I just got the Plantronics 855 headset from Amazon for about $33 + free shipping. Initial testing has been much better than I expected - while the compression of A2DP streaming is clearly audible, it's higher quality than I expected. Compared to the iPhone wired headphones, I'd say it's higher pitched (in a voices-are-easier-to-hear sort of way) and noisy in the details (simple piano is clean and crisp; strings and cymbals often go fuzzy). Turning on the EQ "Treble Reducer" helped tone down the harshness. I'll be testing them all day tomorrow, so we'll see how well they hold up in a loud office environment.
Unfortunately, calling out is still problematic, with people complaining that I sounded farther away, and words getting truncated (I'm going to guess it was the audioIQ trying to suppress background noise, though there wasn't any!). Sadly, I have yet to find ANY headset that can beat the clarity of the built-in iPhone mic.
Keep in mind that the 855 headphones are in-ear! If you're not used to wearing plugs, and not comfortable with getting a good seal in the ear canal, then this headset is not going to be a good idea. On the other hand, they'll be better at blocking outside noise, and will most likely sound louder and fuller than similarly priced headsets. Though not having any other stereo bluetooth equipment, I can't really corroborate that assumption.
As for range, the A2DP signal has reached across my entire apartment, something I really, really wasn't expecting. However, if I hold the iPhone between my arm and my chest, the signal will instantly break up. Range is great if the iPhone has room to breathe - but it won't transmit at all if you're blocking it with a body part.
I'd be interested in hearing what other people think, I'm not entirely sold on the lop-sided feel of a headset+earpiece, especially if I'm only using it for music, not calls. I'd LOVE to get the Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800. Now those are an engineering marvel! So marvellous, they don't include volume controls, which the iPhone doesn't support when connecting to a bluetooth headset assuming that the headset has volume controls already. Ooops.
So if you want the dual headphone/talking functionality, you have to buy one of the ones that looks like a normal bluetooth w/ a cord for the other ear? Are there other options? I'd like a regular pair of headphones (maybe behind the head) that just has a mini mic on it also. Do those exist?
If not, what is the best pair of regular bluetooth headphones out there?
I re-activated my old Anycom BSH-101, which did not work well with my MDA Vario III two years ago, but with the iPhone OS 3.0 I can use it.
The sound quality is clean, but the bass is a bit poor.
The distances it can bridge is really great (you can leave a room for getting your fresh glass of coke from the fridge without a drop out).
One flaw: next and repeat last are not working, but volume up/down and all telephone functions are great and easy to use.
As I am using an Oakley Thump (sun glasses with integrated MP3 player) I would be interested in any comment on Oakley O ROKR Pro Bluetooth Eyewear paired with the iPhone 3G and 3Gs.