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mr Handsfree Butterfly II

Fri Nov 4, 2005 - 11:55 AM EST - By Douglas Morse

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The Blue Butterfly II (I didn�t know this was a sequel) really does live up to its lightweight claim. It�s about half an ounce with the earloop. Moreover, it CAN be worn in the ear without an earloop, though I found it a bit odd to wear that way. It�s the sort of thing that can be easily done at a desk, but when moving around, I used the easily attachable and detachable earloop.


The earpiece is about two and a half inches long and an inch wide. The earbud is covered with soft foam and rests comfortably inside the ear. The multi-function rocker switch is located on the outer edge of the piece. Surprisingly, there is no multi-function button on the face of the unit forcing the rocker to serve many functions � not just volume up and down.

The bulging bottom part of the rocker is called S2 and is used to lower volume and to end calls and unlike most multifunction buttons must be held down for several seconds to hang up (in order to distinguish the press from volume adjustment). The upper part of the rocker, S1, powers the headset on and off (it automatically turns off while charging), and is used to answer calls and increase volume.

Although the headset paired easily (holding in S1 for five seconds) the Blue Butterfly II requires a passcode of 1234 � the only headset I�ve tested that requires something other than the traditional four zeros.

The unit is gray, silver, and black. One nice little touch is that the blinking Bluetooth LED is finally unobtrusive. It�s a tiny dot on the face of the unit. The AC adapter plugs into the top of the unit with a bit of rubber that folds back. The AC adapter is of the horizontal type and is lightweight. The adapter cable is unusual in that it is extremely long � over six feet and then has a two inch cable that converts the round end of the cable into the flat end that slides into the headset. Still, the whole AC adapter mess comes in at around 3 oz.


I think I�ve finally figured it out. If the battery is low on either the Treo or the headset, sound quality degrades rapidly! Sound quality is always directly affected by proximity. Therefore you would expect on this earpiece the incoming sound quality would be much better than the outgoing because the speaker rests in the ear and the boom mic is short. However, this wasn�t entirely true. Sometimes the voices sounded a bit thin and callers claimed they could hear me well.

As I�ve almost always found, sound quality was often variable. Besides the aforementioned battery problem, sometimes it was hard for people on the other end to hear me. The usual suspects such as interference, too great a distance between Treo and headset, and wind noise caused trouble. And since I am nearly always talking to someone on a mobile phone these days, their variable sound quality can make things that much worse. Sometimes e-mail or SMS is easiest.

The Blue Butterfly II ships with a lanyard. The lanyard clips cleverly over the earpiece stem and holds onto the earpiece securely. Worn around the neck, it is easy to use the earpiece while it is still clipped to the lanyard though I am told it looks a little geeky. The earloop can clip to the same spot for either left or right use. The earloop itself is quite comfortable made of a soft, flexible plastic. The manual comes on a mini-CD-ROM and is also available on-line.

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