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Mobile phones are probably one of the best inventions for ages, they've got millions of people talking or probably more realistically texting. There are however many occasions when it can be difficult to hear, and some more important occasions when you shouldn't be using the phone notably driving. When in a crowd it can be annoying when you can't hear the caller on the other end.
There is a neat little gadget called a Bluetooth headset, earpiece, or more commonly handsfree, which easily connects to your mobile via its Bluetooth connection.
There are many manufacturers out there making smaller and smaller Bluetooth headsets and you can now even get Bluetooth stereo headsets for listening to your music.
The Motorola H350 is not the smallest but it is by no means the largest either. It retails at around the £15 mark, but my fortunately came free with a Motorola L6 which I used to have. It simply loops on your hear and has three buttons for control.
At the side of the unit is the main button, which when depressed and held down causes the small blue light at the end to light up. This indicates the unit is ready for connection. This process need only be done once with each phone you wish to use with the H350.
This process is called bonding and it is the terminology used when bonded two Bluetooth devices together as a pair for communication purposes. The process is not complicated and can be done in a few minutes.
The H350 works from a AAA battery which lasts ages. This is inserted into the end once you have opened the cap. It justs clips shut again and the unit is ready to use. Powering up is just a matter of pressing the large button on the side for a few seconds.
Locate on your phone the menu item or icon, which controls your Bluetooth. Switch your Bluetooth on, and using the same menu find the item which links devices usually called Audio Device Search or something similar.
On selecting this your phone will search for the headset and when found ask for the password. This is nearly always 0000. After a few seconds your phone will pop up a message asking if you wish to bond with the H350. Answer yes and job done.
There may be another few tweaks required like directing you calls to the headset, but most recent phones do this automatically. Since all phones are slightly different it may be best to consult your manual or simply have a flick through the menus to see if this is required.
Using the headset
Once the units have bonded and any other set-up has been done all calls will now be directed to the headset. When you hear the ringtone simply press the large button on the side and the call will be answered..........................almost handsfree. Once the call is finished simply press the button again and the call will be dropped.
The two smaller buttons on the top and bottom of the unit and to the rear are volume buttons for increasing and decreasing the volume..................simples.
If you wish some phones will direct your MP3 music player to play through the handsfree and hear everything is just the same except should a call come through the phone will ring and the music will stop. Simply follow the process as before and press the large button to accept and again to finish. Once finished the music will automatically start playing again.
By keeping the large button depressed you will switch off the handsfree/ headset and your phone will switch back to normal mode. To save your battery it is advisable to switch off the Bluetooth if you do not intend to use it again for a while.
If the Bluetooth is left on and you power up the headset automatic connection will take place since the units are bonded. No need to go through all the palaver again.
Many people don't use these kinds of devices because they tend to think they are naff, and to a certain degree I would have to agree, but in the instance of driving I think they are a must. If you a re expecting a call and are driving use one of these or a more traditional handsfree kit DON'T TAKE THE CHANCE no matter how good a driver you THINK you are.
The H350 might not be the best looking one on the market but I don't think it looks too bad once worn. The sound is crisp and clear and the volume buttons work just fine, although I would perhaps be happier if it went just a shade louder. When in operation the blue light at the ends flashes to indicate that it is working, this is maybe just a bit naff, I sometimes feel like a Cyberman.
The main thing is that it works and works well, it significantly reduces risk of accidents whilst driving and for £15 that can't be bad.
I admit that I bought this headset on price as my Nokia headset was not holding charge and I just wanted a replacement whilst I decided on my next phone so didn't want to spend a lot. However - what a great piece of kit.
The most important factor really is the ease of pairing it with your phone. I've paired 4 of these now to different makes of phone and it is SO easy to do. No complications, no counter intuitive actions, as near 'plug and play' as it can be.
It is truly a Universal headset, advertised as compatible with Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Sony-Ericsson and Siemens. Fully charged it has up to 8 hours of talk time. It's light weight and relatively comfortable to wear. Unlike my previous Nokia it has the facility that not only does one button do it all but if you press the button once, following a call it automatically redials your last call destination. Volume is more than adequate, volume control easy to use. Earpiece can fit on either ear. The 'status' light is a clear blue LED, hard to miss. I recharge mine with a computer USB adaptor and it fully recharges in about half an hour tops.