Bluetooth Headset

3.4331168831155 (1540)
Posted by sonny 04/02/2009 @ 03:12

Tags : bluetooth headset, phone, telecommunication, technology

News headlines
Best New Bluetooth Headsets - BusinessWeek
Bluetooth headsets in general have improved tremendously in the past couple of years. All of the better ones will get you through at least a couple of days of use, or many days of standby, without recharging. And pairing the headset with a phone—once...
Samsung's New SmartPhone Makes a Great Impression - PC World
Plantronics Voyager Pro Bluetooth Headset Take advantage of the Voyager Pro's impressive wind reduction during calls--and expect great audio quality, to boot. You'll have to be content with this Bluetooth headset's chunky design, though....
The Top Five Bluetooth Headsets You Can Buy - PC Magazine
Have an older headset? Then it's time to upgrade. You'll be amazed at how far the latest models have come. by Jamie Lendino Bluetooth headset designs just keep getting better and better. For the past couple of years, new models have been smaller,...
Samsung SBH-600 stereo Bluetooth headset - CNET News
The good: The Samsung SBH-600 stereo Bluetooth headset fits very comfortably on the ear and has excellent audio quality. We also like the 3.5-millimeter headset jack that lets you use it with non-Bluetooth devices. The bad: The Samsung SBH-600's call...
REVIEW - Sony Ericsson HBH-PV708 Bluetooth Headset - Mobile Magazine
A simple and stylish wireless solution for the busy urban professional, the Sony Ericsson HBH-PV708 Bluetooth headset keeps its design cues in line with the rest of the SE Bluetooth lineup. You get a standard earloop to hold it in place and the...
Aliph Jawbone Prime Bluetooth Headset - Washington Post
Latest Bluetooth headset from Aliph boasts stellar audio quality and top-notch noise cancellation. Extra accessories up your odds of obtaining a great fit. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material...
Golden-i Bluetooth headset with virtual PC display - Gizmag
The Golden-i is a Bluetooth headset that provides a 15-inch virtual display with a hands-free, natural-speech-recognition interface for wireless remote control over a range of devices including mobile phones, PCs, company networks and wireless systems....
Yada YD-V1 Bluetooth headset with direct charger - CNET News
The Yada with direct charger is one of two Bluetooth hands-free kits that feature the YD-V1 Bluetooth headset (the other is the Yada with phone holder). Packaged with a 12-volt direct charger and a USB charger, the YD-V1 is billed as a "car-centric"...
Leaked pictures of the LG enV3 and enV Touch - CNET News
Nicole Lee is an associate editor for CNET, covering cell phones, Bluetooth headsets, and all things mobile. She's also pretty geeky--she likes World of Warcraft, comic books, and shiny gadgets. E-mail Nicole. by k08lpfan May 15, 2009 1:29 PM PDT I'm...
Tech Test Drive: Plantronics Voyager Pro Bluetooth headset -
We've seen our fair share of Bluetooth headsets at CNet, but few come close to earning the top spot of the Best Bluetooth headset list. Lately, however, we've received an influx of headsets that provide quality sound with quality comfort,...

Headset (telephone/computer)

Front view of Steel series Siberia Neckband gaming headset. The microphone is on the left earcup.

A headset is a headphone combined with a microphone. Headsets provide the equivalent functionality of a telephone handset with hands-free operation. They are used in call centers and by people in telephone-intensive jobs. Many people use headsets at the computer so they can converse and type comfortably. Headsets typically have only one speaker like a telephone, but also come with speakers for both ears.

Although headset can mistakenly be referred to as simply a headphone, it is now more commonly used to refer to a headphone with a microphone arm attached. This distinction is important, as most headset developers have adapted to this terminology, improper reference may cause a lot of misunderstanding. Note that headphones are usually used for Audio/Music listening, whereas headsets are designed for communication.

Typhoons "Jetswitch". The new technology automatically re-routes the sound from speaker to headset.

A Goldendance MGD-01 bone conduction headset.

A Plantronics Audio90 headset.

A wired headset for the Xbox 360.

A SonyEricsson Bluetooth headset.

Aliph Jawbone Bluetooth Headset.

Three different versions of Bose In-Ears headphones.

The first-ever headset was invented in 1910, by a Stanford University student named Nathaniel Baldwin. However, Baldwin's design was ahead of his time, as he wasn't able to interest anyone in mass producing this innovative communication tool. Not until during the World War I when Captain Macmillan sniped an entire platoon did the US Army purchase 100 headsets for their pilots. Hence the early usage and markets for headsets were mainly for aviation purposes. In fact, Plantronics was started by two pilots, and their main goals were to develop headsets which are lightweight and comfortable for pilots and subsequently general users.

Headphones usually come in double earpiece design, whereas headsets can come in single-earpiece and double earpiece designs. Single earpiece Headsets are known as monaural headsets. However, double earpiece headsets comes in both stereo type or binaural type. Stereo refers to two channels of audio signal, one for each earpiece, and binaural headsets offer the same audio channel for both ear-pieces. Headphones are designed mainly for music listening, so most often they come in stereo version.

Professional users may choose to wear monaural headsets because they free up the users' other ear, so they can be more conscious of their work surroundings. Telephone headsets only come in binaural type for double earpiece designs because telephone only offers single-channel input and output, so all double earpiece telephone headsets are binaural.

However, for computer or other audio applications, where the sources offer two-channel output, stereo headsets are the norm. Telephone Headsets generally use 150 Ohm loudspeakers with a narrower frequency range, so sound outside the voice band is less audible to reduce background noise. Stereo computer headsets, on the other hand, use 32 Ω loudspeakers which have a much broader frequency range, and is more suitable of music listening.

The microphone arm of headsets come in external microphone type and transparent voicetube type. External microphone designs have the microphone housed in the front end of the microphone arm, inside a microphone capsule. Transparent voicetube designs are also called Internal Microphone design, meaning the microphone is housed near the arm-rotation mechanism. The sound from the user travels through the sealed transparent tube to the hidden microphone. Voicetube designs look better, and are considered professional based on pre-set norms; however when compared with an external microphone design, an external microphone headset usually has a much better performance. Voicetube headsets usually only come in the form of telephone headset or mobile headset, there are not any computer headsets using voicetube designs and there is no particular technical reason for this, it is probably purely the industry norm.

External microphone design also comes in two major types: omni-directional and noise-canceling. Noise-canceling microphone headsets use bi-directional microphone as elements. A bi-directional microphone's receptive field is, as its name suggests, two angles only. In fact, its receptive field is limited to only the front and the direct opposite back of the microphone. This will create an "8" shape field, and this design is the best method for only picking up sound from a close proximity of the user, meanwhile not picking up most surrounding noises. Bi-directional microphone works better than uni-directional microphone (single angle reception field) because uni-directional microphone also picks up some of the sound 90-degrees (both sides) to the desired angle. Omni-directional microphone picks up the complete 360-degree field, hence it is also the best receptive microphone but it also picks up most of the surrounding noises. In some instances, when a higher sensitivity is required for the microphone, or when the sound source is further away from the microphone, omni-direction microphone is the preferred choice. In fact, almost all voicetube designs employ an omni-directional microphone (since the sound source needs to travel through the voicetube before it reaches the microphone).

Standard headsets with the headband wearing over the head are known as over-the-head headsets. Headsets with headband going over the back of the user's neck are known as backwear-headset or behind-the-neck headsets. Headsets that are worn over the ear with a soft ear-hook are known as over-the-ear or earloop headset; these headsets do not have a headband. There are also headsets in the market which are designed so that users can change the wearing method by assembling and dis-assembling various parts, known as convertible headsets.

With the evolution of telecommunication technology, the applications for headsets are no longer military-focused. Business as well as consumer applications are the main target markets now. There are basically three main applications for headsets: (1) fixed-line telephone - PSTN/PABX) (2) computer - VoIP and (3) mobile phone usage.

Telephone headsets usually refers to headsets used to connect to a fixed-line telephone system, be it PSTN (general non-system telephones) or PABX (office system telephones). A telephone headset functions by replacing the handset of a telephone; hence it cannot operate on its own. All telephone headsets come in a standard 4P4C modular connector (commonly referred to as an RJ-9 connector), which is exactly the same as a telephone handset. By removing the handset and replacing it with the headset, users can talk on the phone without holding the handset. As research shows, many office workers suffer from Telephone Neck Syndrome (TNS) due to constantly squeezing the telephone handset with their neck and shoulder during conversations. So for work-safety and anti-insurance claim purposes, the ergonomics of headsets are a very hot topic right now.

When choosing a telephone headset, users should keep in mind that not all telephone headsets are directly compatible with all telephone models. Because headsets connect to the telephone via the standard handset jack, the pin-alignment of the telephone handset may be different from the default pin-alignment of the telephone headset. All telephone handsets connect to its telephone base-unit via a 4-pin cable; however, the alignment of those four pin differs across each brand or sometimes across each telephone model. That is why most professional headset brands offer adaptors for pairing the headset with the telephone. These are called Telephone Headset Adaptors or Pin-Alignment Configurators (ie. Accutone's C100 or C333).

For older models of telephones, the headset microphone impedance is very different from that of the original handset. Under such circumstances, users will need to purchase a telephone amplifier to pair with the telephone headset (ie. Plantronics' Vista M22, MX10 or Accutone's A20, A30). A telephone amplifier provides basic pin-alignment similar to a telephone headset adaptor, but it also offers sound amplification for the microphone as well as the loudspeakers. Most models of telephone amplifiers offer volume control for loudspeaker as well as microphone, mute function and headset/handset switching. Telephone Amplifiers must be powered, either through batteries or AC adaptors.

Most professional-level telephone headsets come with a Quick Disconnect (QD) cable, allowing for fast and easy disconnection of the headset from the telephone. This allows the user to momentarily untether from the telephone, without having to physically remove the headset. The release point is usually a few inches from the telephone, where the manufacturer's QD mechanism can be conveniently operated to detach or reattach. When detached, a small portion remains connected to the telephone with a 4P4C modular plug.

In general, as long as a QD assembly is kept together as a pair, it can be moved from telephone to telephone, or used alongside a telephone amplifier of your choice. The one caveat is that in some cases the layout of the pins in the terminating 4P4C will differ from the usual convention of having the loud speaker connected to the inner pins and the microphone to the outer pins. In this case although the physical connection will mate properly the differing pin layout necessitates an additional coupler or pin-layout adapter to restore compatibility.

Computer headsets generally come in two connecting types, standard 3.5 mm & USB connection. General 3.5 mm computer headset comes with two 3.5 mm connectors, one connecting to microphone jack (line-in) and one connecting to speaker jack (line-out) of the computer. 3.5 mm Computer Headset connects to the computer via a soundcard - which converts the digital signal of the computer to analog signal for the headset. Depending on the quality of the soundcard, the sound quality of 3.5 mm connection generally is not as good as a USB connection. USB computer headset connects to the computer via USB ports, and the audio conversion occurs in the USB PCBA located in the headset or in the control unit of the headset.

USB headsets are usually more expensive, but the sound quality is usually much better; not just in the actual sound quality of USB technology, but also in the choice of materials from headset developers. There are, however, actually two sub-types of USB headsets:(A) Headset with USB connection and (B) Direct USB headset. Fenix uses a Logitech USB headset.

Headset with USB connection refers to those computer headsets with a standard 3.5 mm headset bundled with a USB adaptor. One end of the USB adaptor is a standard USB plug, but the other end is a pair of 3.5 mm jacks where the 3.5 mm computer headset is connected. The benefit of using this type of solution is that users can just buy the USB adaptor to use with their existing 3.5 mm headset, or they can use their existing multimedia speakers or desktop microphone. By connecting the devices to the USB adaptor, users have a higher flexibility. However the down-side is that the sound quality of this type of solution is much lower than a standard Direct USB Headset, plus the adaptor and all the cables makes this solution very cumbersome. Brands offering this cheaper-end solution includes Philips, Logitech and Altec Lansing (now part of Plantronics).

Direct USB Headset usually has a digital volume controller which also includes the USB module, however some solutions have separated the controller and the USB module. This type of solution is usually offered in higher-quality design, as this direct connection minimizes the chance of interference as well as length of path; this is the preferred choice for users seeking top end sound quality. Users will find that this type of solution is usually priced a bit higher, but extra audio features like Digital Signal Processing (DSP) or noise canceling technology are very common. Brands offering these types of solutions include Plantronics, Jabra and Accutone.

With most newer Operating Systems (Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS X, Linux) USB Headsets are plug-and-play, and no drivers are required. However, depending on the extra features the headset offers, some may require extra software installation. In addition to sound quality, a benefit of any USB headset is Interactivity, meaning users in addition to getting audio signals from the computer, users can actually control the computer using the headset. There are some products in the market which users can use the USB headset to start up Skype, and control various functions of the Instant Messenger (IM) Application by only using the headset.

Mobile (Cellular) Phone Headsets are most often referred to as Mobile Handsfree. Most mobile phones come with their own handsfree in the form of a single earphone with a microphone module connected in the cable. However, as music-playing mobile phones are becoming the norm, most manufacturers will bundle stereo earphones with a microphone for MP3 listening. There are brands which offer mobile headset outside of the mobile phones developer. The main reason for this is either for better sound quality or higher convenience in the form of wireless solutions.

High quality mobile headsets come in both earbud-wearing style, as in the case of Jabra or Shure, and over-the-head-wearing style, as in Plantronics. Both types of headsets offer advantages, as earbuds are better in mobility and over-the-heads are more comfortable. Most after-market mobile headsets come in a standard 2.5 mm plug. So users have to purchase an additional adaptor for their mobile phones. Smartphones often use a standard 3.5 mm jack, so users may be able to directly connect the headset to it. However, brands like Sony Ericsson, Nokia or Motorola have very different headset jacks now. These adaptors are relatively cheap and can be purchased at any mobile accessories store. Users should be aware that they should bring their telephone to test the headset, as 2.5 mm plugs may still have some differences in its pin-setting, and are not 100% universal.

As for Wireless Mobile Headsets, most of them now use Bluetooth technology, as the advantage of using Bluetooth is that users do not need to add an extra transmitter in the mobile phone. Bluetooth audio transmission is relatively stable now, and most headsets are compatible with most mobile phones. The version 2.0 is the most compatible version now, with features like stereo transmission for music listening in A2DP profile.

Wireless headsets are quickly becoming a new trend for both business and consumer communications. There are a number of solutions for wireless, and they usually differ according to application and power-management.

DECT(Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunication] is one the most common standards for cordless telephones. It uses 1.88 to 1.90 GHz RF (European Version) or 1.92 to 1.93 GHz RF (US Version), as the frequency bandwidth. Different countries have regulations for the bandwidth used in DECT, but most have pre-set this band for wireless audio transmission. The most common profile of DECT is GAP (Generic Access Profile), which is used to ensure common communication between base station and its cordless handset. This common platform allows communication between the two devices even if they are from different manufacturers. For example, a Panasonic DECT base-station theoretically can connect to a Siemens DECT Handset. Based on this profile, developers such as Plantronics or Jabra have launched wireless headsets which can directly pair with any GAP-enable DECT telephones. So users with a DECT Wireless Headset can pair it with their home DECT phones and enjoy wireless communication.

Because DECT specifications are different between countries, developers who use the same product across different countries have launched wireless headsets which use 2.4GHz RF as opposed to the 1.89 or 1.9 GHz in DECT. Almost all countries in the world have the 2.4 GHz band open for wireless communications, so headsets using this RF band is sellable in most markets. However, the 2.4 GHz frequency is also the base frequency for many wireless data transmission, ie. WLAN, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth..., the bandwidth may be quite busy, so using this technology may be more prone to interference.

Because 2.4 GHz Wireless Headsets cannot directly "talk" to any standard cordless telephones, an extra base-unit is required for this product to function. Most 2.4 GHz Wireless Headsets come in two units, a wireless headset and a wireless base-station, which connects to your original telephone unit via the handset jack (similar to how telephone headsets are connected to a fixed-line telephone suggested in section 1 of this article). The wireless headset communicates with the base-station via 2.4 GHz RF, and the voice signals are sent or received via the base unit to the telephone unit. This type of solution is more primitive as more connection is required, however it is also highest in compatibility, as it will fit with almost all types of telephones in the market. An extra note is that some solutions will also offer an automatic Handset Lifter, so the user can wirelessly lift the handset off the telephone by pressing the button on the wireless headset. Jabra (previously known as GN Netcom) has some excellent solutions in 2.4 GHz wireless products.

Most users have heard about Bluetooth, and although this technology was designed originally for a much wider application, it has today become largely for voice transmission (a notable exception to this would be the use of Bluetooth in the Nintendo Wiimote). The reason for this general exclusivity is because of the power/range settings of Bluetooth. Bluetooth uses 2.4 GHz RF, similar to WLAN or Wi-Fi; however, by default it is set for a very close proximity usage for power consumption benefits. This deficiency for a longer-range coverage made bluetooth technology un-desirable for data transmission. As nowadays, more and more mobile phones come equipped with bluetooth, this technology has become a common wireless profile for wireless mobile phone headsets only.

When choosing a Bluetooth headset users should be aware that bluetooth headsets come in different types as well. Standard bluetooth headset's using version 1.0 or 1.1 are often a single-side monaural earpiece, which can only access the Headset/handsfree profile of Bluetooth. Depending on the phone's operating system, this type of headset will either play music at a very low quality (because the phone is converting it into a voice signal) or will be unable to play music at all (because the phone cannot perform such a conversion). Users who need a stereo-music playing Bluetooth headset should look for a headset with the A2DP profile. Users should note that some A2DP-equipped headsets will automatically de-activate the microphone function during music-listening, so if these headsets are paired to a computer via bluetooth connection, the headset may either disable the stereo function or the microphone function.

Some developers have offered complete desktop solutions using Bluetooth technology. With a base-station that connects via cables to the fixed-line telephone and also the computer via soundcard, users with any bluetooth headset can pair their headset to the base-station, hence enabling them to use a single headset for both fixed-line telephone and computer VoIP communication. This type of solution, when used together with a multiple-point bluetooth headset enables user to use a single bluetooth headset to communicate in Telephone/Computer/Mobile.

There are now Bluetooth office headsets that incorporate Class 1 Bluetooth into the base station so that when using with a Class 1 Bluetooth headset, the user can get a greater distance from the phone or computer; generally around 100 feet compared to the 33 feet of Class 2 Bluetooth, which is what most Bluetooth headsets run on. The headsets that come with these base stations connect to cell phones via Class 2 Bluetooth, so you still get the same 33 foot range from your cell phone.

To the top


A typical Bluetooth mobile phone headset.

Bluetooth is an open wireless protocol for exchanging data over short distances from fixed and mobile devices, creating personal area networks (PANs). It was originally conceived as a wireless alternative to RS232 data cables. It can connect several devices, overcoming problems of synchronization.

The word Bluetooth is an anglicized version of Old Norse Blátönn or Danish Blåtand, the name of the tenth-century king Harald I of Denmark and Norway, who united dissonant Scandinavian tribes into a single kingdom. The implication is that Bluetooth does the same with communications protocols, uniting them into one universal standard.

It is possible that the name may have been inspired less by the historical Harald, than by the loose interpretation of him in The Long Ships by Frans Gunnar Bengtsson, a Swedish Viking-inspired novel.

The Bluetooth logo design merges the Germanic runes analogous to the modern Latin letters H and B:  (for Harald Bluetooth) (Hagall) and (Berkanan) merged together, forming a bind rune.

Bluetooth uses a radio technology called frequency-hopping spread spectrum, which chops up the data being sent and transmits chunks of it on up to 79 frequencies. In its basic mode, the modulation is Gaussian frequency-shift keying (GFSK). It can achieve a gross data rate of 1 Mb/s. Bluetooth provides a way to connect and exchange information between devices such as mobile phones, telephones, laptops, personal computers, printers, Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers, digital cameras, and video game consoles through a secure, globally unlicensed Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) 2.4 GHz short-range radio frequency bandwidth. The Bluetooth specifications are developed and licensed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG). The Bluetooth SIG consists of companies in the areas of telecommunication, computing, networking, and consumer electronics.

Bluetooth is a standard and communications protocol primarily designed for low power consumption, with a short range (power-class-dependent: 1 meter, 10 meters, 100 meters) based on low-cost transceiver microchips in each device. Bluetooth makes it possible for these devices to communicate with each other when they are in range. Because the devices use a radio (broadcast) communications system, they do not have to be in line of sight of each other.

In most cases the effective range of class 2 devices is extended if they connect to a class 1 transceiver, compared to a pure class 2 network. This is accomplished by the higher sensitivity and transmission power of Class 1 devices.

In order to use Bluetooth, a device must be compatible with certain Bluetooth profiles. These define the possible applications and uses of the technology.

Bluetooth and Wi-Fi have many applications in today's offices, homes, and on the move: setting up networks, printing, or transferring presentations and files from PDAs to computers. Both are versions of unlicensed wireless technology.

Wi-Fi is intended for resident equipment and its applications. The category of applications is outlined as WLAN, the wireless local area networks. Wi-Fi is intended as a replacement for cabling for general local area network access in work areas.

Bluetooth is intended for non resident equipment and its applications. The category of applications is outlined as the wireless personal area network (WPAN). Bluetooth is a replacement for cabling in a variety of personally carried applications in any ambience.

Bluetooth exists in many products, such as telephones, the Wii, PlayStation 3, Lego Mindstorms NXT and recently in some high definition watches, modems and headsets. The technology is useful when transferring information between two or more devices that are near each other in low-bandwidth situations. Bluetooth is commonly used to transfer sound data with telephones (i.e. with a Bluetooth headset) or byte data with hand-held computers (transferring files).

Bluetooth protocols simplify the discovery and setup of services between devices. Bluetooth devices can advertise all of the services they provide. This makes using services easier because more of the security, network address and permission configuration can be automated than with many other network types.

Wi-Fi is more like a traditional Ethernet network, and requires configuration to set up shared resources, transmit files, and to set up audio links (for example, headsets and hands-free devices). Wi-Fi uses the same radio frequencies as Bluetooth, but with higher power, resulting in a stronger connection. Wi-Fi is sometimes called "wireless Ethernet." This description is accurate, as it also provides an indication of its relative strengths and weaknesses. Wi-Fi requires more setup but is better suited for operating full-scale networks; it enables a faster connection, better range from the base station, and better security than Bluetooth.

A personal computer must have a Bluetooth adapter in order to communicate with other Bluetooth devices (such as mobile phones, mice and keyboards). While some desktop computers and most recent laptops come with a built-in Bluetooth adapter, others will require an external one in the form of a dongle.

Unlike its predecessor, IrDA, which requires a separate adapter for each device, Bluetooth allows multiple devices to communicate with a computer over a single adapter.

Apple has supported Bluetooth since Mac OS X v10.2 which was released in 2002.

For Microsoft platforms, Windows XP Service Pack 2 and later releases have native support for Bluetooth. Previous versions required users to install their Bluetooth adapter's own drivers, which were not directly supported by Microsoft. Microsoft's own Bluetooth dongles (packaged with their Bluetooth computer devices) have no external drivers and thus require at least Windows XP Service Pack 2.

Linux has two popular Bluetooth stacks, BlueZ and Affix. The BlueZ stack is included with most Linux kernels and was originally developed by Qualcomm. The Affix stack was developed by Nokia. FreeBSD features Bluetooth support since its 5.0 release. NetBSD features Bluetooth support since its 4.0 release. Its Bluetooth stack has been ported to OpenBSD as well.

A mobile phone that is Bluetooth enabled is able to pair with many devices. To ensure the broadest support of feature functionality together with legacy device support, the OMTP forum has recently published a recommendations paper, entitled "Bluetooth Local Connectivity"; see external links below to download this paper.

This publication recommends two classes, Basic and Advanced, with requirements that cover imaging, printing, stereo audio and in-car usage.

The Bluetooth specification was developed in 1994 by Jaap Haartsen and Sven Mattisson, who were working for Ericsson Mobile Platforms in Lund, Sweden. The specification is based on frequency-hopping spread spectrum technology.

The specifications were formalized by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG). The SIG was formally announced on May 20, 1998. Today it has a membership of over 11,000 companies worldwide. It was established by Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Toshiba, and Nokia, and later joined by many other companies.

Versions 1.0 and 1.0B had many problems, and manufacturers had difficulty making their products interoperable. Versions 1.0 and 1.0B also included mandatory Bluetooth hardware device address (BD_ADDR) transmission in the Connecting process (rendering anonymity impossible at the protocol level), which was a major setback for certain services planned for use in Bluetooth environments.

This version of the Bluetooth specification was released on November 10, 2004. It is backward compatible with the previous version 1.1. The main difference is the introduction of an Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) for faster data transfer. The nominal rate of EDR is about 3 megabits per second, although the practical data transfer rate is 2.1 megabits per second. The additional throughput is obtained by using a different radio technology for transmission of the data. Standard, or Basic Rate, transmission uses Gaussian Frequency Shift Keying (GFSK) modulation of the radio signal with a gross air data rate of 1Mbps. EDR uses a combination of GFSK and Phase Shift Keying modulation (PSK) with two variants, π/4-DQPSK and 8DPSK. These have gross air data rates of 2, and 3Mbps respectively.

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) published the specification as "Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR" which implies that EDR is an optional feature. Aside from EDR, there are other minor improvements to the 2.0 specification, and products may claim compliance to "Bluetooth 2.0" without supporting the higher data rate. At least one commercial device, the HTC TyTN Pocket PC phone, states "Bluetooth 2.0 without EDR" on its data sheet.

On June 12, 2007, Nokia and Bluetooth SIG announced that Wibree will be a part of the Bluetooth specification, as an ultra-low power Bluetooth technology. Expected use cases include watches displaying Caller ID information, sports sensors monitoring your heart rate during exercise, and medical devices. The Medical Devices Working Group is also creating a medical devices profile and associated protocols to enable this market. Bluetooth low energy technology is designed for devices to have a battery life of up to one year.

On March 28, 2006, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group announced its selection of the WiMedia Alliance Multi-Band Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (MB-OFDM) version of UWB for integration with current Bluetooth wireless technology.

UWB integration will create a version of Bluetooth wireless technology with a high-speed/high-data-rate option. This new version of Bluetooth technology will meet the high-speed demands of synchronizing and transferring large amounts of data, as well as enabling high-quality video and audio applications for portable devices, multi-media projectors and television sets, and wireless VOIP.

At the same time, Bluetooth technology will continue catering to the needs of very low power applications such as mouse, keyboards, and mono headsets, enabling devices to select the most appropriate physical radio for the application requirements, thereby offering the best of both worlds.

Bluetooth SIG is also developing a method of radio substitution to use an alternate MAC/PHY (such as IEEE 802.11) for application requiring more speed. It will allow Bluetooth protocols, profiles, security and pairing to be used in consumer devices on top of the already present 802.11 radio, when necessary.

On March 16, 2009, the WiMedia Alliance announced it is entering into technology transfer agreements for the WiMedia Ultra-wideband (UWB) specifications. WiMedia will transfer all current and future specifications, including work on future high speed and power optimized implementations, to the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), Wireless USB Promoter Group and the USB Implementers Forum. After the successful completion of the technology transfer, marketing and related administrative items, the WiMedia Alliance will cease operations.

The next version of Bluetooth after v2.1, code-named Seattle (the version number of which is TBD, but is expected to be 3.0) has many of the same features, but is most notable for plans to adopt ultra-wideband (UWB) radio technology. This will allow Bluetooth use over UWB radio, enabling very fast data transfers of up to 480 Mbit/s, while building on the very low-power idle modes of Bluetooth.

Used for control of the radio link between two devices. Implemented on the controller.

Used to multiplex multiple logical connections between two devices using different higher level protocols. Provides segmentation and reassembly of on-air packets. In basic mode, L2CAP provides reliable sequenced packets with a payload configurable up to 64kB, with 672 bytes as the minimum mandatory supported size. In retransmission & flow control modes, L2CAP can be configured for reliable or isochronous data per channel by configuring the number of retransmissions and flush timeout.

The EL2CAP specification adds an additional "enhanced mode" to the core specification, which is an improved version of retransmission & flow control modes.

Standardised communication between the host stack (e.g. a PC or mobile phone OS) and the controller (the Bluetooth I.C.) This standard allows the host stack or controller I.C. to be swapped with minimal adaptation.

There are several HCI transport layer standards, each using a different hardware interface to transfer the same command, event and data packets. The most commonly used are USB (in PCs) and UART (in mobile phones and PDAs).

In Bluetooth devices with simple functionality, e.g. headsets, the host stack and controller can be implemented on the same microprocessor. In this case the HCI is optional, although often implemented as an internal software interface.

Radio frequency communications (RFCOMM) is the cable replacement protocol used to create a virtual serial data stream. RFCOMM provides for binary data transport and emulates EIA-232 (formerly RS-232) control signals over the Bluetooth baseband layer.

RFCOMM provides a simple reliable data stream to the user, similar to TCP. It is used directly by many telephony related profiles as a carrier for AT commands, as well as being a transport layer for OBEX over Bluetooth.

Many Bluetooth applications use RFCOMM because of its widespread support and publicly available API on most operating systems. Additionally, applications that used a serial port to communicate can be quickly ported to use RFCOMM.

BNEP is used to transfer another protocol stack's data via an L2CAP channel. Its main purpose is the transmission of IP packets in the Personal Area Networking Profile. BNEP performs a similar function to SNAP in Wireless LAN.

Used by the advanced audio distribution profile to stream music to stereo headsets over an L2CAP channel. Intended to be used by video distribution profile.

TCS-BIN is only used by the cordless telephony profile, which failed to attract implementers. As such it is only of historical interest.

Wireless Application Environment / Wireless Application Protocol (WAE/WAP) – WAE specifies an application framework for wireless devices and WAP is an open standard to provide mobile users access to telephony and information services.

A master Bluetooth device can communicate with up to seven devices in a Wireless User Group. This network group of up to eight devices is called a piconet.

A piconet is an ad-hoc computer network, using Bluetooth technology protocols to allow one master device to interconnect with up to seven active devices. Up to 255 further devices can be inactive, or parked, which the master device can bring into active status at any time.

The Bluetooth specification allows connecting two or more piconets together to form a scatternet, with some devices acting as a bridge by simultaneously playing the master role in one piconet and the slave role in another.

Many USB Bluetooth adapters are available, some of which also include an IrDA adapter. Older (pre-2003) Bluetooth adapters, however, have limited services, offering only the Bluetooth Enumerator and a less-powerful Bluetooth Radio incarnation. Such devices can link computers with Bluetooth, but they do not offer much in the way of services that modern adapters do.

Any device may perform an inquiry to find other devices to connect to, and any device can be configured to respond to such inquiries. However, if the device trying to connect knows the address of the device, it always responds to direct connection requests and transmits the information shown in the list above if requested. Use of a device's services may require pairing or acceptance by its owner, but the connection itself can be initiated by any device and held until it goes out of range. Some devices can be connected to only one device at a time, and connecting to them prevents them from connecting to other devices and appearing in inquiries until they disconnect from the other device.

Every device has a unique 48-bit address. However these addresses are generally not shown in inquiries. Instead, friendly Bluetooth names are used, which can be set by the user. This name appears when another user scans for devices and in lists of paired devices.

Most phones have the Bluetooth name set to the manufacturer and model of the phone by default. Most phones and laptops show only the Bluetooth names and special programs are required to get additional information about remote devices. This can be confusing as, for example, there could be several phones in range named T610 (see Bluejacking).

Pairs of devices may establish a trusted relationship by learning (by user input) a shared secret known as a passkey. A device that wants to communicate only with a trusted device can cryptographically authenticate the identity of the other device. Trusted devices may also encrypt the data that they exchange over the airwaves so that no one can listen in. The encryption can, however, be turned off, and passkeys are stored on the device file system, not on the Bluetooth chip itself. Since the Bluetooth address is permanent, a pairing is preserved, even if the Bluetooth name is changed. Pairs can be deleted at any time by either device. Devices generally require pairing or prompt the owner before they allow a remote device to use any or most of their services. Some devices, such as mobile phones, usually accept OBEX business cards and notes without any pairing or prompts.

Certain printers and access points allow any device to use their services by default, much like unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Pairing algorithms are sometimes manufacturer-specific for transmitters and receivers used in applications such as music and entertainment.

Bluetooth 2.1 has an optional "touch-to-pair" feature based on Near Field Communication (NFC). By simply bringing two devices into very close range (around 10 cm/4 in), pairing can securely take place without entering a passkey or manual configuration.

The protocol operates in the license-free ISM band at 2.4-2.4835 GHz. To avoid interfering with other protocols that use the 2.45 GHz band, the Bluetooth protocol divides the band into 79 channels (each 1 MHz wide) and changes channels up to 1600 times per second. Implementations with versions 1.1 and 1.2 reach speeds of 723.1 kbit/s. Version 2.0 implementations feature Bluetooth Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) and reach 2.1 Mbit/s. Technically, version 2.0 devices have a higher power consumption, but the three times faster rate reduces the transmission times, effectively reducing power consumption to half that of 1.x devices (assuming equal traffic load).

Bluetooth implements confidentiality, authentication and key derivation with custom algorithms based on the SAFER+ block cipher. In Bluetooth, key generation is generally based on a Bluetooth PIN, which must be entered into both devices. This procedure might be modified if one of the devices has a fixed PIN, e.g. for headsets or similar devices with a restricted user interface. During pairing, an initialization key or master key is generated, using the E22 algorithm. The E0 stream cipher is used for encrypting packets, granting confidentiality and is based on a shared cryptographic secret, namely a previously generated link key or master key. Those keys, used for subsequent encryption of data sent via the air interface, rely on the Bluetooth PIN, which has been entered into one or both devices.

An overview of Bluetooth vulnerabilities exploits has been published by Andreas Becker.

In September 2008, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published a Guide to Bluetooth Security that will serve as reference to organization on the security capabilities of Bluetooth and steps for securing Bluetooth technologies effectively. While Bluetooth has its benefits, it is susceptible to denial of service attacks, eavesdropping, man-in-the-middle attacks, message modification, and resource misappropriation. Users/organizations must evaluate their acceptable level of risk and incorporate security into the lifecycle of Bluetooth devices. To help mitigate risks, included in the NIST document are security checklists with guidelines and recommendations for creating and maintaining secure Bluetooth piconets, headsets, and smart card readers.

Bluejacking is the sending of either a picture or a message from one user to an unsuspecting user through Bluetooth wireless technology. Common applications are short messages (e.g. "You’ve just been bluejacked!"), advertisements (e.g. "Eat at Joe’s"), and business information. Bluejacking does not involve the removal or alteration of any data from the device.

In 2001, Jakobsson and Wetzel from Bell Laboratories discovered flaws in the pairing protocol of Bluetooth, and also pointed to vulnerabilities in the encryption scheme.

In November 2003, Ben and Adam Laurie from A.L. Digital Ltd. discovered that serious flaws in Bluetooth security may lead to disclosure of personal data. It should be noted, however, that the reported security problems concerned some poor implementations of Bluetooth, rather than the protocol itself.

In a subsequent experiment, Martin Herfurt from the was able to do a field-trial at the CeBIT fairgrounds, showing the importance of the problem to the world. A new attack called BlueBug was used for this experiment. This is one of a number of concerns that have been raised over the security of Bluetooth communications.

In 2004 the first purported virus using Bluetooth to spread itself among mobile phones appeared on the Symbian OS. The virus was first described by Kaspersky Lab and requires users to confirm the installation of unknown software before it can propagate. The virus was written as a proof-of-concept by a group of virus writers known as "29A" and sent to anti-virus groups. Thus, it should be regarded as a potential (but not real) security threat to Bluetooth or Symbian OS since the virus has never spread in the wild.

In August 2004, a world-record-setting experiment (see also Bluetooth sniping) showed that the range of Class 2 Bluetooth radios could be extended to 1.78 km (1.08 mile) with directional antennas and signal amplifiers. This poses a potential security threat because it enables attackers to access vulnerable Bluetooth-devices from a distance beyond expectation. The attacker must also be able to receive information from the victim to set up a connection. No attack can be made against a Bluetooth device unless the attacker knows its Bluetooth address and which channels to transmit on.

In January 2005, a mobile malware worm known as Lasco.A began targeting mobile phones using Symbian OS (Series 60 platform) using Bluetooth-enabled devices to replicate itself and spread to other devices. The worm is self-installing and begins once the mobile user approves the transfer of the file (velasco.sis ) from another device. Once installed, the worm begins looking for other Bluetooth-enabled devices to infect. Additionally, the worm infects other .SIS files on the device, allowing replication to another device through use of removable media (Secure Digital, Compact Flash, etc.). The worm can render the mobile device unstable.

In April 2005, Cambridge University security researchers published results of their actual implementation of passive attacks against the PIN-based pairing between commercial Bluetooth devices, confirming the attacks to be practicably fast and the Bluetooth symmetric key establishment method to be vulnerable. To rectify this vulnerability, they carried out an implementation which showed that stronger, asymmetric key establishment is feasible for certain classes of devices, such as mobile phones.

In June 2005, Yaniv Shaked and Avishai Wool published a paper describing both passive and active methods for obtaining the PIN for a Bluetooth link. The passive attack allows a suitably equipped attacker to eavesdrop on communications and spoof, if the attacker was present at the time of initial pairing. The active method makes use of a specially constructed message that must be inserted at a specific point in the protocol, to make the master and slave repeat the pairing process. After that, the first method can be used to crack the PIN. This attack's major weakness is that it requires the user of the devices under attack to re-enter the PIN during the attack when the device prompts them to. Also, this active attack probably requires custom hardware, since most commercially available Bluetooth devices are not capable of the timing necessary.

In August 2005, police in Cambridgeshire, England, issued warnings about thieves using Bluetooth-enabled phones to track other devices left in cars. Police are advising users to ensure that any mobile networking connections are de-activated if laptops and other devices are left in this way.

In April 2006, researchers from Secure Network and F-Secure published a report that warns of the large number of devices left in a visible state, and issued statistics on the spread of various Bluetooth services and the ease of spread of an eventual Bluetooth worm.

In October 2007, at the Luxemburgish Security Conference, Kevin Finistere and Thierry Zoller demonstrated and released a remote root shell via Bluetooth on Mac OS X v10.3.9 and v10.4. They also demonstrated the first Bluetooth PIN and Linkkeys cracker, which is based on the research of Wool and Shaked.

Bluetooth uses the microwave radio frequency spectrum in the 2.4 GHz to 2.4835 GHz range. Maximum power output from a Bluetooth radio is 100 mW, 2.5 mW, and 1 mW for Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3 devices respectively, which puts Class 1 at roughly the same level as mobile phones, and the other two classes much lower. Accordingly, Class 2 and Class 3 Bluetooth devices are considered less of a potential hazard than mobile phones, and Class 1 may be comparable to that of mobile phones.

To the top

LG GD900

The LG-GD900 is a fashion-focused slider phone from LG Electronics that was publicly unveiled at Mobile World Congress 2009. It is claimed to be the world’s first transparent design phone. It comes with a dedicated Bluetooth headset that is also transparent in parts.

The transparent part of the GD900 is the sliding keypad, which is designed to glow when in operation. The main casing material is metal and the phone is 13.4mm thick.

In terms of features, the phone supports 7.2 Mbit/s HSDPA and has a rear-mounted 8MP camera with flash. LG is keeping the rest of the specification under wraps until nearer the phone’s commercial launch.

The GD900 is due to be released in Q2 2009.

To the top

Samsung SCH-u520

The Samsung SCH-u520 is a phone available since December 7th, 2006. The phone was the first phone to support Alltel's Axcess Mobile Guide service. The service allows customers to hear voice turn-by-turn directions, view maps, find locations, plan trips and more.

The Samsung SCH-u520 allows users to watch TV, listen to the radio, and access podcasts. The phone has a 1.3 megapixel camera, video capture and playback, and a high resolution display. It is the first Alltel phone to support A2DP Bluetooth profile, which allows customers to connect to a stereo Bluetooth headset and stream their .mp3 music through a stereo headset.

This phone is also the first Alltel phone to offer Celltop, a widget oriented service that allows users to customize their phone via the use of "gadgets" similar to Apple's Dashboard or Yahoo Widgets.

This phone was delayed multiple times over the months leading up to its release due to software issues. It does not currently have Bluetooth OBEX File Transfer capabilities. It is yet unknown as to if and when this will be made available via a software upgrade or a hack.

This model also doesn't allow for MP3 files on the MicroSD card to be used as ringtones. MP3 files can be played from the MicroSD card, but you can't copy the songs from the microSD card to the phone and must have the card in to play the songs.

The phone does not have customizable ringer profiles. To silence the phone fully (not just the ringer) you must hold down the # key. If you only hold down the outer volume key will only silence the ringer.

Users have had limited success with transferring images and files to the phone via the use of BitPim, which requires the use of a data cable. Although it is unclear whether any great progress has been made, it is known that you are able to write to the phone's internal memory but not immediately use the files written. After writing MP3 files to the 18067 folder (BREW->MOD->18067) and rebooting the phone, the files can be used as ringtones if the Msinfo.db file is manually re-written, changing the file entry generated in the Msinfo.db from "/ff/brew/mod/sample file.mp3|0|0" to "/ff/brew/mod/sample file.mp3|0|5" using a program such as Wordpad, then re-written to the phone.

To the top

PlayStation 3 accessories

Official PS3 Wireless Bluetooth Headset

PlayStation 3 owners can purchase accessories that are designed for or are compatible with the PlayStation 3 system.

These accessories include game controllers, audio and video input devices like microphones and video cameras, and cables for improved sound and picture quality.

The Sixaxis Wireless Controller (SCPH-98040) (trademarked "SIXAXIS") was the official wireless controller for the Sony PlayStation 3, later to be succeeded by the DualShock 3. In Japan, individual Sixaxis controllers were available for purchase simultaneously with the console's launch, without a USB to USB mini cable. The word "Sixaxis" is also used to mean the motion sensitive technology in PlayStation 3 controllers. The word "Sixaxis" (contraction of "six axis" for the directional movements) is a palindrome.

The boomerang design was replaced by an altered, wireless version of the DualShock 2 controller at E3 2006. The Sixaxis controller is currently being phased out, and the DualShock 3 is the new official controller, which in addition to a vibration feature will still include Sixaxis functionality. However Europe will still have the Sixaxis controller during summer as the European Metal Gear Solid 4 PlayStation 3 bundle includes a Sixaxis. The Sixaxis is no longer being produced.

The Sixaxis can operate for up to 30 hours on a full charge. The battery was originally not thought to be replaceable when a Sony spokesperson stated that the Sixaxis should operate for "many years before there's any degradation in terms of battery performance. When and if this happens, then of course Sony will be providing a service to exchange these items". Later, it was revealed that the Sixaxis came with instructions on how to remove the battery and that the battery was fully removable.

A major feature of the controller is the ability to sense both rotational orientation and translational acceleration along all three dimensional axes, providing six degrees of freedom. This became a matter of controversy, as the circumstances of the announcement, made less than eight months after Nintendo revealed motion-sensing capabilities in its new game console controller (see Wii Remote), led to speculation that the addition of motion-sensing was a late-stage decision by Sony to follow Nintendo's move. Further fueling the speculation was the fact that only one game shown at E3 that year demonstrated the motion-sensing feature. Also, some comments from Incognito Entertainment, the developer behind the motion-sensing PlayStation 3 game, Warhawk, said that it received development controllers with the motion-sensing feature only 10 days or so before E3. Developer Brian Upton from SCE Studios Santa Monica later clarified that the Incognito had been secretly working on the motion-sensing technology "for a while", but did not receive a working controller until "the last few weeks before E3".

The Sixaxis features finer analog sensitivity than the DualShock 2, increased to 10-bit precision from the 8-bit precision of the DualShock 2. The frame around the L2 and R2 buttons has been omitted, resulting in more trigger-like buttons, with an increased range of depression. In the place of the "Analog" mode button switch of previous dual analog models is a jewel-like "PS button" with the PlayStation logo, which can be used to access the home menu, switch controller inputs and turn the console or the controller on or off.

Some Sixaxis are made from translucent plastic, which, when held against light, reveals the inner components of the controller.

A row of four numbered LED port indicators are on the top of the controller, to identify and distinguish multiple wireless controllers. Due to there being only four player LEDs on the controller itself, multiple indicators light up for players 5, 6 and 7 (for example, if the '4' and '1' indicators are illuminated at the same time, the controller is assigned to Player 5). While the PS3 is turned on, pressing the PS button will bring up a menu displaying the battery charge of all synced controllers among other options.

The following games support 7 players offline on a single screen unless otherwise noted. In addition to Sony-made controllers, almost any USB controller will work due to the PS3's plug-and-play capabilities. Due to the Xbox 360 controller requiring driver support, it will not function, but most PC controllers will, in addition to PS2 controllers connected via a PS2-to-USB adapter.

However, in a press release made some eight months later, Phil Harrison, Sony's president of worldwide studios, said: "Now, rumble I think was the last generation feature; it's not the next-generation feature. I think motion sensitivity is." He added that rumbling would, in the future, only come from third-party controllers. . That statement was proven false less than a year later, with the announcement of the DualShock 3.

It should be noted that some of the demo versions of these games do not allow use of the motion sensor.

The DualShock 3 (SCPH-98050) is the now official PlayStation 3 controller, replacing the Sixaxis completely (while keeping the functionality of Sixaxis). At its press conference at the 2007 Tokyo Game Show, Sony announced the DualShock 3 (trademarked "DUALSHOCK 3"), a PlayStation 3 controller with the same function and design as the Sixaxis, but with vibration capability..

On November 11, 2007, the official DualShock 3 controller was released in Japan, in Piano Black and Ceramic White, as well as Satin Silver (to match the Japanese color variations of the 40GB PS3 model). Software patches to provide a vibration function in previously-released PS3 software were made available.

It should be noted that some of the demo versions of these games do not allow use of the rumble feature.

Officially announced August 22, 2007; PlayTV is a twin-channel DVB-T tuner peripheral with digital video recorder (DVR) software which allows users to record television programs to the PlayStation 3 hard drive for later viewing. Programs can be recorded while playing a game. The device was launched in the UK on the 19 September 2008 with other regions in Europe to follow.

Because North American markets, including the United States, Canada, and Mexico will be using the ATSC digital standard (and the latter two are currently early in their digital transition), it is unlikely they will see the PlayTV device because of compatibility issues.

Most commercial USB headsets are compatible with the PlayStation 3. In addition, the PlayStation 3 supports some PlayStation 2 USB accessories, including the USB SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs headset by Logitech, the SingStar microphones and the built-in microphone on the Eyetoy for video and voice chat (although the EyeToy Play game associated with the EyeToy is not available for use on European PlayStation 3s ). Since the PlayStation 3 supports Bluetooth technology, any type of wireless headset is compatible with the system; however, Bluetooth wireless headsets are not compatible with PlayStation 2 games which use the USB headsets (due to being programmed for them only) and therefore the USB headsets must still be used (though this could potentially be solved with future firmware updates). On Sept. 12, 2007, Logitech announced new, Cordless Vantage Headset for Playstation 3. The Blu-ray Disc retail version of Warhawk comes bundled with a Jabra BT125 Bluetooth headset in North America and the Jabra BT135 in Europe.

On June 27, 2008, it was announced that the headset that will be paired with the Blu-ray Disc version of SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation will be the official Bluetooth headset for the PlayStation 3 (see image). It will boast exclusive features such as a mute button, and will come with a charging cradle so that it may charge while connected to one of the system's USB ports , which is being marketed as being useful for storing when not in use.

The official headset allows for high quality voice-chat, and provides volume level, battery level, charging status and connection status indicators on the PS3's on-screen display. The headset can be used as a microphone when docked in the charging cradle - voice output from PS3 is automatically transferred to the TV in this case.

The PlayStation 3 Memory Card Adaptor (CECHZM1) is a device that allows data to be transferred from a PlayStation memory card or a PlayStation 2 memory card to the PlayStation 3's hard disk. At launch, the device did not support transferring saved game files back to a memory card, but upon the release of the PlayStation 3 system software version 1.80, the user is now able to save and/or transfer PSOne and PS2 game saves from the PS3 directly onto a physical Memory Card via the adaptor. PlayStation 2 saved game files can also be transferred between PlayStation 3 users via other current memory card formats. The device connects to the PlayStation 3's USB port on one end through a USB Mini-B cable (not included with adaptor, but it was included with the console itself), and features a legacy PlayStation 2 memory card port on the other end. The adaptor was available for purchase simultaneously with the console's launch. The Memory Card Adaptor was released on 25 May 2007 in the UK.

AC adapter Charging Kit can charge Sixaxis and/or DualShock 3 controller, official Bluetooth headset and the Wireless Keypad. The kit can also charge the PSP-2000 and PSP-3000. AC Charger uses a wall power plug so you don't need to have a PS3 running to charge the hardware.

A wireless keypad peripheral was launched in Europe on November 28, 2008, early December 2008 in North America, and some time late 2008 in Japan. The keypad connects to the PlayStation 3 via Bluetooth. Because it uses a standard bluetooth connection, it can be paired with other bluetooth compatible devices. It has an internal battery and does not require power from the controller which means it can function separately from the controller.

The keypad must be first connected to the Playstation 3 via the supplied usb mini cable so it can be paired and subsequently used. The keypad features two shortcut buttons, a Communication Button and a Message Box Button, letting users jump to pre-set features on the XMB such as the Friends screen and Message Box during game play. The Touch Pad Button allows PS3 users to use the surface of the keypad as a touch pad, allowing them to move the pointer whilst web browsing by sliding their fingers around the keypad surface. The Bluetooth-enabled device supports all typing on the PlayStation 3, including text chatting in Home and LittleBigPlanet support.

Both official HDMI cables and standard HDMI cables (ver 1.2 / 1.3) are also compatible. An official component AV cable set is also available. Also, composite, S-Video, RGB SCART and component cables for the PlayStation 2 are all compatible with the PlayStation 3, as they utilize the same "A/V Multi Out" port.

On the audio part, AV cables connected to the "AV Multi out" allows 2.0ch (stereo) only, optical "Digital out" allows both 2.0ch and 5.1ch and "HDMI out" (Ver.1.3) supports 2.0ch, 5.1ch and 7.1ch.

Units sold in NTSC regions are SD/ED NTSC, 720p, 1080i and 1080p compliant, while those available in PAL regions are compatible with SD/ED PAL, 720p, 1080i and 1080p. A NTSC system (480i/480p) cannot output PAL (576i/576p) games and DVDs (DVD-Video/DVD-Audio) - however PAL units can display "All Region" NTSC DVDs. This regional lock does not affect HD output (720p/1080i/1080p) - except for Blu-ray Disc movies.

To the top


Jabra is a maker of headsets for cellular telephones and other applications owned by Danish-based GN Netcom. The Jabra subsidiary is based in Nashua, New Hampshire.

Jabra Corporation was founded in 1983 as Norcom Electronics Corporation, a Utah corporation, by inventor/entrepreneur Elwood "Woody" Norris. From its inception, it was engaged in the development of ear-radio and ear-microphone technologies. In September 1984, American Technology Corporation (ATC), a publicly traded corporation also founded by Woody Norris, acquired 100% of the outstanding shares of Norcom Electronics.

In March 1988, ATC sold Norcom Electronics to Norris Communications, Inc. (NCI), another publicly-traded corporation founded by Woody Norris, in return for 700,000 shares of NCI common stock and a 1% royalty on gross sales of its EarPHONE product. Due to insufficient financial resources, ATC was dormant from 1988 - 1992.

NCI subsequently changed the name from Norcom Electronics to Jabra Corporation and began a process of spinning it off with NCI employees Randy Granovetter and Jennifer Blome at the helm.

The company's original EarPHONE product operated on various versions of Macintosh and were used for voice recognition and early telephony applications. In 1994 Jabra introduced the Jabra 1000, an executive version of the EarPHONE intended for use with PBX systems.

The lack of a strong demand for Apple-compatible products, and the sonic limitations of the EarPHONE, together kept Jabra from being financially successful for several years. Not until mobile phones began to be commonplace, and in particular mobile phones with headset jacks, did the best application for the EarPHONE become apparent -- its use as a mobile headset. Privately funded from 1996 until 2000, Jabra had a period of stunning growth. Many ups and downs were experienced, but at the end of this period Jabra was a prominent manufacturer mobile headsets.

In September 2000 Jabra was acquired by GN Netcom, a division of the Danish company GN Great Nordic, also known as GN Store Nord in Danish. A 3-year contractual obligation kept Jabra's San Diego staff intact until late 2003. During that time, Jabra introduced the best-selling Bluetooth headset of all time, the FreeSpeak / BT-200, as well as the very successful and highly imitated EarWave family of corded products.

GN Netcom closed the San Diego facility and moved all operations to Oak Brook, Illinois, at the end of 2003. Since then the Jabra staff swelled from fewer than 30 to more than 300 between the US headquarters in Nashua, New Hampshire and the GN headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark. Currently the US offices for Jabra are located in Lombard, Illinois. Jabra remains an industry leader in the mobile headset market.

Jabra headsets are also well known for their compatibility for the Bluetooth enabled PlayStation 3. The Blu-ray Disc version of Warhawk, a PlayStation 3 game, includes a bundled Jabra BT125 headset for the U.S. release of the game and a BT135 headset for the European release.

To the top

Source : Wikipedia