I’ve had my eye on this $250 BlueParrott S650-XT since its announcement several months ago. Already a fan of BlueParrott products, including their previous, similarly configured headsets, this one is special for a few reasons.
First, the basics from the manufacturer:
“BlueParrott S650-XT is our first 2-in-1 convertible headset from stereo to mono sound, engineered to give you superior call and sound performance both on and off the road. An ultra-noise cancelling mic removes 96% of background noise giving you crystal clear calls wherever you are. Focus on your calls with powerful Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and keep the roar of the road at bay. Get the best of both worlds and switch from stereo to mono sound with a removable second earcup. The S650-XT has a battery life that can go the distance with up to 36 hours of talk time on a single charge. It also includes the customizable BlueParrott button which allows you to personalize your experience with Speed dial, Mute or Push-to-Talk. Hands-free voice controls lets you control the headset with just your voice so you can focus on the road. With the IP54 rated protection against dust and water, the S650-XT is truly roadworthy.
• Crystal-clear calls anywhere
Ultra-noise-cancelling mic removes up to 96% of background noise*. *Verified by independent labs
• Best of both worlds
Converts easily from stereo to mono sound with a removable second earcup.
• Silence the road
Powerful Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) helps you focus on what you’re listening to.
• Built for life on the road
With IP54-rated protection against dust and water, the S650-XT is truly roadworthy.
• Hands on the wheel, eyes on the road
100% hands-free voice control lets you direct the headset with just your voice.”
Targeting road warriors including over-the-road truckers, this headset is said to offer outstanding ANC that rejects 96% of background noise. Imagine that! Just what a road warrior needs. With the ability to use just one of the speakers for monaural sound mode, this permits the other ear to be open. Then, out of the rig or in the sleeping area, or at home or in an office, connect the other speaker for closed-ear stereo-capable performance and isolation. Calls made in this mode cover both ears. With ANC on, the technology should reject virtually all background sound for the best voice calls possible.
I have used previous BlueParrott models, all of which I have loved, so this new one with the convertible configuration offers added flexibility and versatility. The BlueParrott S650-XT performs the tasks that used to require two separate headsets.
With its super-long battery life of up to 36 hours on a charge, users will not have to worry about running out of power on the busiest, longest work days when the headset is hardly off.
Both ear speakers installed also means stereo music can be played. Another plus!
The “pleather” ear cups are soft and supple and appear to be of good quality.
More? Yes! The customizable BlueParrott button is ideal for the technically inclined who wish to take advantage of its capabilities. Choosing to use the button for call Mute or Speed Dial could prove really useful. The Push-to-Talk feature can be useful in some business situations on compatible systems, but it is not the norm.
It pairs easily with your mobile phone by Bluetooth or NFT on some Android phones. While pairing with computers is possible, the manufacturer does not guarantee performance or provide support for connectivity issues.
**WHAT’S IN THE BOX**
- Headset with detachable speaker
- USB-C charging cable
- 3.5mm jack cable
- 2 Microphone windscreens
- Carrying case
Follow the directions! Pair with smartphone. Update Firmware as needed (it was). I had no issues simultaneously pairing with my computer and smartphone. However, playing streaming audio will occur with only the first device that makes the electronic call for audio.
Pairing with two mobile phones offers the option to make and take calls on either device.
More versatility comes from the option to use the included 3.5mm audio cable instead of Bluetooth connectivity to one device.
A tap of the BlueParrott button, then asking, “What can I say?” prompts the headset to speak its script of useful voice commands. These include my favorite when a call comes in. The prompt is, “Call from xxx”, and then “Answer or ignore?” I love this layer of hands-free convenience.
And now, it’s time to …
**PUT IT TO THE TEST**
What a pleasure! I set up the BlueParrott button as a Mute button. NO one heard the rush of the car’s air conditioning blower. No one commented on the music playing on the radio.
With both earcups/speakers and HearThrough activated, I was able to be safe and to hear ambient sound, though I recommend using only one speaker while driving.
Back at Gadget Central base, the TV was on at normal volume. When I spoke, I made sure to speak at a conversational volume. Only the slightest background noise from the TV was heard and only when I asked the other party. This was their observation and not a complaint.
On went the other speaker. Now, it’s stereo music time. No, it is not audiophile sound, but it is more than acceptable for pleasurable listening to Apple Music on my iPhone.
The S650-XT is said to be comfortable enough for all-day wear. Time will verify that this is so.
Battery life is exemplary.
Though I do not expect to need it, the IP54-rated protection against against dust and water is a nice touch.
The track skip forward or back feature button is to be expected, but there is no way to pause a track from the headset. That must be done from the source, a normal situation.
When a product just works, it is a pleasure to have and to use. BlueParrott S650-XT just works!
Adjusting the headband for a most comfortable fit was easy. Simply bend the headband outward for less tension and inward for more! Be gentle, but firm.
One- and two-eared use has validated the value of both configurations in my hands-on.
Calls are clear to both sides.
ANC is effective. No one suspected a noisy background on any call, despite the sound of a loud TV nearby, live traffic sounds, or the cacophony of loud conversations within easy earshot. Using both earcups on the road is safely possible by pressing the ANC button to cycle to HearThrough that brings in ambient sound and mixes it to the user for awareness of sounds that could be important for safety’s sake.
Even when wearing the headset all day, with either one or both speakers, it has been comfortable. I never felt there was too much pressure against my head nor did the headset easily fall off when I leaned forward or back.
The controls worked perfectly.
Not tested was the Push-to-Talk walkie-talkie functionality.
I wonder how suitable this headset would be for air travel. Would the ANC block out the cabin noise well enough for this use? I’ll get back to you on this IF it proves to do a good job in an aircraft cabin, though this use is not its purpose.
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BlueParrott S650-XT is a welcome addition to the BlueParrott lineup. The detachable speaker’s versatility is the major selling point over the model without it, B650-XT.
Calls are clear to both sides.
The aesthetics of such a bulky headset have to be measured against the value and usefulness to the user. THIS user gives it a big THUMBS UP. After all, what’s not to like? Get yours from Amazon with my link.
One year manufacturer’s warranty