Consumers Are Getting Over Bluetooth Headsets

Douche on a Bluetooth.According to a new study, consumers are finally getting over their infatuation with looking completely ridiculous while using a hands-free headset. Bluetooth usage is down, at least in the headset sector, and so is satisfaction with most Bluetooth headset styles.

Only 26% of Bluetooth owners now use their headset every day, which is down from 43% a year ago. That’s what I call a sharp improvement. While there is the occasional comedic self-talker, I find most regular Bluetooth users to be among the rudest people I’ve ever met. Females are the worst, and usually only because they have long hair, which hides the headset from view. While bartending in Cleveland last year I actually had a woman wave her hands just inches from my face and snap at me because I interrupted her phone call when I asked her if she wanted a drink. Needless to say, she didn’t get one.

It seems it’s not just the social misconduct that’s turning people away from headsets – it’s style, too. “The style and design of the Bluetooth headset remains a pain point for consumers,” said Chris Schreiner, a Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics. “The number of Bluetooth headset owners that are satisfied with the style of their device dropped 27% since 2008.” In lieu of their once coveted headsets, consumers have turned to in-car sets for their higher quality microphones and speakers.

Source: Business Wire

Quite possibly the greatest looking Bluetooth Headset ever!

Orb HeadsetThe creative minds at Hybra Advanced Technology and AbsolutelyNew must be applauded. They have come up with what I consider the most beautiful looking Bluetooth headset of all time. The Orb is a ring and a headset. Yes, a ring and a headset.

So, when in ring “form” it can display things like caller id, calendar items, and voice-to-text info. When it headset “form” it small and shiny and subtle. Let’s just hope it works as well as it looks. Here’s what OhGizmo! had to say about it:

The Orb is an actual Bluetooth headset that transforms into a ring and vice-versa. Wear it like a ring and its Flexible OLED (in the Deluxe edition) will display caller info, calendar items and voice-to-text info. Feel like answering? Twist it off and hang it on your ear. Sound is transmitted through bone conduction, so there’s no need to even insert it in your ear. It’s really just brilliant.

The best part is that it’s supposed to be available for purchase in early 2010 for $129 for the regular edition, $175 for Deluxe and going up from there depending on what gemstones people might choose to have embedded into it. It is after all, also a ring.

So I’ve never worn a headset because… well… nothing against any of you that wear them but… they look dorky. I mean c’mon, you and I know there is nothing sexy or cool about them. Well, the Orb might be changing that and changing my mind about headsets.

Bouncing Around the Web

In case you missed it, here’s what’s Bouncing Around the Web:

JawboneJawbone, considered one of the very best Bluetooth headsets on the planet, just released a second generation Jawbone. And according to Gizmodo, it’s better in just about every way. I sure hope it is because spending $130 for a Bluetooth headset is a lot to swallow.

Via Gizmodo

If you were Apple, how would you react to questions about your lack of presence in the netbook market? If your answer is to rip the entire market apart and tell everyone to just buy and iPhone or iTouch instead, then you should be working for Apple. Though, they definitely left the door open for future developments.

Via TechCrunch

I think AT&T may be a little bit afraid of the Palm Pre. Someone at AT&T leaked a comparison chart which I’m sure AT&T sales people will use tear down the competition. Regardless of the actual data in the report, the fact that AT&T, and by association Apple, is worried about the Pre is quite interesting.

Via ubergizmo

I saved the good news for last. AT&T has been testing faster 3G speeds in some markets. With a few software tweaks, they have bumped speeds from 3.6 to 7.2 megabits per second. Mama mia, that’s a spicy meatball!

Via TUAW