BlueAnt V1 Voice Control Headset


My posts on the BlueAnt Z9i generated a world record (for this blog anyway) of comments (83 and 55 respectively). Now BlueAnt has a new headset, the V1. The V is for voice, as in voice control, as in voice dialing and voice commands.

Voice dialing through a BT headset is not new, but usually is dependent on the mobile phone’s support for voice dialing. However, per BlueAnt, the V1’s voice control is embedded in the headset itself. Nevertheless, your phone could still be a limitation. James Kendrick of favorite blog jkOnTheRun reports: “Since the iPhone has no voice dialing capability you can’t initiate calls by voice which is disappointing.  This is a limitation of the iPhone and not the V1.”

Voice command of a BT headset is relatively new. Per BlueAnt again, the V1 supports such commands as “Pair Me”, “Redial”,”Answer Call”, “Ignore Call”, “Check battery” and “Call 411.” Users can even ask the V1, “What can I say?” and the headset will announce all features available on the device.  Say “Teach Me”, and the headset will teach users its functions.

The V1 looks like the Z9i, and the dimensions are almost the same. Two difference are the voice control (the Z9i doesn’t have it) and the price. The V1 is considerably more expensive, listing for $129.99, almost twice what you can buy the Z9i for.

There is a third difference though that I haven’t seen well publicized. The V1 does not support Multipoint. Multipoint enables a Bluetooth headset to be active (as opposed to merely paired) with two Bluetooth devices at the same time. By active, when a call comes in, the headset “knows” which handset is ringing and will connect to that phone automatically. (Of course, the headset can’t be so connected to two handsets at the same time). For example, I use my BT headset to speak on my iPhone, hang up, my BlackBerry rings, I use my BT headset to answer the call on my BlackBerry, hang up, iPhone rings, use the BT headset to answer that call, etc. With just pairing but no Multipoint, I have to disconnect phone #1 from the headset (still paired but not connected) before I can use phone #2.

To confirm this, I emailed my contact at BlueAnt tech support. He replied:

“Regarding the V1, it is not multi-point, and it is worth nothing that it also does not have the same on the fly switching capabilities as the Z9. In order to switch between phones you would first need to disconnect the V1 from the phone, potentially turn of the Bluetooth setting on the handset (with handsets like the iPhone) and then select the V1 from the Bluetooth menu of the second phone (if it is already paired).”

The lack of Multipoint is a bit surprising since this is a pricey headset. But then again, the Jawbone 2 is equally pricey, and it also doesn’t support Multipoint.

The lack of Multipoint is not a big deal if you only use 1 phone. However, it is a big deal for someone like me who has 2 or sometimes even 3 phones with me. I really like the voice activation, but the lack of Multipoint is a show stopper for me unfortunately.

7 Responses to “BlueAnt V1 Voice Control Headset”

  • I’m curious what the *hardware* differences between the V1 and the Z9i are. Since it was proven that the Z9 could be upgraded with the Z9i firmware (and suddenly have all the Z9i features), I’m wondering if the same might hold true for the Z9i -> V1…

  • Valgar, I doubt it. While the two are similar, the V1 is not a superset of the Z9i. For one thing, the Z9i has Multipoint, the V1 does not.

  • I gladly traded the multipoint technology of the Z9i for the voice command capabilities of the V1. Since I only use one phone (two numbers…one is “forwarded” to the other) multipoint was not an issue from the begining. But the Blue Gennie software that drives the voice command in the V1 is really supurb considering the weaknesses of using MS Voicecommand through an ordinary BT headset. I highly recommend this unit.

  • Mr. Deville, thanks for the feedback. I agree that in your usage scenario of forwarding from one phone to another (something I use often myself), Multipoint is not important unless for some reason you want to be able to use both devices for outgoing calls.

    I would appreciate if you could share your findings regarding the issues you had with MS Voice Command. I’ve also heard this elsewhere, but in my own usage, I have not had issues. Thanks.

  • Here is a copy of an email I just sent to Blueant Technical Support

    In summary, I love my V1 but there are some limitations. I am using a Palm Treo 650 with AT&T software and service.

    “I work at Fry’s Electronics and I sell your products in our Telecom department. I am very happy with the headset and I believe it to be funtional according to factory specifications. I only wanted to bring to your attention certain incompatibilities with my phone and to offer some suggestions.

    1. With my particular phone, there are two options to choose from when pairing to a bluetooth headset. One option is “Hands Free”, the other is “Car Kit” In order for me to use the functions on the V1 such as Incoming Call Caller ID, Voice Anwer, Redial, Call Back, Call Voicemail and Speed Dial Calling, I have to choose Car Kit mode. What I have noticed in Car Kit mode is that the V1 always in Standby mode when not on a call, which makes the battery drain very quickly.

    When I pair the V1 to my Treo 650 with the headset option in my phones pair menu, I do not get to use any of the functions I just mentioned, but the V1 goes into idle mode when I am not on the phone, making the battery last substantially longer. When I recieve a call, the V1 tells me that my phone is connected, and I have to use the BAB to anwer. Right after I end the call, the V1 tells me there is no active phone connected.

    2. When I do use my V1 in Car Kit mode on the pairing menu of my phone, the only voice command that it will not perform properly is calling voicemail. I know for a fact that it will redial and call back. And it will redial voicemail if I manually call voicemail from my phone and then hang up and tell the V1 to redial, but if I tell the V1 to check voicemail, nothing happens.

    3. Apparently, my phone does not support the option to have the V1 dial speed dial numbers off the phone, so I have to have them programmed in my headset by recieving the call first and then assigning a speed dial number. What would be nice is to be able to use some of the funtionality of being able to update the firmare to actually edit the speed dial numbers that are on the headset. I am curious to know what parameters of the V1 the firmware updates actually change. Are their firmwares that change the spoken language of the V1?

    I think it would be a great idea if you let users choose whether the V1 goes into Voice Isolation Standard or Max Mode by default. As a ritual, I call my voicemail every time I turn on the V1 just to be able to put it into Voice Isolation Max before I place my first phone call.

    I also think it would be a GREAT idea to allow the user to change the button function to reverse the Voice Isolation funtion and the hang up function. I am sure that the overwhelming majority of users would rather be able to hang up a phone call with a single tap of the BAB instead of a double tap. A double tap to toggle the Voice Isolation sounds better to me.

    Remember, I sell these headsets all day. I sell the V1 and the Z9i at a remarkable rate. I am just giving you my suggestions not only as a salesperson, but as a user as well”

  • Hi, i found your website stumbling and really loved your blog. Thanks.

  • Hey everyone, I am skeptical when it comes to things on the web that look too good to be true, but I joined this iPhone 4 promotion that is now going on.

    They sent me an iPhone 4 (which I just received a few days ago). The catch seems to be that I have to fill out this report about it. It’s pretty involved but if you think about it – I get to keep the iPhone! This looks like an incredible deal.

    If you are interested in this, their site has all the details:

Comments are currently closed.