Cell Phone + iPod + myTalker = Digital Bliss

Pros
Ease of use and perfect integration with your cell phone brings your music and phone together as if they were a single device.

Cons
No auto-pause of the iPod when taking a call.

The Bottom Line
When you have a need to stay in touch with your phone yet you desire to enjoy some personal entertainment, myTalker is your best choice in bringing the two together for a perfect synergy.

Overall: 4/5

Ease of Use:4/5
Usefulness:5/5
Durability:5/5
Price:4/5

Recommended
Yes

Full Review
When I first saw the myTalker at Macworld, I thought what a perfect solution to my missed phone calls while at the gym. While pumping loads of iron and running at near Six Million Dollar Man speeds on the treadmill, I like to enjoy the jams on my iPod to keep me from sputtering out early. Most of my club trips will last well over an hour and since I do my physical fitness routines in the day time, I receive business calls from time to time during my work outs. I usually find out about these calls after I remove my SkullCandy earphones and sometimes, close to an hour will have passed since the call which is not a good business move. Even if I had heard the phone ring, yanking it out of my fanny pack and putting the phone to my sweaty head is not something I really wanted to do. So I would sheepishly call my client back after I wipe all the seat off my brow at the conclusion of my work out. Not the best way to run a business, but it was the only choice I had until I discovered myTalker.

myTalker opened a completely new world to my work outs and as I discovered, a bonus, the way I work on some client sites. With the ability to use both my iPod and phone simutaniously, I would no longer miss a call while jamming to Homeless J’s The Flash or listening to John C. Dvorak complaining about PC World’s Top 25 PCs list on TWiT. If a call came in, all I had to do is pause my iPod and hit a button on myTalker and off I was in my conversation. As that Guinness guy says, “Brilliant!” Clicking the button again would put me back into the iPod mode and I could pick up were I left off and here Dvorak tell me that a Mac is not a PC. Yup, yup.

So how does Tekkeon pull this off? With some wires, buttons, and a bit of Viking magic called Bluetooth. In order to use myTalker, your phone will have to be equipped with Bluetooth v1.2 or higher which provides the needed headset profile to the gateway to your phone from your headphones. The wires I mentioned is how you connect your headphones to myTalker and its wire connects to your music player at the other end. This became a slight issue with me as I was using some Philips earbuds that already had a long wire and adding myTalker’s wire to the fold put me in a predicament of where to put all excess. This is by no means a Tekkeon fault, but if it could figure out a way to minimize cable management, that would be a huge plus.

Everything is controlled by three two-sided buttons. These buttons control phone volume, mute, volume, caller, talk, and power. You’ll also find a lock/unlock button on the side as well. All these buttons are pretty basic but the real power lie in the caller and talk buttons.

The call button does the basic accept a new call when pressed but it also activates any voice activation and redial options if supported by your phone. Pressing and holding the talk button invokes your phone to redial while a simple press of the key brings two beeps to your ear informing you that you may make your voice command. This works a lot better than some other Bluetooth headsets (BTh) I’ve used in the past.

When you receive a call, you hear a beep in your headphones. You can press the talk button to accept the call or hit the power button to ignore it. Most phones will then send the caller to voice mail. Couldn’t be easier, huh? Heck, you can even transfer the call from your headphones back to the cell phone with a simple press of the talk button while on a call.

Other advance features included on myTalker consist of call hold, call waiting, and conference calling. These attractions are as easy to use as the other simpler more commonly used ingredients of myTalker.

Volume can be increased and decreased on myTalker by pressing the appropriate keys on the top row. Now the volume is something I really want to touch on as I have seemed to have damaged my ear drums despite all the warnings from my parents as a kid. Years of loud music does seem to have an effect on your ability to hear phone calls on either your phone or BTh. I have searched and searched for a BTh loud enough to get me through a phone call without having to ask the caller, “Could you repeat that, again?” My Plantronics Discovery 640 seems to be the closest to achieving that; however, I do find myself having a difficult time understanding someone on some calls. Now with the myTalker, I have not one, but TWO speakers in my ears. I’m doubling the volume, essentially. With my first phone call, I could immediately tell the difference and man, it was perfect. Actually, it was a bit too loud and I had to turn it down! That was a first. I was able to listen to the entire phone call as if I was on a regular phone or as if the person was right in front of me. It was great! So much so, I have considered using this on many of my calls while on my cell now.

This resounding sound doesn’t come without the need for some power. Tekkeon thankfully has put a rechargeable battery inside the small unit that will get charged within a few hours with the supplied USB cable that plugs into any device, such as your computer, with a USB port. At a full charge, you’ll get 5 hours of talk time and 120 hours of stand by. When charging, you’ll see an amber light indicating a charging state which disappears when your unit is fully charged. A flashing amber light in intervals of 32 seconds (ya, odd number, huh?) indicates it’s time to get this baby on the charger again.

The only complaint I have for myTalker is that it doesn’t pause my iPod automatically. I understand that this is made as a universal device and thus won’t have a remote connector on it made for the iPod; however, it would be nice to see an iPod version of this since Apple does rule over 80% of the DAP (digital audio player) market. To pause and unpause the music when taking and completing calls would make this the perfect Bluetooth gateway to your iPod. But don’t let this lacking feature stop you from purchasing this unit, because it is without a doubt, a must have.

Overall
With more and more people making DAPs a daily part of their lifestyle and cell phones already an ingrained part of our day, this Bluetooth Gateway device is the most resounding solution SvenOnTech has seen in bringing the two together in a non-intrusive manner that makes its use second nature. Just like your phone and music player already are.

Price: $74.95

Product information

[tags]cell,bluetooth,ipod,phone,dap,gateway,music,player,tekkeon,mytalker[/tags]