Home Wireless Headsets Plantronics Bluetooth Headset Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Plantronics Bluetooth Headset Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Q. How is Bluetooth used? A. Bluetooth can be used to wirelessly synchronize and transfer data among devices. Bluetooth can be thought of as a cable replacement technology. Typical uses include automatically synchronizing contact and calendar information among desktop, notebook and palmtop computers without connecting cables. Bluetooth can also be used to access a network or the Internet with a notebook computer by connecting wirelessly to a cellular phone.

Q. How many channels does a Plantronics Bluetooth headset use? A. Bluetooth devices use AFH (adaptive frequency hopping) to hop among 79 frequencies at 1 MHz intervals to give a high degree of interference immunity.

Q. What is the data throughput speed of a Bluetooth connection? A.Bluetooth transfers data at a rate of 721 Kbps, which is from three to eight times the average speed of parallel and serial ports, respectively. This bandwidth is capable of transmitting voice, data, video and still images.

Q. Will Bluetooth and Wireless LAN (Wi-Fi) interfere with each other? A. No, both Bluetooth and WLAN can co-exist. Since Bluetooth devices use Frequency Hopping and most WLANs use Direct Sequence Spreading techniques they each appear as background noise to the other and should not cause any perceivable performance issues.

Q. Are different brands of Bluetooth products compatible with each other? A. Yes. They have to. The Bluetooth Logo Certification Program requires Bluetooth products to interoperate with products manufactured by other vendors; those products that don’t interoperate will not be allowed to use the Bluetooth logo.

Q. Can Bluetooth products be used on a commercial airline? A. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other aviation regulatory bodies worldwide are currently reviewing the use of Bluetooth products on private and commercial aircraft. In the U.S. the FAA is the governing body to grant approval for Bluetooth product use on aircraft; therefore, we must defer to their impending ruling.

Q. What is the practical distance for Bluetooth headsets? A. The 7ft rule will assure you successful operation and acceptable audio quality of multiple Bluetooth device. Keep every paired BT devices separated by no more than 7ft. Keep every source of interference (including other Bluetooth devices) separated by at least 7ft from any of the paired BT devices. WiFi will decrease the number of BT devices that can be successfully deployed. Heavy use of WiFi (i.e: VoIP via WiFi) will further decrease the BT deployment density.

Q. What is the range of Bluetooth transmitter/receivers? A. Plantronics’ Bluetooth headsets are currently Class 2 Bluetooth devices with a range of approximately 10 meters, or roughly 30 feet.

Q. How secure are Plantronics Bluetooth transmissions? A. The headset and adapter communicate via the standard 2.4 GHz Bluetooth link, which provides high-quality digital audio, range up to 30 feet and advanced encryption for secure communication. It also includes device authentication, user authorization, and voice encryption.

Q. What kind of encryption will be used for Plantronics Bluetooth security? A. The Bluetooth specification 1.0 describes the link encryption algorithm as a stream cipher using 4 LFSR (linear feedback shift registers). The sum of the width of the LFSRs is 128, and the spec says “the effective key length is selectable between 8 and 128 bits”. This arrangement allows Bluetooth to be used in countries with regulations limiting encryption strength, and “facilitate a future upgrade path for the security without the need for a costly redesign of the algorithms and encryption hardware” according to the Bluetooth specification. Key generation and authentication seems to be using the 8-round SAFER+ encryption algorithm. The information available suggests that Bluetooth security will be adequate for most purposes; but users with higher security requirements will need to employ stronger algorithms to ensure the security of their data.

Q. What could interfere with Bluetooth? A.

WiFi (Audio distortion and drop-outs and slower data)
Bluetooth (Audio distortion and drop-outs)
Microwave Ovens (Audio distortion and drop-outs)
2.4MHz Cordless Phones (Audio distortion and drop-outs)
Amateur Radio (Audio distortion and drop-outs)
Microwave Lighting (Audio distortion and drop-outs)
WiMedia–wireless multimedia (Audio distortion and drop-outs and slower data)
ZigBee–sensor networks, home automation (Audio distortion and drop-outs and slower data)

Q. Which Plantronics headsets will work with the Playstation 3? A.Plantronics Bluetooth headsets are recommended for use with the Playstation 3. However, our Plantronics corded headsets are not compatible.

Q. After installing Service Pack 2 for Windows XP, I have problems using my Bluetooth audio device. What should I do? A. In Service Pack 2, Microsoft included a generic Bluetooth driver which is WHQL certified. Many Bluetooth adapters use software from Widcomm which require Widcomm drivers. The WIDCOMM software is used in many of the popular Bluetooth adapters on the market (including some made by Belkin or TDK). The WIDCOMM driver is not WHQL certified, so Windows XP will use the generic driver instead. This generic driver interferes with the WIDCOMM Bluetooth software. Additionally, the generic driver does not support the Audio Gateway or Audio Headset Profiles.

To force Windows XP to use the WIDCOMM driver, perform the following steps:

1) Don’t plug in the Bluetooth dongle or adapter yet.
2) If you have any Bluetooth software other than the Windows drivers installed, go to Add/Remove Programs and uninstall them.
3) Reboot
4) Install the WIDCOMM Bluetooth software. When it instructs you to plug in the Bluetooth adapter click OK, do NOT plug in the adapter, and click Cancel instead.
5) When the installation has completed, plug in the adapter and let Windows install the driver.
6) At this point there will be two Bluetooth icons in the system tray; one is blue and white and is installed with the Windows driver. The other is blue and red and is installed with the WIDCOMM driver.
7) Open the Device Manager, locate the “Generic Bluetooth Radio” (you may find your manufacturer’s Bluetooth Adapter under “Bluetooth Radios” instead), right-click on it and select “Update Driver”.
8) In the next dialog select “Don’t search, but select the driver to install”.
9) Select “Show compatible hardware” and select your manufacturer’s driver instead of the “Generic Bluetooth Radio” driver.
10) Click Next until the driver installation is completed.

The WIDCOMM system tray icon should be blue and white and ready to use.

Note: The Widcomm software should have come with your Bluetooth adapter/card. If you do not have a copy of the software installation CD for your device, you should contact Broadcom’s Technical Support. Some of Widcomm’s Bluetooth software is available from Broadcom at http://www.broadcom.com/products/Bluetooth/Bluetooth-RF-Silicon-and-Software-Solutions#s36

Q. Is Bluetooth version 2.0 compatible with Plantronics headsets? A. Yes all out Bluetooth headsets are 2.0 compatible.

Q. Can I use my Bluetooth headset on a computer? A. In order to use a Bluetooth headset, your computer must have an internal Bluetooth card or an external Bluetooth dongle adapter. However, not all Bluetooth devices utilize the same Bluetooth profiles.

In order to use a Bluetooth headset, your computer or external Bluetooth dongle must support: “Handsfree profile” (HFP) or “Headset profile” (HSP) for Bluetooth devices. Both “Audio” and “Data” Bluetooth transmissions

Please contact your Bluetooth provider to determine if your computer/dongle supports the profiles that are listed above. If you have support for these profiles, then “Bluetooth Audio” will be an option for Sound Playback and Sound Recording in under the Audio tab of the Sounds and Audio Devices section of your Windows Control Panel.

Without these profiles, your computer will be unable to exchange any services with the headset beyond basic pairing.

Q. Can I use Voice Dialing/Voice Activation with the Bluetooth headsets? A. Voice Dialing, Voice Activation & Voice Command are all a function of the cellular phone itself and not the headset. The headset will support this feature, however you must be able to program the phone to recognize the headset as the default device to use and not the phone itself in order for this function/feature to work. Refer to the users manual or cell phone provider for instructions on how to program your phone.

Q. Can I use my Bluetooth headset while it is charging? A. It is standard protocol on all Bluetooth headsets to not use the unit while charging. Audio Performance may be affected over time.

Q. My cellular phone will not recognize my Plantronics Bluetooth headset. Why? A. There are a few reasons why the this may occur.

  • The Bluetooth feature in the phone is not turned on.
  • Make sure your Bluetooth device has the Bluetooth feature turned on.
  • The headset is not in the proper mode for the phone to find it.
  • Then you need to place the headset in pairing/discoverable.
  • The Bluetooth device will never find the headset unless it is in pairing/discover-able mode.

Click here for specific instruction on How to place the Bluetooth headset in pairing/discoverable mode.

Note: All Bluetooth headsets listed below have the passkey of “0000” (for zeros)

Q. Bluetooth Headsets: Sound Quality. A. Your Bluetooth headset should provide a clear signal out to 33 feet if it has a clear line of sight to the mobile phone (assuming that the mobile phone is also capable of broadcasting a Bluetooth signal out to that range). Slight white noise or background static may occur when using a Bluetooth headset. Excessive static may indicate that the signal is obstructed or that the Bluetooth antenna in the headset or phone may be damaged.

Maintain a clear line of sight between the headset and the phone whenever possible; do not wear the two devices on opposite sides of your body. If issues persist, then delete the headset from your phone’s list of paired devices, update your phone with the most current software available from your * service provider, and then re-pair the headset with the phone. Click here for pairing instructions.

Q. Plantronics Bluetooth Headsets – Switching a call from phone to headset & visa versa. A. To switch an active call from your phone to your headset, press the call control button for 3 seconds. To switch an active call from your headset to your phone , press the call control button for 2 seconds.

*The Service Provider is the company that you pay your bill to in order to use the cell phones services.

Q. I hear beeping in my Bluetooth headset while in standby mode? A. Some telephone customers using Bluetooth headsets may hear frequent ringing/beeping in the headset while in standby mode.

This issue may be caused by the network, and is not a defect in the headset. Changing your phone settings as listed below will in most cases stop the frequent ringing/beeping in their headset while in standby mode. Please check with your service provider before changing the settings listed below, as the following work around may cause additional charges on your phone bill.Go into the MENU > SETTINGS > ROAM Change roam setting to “ROAMING ONLY”Users will no longer get any Bluetooth headset rings/beeps unless the phone is actually ringing for an incoming call. This is a temporary work around; once the phone is turned off the roaming setting above is reset. You will need to follow the above steps each time you turn on your phone.

Q. How do I know if the battery is low on the Plantronics Bluetooth headsets? A. When the headset is on and becomes low, the headset emits a beep every 20 seconds. The indicator light will also flash red when the battery needs to be charged.

Q. The Motorola Razor V3 C and a Bluetooth headset seems to drop the Bluetooth connection quite frequently? A. You can easily resolve the problem by going into the Initial Setup menu of the Razor phone, and switching Battery Saver to Off, instead of On. That should fix MOST dropped Bluetooth connections on this particular phone. See your Razor phone user guide/manual for specific instructions.

Q. What are Bluetooth profiles? A. Bluetooth is a wireless technology found in many of today’s electronic devices. However, Bluetooth devices do not all work in the same way. One Bluetooth device may not work with another (such as a Bluetooth phone with a Bluetooth computer, a Bluetooth headset with a Bluetooth music device, etc.) This is because there are a number of Bluetooth profiles, and not all devices use the same profiles.

Plantronics headsets (with the exception of the Plantronics Pulsar 590) support only the Handsfree (HFP) and Headset (HSP) profiles. Most Bluetooth phones support these profiles as well. However, most computers and audio devices do not. You cannot use a Plantronics Bluetooth headset with any device that does not support both the HFP and HSP profiles.

Some companies sell Bluetooth dongle adapters for laptops and audio devices. An adapter may allow other Bluetooth devices to work with our headsets. However, the adapter will need to support both the HFP and HSP profiles and be compatible with the other Bluetooth device.

Our Pulsar headsets support the A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) in addition to HFP and HSP. Go here for more information about the Plantronics Pulsar 590 headset.

More information about Bluetooth profiles can be found below, or at http://www.bluetooth.com/bluetooth/.

HSP – For voice and mono music, e.g. Skype: (Headset Profile ) – This is the most commonly used profile, providing support for the popular Bluetooth headsets to be used with mobile phones. .

HFP – More advanced version of HSP (Hands Free Profile ) – Allows Voice Dialing Activation + Redial + Call transfer + call answer/end capabilities.

A2DP – For stereo but no voice: (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) – Also referred to as the AV profile, it is designed to transfer a stereo audio stream like music from an mp3 player to a headset or car radio. This profile relies on AVDTP and GAVDP.

AVRCP – For remote control: (Audio/Video Remote Control Profile ) – This profile is designed to provide a standard interface to control TVs, Hi-fi equipment, etc. to allow a single remote control (or other device) to control all of the A/V equipment that a user has access to. It may be used in concert with A2DP or VDP.

General Audio/Video Distribution Profile (GAVDP ) – Provides the basis for A2DP and VDP.

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