Bluetooth is a wonderful technology. Once used only for those annoying wireless headsets that make people appear as though they’re talking to themselves (or worse, talking to you), they can now power a number of wireless services. When I jump into my car, my phone automatically connects, so I can answer the phone wirelessly, or even play music from my phone through my car speakers. The future is pretty cool.
These accessories work not only with smartphones, but also with tablets. In fact, given the superb computing power and portability of tablets, you might even find more use for them. Here’s a quick list of our favorites.
1. LG Tone Bluetooth headphones
For years I dismissed the idea of Bluetooth headphones. They can’t possibly transfer high quality audio, right? Wrong. Since experiencing Bluetooth audio transfer in my car I’ve been all over it. One of my first purchases were the LG Tone Bluetooth headphones. They’re absolutely phenomenal, if a little on the bulky side.
The headphones themselves are basic earbuds, complete with rubber ends that fit to your ear. They’re connected to a piece that goes around your neck, which contains the Bluetooth receiver and controls. It’s really not that bad once you get used to it, and it beats the heck out of using wires. If you’re an Android user you can take advantage of the BT Reader app, which reads your text messages to you.
As you might have expected these are a little on the expensive side. Still, $45 for a pair of high quality earbuds isn’t the worst deal in the world.
2. Logitech Bluetooth Wireless Speaker
Looking to play the songs on your smartphone loud and proud? You’ll need a Bluetooth wireless speaker for something like that. There are tons and tons of different models out there, but after playing with a few of them and reading customer reviews, it does appear that the Logitech model grades out the best. It contains eight speakers, giving you high quality sound — made possible because those Bluetooth transfers have become so efficient. It also works on a rechargeable battery, so you can take it wherever the mood takes you.
There are tons of Bluetooth speakers, and they vary wildly in price. You can find some for $30 or $40 that are decent, and some for $200 that are not good at all. The Logitech one is priced well, but it’s not exactly cheap. You can get the Logitech Bluetooth speaker for $120.
3. iKross wireless keyboard
If you search around for iPhone and Android Bluetooth keyboards, you’ll notice a neat little trend. Many manufacturers have made cases that contain slide-out Bluetooth keyboard. I really wanted to like these. It seemed like such a great idea. But they mostly stink. The main reason: if I wanted a phone with a slide-out keyboard I would have bought one. Additionally, in terms of function they don’t work very well. It’s a good idea with poor execution.
After trying and disliking many Bluetooth keyboards, the one I liked the most was the iKross silicone model. It’s flexible! No, seriously. You can bend that keyboard any which way. It makes the actual typing function a bit odd, but it also makes the keyboard very portable. It’s also not priced badly. You can get the iKross Bluetooth keyboard for $25.
4. Jabra Cruiser 2 car Blueooth speaker
Not all cars are equipped with Bluetooth. Most new ones are, of course, but even cars a few years old might not be equipped. In that case you do what you can. If you have the cash flow, you can always take your car to a shop and have it installed. If that’s not your bag, then you can go with a Bluetooth car speaker.
The Jabra Cruiser was a popular line, and the Cruiser 2 brought some improvements. It’s meant mainly for speakerphone, but it can also pump your tunes. It’s not quite the sound quality you’d get from hardwiring it — a second wireless connection is made to the car through an FM transmitter — but it’s better than nothing. And the Jabra Cruiser 2 isn’t priced badly either. You can get one for $52.
5. Plantronics M50 Bluetooth headset
Not that we at all endorse getting a Bluetooth headset at all. We don’t, and we want to make that clear. But some people want them, or feel they need them, and they’re people too. It might seem silly with a tablet, but there are plenty of communications apps, such as Google+ Hangouts and Skype, that can benefit from a Bluetooth headset. If you do want a Bluetooth headset — we strongly suggest you reconsider. Still set? Then check out the Plantronics M50. It basically combines all the good aspects of a Bluetooth headset. It’s small, it fits comfortably around and in the ear, and it provides high sound quality.
It’s cheap, too, especially compared to other popular and highly rated headsets. You can get the Plantronics M50 Bluetooth headset for $29.