Truck driving is a tough job. Truckers are constantly faced with the challenge of staying awake and aware of their surroundings while enduring the monotony of driving on the road all day.
Apart from the boredom of highway driving, truckers are faced with extreme driving conditions in all kinds of weather and must also constantly be on the lookout for careless drivers on the road.
Living in Colorado, anytime I drive down I-70 into Denver in rush hour traffic and see all the warning signs for truckers to check their brakes and “gear-down” it makes me think how nerve-wracking it must be for the truck drivers carry heavy loads and dealing with all the distractions outside and inside their cab. I’m just in a pick-up and that road makes me nervous in any kind of winter weather.
Apart from the hazards on the road, there is also the added risk of answering phones while driving and FMCSA regulations actually prohibit long-haul drivers from talking on the phone without using the hands-free feature while they drive, making a wireless headset a required piece of equipment for any professional truck driver.
Luckily, thanks to modern technology, there are many quality Bluetooth headsets available which make an ideal companion for truckers.
The BlueParrott B450-XT is our top pick but continue below for a detailed review and several other options, including some other more affordable options.
Not only will it eliminate the need to make a stopover to pick up your phone while driving, but it can also be used to listen to music, radio stations, and your favorite podcast (considering there is an internet connection in the area). As you would guess, time is of the essence for truckers. The less they need to make a stopover, the better.
So, for all truckers currently reading this and are having a hard time choosing the best Bluetooth headset you are in luck. We’ll be giving you some easy to understand pointers when it comes to buying a Bluetooth headset as well as give you a list of the best ones in the market at the moment.
Choosing the best Bluetooth headset for semi truck drivers comes down to a few important features, most importantly solid Bluetooth connectivity, noise reduction, and hands-free operation.
Because of the long hours that drivers spend on the road, battery life and overall comfort were also important factors we considered. Below, we help point you in the right direction with the best headsets for truck drivers available in the market today.
- Best Bluetooth Headset for Truckers 2018
- Budget Pick: Mpow Pro Trucker Bluetooth Headset
- BlueParrott B450-XT Noise Cancelling Bluetooth
- Plantronics Voyager Bluetooth Headset
- Plantronics Voyager 5200-UC
- Jabra Stealth UC Professional Bluetooth Headset
- Sennheiser Presence UC ML Bluetooth Headset
- BlueFit Bluetooth Headset: Runner-Up Budget Pick
- Factors to Consider Before Buying a Bluetooth Headset
Best Bluetooth Headset for Truckers 2018
Budget Pick: Mpow Pro Trucker Bluetooth Headset
If you are looking for a quality Bluetooth headset but would prefer to save some cash then the Mpow Pro Trucker Bluetooth Headset (check price on Amazon) might be a good choice for you to check out.
This over-the-head headset might be budget-friendly but the quality and construction are surprisingly good. The lightweight construction and use of soft ear cushion paddings mean it offers comfort and longevity.
The built-in microphone can also be rotated up to 300 degrees which means you can easily position it without the risk of snapping the mic off of the headset.
Mpow is also designed to offer high definition audio during calls. The headset uses noise canceling technology which can effectively block out loud noises from other vehicles on the road.
The battery life of this Bluetooth headset clocks in at almost 200 hours and can last up to 13 hours in regards to talking time.
That is quite an achievement for a Bluetooth headset with this price.
- Long battery life.
- Lightweight and comfortable construction.
- Impressive noise cancellation technology.
- Decent Bluetooth range (30 feet).
- Basic features only.
- Not recommended for listening to music
BlueParrott B450-XT Noise Cancelling Bluetooth
One of the staple brands when it comes to Bluetooth headsets, the BlueParrott B450-XT delivers everything you need in a hands-free headset.
It comes with a couple of choices when it comes to ear cushions. You can choose between leather or foam ear cushions, whichever one you feel is most comfortable.
It has a slew of impressive features such as voice control, NFC enabled functionality, A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) support, and amazing sound quality. If you are not familiar with A2DP support then let me explain, it is basically the technology that allows accurate and high-quality audio to be transferred from your device into the headset.
It also comes with impressive noise-canceling technology that can block up to 96% of ambient noise. Battery life is also quite remarkable at 24 hours talk time. This is specifically designed for a trucker who drives a rig for hours on end. You will most likely have no need to charge this for a couple of days.
- Extremely long battery life.
- High-definition audio quality.
- Impressive noise canceling technology.
- Can connect to two different Bluetooth devices at the same time.
- The choice between leather or foam earpieces.
- Larger than the rest of the Bluetooth headsets in this list.
- Suffers from the occasional freezing, albeit only for just a second.
Plantronics Voyager Bluetooth Headset
The Plantronics Voyage stays true to its moniker as it is designed with a focus on optimizing it for use during travel. For example, it utilizes wind canceling technology besides the noise canceling one. It also features high-quality digital signal processors and a 20-band equalizer to help deliver crystal clear sound.
While the high price tag might cause you to pause, this is definitely one of the best Bluetooth headsets designed for truckers or for anyone who travels a lot.
This is an on-ear headset which makes it quite lightweight and compact. The curve of the ear hook fits nicely on the ear and will not cause any discomfort even after hours of wearing it on the road.
I like the fact that it offers the user the ability to fully customize the settings. It is compatible with all Bluetooth devices and pairing it with one is a breeze. When it comes to battery life, it can offer up to 7 hours of talk time and around 11 hours of standby time.
- Comfortable and fits snugly on the ear.
- Advanced audio saturation technology to deliver crystal-clear audio clarity.
- Simple and easy to use.
- Comes with a 1-year warranty.
- Quite expensive.
- Battery life is average compared to another entry in this list. You would expect it to have a better battery life considering the high price tag.
Plantronics Voyager 5200-UC
The Plantronics Voyager 5200-UC delivers an impressive array of features designed to make a trucker’s experience that much smoother. This headset comes with dual microphones that can actively block out ambient noise for a clearer conversation during calls. All these features do come with a downside- the price tag. While it is more expensive than some others above, it does have a lot of high-end features.
It also features the “Windsmart” technology that can help cancel noise produced by wind, a must-have feature for any headset to be used during travels or outdoors in general. It also comes with voice control feature. You only need to operate this hand once when pairing it to the device.
This headset can also connect with Cortana or Siri for a more versatile experience. Being able to use Siri or Cortana at any point allows you to access direction without the need to operate the smartphone by hand. The headset is also coated with the sweatproof finish and has an IPX4 rating. As for battery life, it has a 7 hours standby time with an additional 14 hours offered by the case charger.
- Top-notch noise cancellation.
- Comfortable to wear.
- Can be used on both left or right ear.
- Charging case increases battery life.
Jabra Stealth UC Professional Bluetooth Headset
The Jabra Stealth headset is one of the premier choices for anyone who are looking for a reliable and quality Bluetooth headset, it’s also a”Red-Dot” design award-winning headset which gives you an idea of its overall quality. The Jabra Stealth can be worn on either ear and offers 6 ear cushions to provide optimum comfort.
The ergonomic design of the Jabra Stealth offers users the highest level of comfort.
It also hooks snugly on the ear and will not slip off even when you are constantly in motion.
The small and lightweight design is perfect if you plan on wearing it for hours. Battery life delivers the standard 6 hours of talk time.
- Great choice for voice calls.
- Comfortable and lightweight design.
- Comes with a companion app that increases overall convenience.
- Reasonably Priced.
- Lacking in the accessory category.
Sennheiser Presence UC ML Bluetooth Headset
Sennheiser is a well-known name when it comes to manufacturing top of the line audio equipment.
But how well does the Sennheiser Presence UC ML Headset stack up with its competition?
One thing that will catch your attention here is its high price tag. Fortunately, this high-end price comes with a couple of advanced features to help justify those digits.
Battery life is quite good here as it can easily clock in at 10 hours of talk time on a single full charge.
Audio quality during calls is clear and it also comes with a couple of nifty accessories for added convenience. For anyone who appreciates audio sound quality, you’ll already be familiar with what Sennheiser brand headphones offer as far as audio quality.
I do like to point out the significantly lower volume. While this means your ears are sufficiently protected, if you are within a considerably loud environment it might make conversations harder. The Sennheiser Presence is also heavier at 15 grams. This might lead to some discomfort if you wear this for a prolonged period of time.
- Decent battery life.
- A slew of additional accessories.
- Well-made and sturdy.
- Solid sound quality.
- Heavier and a little uncomfortable.
- Volume is lower than expected.
BlueFit Bluetooth Headset: Runner-Up Budget Pick
BlueFit stays true to its name with its ergonomically designed headset (see on Amazon) designed to be as reliable on the road and just as comfortable.
It also uses a flip-boom arm so that you can use on either the left or the right ear. It is also incredibly lightweight, weighing in at approximately 5 ounces.
It features active noise canceling technology. The dual-microphone combined with the ANC technology provides a high-quality audio experience that is as clear and as accurate as possible. It can manage to block out almost all ambient noise that can distract you during calls. Additional features I found includes a mute function that is quite helpful if you are driving. Activating the mute function is also quite easy as you just need to press and hold the V- button for a couple of seconds.
As for battery life, I’ve clocked it in at 160 hours of standby time and 6 hours of talk time. A pretty good number in my book. It also has a Bluetooth range of up to 33 feet. It also comes with a 30-day money back guarantee and a 1-year warranty.
- Easy setup.
- Block ambient noise effectively.
- Comfortable to wear.
- Might be too large for smaller ears.
What to Avoid: Jabra Motion Bluetooth Mono Headset
While Jabra has delivered some exceptional Bluetooth headsets and we have included one on our list (the Jabra Stealth above) the Jabra Motion is not one of them.
While many review sites continue to give this headset high marks are still recommending it as we head into 2019, we really cannot don’t feel this one deserves to be on our list, especially with all the quality affordable headsets on the market.
There are connectivity issues with this headset. It has a delay in recognizing calls which can last a couple of seconds, something that shouldn’t even be an issue with a Bluetooth headset designed for answering incoming calls.
While the voice command is accurate and responsive the motion sensor’s responsiveness varies from time to time.
I also found the earpiece to be not as comfortable as I would want it to be. Overall, the Jabra Motion has some decent features but it has some reliability issues that hold it back from being a mediocre Bluetooth headset.
- Good voice control.
- Motion control is a little iffy.
- It is the least comfortable headset in this list.
- Delay in recognizing calls.
- Repeated connectivity issues
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Bluetooth Headset
Nowadays, a Bluetooth headset is basically a necessity for any professional drive. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations prohibit texting and hand-held mobile phone use while operating a commercial motor vehicle used in interstate commerce. Apart from the legal issues, distracted driving is a problem even for any driver but it turns into a major occupational hazard for someone who drives for a living.
When it comes to Bluetooth headset for truckers you get to choose between two variations: the in-ear and the over-the-head headset. Some people prefer one over the other, choosing between the two lies on which one you are comfortable with. But it is important that whichever variation you pick, they must offer the best of the following features.
Obviously, the audio quality will be the key aspect that you must consider with this gadget. You should pick a Bluetooth headset that allows you to hold a conversation clearly. Some headsets come with ambient noise-cancellation technology which significantly enhances the audio quality during calls.
As you will be wearing this for most of your drive it is important to consider comfort as well. Some prefer in-ear headsets as over-the-head headsets can place too much pressure on the ears. The headset should be also stable and secure. The last thing you want is to keep re-adjusting it during driving.
Easy Hands-free Operation
Another important feature truck driver needs to look for in a Bluetooth headset is their ease of use when it comes to the hands-free operation. This is basically the main reason why you are getting a Bluetooth headset. You can also go for headsets that have voice command which eliminates the need to remove one of your hands from the steering wheel.
This is another important factor a professional truck driver needs to consider. Look for Bluetooth headsets that offer up to 6 hours of talk time as these can easily last the whole day if you are mostly going to use it for listening with the occasional calls.
You will be using this while driving so ambient noise from traffic will be a factor. Noise cancellation technology will block out ambient noise which is important if you are having a conversation via phone call.
Since you will be driving around most of the time, you should look for Bluetooth headsets that offer multi-year warranties. Chances are you will be away from any nearby repair specialist if it does suddenly break down so buying one from a manufacturer with a solid and easy to contact customer support service will come in handy.
Just for fun, you might like checking out this clip from an episode of Top Gear where they try to learn how to do a power slide in a long haul truck.
They also need to maintain focus when driving, answering a call is a traffic risk which is why Bluetooth headsets are highly recommended for people in this line of work to keep their hands free and on the steering wheel.
Whether you prefer an over-ear headset like the BlueParrot or the MPow or a more compact in-ear headset like the options from Sennheiser or Plantronics, there are several quality options on the list above for every budget.
Hopefully, this article has helped shed some light on how to choose as well as which Bluetooth headsets offer the best quality.