BlueAnt Wireless Z9i Bluetooth Headset ReviewWed, Jul 16, 2008 - 12:00 AM
BlueAnt Z9i Out of the Box
The BlueAnt Z9i comes out of the box with what is now becoming standard for Bluetooth headsets – especially those that at this price point – with a AC and USB chargers, large and small interchangeable ear gels, two sizes of ear hooks, User Manual, and Quick Start Guide. It would have been nice to include some form of charging case like the Plantronics Discovery 925 or even a non charging case like the Motorola H680.
The connector to charge the Z9i is not a standard USB-mini plug, so make sure you don’t lose the charging cables that BlueAnt included. Unlike the original Z9, BlueAnt included two ear loops that are exactly the same size but made of slightly different material. One is a translucent ear hook that is identical to the original BlueAnt Z9, the other is a rubberized metal hook that is supposed to be the “upgrade” to the original.
Let’s quickly go over the differences between the new Z9i and the older Z9 headset. The Z9i is able to pair up and remember 5 mobile devices compared to the older Z9’s 3 devices. You can actually connect 2 mobile phones at a time with the Z9i as well. The Z9i now comes with two different sizes of ear buds and two types of ear hooks that can be interchanged to make a more custom fit than that of the older Z9. The old Z9 came in only one Black while the Z9i comes in the traditional Gloss Black, but “Soft Touch Red” as well.
BlueAnt says the biggest difference is in their software. When we first tested the Z9, we found that it had great noise cancellation and we could actually hear our parties conversations in a loud environment. The voice isolation Digital Signal Processor (DSP) was more than adequate to handle almost every noisy situation we through at it.
The Z9i improves on BlueAnt’s Voice isolation Technology software to improve noise suppression, echo cancellation and wind noise reduction capabilities. Like the Z9, users can choose between dual Voice Isolation modes: “Standard” for use in normal environments that removes mild background noise, and “Max,” which provides the highest voice clarity for use in extremely noisy environments. BlueAnt also retained the ability of users to upgrade the headsets firmware with a download system to ensure that customers get the latest software refinements.