Bluetake BT007SX / BT009SX Bluetooth USB Dongle Review

– A solid choice to make your computer Bluetooth enabled

Click to check the BT007SX product spec

Click to check the BT009SX product spec

Click to get the coupon code for these two dongles

Bluetake has brought two new Bluetooth USB dongles to the market: the BT007SX and BT009SX. BT007SX is a class 1 dongle with a transmission range of 100 meters / 330 feet, and BT009SX is a class 2 dongle with a transmission range of 10 meters / 33 feet. The major differences between the SX and the SI series (its predecessor) are:

1. SX series is designed using the EDR (enhanced data rate) standard. Instead of the 1Mbps data transfer rate stated in the SI series, the SX series can handle 3Mbps.

2. SX series is bundled with the software called BlueSoleil, which is a Bluetooth device control center that makes the controlling of connections between the Bluetooth USB dongle and other devices easy.

3. SX series provides better compatibility in Mac OS.

We received our samples of these two Bluetooth USB dongles and we would like to share our test results:

On Windows XP systems:

Installation in Windows XP systems can be easy, but you really need to follow the instructions.

The installation of the BT007SX and BT009SX Bluetooth usb dongles in Windows XP systems can be very easy. Just follow the sequence in the installation guide: install the BlueSoleil software first > reboot computer > plug in the dongle, and then you can see the BlueSoleil software recognizing the dongle.

If you are an engineer-minded person like us who always prefer to use the gadgets before reading the manual, you might get into trouble with these devices. We thought the BT007SX and BT009SX are USB devices and could plug-and-play without any trouble or setup. Sure enough, the dongles do work without BlueSoleil. However, unlike most other Bluetooth accessory vendors who have already moved to adopt the Widdcom Bluetooth driver, Bluetake still uses the default Bluetooth driver provided by Microsoft. As you may know, the Microsoft Bluetooth driver has limited features compared to the Widdcom driver. For example, the Microsoft driver does not support a Bluetooth audio headset. Besides, having the dongles plugged-in before installing the BlueSoleil will make it more difficult for the software to recognize the USB dongles.

Click to see our Bluetooth FAQ

But we can’t blame it on Bluetake. All the above issues were caused by the smart-ass syndrome. If you take the time read the quick installation guide first, you won’t experience those issues.

Pairing Ability

Pairing the BT007SX and BT009SX with other Bluetooth devices is a breeze. You simply need to first set the Bluetooth devices in pairing mode, and then set the BlueSoleil in discovery mode. After entering the security code for the devices for the first time, BlueSoleil will remember the code for that particular device.

Switching Connection Ability

Switching connections between the BT007SX / BT009SX among different Bluetooth devices is simple. BlueSoleil will show all the available devices on one screen so it is very easy to find the device you want to use, and right click on the device to call up the connection command. (See the sample picture.)

Connection Range – BT009SX (class 2)

The working range of the BT009SX is as advertised at 10 meters / 33 feet. We know the actual connection range is also determined by the Bluetooth device it pairs to, so we tested the dongles with several different class 2 Bluetooth headsets (Plantronics Voyager 510, Motorola H700, and Grandvue Bluemate 630). The statistics show that all the headsets can work beyond the 10-meter range.

Connection Range – BT007SX (class 1)

We then performed the same special tests that we developed for the class 1 Bluetooth USB dongles in the Bluetooth Myth article which compared the connection range of the BT007SX and other class 1 USB dongles, with the same class 2 Plantronics Voyager 510. The performance of the BT007SX is similar to other known name-brand dongles (such as IOGear, Billionton, etc.). These class 1 dongles can extend the class 2 headset connection range to around 20 meters, which is better than some no-name class 1 dongles we found at Wal-mart – which can only work up to approximately 15 meters.

The Trial version of the BlueSoleil Skype plug-in

The installation CD comes with a trial version of the BlueSoleil plug-in. With this plug-in installed, users can pick-up Skype calls by clicking the “call” button on the Bluetooth headset and don’t need to go back to the computer and click on the big, green pick-up button on the screen anymore – which can free users from their computers. Unfortunately the trial version has a 5M data transfer cap, so we are going to keep an eye on the development of the plug-in and update its progress here.

On a Mac:

A major selling point of the BT007SX and BT009SX is their wider compatibility on Mac systems. The specifications say that the dongles will work on Mac OX 10.2 systems and later. We put that to the test on our Mac testing machine – an iMac G3, 256 MB RAM, Mac OS 10.3.9, Bluetooth firmware 1.5 updated – and the system recognized the dongle when it was first plugged in. There is no driver or software installation required. Just follow the standard Bluetooth device pairing procedure in the Mac utilities and you can enjoy the cordless convenience the Bluetooth technology provides very easy.

Conclusion:

BT007SX and BT009SX are both solid choices for Bluetooth USB dongles if you want to make your computer Bluetooth enabled. The only little complaint we have is that they don’t use the Widdcom driver. However, after installing the BlueSoleil software, users won’t experience the shortcomings inherent in the Microsoft driver because BlueSoleil has already compensated them. Besides, we see a big potential for the BlueSoleil Skype plug-in to free users from their computer when making Skype calls. If you want to buy the dongle, we highly recommend that you consider the BT007SX class 1 dongle. With the price differences between the BT007SX and BT009SX being so small, why not get the class 1 dongle for its wider range?

Click to get the coupon code for these two dongles

Click to see how to use the Bluetooth headset call button to answer Skype calls

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