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I have been on something of a quest for something which I am finding to be a very elusive piece of equipment: a Bluetooth headset that works well with Windows.

My Windows 10 PC has an onboard Bluetooth module that uses drivers from Windows Update. Windows 7 did not have these drivers, so while running Windows 7, I had a whole different set of issues with external drivers.

What does work well mean?

  • Pairs to the computer as an audio and recording device (i.e. both audio input and output; usually will say something like "Connected to voice")
  • Maintains connection even while charging
  • Charges via MicroUSB
  • Does not require any drivers outside of Windows Update to function properly (i.e. meet the rest of these conditions)
  • Does not cause Audio service crashes or system crashes
    • You would be surprised how many headsets this requirement has disqualified; I find that trying to make a call via Google Hangouts, using the Firefox plugin (on Firefox ESR) causes problems like this for no small number of headsets

Unfortunately, no headset manufacturer advertises anything about these features, except occasionally the charging interface, so essentially, I have to purchase a batch of headsets, and then return them all because they all fail at least one of these conditions.

Some headsets I've tried:

  • Failed at connecting as voice device:
    • Plantronics M95
  • Failed at maintaining connections while charging (I'm guessing that if a particular manufacturer has this problem, it will have this problem for every one of its headsets):
    • Motorola Boom2
    • Jabra Stealth
    • Jabra Mini
    • Quikcell Mod B
    • MPow Shield
    • Sony Mono BT Headset (I don't know if it had a more descriptive name)
  • Used proprietary charger
    • Jawbone
    • LifeCharge B30
  • Crashed some aspect of PC
    • Plantronics Explorer 500
      • Would crash the audio service whenever I used Google Hangouts, which would lead to no audio until I restarted and would cause a system crash on shutdown

I would like to target headsets $50 or under, and I would think that even a cheap headset could satisfy these requirements, but if none exist at that price point, I would want to know if any Bluetooth headset works properly.

  • Have you contacted plantronics tech support about the m95? That sounds like it should be a relatively easy problem to fix. – Rubyjunk Jul 30 '17 at 20:51
  • OP have you tested all these headsets on Win10 or were some of those crashing issues happening when you were still on Win7? – jcam3 Aug 1 '17 at 15:45
  • I have tested all headsets with Windows 10. I only had the Samsung HM1000 on Windows 7, and had more frequent crashing issues then. – palswim Aug 1 '17 at 16:41
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I had determined that the Samsung HM1000 was causing BSOD crashes about once per week, but after resetting the PC (for other reasons), it hasn't caused a crash once.

So, at the moment, I declare the Samsung HM1000 as the only headset I've found that works well with Windows.

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