Review: nxZEN nX6000 Bluetooth Headset

I recently tested out both the nX6000 (pictured) and the nxZEN 5000 VoIP for use with my Palm Treo 700P. This will primarily be a review of the 6000, as I had too many issues with the nxZEN VoIP. I’ll draw comparisons between both models from time to time. Gennum’s nxZEN line of bluetooth headsets offers noise-cancelling as their primary distinguishing feature, and of course offers many of the typical features as other BT headsets.

Intro: For starters, I was impressed by the packaging of the nX6000, which did not include any blister packaging (something I really look for now). The 6000 came with a USB and a car charger, an adaptor for turning the USB cable into a wall-powered charger, manual, different sized ear hooks and earbuds, and a very useful plastic quick reference card. Every gadget company out there should consider including quick reference cards with their products.

nxZEN VoIPWeight, Size and Comfort: The 6000 is very light, so much so that you may forget that you’re wearing it, although some people may find that the earbud design is intrusive as it does need to be snuggly fit for the best sound quality. The 5000 VoIP model (pictured) on the other hand was not comfortable or as easy to put on in a snap. The VoIP model is close to twice as long as the 6000, so you’ll appreciate the small size if you’re the type that likes to wear their bluetooth headset like a piece of jewelry.

Construction and Buttons: While both models feel solid, I did find most of the buttons on the VoIP model to be difficult to operate, particularly if I was wearing the headset. On the other hand, the 6000’s buttons had a better tactile feel and were easy to press and know that you had actually pressed them successfully.

Pairing: Both models were very easy to bluetooth pair with my Treo, but as I mentioned, I had major issues with the nxZEN VoIP, one of which was my Treo rebooting at various times when using the nxZEN VoIP. While it would be easy to blame the Treo for the issue, I am yet to have that issue with the 6000.

Sound Quality: When I did manage to get on a call with the VoIP model, everyone I spoke with asked me if I was on speakerphone or in my car or some other noisy location. On my end, I got a muffled and low sound that paled in comparison with the handset’s native sound quality. The nX6000 thankfully was far better. While there is some low background noise sometimes, the sound quality is very clear, and no one complained about the quality on their end either. I presume the hiss is a by-product of the noise-cancelling process, as I hear the same thing on noise-cancelling headphones.

Additional Features: While the VoIP model is Skype certified and comes with a Bluetooth USB dongle that plugs into your computer to turn your headset into a speaker/microphone for your computer, the audio quality just isn’t worth it. You’re better off using traditional speakers and microphones. The nX6000 does not come with a VoIP feature, but does its job as a Bluetooth headset well, and that’s the most important thing. I’m betting that I may be able to use the USB dongle from the VoIP model with the 6000, but that’s an experiment for a different day.

Conclusion: It’s strange to see 2 products from 1 company that have such varying levels of performance. In every aspect that the nxZEN VoIP fell short, the nX6000 lived up to expectations. The nX6000 is definitely my new Bluetooth headset of choice, and I highly recommend it.


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  2. Pick one product and review it. It is very confusing to read a review of a good product and a bad product at the same time. Additionally, how is the reader supposed to know if the 6000 is great, or just great in comparision to the crappy VoIP?

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