Review: BlueParrott B450-XT

A bunch of years ago I googled this “Best Bluetooth Headset Truck Driver” – I was on the hunt for a really good headset, and I did not want your typical “in the ear” design.   This is what I ended up with, the B250-XT from BlueParrott,  now they have a new model and I will show you why these things are second to none.

Original B250-XT

I found a bunch of truck forums, all talking about one particular headset, the “BlueParrott B250-XT” – it claimed to be the best headset of all time, so I went to find one.   The local truck stop had one, and I put down my $150 (Canadian) for it, which seemed like a pretty good deal considering the price of other headsets

blueparrot_b250

The battery life is ridiculous – they claim 16 hours of TALK time, never mind the days of “oh no I left it on” standby.

The noise cancelling was like nothing I had ever seen, I could drive with the windows open on the phone without problems.   Constantly people were asking if I was in the office.

The only fault I could ever find with this particular model was the charge port, it was a barrel connector, so you had to use their specific charge cord/plug.

No surprise that VXi has recently been acquired by Jabra / GN

 

New BlueParrott B450-XT

In full disclosure, they did have a B250-XT+, and a 350 model – but I didn’t review those models,  the new 450 is really worth looking at.

The big feature is the noise cancelling, so here is a video I created recently testing the noise cancelling of a few different headsets, including the previous B250-XT, a Plantronics Voyager Edge, and the B450-XT.

 

The new headset is exactly twice the weight of the old one, weighing in at 149gr (450)  vs 73gr (250)

The ear pads are great, you can select what works better for you.  The leather pad has significantly more acoustic noise cancelling (room / vehicle noise blocking) than the previous 250 model but your ear does get warm with limited air flow and you do get that “plugged ear” feeling.   The foam pad offers less ear blocking and a more open feel with less “plugged head” feeling – I prefer the foam pad as I can still hear out of my ear.

The only real complaint I have is the volume doesn’t go high enough for quiet calls and once you high max volume there is a beep sound that plays to tell you the volume is at MAX, and it is REALLY loud.    Previous models have also had concerns about audio feedback volume.   Considering we now have the VXi App we can adjust some headset functions with, please VXi give us the ability to either adjust or silence these tones and voice feedback announcements.

The previous B250-XT model was a little more “pocketable”,  it was lighter and thinner and I could toss it in a laptop bag – not so much with the B450-XT, it does need a home, maybe a soft or semi soft case offering would be useful.

Here is the basic feature set of the new B450-XT

b450-xt_call-out_960x600_100716

Final Thoughts

This thing is a total buy,  sadly I have to ship back this unit as it was provided to me as a review unit – I tried to buy it from VXi, but apparently they are limited in supply so this one goes back.

Yeah, you look like an aircraft controller – but it is so worth it,  besides you are in the car anyway,  or sitting at a desk – 24 hours of talk, killer noise reduction, great comfort.  All worth it.

These are the highlights for me…

  • Noise cancelling is better than the previous model, which was already better than any headset I have ever used.
  • Double the weight at 149gr is still pretty light weight, I didn’t find it weighing down on my head.
  • The new 450 claims 24+ hours of talk time over the 16 hours of the previous model,  the new model has noticeably more battery life over the 250 model – which by the way was already great.
  • Two different choices for ear pad give you different options for feel and noise isolation
  • USB Charging is a welcome addition over the old barrel style connector
  • HD Voice Support is very welcome.

 

 

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