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I Review Audio Tech for a Living, and Here Are 5 Reasons to Avoid a BlueParrott B350-XT

Best Headsets for Work in 2023

I Review Audio Tech for a Living, and Here Are 5 Reasons to Avoid a BlueParrott B350-XT

Key Points

  • The BlueParrott B350-XT is a headset designed for long-term use with a claimed battery life of up to 24 hours.
  • The B350-XT has an uncomfortable design and users have reported discomfort and pain after wearing it for just a few hours.
  • The Bluetooth range of the B350-XT is poor, with lossy audio and signal loss even when the phone or computer is just a few feet away.
  • The B350-XT has a short boom mic and mediocre audio quality, with a muffled and tinny sound.
  • The construction of the B350-XT is poor, with reports of the headset falling apart after just a few weeks of use.

Why should you avoid a BlueParrott B350-XT? Bluetooth headsets for long-haul truckers and call centers are a whole different world compared to the usual headphones and earbuds. These devices are intended to be worn for extended periods. As such, there are certain expectations regarding battery life, comfort, and audio quality.

BlueParrott has been one of the leading names in this industry segment for years. While there are certainly other contenders, the BlueParrott product line has proven to be quite popular. That said, you should likely avoid the B350-XT Bluetooth headset. Today’s review will go into the major reasons that make this headset not worth purchasing.

What Is the BlueParrott B350-XT?

The B350-XT is a headset designed for long-term use. With a claimed battery life of up to 24 hours, it should make for an ideal companion in teleconferencing or long-haul trucking. It is a monophonic headset, coming with a boom microphone and a single earpiece.

The BlueParrott B350-XT is also waterproof, coming with an IP54 rating for dust and moisture. The manufacturer has also taken the time to tightly integrate the headset with functionality intended for Microsoft Teams. As such, it should be an ideal solution for anyone in need of a Bluetooth headset for voice calls.

SpecsBlueParrott B350-XT
Driver Size36mm
Speaker Sensitivity123dB
Speaker Frequency Range150 to 6800Hz
Microphone TypeBi-directional boom
Microphone Frequency Range150 to 6800Hz
Battery LifeUp to 24 hours
Bluetooth Version5.0
Bluetooth ProfileA2DP version 1.3.1

Reasons to Avoid a BlueParrott B350-XT

Here are the main reasons why you should a BlueParroot B350-XT.

Uncomfortable Design

BlueParrott B350-XT
A Bluetooth headset should be comfortable to wear for extended periods.

If you have any time spent on the phone or the road, you know headset comfort is paramount. While most headsets are fine for the occasional call, it is a different matter when looking at wearing it for hours on end. Now, the BlueParrott B350-XT has a large legacy to live up to in its predecessor. The B250 headset was beloved for its comfort and quality.

Unfortunately, the B350-XT doesn’t seem to carry over those same attributes. Users have reported discomfort and pain after wearing the headset for just a few hours. This could be down to the lesser workmanship, which is a point we’ll visit later on. However, if you’re looking for a viable headset to wear for hours on end, this isn’t the right choice.

Poorly Implemented Bluetooth

The BlueParrott B350-XT uses Bluetooth 5.0, which should lead to extended range and reliability. In practice, this isn’t the case at all. It seems the Bluetooth transmitter in the B350-XT just simply lacks power as a whole. Users have reported lossy audio and complete loss of signal with their phone or computer being just a dozen or so feet away.

You can even notice a drop in quality by moving your phone laterally across your body. Buying a Bluetooth headset is a matter of finding something with acceptable range and comfort. The B3350-XT comes up short in both regards, sadly. There are other headsets in the same price bracket that don’t suffer from the same issue.

Short Boom Mic

The BlueParrott B350-XT has a woefully short boom mic. Now, it is decently sensitive, but an extra inch or so would be a massive benefit. This is a minor gripe compared to the more glaring issues with the B350-XT. It seems a very odd design choice to avoid a longer boom mic with this particular headset. You didn’t see the same issues with the B250.

This leaves the B350-XT in an odd position. You’re already dealing with an uncomfortable headset with a worse Bluetooth range. Now, you have to contend with a shorter microphone. This is in thanks part to the placement of the boom mic. Instead of being integrated with the earcup like most headsets, it is built into the frame of the headset.

Mediocre Audio Quality

The driver included in the BlueParrott B350-XT’s earcup is large enough for most purposes. However, the overall quality of the sound produced by the B350-XT is painfully average. You’ve only got a frequency response of 150Hz to 6800Hz, which leaves you with a bass and treble deficiency. Now, the human voice typically occupies this domain.

However, you might also use this headset for leisure activities like listening to music or podcasts. When using it for listening to regular audio, it just isn’t up to the task. The extreme attenuation of the high-end and complete lack of the lower bass frequencies gives a muffled and tinny quality to the audio itself.

Average Mic Quality

BlueParrott B350-XT
The mic quality of the BlueParrott B350-XT is usable but isn’t exemplary.

You’ll find the same lackluster audio quality in the microphone of the BlueParrott B350-XT. Now, for a Bluetooth headset of this size and this price, you can’t expect the world. However, you do expect a bare minimum in terms of overall performance. The storied performance of the B250 is nowhere to be found here.

You’ll have issues with poor frequency response, as the microphone only captures from 150Hz to 6800Hz. Where other issues arise is in the noise cancellation technology on the headset itself. BlueParrott claims it is some of the strongest in the industry, maintaining superb clarity while filtering out unwanted noise in the background. However, it doesn’t work nearly as well as the advertising states.

Poor Construction

This might tie right into the discomfort experienced when wearing the BlueParrott B350-XT. There is simply no getting around the poor construction of this headset. The quality of the plastic used on the frame is fine for the most part, despite feeling like a cheaper polymer as a whole. Instead, you’ll find issues in the quality of the material of the earcups and electronics.

Some users have reported the headset falling apart after just a few weeks of use, which is inexcusable for a Bluetooth headset. You’re not guaranteed any degree of longevity with the B350-XT, which is honestly shocking given the overall durability of the previous B250.

Needless to say, if you’re looking for a headset that will last years, the B350-XT won’t fit the bill. There simply isn’t the same care or craftsmanship to handle regular wear and tear from most users.

Alternatives to the BlueParrott B350-XT

Here are three of our favorite alternatives to the BlueParrott B350-XT.

Jabra Evolve2 65

Best Overall
Jabra Evolve2 65 UC
$180.03
  • Enhanced memory foam padding
  • Leak-tolerant 40mm speakers
  • Up to 37 hours of battery life on a single charge
  • 3-microphone call technology (23% less background conversation noise)
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/03/2024 01:19 am GMT

If you want to talk pure upgrades, look no further than the Jabra Evolve 2. This stellar headset comes with up to 37 hours of battery life and has superb build quality to boot. It is a wired headset, which might prove to be troublesome for users looking for a wireless option for use in a truck or on the go.

However, if you can look past that, you’ve got a stellar headset with a fair frequency response of 20Hz-20,000Hz. This might not be the right choice for listening to audiophile lossless jazz recordings but should prove to work just fine in any office environment for an extended duration.

Poly Voyager 5200

Lightweight and Comfortable
Plantronics Poly Voyager 5200 Wireless Headset
$98.91
  • Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity
  • Range up to 98 feet
  • Up to 7 hours of talk time
  • Noise-canceling mic
  • Built-in Alexa
  • Compatible with iPhone and Android devices
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/03/2024 01:24 am GMT

The Poly Voyager 5200 is a markedly different design when compared to the B350-XT. However, you’ve got better overall range at up to 98 feet and better noise cancellation when compared directly to the BlueParrott headset. The Poly Voyager 5200 does lose out on battery life, with only up to seven hours of talk time supported. As such, it isn’t an ideal solution for long shifts of work.

However, if you’re looking for a reliable Bluetooth headset for handling voice calls, it is certainly a comfortable alternative to the BlueParrott B350-XT. While it lacks overall longevity, it is built far more durably than the B350-XT. It is certainly worth a look if you use Bluetooth headsets at home.

BlueParrott C300-XT

Great in High-Noise Settings
BlueParrott C300-XT Noise Canceling Bluetooth Headset
$39.99
  • 80% noise cancellation
  • Range up to 300 feet
  • More than 10 hours of talk time and up to 5 days of standby time
  • Operate hands-free with BlueParrott VoiceControl
  • Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity
  • IP65 rated for water and dust resistance
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/03/2024 01:35 am GMT

Interestingly, one of the cheapest Bluetooth headsets from BlueParrott completely surpasses a flagship product. The C300 is a different form factor compared to the B350-XT, but is an overall better headset as a whole. Compared to Poly Voyager 5200, you’re getting extra battery life of more than 10 hours of talk time while still maintaining a stellar connection across the board.

Audio quality is still lacking, but that is just going to be the case with devices like these. They aren’t made for enjoyable listening experiences, but rather for purely utilitarian purposes. That said, the C300 is a fantastic choice and works like a champ without breaking the bank.

Closing Thoughts

The BlueParrott B350-XT is held back by glaring design flaws that seem to stem from odd design choices. There are so many better options on the market that you’re honestly just better off skipping the headset entirely. These sorts of headsets are outside the realm of pro audio equipment I’m generally accustomed to, but I can’t see a benefit in getting a subpar headset that will fall apart in a few weeks.

  1. Jabra Evolve2 65 UC
    $180.03
    • Enhanced memory foam padding
    • Leak-tolerant 40mm speakers
    • Up to 37 hours of battery life on a single charge
    • 3-microphone call technology (23% less background conversation noise)
    Buy Now on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    03/03/2024 01:19 am GMT
  2. Plantronics Poly Voyager 5200 Wireless Headset
    $98.91
    • Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity
    • Range up to 98 feet
    • Up to 7 hours of talk time
    • Noise-canceling mic
    • Built-in Alexa
    • Compatible with iPhone and Android devices
    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    03/03/2024 01:24 am GMT
  3. BlueParrott C300-XT Noise Canceling Bluetooth Headset
    $39.99
    • 80% noise cancellation
    • Range up to 300 feet
    • More than 10 hours of talk time and up to 5 days of standby time
    • Operate hands-free with BlueParrott VoiceControl
    • Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity
    • IP65 rated for water and dust resistance
    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    03/03/2024 01:35 am GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

How many devices can connect to the B350-XT at the same time?

You can connect up to 8 devices at once to the B350-XT.

Can the B350-XT be used as a wired headset?

No, it is wireless only.

Is the B350-XT reliable?

Provided the headset doesn’t fall apart, sure.

Is the B350-XT good for listening to music?

Not really, the attenuation of low and high frequencies on the headset leaves something to be desired.

Is the B350-XT BlueParrott's best headset?

No, its immediate predecessor has an overall sterling reputation however.

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