BlueAnt Wireless Z9i Bluetooth Headset Review

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BlueAnt Z9i Performance

Cruising with BlueAnt's Z9i

After fully charging the BlueAnt Z9i, we immediately paired it with our normal test mobile devices – the Treo 750, Apple’s iPhone, Motorola’s RAZR V3, and T-Mobile’s MDA Vario, and LG Envy. All paired quickly and easily. 

We were hoping that BlueAnt would have improved the headset’s comfort level in their next generation.  Unfortunately, the Z9i’s fit was almost identical to the Z9.  Our major complaint with the Z9 in the past had been with the comfort level of the headset over long periods of wear.  The ear bud seemed to irritate the ear after a few hours of wear. 

Apple iPhone with BlueAnt's Z9i

As we have detailed in previous reviews, California, Washington, and other states have passed laws requiring drivers to have hands-free devices if they want to use their mobile devices.  In the past week or so, there has been a huge run on drivers looking for headsets to use while in the car.  Typically, I’m on the road for at least 2 hours a day going to and from work.  When I get to work, I usually leave a headset on so my headset usage during the day is pretty high. 

At around 10 grams (.35 ounces), the headset is very light and when you first put it on your ear, it feels pretty good.  When you leave it in your ear for more than 30 minutes or so, the comfort level seems to go down and the 10 grams seems like 100g.  It reminded me exactly of what I felt about the original Z9.  I was really hoping that BlueAnt would improve this aspect of their headset, but unfortunately, the design is pretty much consistent.  You will not end up tossing it from your ear, but the BlueAnt’s Z9i (like its older brother the Z9) is very hard to keep in your ear after more than a couple of hours of use.

BlueAnt Z9i

To be fair, I tried both sizes of earbuds and was able to come to a fairly happy medium with the smaller sized bud.  I hung out at the beach over the weekend all day and was able to keep the Z9i in my ear.  I must admit that I really didn’t notice too much discomfort.  Our complaints about the comfort of the headset are not a deal-breaker, but certainly need to be taken into consideration before you purchase the BlueAnt set.

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