Maverick Lifestyle Nica Bluetooth Headset
The Nica's movable arm lets you attach the headset to your ear
- No earbud required, desk dock/charger with magnetic attachment
- Unit's controls can be awkward to locate, inferior call quality about half the time
Departing from the typical design, the Nica sits comfortably outside your ear. It's a pity, though, that the headset's call quality regularly falls below average.
Price$ 130.51 (AUD)
The Nica by Maverick Lifestyle has one design aspect in common with the Callpod Dragon V2: Both Bluetooth headsets sport earpieces that look like large buttons. Unlike the Callpod, though, the Nica lacks an earbud portion, so the circular headset sits outside your ear--not wedged in it. In the package, the company includes a slick desk dock/charger, which you plug into a power outlet. Since the headset attaches magnetically to the top of the dock/charger, you don't need to plug a cable into the headset for charging purposes--a nice touch. (For $39, you can opt for the car dock; likewise, the headset attaches magnetically to the car charger.)
The Nica's movable arm lets you attach the headset to your ear. With the black headset I tested (the product also comes in white and pink), despite a considerable amount of fiddling, I was not able to arrive at a supersnug fit on my small ear--the Nica tended to move away if I turned my head. Even though it felt as if I were wearing a coat-button-size clip-on earring, the headset was still reasonably light, and I liked not having a mic resting on my cheek. A couple of other testers with larger ears tried the Nica on for size; for them, the fit was comfy and the headset stayed in place. They both agreed that the unit felt lightweight, too.
All of the controls are embedded around the Nica's circumference. I liked the dedicated (though small) power on/off switch; but with the headset on my ear, I found that I needed to steady the headset with one hand while switching it on or off with the other. The main call button was easy to find, but I perceived a little lag time in its response--it wasn't as snappy a motion as I would have liked. The volume controls, on the underside of the headset, were tricky to locate by feel at first, and it seemed easier to operate them with my nails instead of with the pads of my fingers.
Roughly half of the time, call quality was not up to snuff. For starters, incoming voices often sounded spotty and far away. Parties at the other end of the line complained that my voice came across choppy and muffled. Some calls sounded as if they were coming from inside a dryer, giving off a distracting churning or wavy sound effect. Other times, my conversations sounded clear with no words getting garbled; those calls were acceptable. The Nica did a so-so job of cancelling out background music: If I stopped talking, my callers could hear something indistinct in the background, but when I started yakking again the headset picked up less of the noise.
During range tests, my (often crackly) calls on the Nica dropped several feet shy of the 30-foot limit. (Typically, during my range tests for Bluetooth headset products, one or both parties hear some crackling as I approach the edge of the range; but once I veer back toward the phone, the crackling disappears, the calls stay connected, and we can resume normal conversation.)
As for specifications, I was surprised to see that the Nica is a generation behind: It supports Bluetooth version 1.2. As of this writing, new headsets tend to support version 2.1. (The latest Bluetooth release is version 3.0, but products supporting the newest spec are not expected to appear on the market until later this year or early 2010.)
Ultimately, $130 is a lot to pay for a headset that doesn't consistently deliver the goods--at best, its call quality is fair to middling. You may be attracted to the Maverick Nica because it doesn't require you to stick a bud in your ear, but I'd suggest passing it up. Give earbuds a chance, and check out our current crop of high-ranking Bluetooth headsets instead.
Join the newsletter!
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Apple iPhone X
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
cloudandco Smart Cane
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Toys for Boys
Bose SoundLink Micro
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Lego Mindstorms EV3
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Xbox One X
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 4 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
- 5 Giabyte Aorus X9 Gaming Laptop review: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Belkin Introduces USB-C 3.1 Express Dock HD
- Porsche Design Huawei Mate 10 Will Come To Australia
- Boost Mobile Doubles Data Offering With New Summer Plans
- BlackBerry KEYone Black Launches in Australia
- HTC U11 Plus latest rumours: Release date, price and specs
PCW Evaluation Team
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro review
- Get set for Amazon Australia Black Friday launch
- Destiny 2 PC review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTSr. IT Business Analyst -Investment banking Funding StructureOther
- FTAutomation Test Analyst - Mobile AutomationOther
- TPTest AnalystSA
- CCJunior to mid-level - Business Analyst ? AgileVIC
- CCDatabase Systems SpecialistNSW
- CCSystems EngineerWA
- FTSenior .Net DeveloperQLD
- TPSAP ABAP DeveloperQLD
- CCMid-level SAP ArchitectQLD
- FTBig Data ArchitectOther
- FTField Service TechnicianOther
- CCJanusgraph Consultant - Telco industryVIC
- FTPayments Business AnalystVIC
- FTMultiple Infrastructure Engineer rolesACT
- FTAnalyst ProgrammerOther
- FTHadoop DeveloperACT
- FTTechnical Operations ManagerOther
- FTTechnical Solution ArchitectSA
- FTBusiness Analyst - PEGAOther
- FTHFC Capacity Planner | 6mth ContractOther
- CCPortfolio / Relationship ManagerNSW
- TPSenior Developer/Technical AnalystNSW
- FTSenior Technical Engineer - MacVIC
- CCDatabase Systems SpecialistNSW
- FTTest AnalystOther