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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Bluetooth Headset For Mac And How To Use It With iChat AV and Skype

The Mac OS X 10.4.4 update included an iChat update that allows the program to detect if you're using a Bluetooth headset as your audio device. So I went around and looked for a Bluetooth headset and found that my dad had one for his mobile phone. He wasn't using it anymore so he gave it to me. It's a Jabra BT 250 headset.
Jabra BT250 Headset
I got pretty excited to see if it would work with as a Bluetooth headset for my iMac G5 (PowerPC) and it did! I was able to easily pair the headset and my mac with each other. I just made sure that the Jabra BT 250 was in pairing mode (turn it off then press and hold the power on button for about 8 seconds until you see a solid blue light) and then I clicked the Bluetooth icon on my menu bar, selected "set up Bluetooth device" and followed the simple instructions. Voila! A Bluetooth headset for my iMac! It works just like any regular sound output and sound input device.
Once properly paired, you can go to System Preferences open the Sound panel and select JABRA 250 as your sound input and sound output device.
I even tried using it with iMovie and was able to record a voice clip using the headset's microphone. But I don't think you'd like to use the earphone to listen to your music because your internal speakers will give you way better quality.

But the Jabra BT 250 sound output quality is good enough for voice chat. I tried using it with iChat AV and Skype - both programs were able to succesfuly recognize the bluetooth headset, and I was able to use it to chat with friends:

For iChat AV, open iChat AV Preferences and go to the Video panel. From there, you can select JABRA 250 as your microphone and sound output device. If you haven't paired the headset with the iMac yet, you can set it up from the iChat Preferences > Video panel by clicking on the "Set Up Bluetooth Headset" button.

For Skype, open Skype Preferences and go to the Audio panel. From there, you can select JABRA 250 as your audio output and audio input device.

Troubleshooting: If the headset doesn't work even after you've succesfully paired your headset with your Bluetooth enabled Mac, and have properly set up the preferences for your iChat AV and Skype programs, try going to System Preferences and, from the Sound panel, make sure that you select JABRA 250 as your sound output and sound input device also. And make sure that you have the latest versions of iChat AV & Skype, and that you have Mac OS X 10.4.4 or higher.

What other Bluetooth headsets for the Mac do you recommend?
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