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Yes, I've been trying to refuse having one of these pressed upon me, as driving is now the only quality alone time I seem to get these days.
'It's very hard to set up, it'll take ages.' I pleaded with my boss, trying to weasel out of having one.
'No it isn't. Shut up. Get back to work.' Replied my boss, effortlessly combining several of his one-size-fits-all responses to employee concerns into one decisive broadside.
And it was easy to set up. There's a micro USB output in the top for charging, and to my frustration it appears to be able to stay active for a very long time after charging for a couple of hours. Irritatingly, all I had to do was set my phone's bluetooth mode to 'discover' to pair it with the device.
So far so depressingly good. There's only three buttons on the thing, one for taking calls, one for volume and power, so I couldn't plead ignorance on that front. Indeed, I found taking calls on the headset very easy, and although there was a bit of windy howling noise I thought the call audio quality was much better than something like speakerphone.
Even my lopsided-jug ears fit into the earpiece comfortably, so I couldn't refuse the thing on an auricular basis either. After about 45 minutes driving I found myself forgetting I was wearing it, and only realised after catching my reflection in a service station's glass facade. I looked and felt like one of those intolerably cheesy salesmen who think that wearing a bluetooth headset at all times creates an image of being 'on the go' or 'always moving, like a shark'.
I also found it had an infuriatingly good range, even when trying to surreptitiously lose connection by leaving my phone in my car whilst my boss was banging on about something while I went to refuel. I got about a good fifteen feet away from my car, and still I could hear my bosses indecipherable corporate-newspeak ramblings.
So thanks Plantronics. Thanks for making a device that is reliable, has a good battery life, call range and call quality. You've just made my life just that little bit darker, as now every boss I have in the world can harass me with the same fatuous questions and meaningless assertations all of the time, often one after the other. Thanks for making it robust enough to withstand several 'accidental' droppings as well. Perhaps I should see if it will withstand me accidentally reversing over it...
I tend to do a lot of travelling these days, mainly due to work commitments, but it seems that I am spending many more hours sat in the car, usually in road works somewhere whilst several men in yellow jackets stare down a great big hole they have just dug.
Anyway, when I'm stuck in traffic or, on the very rare occasion, driving along at a good rate of speed, (staying under the speed limit of course) my mobile phone tends to ring quite a lot, causing me to have to answer it several times on each journey. So to stay with-in the law, and for all road users safety of course, I always, I repeat, always use a blue tooth earpiece to take those calls, (unless the boss calls and I can't be bothered explaining once again why I'm late).
I have used several Bluetooth ear pieces, from well known companies such as a Samsung, Motorola, Nokia and even less well known ones such as Jabra, but they have all served me quite well, apart from the fact that they have all been either dropped, lost or stupidly sat on, thus causing me to buy yet another one. My last one, a Samsung, was the cause for the 'sat on' comment as that one was on my car seat and did not see my ample sized rear end coming.
Anyway, my latest one, which I have been using for a few weeks now due to my 'unfortunate' sitting down incident, has a name on it that I had never heard of, being from Plantronics, its official title being the Plantronics Explorer 230, and I managed to pick it up from a little electrical store for a very reasonable price.
* Bluetooth enabled
* Quick pair (for easy pairing)
* Contoured earpiece (for extra comfort)
* Answer/end call button with volume control
* Slim earloop
* Up to 8 hours talk time and up to 9 days stand by
* Lightweight at 11 grams
* Lithium rechargeable battery with USB AC adaptor (micro)
* Mono sound output
* Built in microphone
* up to 10 metre range
* Compatible with up to 4 devices
* Flashing LED indicator
** IN CONCLUSION...
As I said earlier, when I first heard about this brand I was a little dubious, mainly due to the fact that I had never tried any of there products before and I had never heard of any of my friends or colleague mentioning the name too. So, before spending any cash on this headset I was looking at, I did a bit of research about Plantronics themselves, and I was quite impressed with the results, realising that Plantronics sell more than Bluetooth headsets. So, after feeling a little happier about this companies products I went ahead and bought this 'Explorer 230 Headset', and I'm quite happy I did, although it does have it's draw backs.
The device itself is a cracking little device, weighing in at a lightweight 11 grams, making it feel almost like a feather on your ear, just without the tickling that a feather may create.
It looks so neat and tidy as it dangles, nay hold firmly to your ear, the little blue light flashing happily away as it operates.
The black plastic casing is nicely curved and the size of the unit makes sure it doesn't look out of place in the ear.
The 'connect' and 'disconnect' button is in easy reach, situated just above the LED light, being operated by the flick of a finger whilst the volume 'button' lies on the side.
It connected to my LG phone with ease, following the easy to understand instructions that came in the package, plus it allowed connection to two other devices that I use.
The sound quality is remarkably clear, even though it can 'flicker' sometimes, but all in all when making or receiving a call it is almost like I'm sat next the person I'm talking too, if you know what I mean.
It does have a low battery bleep, which doubles as an 'out of range' indicator, letting you know when it needs recharging.
Speaking of recharging, well this is done via a USB cable which has a micro connecter for slotting into the device itself, and when fully charged the battery last quite some time, even if it is used quite often, it can last most of the working day. Although if it does run a little down I tend to simply recharge it from the laptop when ever I can.
It does have one or two downsides, such as the 'outside' noise can be a little distracting when your making an important call in a 'noisyish' area.
Plus, it has fallen out of position a few times, mainly when my head is tilted a little too much to one side, but once I found the perfect head tilt postion I haven't had that trouble since.
But for the couple of downsides this is still a remarkable little device and for the low price of £5.00 it is indeed a bargain, especially as I believe the full retail price is around the £15.00.
In all not a bad little Bluetooth earpeace which will allow you to stay in touch whilst staying within the law, and without killing any other road user either.