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ArborCOM Bluetooth headphones exceed expectations

Richard Tregoweth - Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The A-Kabel ArborCOM 'wireless' Bluetooth headphones/ear protection helmet muffs we discussed in a blog post last month have arrived in store and they are better than we could have ever imagined.

A 200m range for Bluetooth is not something Treetools has come across before so we were more than little dubious about performance when we first read the marketing bumf. Today, we are happy to say, a field test has proved us wrong!

Bluetooth means no wires, no aerial, no tuning. Turn on the wireless headset, adjust the volume and the muffs are ready to go. One caveat; Bluetooth is 2-way communication only (think telephone communication).

The 'paired' A-Kabel ArborCOMs are duplex which means you communicate as you would on a phone - that is, you don't have to wait for one person to finish their sentence before you reply as you would with a radio - no more over and out.

You can talk over the other person if need be - eg advise caution. A mute button is available if you don't want the other person to hear what you are saying.

There is no Press-To-Talk, the microphone is voice activated (VOX). This feature makes a 'conversation' very intuitive and natural - perfect in the training environment.

The A-Kabel VOX system seems to be oblivious to the wind. We did not use the optional microphone cover in our test today and it still worked well.

Excessive wind noise and VOX systems generally do not play well together - the wind issue has caused us problems in previous tests with alternative products.

The ArborCOM Bluetooth headsets are powered by two AA rechargeable batteries which are housed in the ear muff itself. They have an operating period of about 10 hours (battery dependent).

There are only two controls, making the unit almost idiot proof. There's the on/off volume knob and the mute button, so you don't need a PhD in electronics to operate the damn things.

The muffs themselves are 'noise cancelling', in that they electronically control the amount of ambient noise reaching your ear. Noise cancellation is on top of the standard ear muff protection.

As an added bonus you can Bluetooth 'pair' the earmuffs to your phone if need be (although the phone itself must be within 10m of the muff).

If you want your guys to communicate during the day, without a lot of fuss and bother (apart from re-charging overnight), these bad boys are definitely the answer!

We'll get them listed on the website as soon as we can.

ArborCOM headsets

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