.1) paired with Motorola H690 headset. The Bluetooth headset has been a champ on every other phone I've tried (HTC Fuze, PalmPre, Motorla Razr, and more) but apparently the iPhone4S hates it.
I've called my home line and left test messages comparing talking while on Bluetooth, handset, and speaker phone. So far speaker phone is winning for general sound quality. The Bluetooth is so bad I can't even understand what I was saying. Moving headset closer to Bluetooth helps, but it's still only barely intelligible.
Since this doesn't appear to be a issue Apple will acknowledge, does anyone know of a headset that functions accepptably with the iPhone4S?
After giving up up on a previously stellar Jawbone Era I asked the same question you ask. Several on the forum recommended decent performance from a couple of Blueant headsets.
I ordered a Blueant V1x and it arrived this past Tuesday. When I paired it up I got decent results with my iCan't 4, running iOuch 5.01. My callers report ok quality, no muffled sounds as before, it just sounds like I'm talking on a speakerphone. Certainly not in the same league as a Jawbone Era on a pre-iOS 4.0 iPhone, but acceptable.
I've been hammering it everyday since I got it, with everything I can think of to get it to go to the muffled sounds I was getting with my other headsets. But so far, after 5 days of use it's staying in there. Blueant's website recommends you reboot the iCan't at least once a day and minimize the number of open Apps you have running. I did early tests when I first got it and could not tell any degradation from having 6-7 apps open, but I have been doing a reboot every morning (I leave the phone on overnight, as an alarm clock).
According to the Blueant website, their view is that the various iPhone BT problems are related to how apple has designed their iPhone multitasking algorithms. Interesting.
Anyway, so far so good for the Blueant V1x.
Thanks for the postings, nucsub and garrettfromsunnyvale. Nice to know I'm not crazy. Very disappointed that Apple is ignoring this problem. When I called support it was like they had never heard of the problem. Not good service from a company that is supposed to be different.
I guess I'll try the wired earbuds for a while--or just use speaker more. I don't like talking to someone who is on speaker, so I hesitate to subject my callers to it.
I'm not going to spend any more money on headsets until the problem is resolved.
Donnfrompalmbeach, I gave up on BT when iOS 4 came out and trashed the performance of my Jawbone. I switched to using my buds almost exclusively for the past year or so, to give me some semblance of hands-free. I only rejoined The Struggle for Truth and Justice for iPhone Bluetooth when the headset jack on my iPhone started shorting out two weeks ago, rendering my earbuds useless.
In any case my new $35 Blueant V1x seems to be continuing to provide acceptable service so far.
Unfortunately, "Your results may vary."
It is baffling that some headset work for some people, but not others. Again, I am talking about how my voice sounds to the other person. As I have stated in previous post, I used a Plantronics Discovery 975 with an 4S and it worked incredibly, but on another iPhone 4S, it was pure junk. Used a Era and junk for me, but others here say it works. Am now using Plantronics Voyager Pro HD and works very well for me, but now Don says it doesnt work for him.
I wonder if somebody could contact C/Net or some media outlet like that who would publish this and bring some media attention to it so Apple maybe feels pressure to respond. Seems like they are now getting like so many other big companies that are non-responsive to their customers needs and wont accept responsibility for a problem.
- to your point, "...that some headset work for some people, but not others...", this is something that has intrigued me from the beginning. As a recovering engineer I have tried to connect all the dots that are known in this anomaly ("that some headset work for some people, but not others"). For me:
1. this cannot be explained by variations in iPhone or BT headset hardware (antenna, RF circuits, etc). Such variations would only have impact if Apple's quality control were truly crap. (ok maybe it is but humor me for a bit in thinking it is not)
2. nor do I think this anamoly could be explained in variations in iPhone OS software (DSP, multitask algorithms, etc) since code is code is code, and we're all pretty much using the same iOS, 5.01 unfortunately.
3. what I think--and have thought for some time--is this problem is caused by some combination of installed and/or running apps, some additional combination of iPhone Settings, or, Apple's alleged 'echo-control mods' they instituted with iOS 4.
I am about 90% certain that Apple knows the root cause of this anomaly. My sense is that Apple is not correcting this problem because their Apple brand headsets work precisely because the echo control was tweaked, and 'un-tweaking' it would **** off those users. Conversely, if my assumptions above are reasonably correct, they obviously cannot acknowledging this huge freaking screwup, because they would expose themselves to substantial damages.
- to your thought, "...I wonder if somebody could contact C/Net or some media outlet like that who would publish this...", I think that idea is spot on.