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I am thinking of getting a new Bluetooth headset. I prefer the stereo ones that look like tradition headphones and not just a single earpiece. The microphone on my previous headset was very poor and when outside I could not be heard above background noises e.g. traffic and people.

Android allowed me to turn the headset microphone off and just use the phones built-in one.

Does Windows Phone 7 have a similar option to turn the headset microphone off and just use the headset for listening?

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I don't think this is possible, but I personally do not find it necessary, and doing that seem quite pointless to me - you could always turn the headset off and use the phone as normal when answering a call if you need to, as you would need to have the phone in your hand anyway.

I use a Plantronics BackBeat 903+ headset with my Nokia Lumia 800 while cycling, to listen to music and answer calls. It uses twin microphones to cancel background noise out, so the other person can always hear me even with loud background traffic noise.

I can also say that the combination of this headset and phone has a very good range with Bluetooth; you do not have to even be in the same room as the phone for it to work. Also, the sound quality is particularly good for a Bluetooth audio device.

Another thing - if you only want to use the headset as headphones, why not get Bluetooth headphones instead of a Bluetooth headset?

  • The two previous headphones I have owned (JayBird and Motorola) have both included a microphone that worked fantastically indoors but failed outdoors. I haven't seen any locally stocked headphones that doesn't double as a headset, so I think it is a practical problem for me and not pointless. Turning the headset off to answer a call is very cumbersome, unless you get an option to do so on the incoming call screen? Sadly both of my headsets got destroyed so I can't test myself. – row1 Jun 15 '12 at 1:33
  • @row1: It's not cumbersome to switch to the phone's speaker and microphone, as you can either turn the headset off, or use the extra Bluetooth button that appears on the screen (it's like the button to switch to speakerphone). – paradroid Jun 15 '12 at 10:24

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