Plantronics 73646-01 Car Charger for Discovery 655 665

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Good sound, poor battery life

Sep 12, 2008 (Updated Sep 12, 2008)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Light, easy to wear, separate volume buttons, separate ear loop, digital sound processing

Cons:Miserable battery life

The Bottom Line: The digital sound processing is a plus but still not perfect, battery life not great at 3 hours


I generally prefer plantronics headset products, I've used a number of their products at work and some at home and they are generally good stuff. I've had a voyager 510 a 520 and now this unit. The 510 is a great unit but it doesn't have noise canceling, the 520 is another great unit but the ear hook on that one is a little fragile and I don't really like the "all in one" button it has on it for everything. I saw this one on ebay for 30 bucks and it's supposed to be digital sound processing so I gave it a try.

The first thing you notice about this unit is the 3 hour battery life rating, pretty miserable for a plantronics unit; all that digital enhancement crap really cuts battery life apparently. The second thing you notice is that the ear loop is optional and removable, it's really designed to hang in your ear using one of the three different sized ear pieces provided. The 510 also had these different sized pieces but the difference here is that they are not constantly falling out of the headset like they did on the 510, these stay in place and it is designed well enough to stay in your ear without the loop. I prefer to use the loop just because I don't want to lose it and the loop offers extra security in that regard.

setup:
Charge the unit for a few hours. Unlike most plantronics products, this headset does not have the standard plantronics round plug on it, it uses a "case" that has the round plug on the bottom and the headset nests inside of that to charge; the case has lights on it that flash when it charges. This unit has a variety of chargers all designed for the "case" on this headset.

Pairing:
If the unit doesn't go into pair mode automatically (flashing red and blue lights) you enter pair mode by holding down the button for a minute from being off. Code is 0000 for the password. It paired right away with my tmobile wing.

Controls:
Separate volume buttons, one button for on/off pair mode

What I think of it:
This is a digital processed headset, it works both ways apparently. I used this headset for the first time today there were a few times he said it was staticy but I think that may have been electrical intereference since I was out on the street walking, he also said the rather brisk wind we had today was making it a bit hard to hear--i.e. it wasn't canceling that out. While indoors he didn't say he had any issues hearing me. I found the other side of the conversation a bit clearer than usual, he was also outdoors for part of the conversation and I really didn't find the sound any better than usual during that time.

I use this for a backup headset in case I leave my 520 at home, like I did today. The sound processing does seem to make a difference for both sides; perhaps more for the incoming side. It's supposed to be noise canceling and digital enhanced but apparently a strong wind may be a little too much for it although he never said he could not hear me he did comment the wind was rather loud.

I don't like how this unit needs the "nest" unit/case in order to charge. My other plantronics headsets have the charger socket directly on the headset while this one has a different connector and you have to pop it in it's "holder/case" in order to charge with the round connector plantronics chargers. I've seen this headset with several other chargers included in the set so it has an available AA battery charger, a car charger and possibly a usb charger all included with it (that setup costs a bit more than what I paid here of course); I believe I can get the other chargers off ebay but for now the round plug plantronics works fine with the one case included. I prefer the separate volume buttons on this unit to the all in one button on the 520 but I think my favorite layout was the one on the 510 which put the volume buttons on the back of the ear which is similar to where they are on most business headsets (and I wear one of those all day long at work so I always find myself reaching for the back of my ear to adjust the volume when the buttons aren't there on this headset they're on the side below the on/off button).

Overall other than the short battery life this seems to be quite acceptable for the 30 bucks I paid for it. It' niceley designed and comfortable to wear for an hour straight and I like the fact that the ear loop is optional. If you don't tend to talk for three hours straight and I rarely do you will be happy with this headset; I kinda wish I'd spent a bit more and gotten one with the full set of chargers but that's easily remedied in the future.


Recommend this product? Yes


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