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Technocel are proving to be a good company, first with a great battery charger and now with a good Bluetooth headset too.

If you're looking for a no-frills good value good quality headset, this is a great choice to consider.

 
 
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Technocel T360 Bluetooth Headset review

Very good sound quality,  basic feature set, good price
 

The Technocel T360 Bluetooth headset is small in size and plain in appearance.  But who said that a headset has to be a fashion statement - surely the most important thing is how well it works and sounds, and in this respect, this headset does very well.

Part of our series on Bluetooth - more articles listed on the right.

 

 

The Technocel T360 is a good performing headset that costs about half as much as the BlueAnt Q1, while giving comparable sound quality in both quiet and noisy environments.

Although not quite as fully featured, not quite as comfortable, and not quite as impressive looking on your ear, in the areas that really count - sound quality - it closely matches the twice-as-expensive BlueAnt Q1.

Power users (whoever they are) might prefer the more expensive BlueAnt device, but normal users will probably be more than pleased and happy with this lower priced ($30 or slightly less) alternative.

What you Get

The Technocel T360 comes in an easy open plastic box designed to be hung from a shelf hook/rod.

Of course the headset itself is inside, plus a multivoltage charger, a second different sized earhook (one is already on the headset), and five additional ear gel 'gaskets' that go on the headset.  One is already on the headset, and in total you have six - two each of three different sizes.

A 'Get Started' sheet and an English manual complete the inclusions.

The unit lists for $30 and is available for less on Amazon.

Feature Chart

Use this information to quickly understand the capabilities of the unit and to compare with other units.
 

Feature                         Comment

Cost

List price is $29.95.

Available on Amazon for this price or sometimes $25 or less - click to see their current pricing.


Ergonomics

Easy to put on and take off

With no ear hook and the correct sized gel, it was easy to put in and take out of one's ear.

The ear hook, because it curves around so much, made fitting the headset more difficult but after some practice, it was possible to do this with one hand.

Easy to use the control buttons

As seems to be standard, the unit has one main multi-purpose button, plus two buttons that primarily act as volume up and volume down buttons, but which do some other things as well.

You'll never know which of the two buttons is volume up and which is volume down - each has a nondescript triangle embossed on it and that is all.

So, the unit is as difficult (or as easy) to operate as most of the others out there.

Comfortable to wear

When worn without the ear hook, it was lightweight and comfortable.  Its very short length meant there was no angular force making it wobble in one's ear or threatening to dislodge it from the ear.

There are two different sized ear hooks provided with the unit.  One of them positioned the unit above my ear canal, and the other of them, while positioning the unit correctly in my ear, then proceeded to dig in to my ear lobe at the bottom of my ear.  So neither of the ear hooks worked for my particular ear size and shape.

It was good to have a choice of three different ear gels - and two of each size.  This helped make it easy, comfortable, and secure in one's ear, even without the ear hook (which I ended up not using and not needing).

Can you use with glasses

Yes, especially without the hook (which happily I did not think was really needed).  The hook is thin and not too intrusive, so the T360 is fine with glasses even with the hook.

Can use with either ear

Yes.

Securely mounted on ear

It felt secure by itself, but if you wish, you can add an optional provided hook to the unit that loops around the back of your ear, adding to the unit's secure mounting.

How to carry

This is another headset that has been designed with no thought as to how it can be carried when not on one's ear, and with a relatively fragile ear loop assembly that can readily 'pop' off the headset itself.

Compatible with Nectar retractable and necklace style headset holders.

Weight

Another featherweight unit, weighing a mere 0.2 oz.  Adding the earhook made no discernable difference in weight on my scales.

Ease of Use

Commands intuitive and easy to remember

There is no such thing as intuitive and easy to remember commands unless you have multiple labeled buttons.

Instead, the main button will do one of six different functions, depending on if you press it briefly, or for two seconds, or for four seconds, and depending on if the phone and headset is in standby mode, or receiving an incoming call, or already in the middle of a call.

The volume up button doubles as a mute button, and the volume down button doubles as a call transfer button.

Intuitive?  You decide....

Volume adjustable

Yes.

The unit will cycle through several different volume levels by repeated pushes of the Volume up and down buttons on the side of the unit.

How fast does it turn on

It takes about two seconds to turn on and about another three seconds to synch with the phone.  This is fast.

Manual

A single sheet 'Get Started Here' explains about initially charging the headset and how to pair it to your phone.

A small nine page manual in well written English, but with incredibly tiny type, tells you most of what you need to know.

No additional information is on the manufacturer's website.

Support

No support information is available on their skeletal website.

There is an email address given for customer service; alternatively, there is a technical support number printed on the packaging (888-778-5501), and it seems they are available for calls 8am - 5pm, Mon-Fri, Pacific time.

Pairing password printed on device

No.

But like almost every other headset, it is 0000 so in an emergency you have a good chance of guessing what it is!


Features

Battery life

The packaging claims 5 hours of talk time or 150 hours of standby.

This is generally in line with other current models of Bluetooth headset.

Low battery indicator/signal

There is no mention of any indicator light or sound signal to advise of the battery getting low.

Battery type

Lithium Ion.

Replaceable battery?

No.

As with other headsets, the chances are by the time the battery has died, you'll probably have bought a new headset.

Battery charging method/time

Unfortunately this headset has a nonstandard socket to connect a charging cable, and doubly unfortunately the charging cable is hard wired into the power supply brick.

So if you want to charge it from a computer or other USB type power source, you're out of luck.  You're forced to travel with the power supply too.

A red light on the headset is steadily on while charging, and when fully charged it goes off.

Charging typically takes an hour or two.

Multi-voltage charger

Yes.

Charger weight/size

A small brick charger with 200 mA output.

The charger does not have any branding on it and is very generic, so it runs the risk of anonymously disappearing into your box of mystery chargers that you probably have somewhere in your office, never to be found again!

The charger and attached connector cable weighs a mere 1.7 oz

Other charging methods

None provided.

How many pairings can be stored

Only one.

Headset and hands-free profiles?

Yes.

Audio profile for computers

No.

Bluetooth compatibility

Version 2.1

Power/range

33'/10m.

Effective range

Effective range was about as expected, and beyond 30' before any degradation in sound quality became apparent.

The headset's range performance is very much in line with other units recently tested, and is more than is ever likely to be needed in real life.

Warranty

A one year warranty apparently applies, according to the packaging, but no details, terms or conditions are printed on any of the materials supplied with the phone or on their website.

Free return

Retailer policies will vary.

Noise cancelling/DSP

The Technocel T360 promises on the box 'Noise Cancelling!  Communicate hands free in noisy environments.'  No further details were given about what type of noise cancelling it offers.

Here is a sample recording of the unit being used in a moderately noisy environment.  As you can hear, like most headsets, it is more vulnerable to both external noise and wind than is a regular iPhone 3GS, but it performed well and better than a very much more expensive Jabra Stone that was tested at the same time.  It also seemed better in the windy environment than the BlueAnt Q1, but it is a bit harder to be sure about that due to not testing them both at exactly the same time.

This can be considered as a very good noise cancelling result, particularly for a budget priced headset.

Sound quality

Sound quality was very good - both in terms of what I heard through the headset, and what people at the other end of a call heard too.

Here is a sample recording so you can hear the difference between talking through the Technocell T360 and directly through an iPhone, in a quiet environment, and draw your own conclusions.

Apart from a slight drop in audio level when using the headset rather than handset, the rest of the audio in a quiet environment was very good.


Capabilities

Turning on and off

To turn the headset on, you hold down the main button until the light flashes and you hear a rising tone (if it is in your ear).  This takes less than two seconds.

To turn it off, you press and hold the button again until you get a red light flash (and/or until you hear a descending tone in your ear).

Auto connect

Yes.

Voice tag support

Supported (if also supported on the phone, of course).

Briefly tap the main button to activate voice tag commands.

Last number redial

Yes.

Press the main button for two seconds.

Transfer call to/from phone

Yes - press the Volume down key for two seconds to transfer a call from the headset to the handset, press the main button briefly to transfer a call from the handset to the headset.

Call waiting/Three way calling

Apparently not supported.  You'd have to control this via the phone handset.

Call reject

Press the main button for two seconds and release when it beeps.  Don't release sooner or else you'll end up answering the call instead!

Call answer/end

Yes.

If the unit is already on, a short press of the main button will answer an incoming call.

To end a call, a short press of the main control button is again needed.

Mute

Yes.

Press the Volume up button for two seconds until you hear a beep.  Don't press the Volume down button by mistake or else you'll transfer the call to your phone handset instead, and the person at the other end will hear everything through your handset.

Press the Volume up button again for about two seconds to unmute a call.

Other Features

None apparent.

An interesting 'feature' is that the unit has printed on it 'FCC ID XXXXXXX'.  Why is it that I don't believe this is the official FCC ID for the unit?


Subjective

Attractive design

The unit is small and unobtrusive, and finished in a glossy black plastic.

There is nothing distinctive about it, and perhaps one could say in a positive way that it is not ostentatious.

But it isn't quite a fashion statement, either.

Flashing indicators on standby

Yes, a blue light flashes twice every five seconds while the unit is on standby and if it is paired with a phone (it flashes once every five seconds if on and not paired).

This apparently can not be switched off.

It flashes purple, once every five seconds, when you are on a call.

Size

The unit is very small.  It is 1.4" long, about 0.4" thick and 0.65" wide.  The earpiece sticks out about half an inch.

Adding the earloop adds to its length and width, making it about 1.9" long and 1.5" wide at the maximum points.

The earloop simply snaps on and off the earpiece, making it difficult to carry in a pocket.


Summary

This is a good all-rounder headset - very good sound quality, good noise cancelling, and a fairly standard feature set.

It isn't quite as feature-rich or visually appealing as our current favorite, the BlueAnt Q1, but it is also not as expensive either.  If you are looking for a high value good performing headset, this is a great option to consider.

With a list price of $30 and currently available on Amazon for a price ranging from between about $23 - 29, it is fairly priced for the headset that it is, and is much less expensive than many.

 

Using the Technocel T360 Headset

The Technocel T360 unit is easy enough to use if you confine yourself to the commands needed to turn the unit on and off, and to answer and originate calls.

Anything extra can probably be controlled from the phone handset in any event.

Connecting with phones

It was easy to connect to a phone.  We tested a Blackberry, Android and iPhone, and all three paired up with no problems.

Summary

I first came across Technocel when reviewing an excellent recharger/emergency battery they offer.  Based on that positive experience, I was keen to see what their Bluetooth headset was like.

The Technocel T360 is a good headset with no weaknesses or problems.  Power users might wish for some extra features such as are available on the BlueAnt Q1, but people who just wish a simple straightforward reliable headset with good sound quality will be more than satisfied with this headset.

Priced at something less than $30, it is a great value too.  Recommended.

 

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Originally published 07 Jun 2010, last update 19 Dec 2013

You may freely reproduce or distribute this article for noncommercial purposes as long as you give credit to me as original writer.

 
 

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