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I realize this headset has been out for about six weeks or so, but thought ... Smartphone Reviews forum

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    Shel's Avatar
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    Brief BlueAnt Z9 review

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    I realize this headset has been out for about six weeks or so, but thought I'd give a brief review.

    I prevoiusly owned and used a Nokia BH-900 headset, which has an extendable boom mike, and worked great! I could use the Nokia while at Disneyland, under extremely noisy conditions, and still be heard! The Nokia came with both noise reduction and echo cancellation, and again, it worked GREAT! The downside of the Nokia is that it is very large, and not that easy to put on.

    My other bluetooth was the Plantronics 350, which worked alright, but not nearly as good, sound wise, as the Nokia.

    When I switched to a Blackberry Pearl, I couldn't get the Nokia to pair with it. The Plantronics paired fine, and worked fine with the Pearl, but again, it didn't have anywhere near the sound quality as the Nokia, esp. under less then ideal conditions.

    Enter the BlueAnt!



    The BlueAnt Z9 does NOT make a fashion statement... want style? Check out the Aliph Jawbone bluetooth headset. You'll either love it, or hate it, but you will NOT be indifferent! Personally, for my tastes, the Jawbone's looks put me off. I don't want a fashion statement attached to my ear... in fact, the less noticable, the better! If I can turn off the blinking blue lights they all have, even better (and with the BlueAnt, you can turn it off!)

    The Z9 comes in weighing a paltry .35 oz, not the lightest bt headset on the market, but very small.

    It has dual microphones, to deliver what BlueAnt calls "Pure Speech"... and also comes with switchable voice isolation, Standard and Max. While using the Standard Voice Isolation, sound quality is EXCELLENT when paired with a Blackberry 8100... no echoing, which my previous Plantronics suffered from, and it really does eliminate background noise very well. When you switch to the Max level of noise reduction, the sound does degrade noticably, and you'll come across sounding slightly hollow and like you're in a well to those on the other end. This setting should really only be used in extreme noise conditions, but you can switch back and forth easily, during a call.

    The Z9 looks very nice, taking it's cues from the trend of other manufacturers of delivering your basic "bluetooth in a box"... check out the Nokia BH-800, Samsung WEP 200 and others. It's not a bad look... piano black finish, discreet blue LED light which is displayed through the cutout of an ant (get it? Blue Ant???), overall, very discreet looking. Again, I didn't want a fashion statement, but I also don't want something that's going to look strange or weird, and the Z9 fits the bill to a T!

    The device works with three buttons... your standard MFB (Multi Function Button) on the face, and two volume buttons on the side, + and -. Again, simple.

    The Z9's strength is it's Voice Isolation feature, and it's positioned to compete with the Aliph Jawbone as far as it's ability to completely block out background noise, and allow you to use it in a noisy bar, at the airport with jets taking off in the background, or at Disneyland, to try and hook back up with your better half, when you've each gone in different directions! I've used the Z9 with a leaf blower blasting in the background, during which I called Goog411, and was able to have the robotic operater understand me well enough to furnish me with the correct phone number which I had asked for... she understood the city and state, and business listing I stated, all while the leaf blower was blasting. Unfortunatly, having only owned the Z9 for a day and a half, I haven't tried it with humans on one end, while under extreme noisey conditions prevailing on my end. I did call my home machine, and again, it sounded excellent!

    Additional features include being able to pair with up to three different BT devices, and switch between them on the fly, (as mentioned) voice isolation technology, firmware upgradable via USB, translucent ear hook, and one really innovative feature... it comes with a built in clip, which you can use to clip the headset to your tie, your shirt, or wherever, for when you need to carry it around! Very clever!

    Also reported to have 5.5 hours talk time, and 200 hours standby. Not great, but not too bad at all.

    In the box you get an AC charger, a USB charger (non-standard size), manual and a quick user guide for your wallet.. there are SO many features, you really need the guide for more mundane, less frequently used settings... you'll need to press and hold button combinations to change certain settings, but the basics (call answer, call reject, power on-off, etc.) are pretty easy to remember.

    BlueAnt, as a company, also goes the extra distance with a TWO YEAR warranty, and GREAT customer service! I had a couple of questions, and figured I'd give the tech support a call. Well, the tech answered himself, on the second ring! Now THAT is service! Very friendly tech, and no waiting...that's really service!

    Negatives? Yeah... the ear piece is one of those round disks that you get when you purchase an iPod, or similar device. No effort to make it actually FIT your ear, by designing it to the shape of your ear... I don't know ANYONE with a perfectly round ear! It's designed to sit over your ear, not enter your ear canal. I would have prefered one of the cone shaped ear buds you get from Jabra, which, while not going deep into your ear canal, at least goes in partially, and helps by blocking out external noise. The technician tells me they are designing new ear buds for the Z9, and said they'd work with the current Z9's, but no timetable on when they'd be available.

    Even with that said, when I put the Z9 on, in spite of it's light size, it doesn't flop around on my ear, as other headsets that I've tried out would do. It would drive me NUTS... feeling this small device flopping on my ear... no such problem with the Z9. Once it's on your ear, it stays in place, and is almost unnoticable.

    If you're looking for a high end Bluetooth headset, with voice isolation, a built in storage clip and numerous extra features, check out the BlueAnt Z9! You just may like it as much as I do!
    Last edited by Shel; 09-28-2007 at 10:53 PM.

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    Re: Brief BlueAnt Z9 review

    Thanks! I've been reading about the Z9 on and off over the last few weeks. Really tired of my JawBone (the fit is awful, and it DOES flop off my ear easily), and my HS850 and my Cardo Scala are somewhat disappointing also. Only hesitation for me is the round ear piece you described. I'd love it if they had a Jabra-style ear piece, with everything else the same.

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    Re: Brief BlueAnt Z9 review

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    I spent a good hour today looking at bt head sets. And I narrowed it down to the blueant z9 and the aliph jawbone. Both seem pretty good and both have a lot of positive reviews. But I guess the bottom line is I don't want a tv remote hanging on my ear. I think I'm sold on this blueant z9

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    Re: Brief BlueAnt Z9 review

    I'd love to hear what you guys think about the Z9 if you get it. That's the one that looks best to me right now. The Jawbone is certainly good technology, but the ergonomics and fit just don't work for me at all - can't get it comfortable with the stock earpieces, retrofit with jabra minigels doesn't work for me, and the dang thing flops off my head if I move too much no matter what I do. Also: it's just plain uncomfortable after 30 or 40 minutes -- no way I could wear this for several hours. I'm really hoping the Z9 is better.

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    Re: Brief BlueAnt Z9 review

    ~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~i like my blue ant, just curious she'll, what firmare did you have? I like my z9 a lot..better than jawbone

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    I tried many BT head sets, but the Blue Ant Z9 is the best that I've had. I have the 3.3 version firmware installed on mine. When I brought it, it was only 1.0 version. People on the other end have no problem hearing me at all in different types of settings. I'm just waiting for the new Blue Ant headset to come out based on the Z9 design.

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    I have tried probably 30 BT pieces including two jawbones. Z9 hands down smokes them. gonna be tough to come out with something, better even for blueant

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    While I don't like the ergonomics of the existing jawbone that I have, I'm intrgued about the new one just released...

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    I currently have the Jawbone 2, not satisfied at all, hard to position and people complain I fade in and out when talking. Just ordered the Blueant Z9i, I will see if this is better.

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    bbueding's Avatar
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    I absolutely love the BlueAnt Z9i, better than the Jawbone2 in every way, awesome headset!

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