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theBoom and theBoom "O" headsets

Tue Jun 20, 2006 - 7:16 PM EDT - By Harv Laser


Treo headsets. Where do I even start? How many ways can you talk into and listen to calls on yours? Well, there's the good old hold the phone to your head method, but a Treo isn't the easiest thing to balance on your shoulder if you need both hands free to type or take notes. And it gets a little heavy after a while.

So you set it down and use the speakerphone. One screen tap. Glad it's there. Useful for hands-free yakking, or to share a call with nearby friends. But the downside is anyone else nearby can hear you and your caller – goodbye privacy. And Treo's tiny speaker isn't the best it could be, plus it's on the back, where it doesn't belong.

Bluetooth headsets? There are a bajillion of them. You get privacy, but you have to "pair" them with the Treo, make sure they're charged up, learn each one's different "Morse code" method of button taps for different functions (press and hold this or that to shift them into different modes). Then there's the Bluetooth range problem. Walk too far from your Treo and the sound starts to break up and fizz out. "Hello? You still there? Wait a sec; let me get closer to my phone." Plus, if left on, Bluetooth is a drain on a Treo's battery, so turn it on, pair, talk, turn it off, lather, rinse, repeat. And then there's that whole "Hey, look at me, I'm a Borg!" thing as a Bluetooth headset's throbbing blue light is flashing from your ear. I know lots of you love them, but for all these reasons, they're not my cup of tech. Call me a luddite, I won't mind.

For the most part, all of these solutions have one glaring problem: background noise. Take your Treo to a crowded nightclub, noisy office, factory, airport, or make a call in your car with the stereo blasting, or in any raucous environment and I'll bet you dimes to donuts that your caller will complain "Huh? I didn't catch that what did you say?" Treos' mics don't have any noise cancellation at all, and most headsets don't either.

Wires. Sometimes they're a good thing

But there's another way to make and take calls: wired headsets. No pairing, no batteries, no battery drain, no charging, no flashing lights, no button taps, no distance breakup, and you've got both hands free. But like every other solution, wired headsets span a wide price range.

You'll find the Jabra C150 in TreoCentral's store for five bucks. I got one a few months ago just to have something simple I could plug into my 650. It comes with lots of left and right ear "gels" (squishy ear pieces).. for different sized ears. It's very basic, with its hard plastic earhook, it gets the job done, costs next to nothing, and avoids all the pitfalls of the speakerphone and Bluetooth. But it has no noise cancellation at all. Well, what did you expect for five bucks?

Now if you want something a LOT better in a wired headset, comfort and utter privacy, and you want the absolute state-of-the-art, have I got a treat for you!

Go HIGH tech – enter theBoom.

When it comes to headsets, UmeVoice's theBoom is "daBomb" -- a winner for Wall Street and the Military, or anyone who just wants to hear and be heard on a call in any noisy environment. Just think, no more shouting into your phone to be heard over background noise. Utter privacy. UmeVoice's theBoom has the world's best noise-canceling microphone that boosts your voice while suppressing background noise. Their motto is "Whisper and be heard." Trust me, this isn't advertising hype –- it's the truth.


UmeVoice, around since 1995, makes two versions of their spectacular headsets: theBoom and theBoom "O". I'll get to the "O" shortly.

theBoom looks kinda like a jumbo version of the cheap little Jabra, but that's where the comparison ends.

Using their patented "shape based" technology, theBoom's dual array mic discriminates and TOTALLY cancels out background noise. Meanwhile, one of the two mics behind the soft foam cover picks up ONLY your voice. Even sitting at a rock concert where you can't even hear yourself yell, much less talk, much less whisper, plug theBoom into your Treo, make or take a call, and the person on the other end won't know if you're sitting in front of a 115dB bank of amps, or in the hushed stillness of a library. Honestly. Check out that link above for sound and flash demos of how UmeVoice's technology works. Be amazed. Be very amazed.

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