Review: Callpod Onyx and Vetro Bluetooth headsets

The world of Bluetooth headsets is relatively boring – the vast majority of headsets look dull and offer only mediocre functionality. Because of this, I’ll usually skip the chance to review most of them – and only focus on headsets with something not found elsewhere. This explains why this review will take a closer look at the Callpod Onyx and Vetro Bluetooth headsets.

Inside these headsets are several features that make them stand out in the busy headset market, along with a couple of features that can really benefit travelers.

The most important feature is the extended range – 50 meters / 164ft. With this extended range, you’ll be able to leave your phone in your bag, and not have to worry about crackling phone calls or dropping the connection with your phone.

The second smart feature is the ability to operate as a walkie-talkie between two Callpod headsets. Of course, real life usage for this is rather limited, but with the extended range, you could walk through a mall, and stay in touch with someone else, without having to make an expensive phone call.

Both headsets offer the same feature package, the differences are mostly cosmetic. The Onyx headset features a metal finish and comes with an AC charger, USB charger cord, Chargepod MicroUSB plug and a replacement earbud and earhook.

The Vetro features a slick clear cover and comes with an AC charger, car charger, USB charger cord, Chargepod MicroUSB plug and a replacement gummy earbug and earhook.

Call quality on the headsets was above average – mostly thanks to the louder than normal volume and dual-microphones. The promise of extended range was not broken – in my tests, the headsets did indeed reach much further than any of the other headsets I tested to compare. The 50 meter rating is clearly only in open spaces with no obstructions, because as soon as walls get in the way, range decreases quickly.

My only complaint is in the controls – most functions are performed with a rocker switch on the back, along with a second button on the top. This second button is rather hard to push. And unlike some other brands, there is no physical on/off switch on either of these headsets.

The Callpod Onyx retails for $69.99, and the Vetro for $99.99, and at these prices you are suddenly in the realm of headsets like the Plantronics Voyager Pro and the Motorola HX1 – both outstanding performers. Bottom line is that while the Onyx and Vetro perform very well, most of the purchase decision will be based on design and taste. The inclusion of additional accessories with the Onyx and Vetro does add quite a bit of value.