By Jim Rossman
6:00 AM on Jul 28, 2022
Wear your headsets all day? These are two pretty good options
These wireless headsets allow for safe and easy hands-free calls, and this pair of earplugs can protect your hearing.
As an IT professional, I talk on the phone to my users every day.
Like others who talk on the phone while they do other things, I found a good headset is important in doing my job.
Since the pandemic began, the IT professionals where I work have tried to complete as much work as possible remotely.
This usually means I’m at my desk, sharing screens with users who can be anywhere — upstairs, in a building next door or 20 miles away on another campus.
I like to wear a headset so I have both hands free to work a keyboard and mouse.
Today I’m reviewing two Bluetooth headsets. Both have one earpiece with a boom microphone that reaches toward the mouth of the wearer.
As a bonus, I’m also testing out some earplugs.
Blue Tiger Solare
I work in an office full of headset wearers, and I’ve never come across a solar-powered headset.
The Solare from Blue Tiger (bluetigerusa.com, $219.99) is a very comfortable headset to wear for long periods of time.
The pad on the earpiece is an inch thick and very cushy. The band that stretches over your head is also covered with a nice pad.
The band on top hides a 1-inch-by-11-inch solar panel that charges the internal battery.
Solar charging is a great feature for people who drive or spend their days in very bright offices. With enough light to keep charging, the talk time is limitless.
There is an app for your phone that exists only to show you the charge status and battery level. The app shows the charging rate in real time, so it’s easy to see whether the solar panel is producing enough power to charge the battery.
If you work in a basement office, as I do, where we keep the lights dim, there is also a microUSB port to charge the headset.
According to the specifications, the Solare is MIL-STD-810 rated for extreme environments and is IPX4 water-resistant — meaning it can be splashed, not submerged.
The wireless connection uses Bluetooth 5.0 for a range of up to 100 feet, and the headset can connect to two devices at once. This is handy for using it with a computer and a cellphone.
If you’re connected to an iPhone or Android phone, you can invoke Siri or Google Assistant from a button on the headset.
Blue Tiger says the Solare has 97% noise cancellation. I’m not sure what that means, but in a test call to my wife, she could hear my co-workers in the office talking on their phones.
I made some test calls with a video playing in the background, and while I could hear the people talking on the video, it was significantly quieter when I played back the recording.
Overall, the Solare is comfortable and secure. It sounds good, and the noise canceling works reasonably well.
Of course, most of the customers for this headset will be picking it because of the solar charging. If unlimited battery life is what you need and you don’t work in a basement, this is a really good choice.
Pros: Unlimited battery, good sound, comfortable to wear.
Bottom line: With enough light, you’ll never need to charge it.