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.