Having reviewed at least three dozen headsets in the last year, it's not often that I come across a model with some feature that separates it from the rest of the pack. Usually the review process boils down to how the headset looks, how it feels and how it sounds.
That's not the case here. This is the second time that Bluetrek has demonstrated that there's room for originality in a saturated market space. Last year, the Bluetrek UFO sported two dedicated, assignable preset buttons, allowing you to call either of your two most frequently dialed numbers with a single touch. The company's latest innovation, the Bluetrek BIZZ, pushes design thinking even further out of the box. Here's why . . .
As product aesthetics go, the BIZZ is a pretty pedestrian. It's the standard black rounded rectangle, marred by two matte silver stripes on either side of the talk button that cut vertically across the horiztonal frame. If fashion is what you're looking for, look elsewhere.
Ah, but function! Here's where things get interesting. Removing the speaker cover reveals a USB adapter. You can charge the device directly with any computer no car or wall charger necessary. But that's only half the utility. The headset has an internal microUSB slot, allowing you to use the device as a flash drive! The included memory card is a measly 512MB SDHC version, but the device supports up to 8GB cards. So you can use the BIZZ as a card adapter to transfer data between your Centro and your computer.
Unlike a couple of higher-end headset manufacturers that I continually gripe about, Bluetrek tends to throw in a full battery of accessories with their products. Included are two sizes of earhooks, a car charger, and four sizes of Bluetrek's so-called "Ergobuds" ear cushions with extra padding on one side. There's also a quick start guide with very terse instructions.
The Ergobuds design actually does provide more traction than symmetrical earbuds, making it easy for most people to wear the BIZZ without the earhooks. That's a good thing, since the included earhooks are the spindly plastic kind that you'd be reluctant to keep in your pocket.
The USB cable is intended for use with the car charger, but it comes in handy for computers with cases that aren't friendly with flash drives with large frames, as was the case with my laptop.
I loved the concept behind this device so much that I anticipated making this my default headset, replacing the mighty Jawbone 2. Then I could get rid of the flash drive on my very loaded keychain. Alas, I was reminded of what makes the Jawbone 2 so mighty.
The incoming sound quality is pretty average. I wouldn't have any problems using this headset on a regular basis. But the outgoing sound received several complaints without my prompting. In other calls, I would switch from headset to handset in mid-call, and would get "that's much better" comments. In voice mail tests, I noticed that while the sound wasn't distorted, the mid-to-upper frequences were muffled, creating the wrapped-in-plastic effect.
Wishful thinking has me continuing to test this headset for a while. I really dig the USB adapter, and would really prefer to only carry this device around instead of keeping a separate flash drive on a keychain. But the sound quality was only passable, and coming from the Jawbone, I'm more sensitive to sub-par sound than usual. But unless you're going to get a top-of-the-line headset like the Jawbone, the extra utility of the BIZZ is still a viable option.
Can be used as flash drive, or to tranfer data to Treo
In-device USB adapter allows charging without cables
Includes full set of accessories, including car charger
|Lackluster sound quality
Visually bland design