“ Brand: Plantronics / Connectivity Technology: Wireless / Wireless Technology: Bluetooth „
I bought this Plantronics M20 headset from Amazon last year, for around £15, when I was looking for an emergency -cheap!- replacement.
The headset is a standard-looking bluetooth earpiece, 5cm long and 1.5cm high. Its weight is a tiny 11.5grams, which means I can hardly tell it's there when it's in use. The claimed talk time on the headset is up to 11 hours, with up to 11 days in standby! I've never had it on standby without using it for that long, but even having owned this over a year, I still use it daily for half an hour or more on average and I find I need to charge it less than once a week. From day one I've found the battery life excellent. A maximum charge is 90 minutes, although in my experience the headset will go from low to high with a short 20 minute charge.
=Look & Design=
The M20 is black in colour but has a chrome coloured trim to its front edge, giving the headset a sleek appearance. This model has a permanent black plastic ear loop which is mounted onto the body of the headset on a hinged and swivelling disc, enabling an easy switch from left to right-eared use. The loop is slim and circular in profile, very smooth and I find it very comfortable to wear. I think the reason for this is that the design of the actual earbud is for it to actually sit into the ear. This means that the loop is really only acting as a secondary or emergency support, rather than the headset hanging or applying any pressure on the back of the ear. The ear bud is made of rubber and is shaped to a taper, overall around 2cm from front to back, a little over 1cm wide at its widest point and a little over half a centimetre at the end which goes into the ear.
Writing those dimensions down, it does sound quite big, but in reality the size is perfect for my -dare I say it- average-sized ears! The bud doesn't come close to actually going inside the ear canal, there is no danger associated with the headset in that respect. I often wear the headset for periods of time and I find the fit of the earbud snug without being a nuisance, it doesn't slip and it doesn't feel uncomfortable.
One of the most appealing features of Plantronics headsets for me, is the use of an actual switch/button to switch the unit on and off, coupled with spoken indicators of battery status and volume level. When switched on, a voice tells you "POWER ON, BATTERY [high/medium/low], PHONE [1 or 2] CONNECTED". This is a far preferable approach compared to units I've used in the past, needing to hold different buttons for a given time, spot different coloured flashing lights or observe different 'beeps' to know battery level, or to know when the units were switched properly off. The switch is a small ridged slider switch on the underside of the unit, so it is easy to access even when wearing it. This adds to the battery life because there's really no need to have the headset switched on at all times when on a journey for instance, you can quickly slide the switch when a call comes in.
The other buttons are a volume switch on the other edge of the headset and the front of the headset as a whole is pushed to answer or end a call. A double-push of the front area will redial the last number too which is also sometimes handy, although the double push needs to be in very quick succession to make that work.
All buttons are effortlessly accessed and used. The volume on the headset only goes in one direction, on a scroll format, so pushing the button increases the volume until you are advised "VOLUME MAXIMUM" whereupon a further press returns you to the lowest level.
The range of the headset is excellent, I can leave my phone in one place at home and walk all over my house without ever losing connection, which compares very well against previous Nokia and Sony Ericsson headsets I've owned.
Conversations are always clear, both for me listening and also for the person I'm calling, I rarely have to repeat things, even when using the headset outdoors or driving. The specification of the headset does claim "fights noise and wind for clear calls", and whilst it doesn't elaborate on what technology is in use to achieve that, I definitely find it to be true.
Initial and subsequent pairings have all been quick and easy.
The headset can connect to two phones at a time, and connection is automatic (dependent on phone handset settings) and invariably quick.
Another feature I don't use, as I don't have an iPhone, is that iPhone users can monitor battery status as a battery meter is displayed when connected to one.
The headset is charged with a standard micro USB and will charge from other micro USB cables if I haven't happened to have the actual charger to hand, which is useful.
This is one of three Plantronics bluetooth headsets I've bought, and the spoken commands, good quality sound and great battery life have been a feature of all of them. This is a great value brand in my opinion and I have owned far worse headsets for which I've paid 3 or 4 times the price of this one. Recommend 100%.