BlueClip Retractable Bluetooth Headset Holder
One of two innovative solutions for storing/carrying
your Bluetooth headset
The Achilles Heel of
most Bluetooth headsets is how to carry them (other than
ostentatiously and uncomfortably stuck in your ear all the time).
New company Nectar Accessories has come up with two
excellent solutions - the product pictured on the left and a
necklace style product reviewed elsewhere.
Both work well, making it a style preference as to which
A consistent complaint in my
Bluetooth headset reviews is that the headset provides no way of
carrying it when you're not talking on it with the unit in your
The headsets - generally
irregular in shape - don't always fit well in pockets.
They almost never have a loop on them where you could tie some
sort of chain or lead to them.
At last - two different
solutions have now been released onto the market. One
(reviewed on this page) uses a retractable cord, the other,
reviewed on the second page, is a necklace type cord.
Both units are simple and easy
to use, affordable, and provide an effective solution to the
'how do I carry my Bluetooth headset' conundrum that the headset
manufacturers have generally chosen to ignore.
What you get
The Nectar Blueclip
retractable Bluetooth headset holder comes packaged inside a small black
colored cardboard pillow shaped box, described as a 'gift box'
by the manufacturer. Inside is a white linen pouch with a black
ribbon drawstring tie holding it closed, and inside that is the
headset holder and a folded sheet of clearly written and simple instructions.
The unit comes complete with
a one year warranty.
Currently there are a range
of different retractable headsets offered by Nectar Accessories,
with prices ranging from $14.99 to $19.99, plus a 'fancy' model
with a sterling silver pendant for $64.99; in addition to which
are the range of necklace style products as well. All the products
are currently for sale on
their own website, and will probably start to
appear elsewhere as the company rolls out further
All the rectractable headset
holders comprise the same
basic components, the only difference being the finish and
presentation of the unit.
The Nectar Blueclip Retractable
Bluetooth Headset Holder - What it is and
The main unit is cylindrical
in shape, about 1.25" in diameter and 0.5" thick. It has
a very sturdy metal clip on the back side of it. The clip
allows you to reasonably securely affix the unit to various
parts of your clothing (belt and shirt pocket being the two
Coming out the bottom of the
unit is a pull string, which when fully extended is almost 30"
long. At its end is a small little plastic piece through
which the pull string loops. You can release the lock on
this piece and slide the cord to make the loop longer or
shorter, with the idea being that the loop will go around the
earpiece (or any other part) of your headset, and, once
tightened, will securely connect the pull string to the headset.
Once you've connected the
pull string's loop to the headset, you simply find somewhere on
your clothing to
clip the cylinder and that is it.
The complete unit weighs a
barely perceptible 0.5 oz (I
imagine there are slightly different weights for the different
finish options, my test unit had the laser etched gunmetal gray
Normally you would of course
carry the headset with the pull string fully retracted into the
cylinder, so the headset sits close to the cylinder bottom.
Then, when you wish to receive or place a call, you pull the
cord out of the cylinder until the headset and string has
enough slack, then put the headset into your ear, and make your call.
As you pull the string out,
there's an internal auto-lock mechanism that engages every two
or three inches. When you stop pulling the string out, the
string rewinds back to the last lock point and then stays
extended at that length, so the string
isn't trying to pull the headset out of your ear.
When you're ready to return
the headset back to the cylinder base, you pull the string
slightly further out, past the lock point (which releases the lock), then
smoothly allow the string to rewind back into the cylinder.
The string is
under the tension of an internal spring.
I'm not sure if this is a
clear description of how the unit works. Suffice it to
say, it is fully intuitive and very simple to use, indeed it is
so simple that it is almost anti-climactic in nature.
But perhaps the measure of
the unit's greatness is in its apparent simplicity. There
are actually some clever technologies 'underneath the hood' and
several patents pending.
Using the Nectar BlueClip
Retractable Bluetooth Headset Holder
There are two things to
finesse when using the unit.
The first issue is where and
how to affix the cylinder to your clothing. Nectar
Accessories suggest six possible locations, depending on the
clothes you're wearing and your personal preference. From
top to bottom, these would be :
On your collar
On a shirt pocket as shown in
the image immediately above (clip it
hard up against a side to prevent the pocket from drooping
and falling open)
On the join where the two
sides of the shirt button together
On your belt
On a belt loop of your
On a trouser pocket
I've tried it in most
of these places. I don't like using it on my trouser pocket - it
feels too vulnerable there - more likely to catch on things and
be pulled off, and more 'in the way' if reaching into my pocket.
I carried it on my shirt
pocket for a long time, and was slightly aware of its presence,
but not to any unusual or annoying extent, and it seemed well
As part of testing all the
different recommended positions, I also put it on my collar, and
to my surprise, that ended up as my favorite position.
Yes, it is slightly more obvious to other people, which may be a
slight disadvantage, but from my perspective, it was completely
'invisible' and caused no problems at all. Its light
weight didn't cause any perceptible 'pull' on my collar, and it
was an easy convenient location to reach the headset and pull it
over to my ear.
I put it on my right collar
so as not to have the unit get in the way of a car seat belt
(assuming me to be the driver, of course). I never tested
this with a tie on, and suspect that with a tie and jacket, it
might fit less well. However, that's not a big deal -
unclip the unit and clip it somewhere else whenever your
clothing requires it.
Test the various methods and
locations and decide on your own preferred location.
The other thing that might
need finessing is mounting the headset in your ear, due to the
extra obstruction of the small plastic piece (it measures about
0.8" x 0.3" x 0.2") which locks the string loop around the
headset and how it fits between the headset and your ear.
I tried with a couple of
different headsets and found this not to be a major issue, so
probably you'll have no problems either.
Another point that should be
stated in the interest of completeness - clearly your headset
has to be designed so there is somewhere that the loop can
be placed around and drawn tight and secure so as to hold the
That has not been a problem with any of the many
different Bluetooth headsets I have in my test drawer, but if
you are considering getting one of these units for a headset you
already own, do look at the headset and make sure you can see
somewhere that you can securely loop the string around.
One slight design drawback
is that the spring clip on the back of the unit doesn't swivel
around or rotate. It is permanently fixed in position so
it points down to the opening where the string comes out.
Most of the time, this is fine, but if you are mounting the unit
on an angle, the slight extra turning moment provided by not
having the headset hanging directly out the bottom may
marginally increase the likelihood of the unit coming loose and
falling off, and may look slightly less 'neat'.
If you're worried about the
main unit falling off your clothing, you might want to hold it
with one hand when you're pulling the cord out with your other
hand, and perhaps train yourself that each time you return the
headset back to the unit, you check the unit is securely affixed
to your clothing.
The unit never fell off in
twelve days of non-stop wearing/using.
I noticed one thing when
using the unit to hold a headset with an external ear loop (the
Cardo S-800). The
friction fit/placement of the ear loop was moved about while
carrying the headset on the clip; on the other hand, this had
also been somewhat of a factor if the headset was just shoved
into a pocket.
Some More Good Things about the
There are some other good
reasons to get one of these units, over and above the obvious
convenience of having some way to carry your headset (other than
in your ear).
For example, with the
headset permanently affixed to the unit via its cord, it becomes
impossible to put the unit down somewhere and then forget to
pick it up again (such as a restaurant table, perhaps).
Another related benefit is
that you're not going to have to worry about dropping your
headset - this can be a nuisance, particularly when driving a
car. If you do drop the headset, or if it should fall out
of your ear, instead of having it slip down, out of reach, somewhere
under the seat, you can simply retrieve it by pulling up on the
cord, never needing to take your eyes off the road.
We've heard stories of
people who have left headsets in an item of clothing that then
went through the wash. This too becomes much less likely
when it is affixed via one of these units to the outside of your
clothing, rather than obscured out of sight inside a pocket.
The other story we've heard
is of people who have been carrying their headset (or even
phone) in their shirt
pocket, and who have leaned forward and down, with the result
being that the headset falls out of the pocket. Murphy's
Law of course dictates that any time this happens, what is
directly underneath you is not nice clean soft carpet, but
rather a drain or toilet or something else harmful or
repugnant. It goes without saying that this is not
something to worry about with this retractable clip mount.
I've found the problem of how to carry a Bluetooth headset so
severe that I'd in large part given up on carrying a Bluetooth
headset with me, preferring instead to have a regular corded
headset in a pocket.
The Nectar Blueclip Retractable Bluetooth Headset Holder has opened up a
new world of convenient carry options for headsets, and I again
go everywhere with my BT headset (which is what I've always
preferred to be able to do).
Usually priced at between $15 and $20, and conveniently
their own website, this is a very affordable unit that
simply and effectively solves a real world problem nearly
all Bluetooth headsets suffer from.
Whether you choose this retractable cord type unit, or their
alternate range of necklace style units, (and there's really no
clear winner between the two design concepts), you'll get an
excellent product that solves an important problem.
Read more in the second part of
this article in which we review the
necklace style Blueclip
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10 April 2009, last update
28 May 2011
You may freely reproduce or distribute this article for noncommercial purposes as long as you give credit to me as original writer.