Smart headsets vs earbuds

The headsets, which integrate smart features, have been being developed by some reputable brands in Audio Industry like Sony, Jawbone, Plantronic and BlueAnt. Some of these headsets are sucessfully delivering the innovations that many users are keen on. Wireless headsets almost use the Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) or Apt-X basically relying on the bluetooth connection to communicate with the paired devices. These smart headsets was evolved to ultilize some features commonly integrated in smartphones.

Since the smart devices become more popular, the smart headsets were spawned to meet the demand “smarter accessories” of users. So what features of smart headsets are different from other accessories? I round up some critical points about smart headsets that differ earbuds and present you what they generally have in common.

Fitting: they are inserted into ear canals similar to canalphones or earbuds but different from other headsets worn over the ears. Additionally, they are worn from only one ear on the left or right or both sides, meanwhile the earbuds are worn from both sides. The ear tips is designed with the same concept existed in earbuds, they intend to maximize the noise-isolation capacity and comfort. The material, shape, softness, and design typically are indentical for both. 

Look at the pictures of some smart headsets – Single Side Wear.

The range of smart headset reviewed at CNET

Single-Side Wear – Smart headsets

App: The latest Sony smart headsets MH1CWH is a earbud style headphone, however, plugging them into your smartphone will immediately trigger an app, which will let you follow a schedule, play music and more. By clicking on the app button you can also start The Smart Connect App on the phones. The downside is that they don’t have built-in voice commands.

Wired smart headsets

They are a set of earbud style headphones but they can be a hardware for an app from Smartphones

Active Noise-Cancelling: Not all earbuds have this feature, so do the smart headsets. Jabra Supreme UC smart headsets have a pretty good ANC supported by Noise BlackoutTM 3.0 dual microphones technology while the Sony Smart headset MH1CWH does not feature the ANC.

Connectivity: Earbuds or normal headsets offer wire or wireless connnection, and they normally can connect to one device.The wireless smart headsets take advantages of bluetooth connections give users wireless experience and to further extend they can connect to many devices at the same time. This multipoint pairing feature is great when you want to switch streaming contents between devices, they can be connected with 2 devices at the same time; one can be your smartphones, and the other could be a laptop or a talblet.

Button: Single multi-function button is seen for both earbuds and smart headsets. They can perform different actions such as press and hold, double click or just press. 

Battery: Wireless devices need batteries to operate, and the longest battery life up to date is around 10 hours.

Qualily of the call: Smart headset is improved in call quality. The calling experience is better with ANC and secure fitting similar to earbuds. 

Smart features of headsets

Voice command and recognation. The smart headset such as Jabra Supreme UC can perform some interesinng voice commands: “Answer” to pick up the call, “Ignor” if you don’t want to answer the call, “What can I say?” you will hear a full list of voice commands, Pair new device, Battery, Cancel…Supported by Jawbone Era Apps from smartphones (Android and iOS) they can access to common Voice command like Siri or Google Now without touching the screen.

Some smart headsets for example, Sony Smart Wireless Headset Pro works as mp3 player (you can play transfered tracks from smartphones) or a wireless Bluetooth headphones as well. 

Sony smart headsets

Sony Smart Wireless Headset Pro from Sonymobile


What really defines the smart headsets?

There is no boundary to separate smart headsets from other wearable gadgets. Both smart headsets and earbuds can require mobile apps designed for them with some extention features. The button, or touch button on these gadgets is functional as a part of App. They also can perform the voice command from users, however some smart headsets are lack of this fuction.

If you frequently receive the calls, the one side wear headset is very convenient since you easily pick up the call by voice command or tap on but you still can hear the outside world such as people talking to you in your office. Wearing smart headsets also is the way to go for driving because you can enjoy music or talk on the phones.

Are Earbuds going to be smart headsets?

Yes, sooner or latter, since it is just boring if earbuds can be used for listening music or making/receiving a call. They should be integrated with features from smartphones via mobile Apps. The SMS audio, LG, and Jabra have introduced their very first version of earbuds that can monitor the hear rate through mobile apps. Sony recently annouced they will focus on the high-end smartphones on US and EU market, there will be comming up smart products from them. 

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