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Bluetooth Headsets: A Buying Guide

But not all Bluetooth headsets are created equal. Here's what you need to know before you buy one.

First, you'll need a Bluetooth-enabled cell phone or smartphone. Most of today's smartphones have Bluetooth capabilities, as do many cell phones, but you can check your phone's documentation if you're unsure. You'll need to turn the phone's Bluetooth connection on in order to use it with a headset. This step allows your phone to find and automatically connect to available headsets. Note, though, that using Bluetooth will drain your phone's battery more quickly than when you have it turned off, so plan accordingly.

Then, you’ll need a Bluetooth headset or speakerphone to pair with your phone. Bluetooth headsets come in two different types: mono (or monaural) and stereo. Mono Bluetooth headsets have one earpiece and a microphone and typically work for calls only. A stereo Bluetooth headset (or headphones) has two earpieces and will play music as well as broadcast calls. Some headsets will even broadcast the turn-by-turn directions announced from your smartphone’s GPS app if you have one.

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