Bluetooth headset and VO durring incoming calls, headset recommendations

Hardware and Accessories

I have been trying out various Bluetooth headsets on my iPhone 6 over the last few weeks, from: Plantronics, Jabra and even Samsung. I'm not sure if this is a limitation of the iPhone or some setting that needs changing, but I can't seem to check the callerID with voiceOver when using a Bluetooth headset. I've tried some headsets that audibly alert you when a call is coming in, others that just beep, and even a Samsung that allows the phone's ringer to ring through, but with none of these can I use VO to check the number or person who is calling, or to use the reject with a text options, VO cannot be heard at all through phone or headset.

So my question is, is there a Bluetooth headset that will allow me to: check who's calling, use the phone with VO to answer, ignore or dismiss calls with a text while the phone is ringing? If so, does anybody have any recommendations? I saw the review for the Plantronics m50 on this site, I've tried the m70 and couldn't get VO to work during incoming calls, so not sure if this 1 would work, and I can't find it locally to try it out.

Any suggestions/ideas welcome. If I'm asking for the impossible, or if it's a known fact that this can't be done, somebody enlighten me please :)




Submitted by david s on Saturday, December 13, 2014


It’s funny how I never thought about the things you asked when I shopped for my headsets. I have both Harman Kardon BT and CL headsets. I bought them after comparing them to Bose and Beats. Bose is good but was a bit bulky. The beats were very boomy and the downside was they required battery and an app on your device to control the sound frequency if you don’t like all the bass. I liked the HK because out of the box, they sounded natural and warm. With the BT, when the rechargeable battery dies, you can use a cable to connect it directly to your device for uninterrupted listening.

With both headsets, you can control the volume, anser and end calls in addition to giving Ssiri instructions. When not on a call, you can hear VO while you interact with your phone. If you are listening to music or working on your phone and a msg comes in, you will hear the tones/alert. If a call comes in, you will hear the ring tones. You will not however, hear VO announcing the caller ID. I never noticed this until you pointed it out and I tested it.

If you are still shopping for one, you might want to go to a retailer that has a good exchange/refund policy so you can exchange or get a refund if it does not work out.

HTH and good luck.

Submitted by DJX on Saturday, December 13, 2014

THX for the info David. Question, even if you don't hear voiceOver announce the callerID, can you still manually check the screen and hear VO when the call is coming in, so that you can find the accept or reject or text buttons, or is it completely silent? That's the behavior I've observed, VO just won't speak anything. Even if I press the volume button on the iPhone to mute the ringer, I still can't hear VO, though I've confirmed that the highlight moves from button to button when I swipe the screen.
I know I can just use the BT headset to answer the call, which is fine, but what if I want to reject with a text, or check the number of the caller? I use my phone for business use and need to know who is calling sometimes, just so I can quickly pull up relevant data to that caller on my computer as I answer the call.

Submitted by david s on Saturday, December 13, 2014


Odd behavior. I had to restart my phone and now VO announces the caller when the phone rings. I was able to navigate using the slide left/right gestures. Options were message, remind me, answer as well as the caller ID.

I am using iPhone 6 with ios 8.1.2.
I used both headsets and they both did the same thing. These are over the ear headset, not the one ear kind.

Submitted by DJX on Saturday, December 13, 2014

Interesting. That's what I wish the 1 ear set would do. I don't really need a 2 ear solution, or want 1, because it wouldn't be appropriate for meetings and some of the places I frequent. Might you have a single ear set you can try with? If not I hope somebody else with a single ear unit can chime in here.
I've asked this question in various places and no response. It's either something most people haven't tried doing, or everybody is using actual bt headphones nowadays lol.

Submitted by david s on Sunday, December 14, 2014

Yes I have two wireless plantronics headsets but they are not Bluetooth. One is USB for my PC and the other connects to my Avaya IP phone.

I mentioned they were over both ears because you mentioned you will be using them for work and it would look silly if you were in a meeting wearing these kind of headsets. Anyway, if I run across a workplace suitable headset, I will post.