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A Periodic (P)review Of Leaping Forward

By: Johan

Saturday, January 14

Wireless Skype Calls with Motorola HS810 Bluetooth Headset

After writing about using the Motorola HT820 Stereo Bluetooth headset with Skype I decided to give the concept a trial first before investing the 50 pounds in that innovative BT headset.

My colleague had a spare HS810 regular mono headset, also by Motorola. I got a charger off eBay for just £3.49 and today I had the chance to test the set-up. Pairing my Powerbook with the headset was quite tricky considering the headset only has one function button. After consulting a manual from the net I got the two matched up. The HS810 BT headset can remember up to 8 devices and will store the pairing settings.

All it took to listen to what normally would come out of my Powerbook's speakers through the HS810 was to switch the Sound output to the HS810 in System Preferences. This mono headset however, was never designed for music so you can imagine it's not really the wireless solution you would want to listen to your music collection. Podcasts are alright but it definitely lacks the wave range you would need to listen to music properly.

Now a test with Skype. Under its preference settings, Skype recognizes the HS810 Bluetooth Headset right away. Both for input as well as output. But actually using the Motorola HS810 with Skype wasn't that straight-forward. And to be honest, I still don't know exactly how!

The headset seems to drop into stand-by if it doesn't find any data coming in. It does that after just a second or two even. So getting to use it during a Skype call was hit and miss. I probably just haven't sussed out how to use that one button yet. Only on the 3d call did it stay on and work. Once it worked it worked very well. Reception was crystal clear and even though being just mono it was enough to hear perfectly well what the other end would say. My friend only heard the slightest hint of an echo but I get that even on my USB handset; that seems to be normal with Skype.

The range of the Motorola HS810 Bluetooth Headset in combination with my Powerbook G4 whilst calling with Skype was far better than expected. Granted, my apartment doesn't have thick brick walls but being able to use this without crackling noises in every corner of my flat exceeded my expectations. I don't have that much experience with bluetooth headsets but from other people's findings I wasn't expecting crystal clear reception through two hard board walls.

To use a Bluetooth headset with Skype permanently, I have to find out how to properly establish a connection that stays. All I did now was to press the HS810's main button, see the connection open up in my Mac's task bar and then hit the Skype call button. Worked 3d time lucky. But there must be a trick to get this going the way it should. Though all in all it seems a primising relationship. Being able to call handsfree and wireless with Skype is very convenient indeed.

For music and podcasts I'd recommend the HS820 though!

Off to read the manual again...


Anonymous K. Ng said...

Hi, Johan, I am glad that I stumble across your article on skyping & HS810. I have the same problems and am no where near to make them work in my Windows XP Porfessional and Mac OSX ( both G5 & Intel) systems. Can you help by telling me where to get the HS810 manual and/or how to configure the systems to make these work?? Thanks. K. Ng

June 26, 2006  
Blogger Johan said...

Hi and thanks for posting! I Googled the manual, didn't bookmark the link so I'd recommend doing the same. If you use Google's advanced functions like limiting by .pdf extension, you should be able to hit it by just searching 'hs810 manual'.

I moved and don't have broadband right now, otherwise I'd ring you on Skype. Drop by in 2 weeks again if you need to do some test calls with me.

July 03, 2006  

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