PROS / It integrates fully with Siri and Google Now, giving you excellent hands-free control over your phone.
CONS / The noise reduction scored 80 percent, which is below average.
VERDICT / The BlueAnt Q3 Bluetooth headset offers sleek hands-free talking, but the audio quality on both ends of a phone call is disappointing.
Though BlueAnt specializes in Bluetooth products, the BlueAnt Q3 is the only mono Bluetooth headset it makes. The Q3 has been around for years with very few improvements, but it's still among the top Bluetooth headsets because of its excellent voice command integration. However, the lackluster call quality and noise cancellation don't compare to the best Bluetooth headsets we reviewed.
The Q3 scored 90 percent in our voice quality test, which is average among the Bluetooth headsets we reviewed. Considering the 65 percent score that the phone's speaker received in the same test, it's a notable improvement over holding your phone to your ear. However, there are better, clearer Bluetooth earpieces available.
In our noise reduction tests, the BlueAnt Q3 scored 80 percent, which is slightly below average. Your caller can hear a significant amount of background noise, which leads to you repeating yourself. In addition, the digital signal processor has a tendency to distort the background noises so that it sounds like you're talking underwater.
The best feature of the Q3 is the voice command integration with Siri and Google Now. This gives you complete access to and control of your phone from a distance. You don't have to open your phone to write or read a text message or find directions to the nearest Mexican restaurant. You just have to double-tap the command button and speak to whatever personal assistant your phone uses. However, we found the voice commands to be inconsistent at times. What was top of the line years ago is falling behind.
For comfort, the BlueAnt Q3 includes only one gel earbud. The earbud we received lacked a concha fin, an extension that fits into the hollow part of the ear for a more secure fit. For added stability, it comes with two over-ear hooks, which provide the best support for long periods. However, even with the over-ear hooks, it only scored 50 percent in our stability tests, which means it'll easily fall out of your ear or need to be adjusted if you move around a lot while wearing it.
The continuous talk time for the Q3 is seven hours, which is a little above average. This gives you time for long, important business calls. However, the charge time is two hours, which is longer than most wireless headsets require. It also lacks a portable charger, which has become a staple among the best Bluetooth headsets because it can extend the talk time to a full day.
The BlueAnt Q3 gives your voice a lot of power with comprehensive voice commands and audio streaming. However, the primary purpose of a Bluetooth headset is to communicate clearly with other people, so the below-average noise reduction system puts you at a disadvantage. In addition, it scored a low 50 percent in our stability tests, which means that you may have a difficult time keeping it in your ear.