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Plantronics Discovery 640 Bluetooth Headset: Yay or Nay

In my Search for a new Bluetooth headset I tried out a device in which I had very high hopes. From reading the website for the info on the Plantronics Discovery 640 headset, it looked like it was the size I liked, and had a good amount of included attachments.

The Attachments are what caught my eye when I was browsing around for a new Bluetooth headset, and the Plantronics Discovery 640 had a few that were pretty interesting. This device in an in ear headset so it had 3 replacement rubber earpieces included. The 3 earpieces are of different sizes but extras can be bought in case you lose them. It also came with a small sleeve like cradle that the headset itself fits into, where the charging cable will attach. The sleeve like cradle kind of looks like a marker cap that will clip in your shirt pocket. And of coarse there was the charger cable and a detachable over the ear attachment if you wanted to use it. The rest is what I thought was interesting.

Included were a few attachments that snapped into the bottom of the cradle that allowed you to do some things that I ve never seen on any other Bluetooth headset. The first of which was a AAA battery adapter. It holds 1 AAA battery and will charge the headset 2 times before you need to replace the battery, bringing your talk time to about 15 hours between charges. The next was 4 smaller adapters that snapped into the bottom of the cradle, each one matches a different brand of cell phone charger so that you can use your cell phone charger to charge your headset also. With the right cell phone, you d only need to carry one charger with you on the road to keep your cell phone and headset charged. And to make sure you don t loose all those attachments, it comes with a very nice hard case that has spots for each of the attachments, even has a mirror on the bottom of the case so you can see how you look wearing the headset.

As far as functionality, the headset has 3 buttons on it, which is pretty common. You have the answer/hang-up button then 2 volume buttons. The device and the buttons are so small that it becomes pretty hard to use if you have larger hands. But the size of the device, if you were looking for something as small as this, is enough to help you not notice how small the buttons are. It also has a vibrate feature when you get a call.

Pairing the device with my Treo 650 was just as easy as any other headset, and calls transferred pretty quickly from the Treo to the headset when receiving and making calls. The 5 hour talk time that is listed on Plantronics website is a little longer than what I ve experience. I m use to using the Jabra bt250V, which has a good amount of talk time between charges. It wasn t the case with the Discovery 640. One good long phone call will pretty much drain the battery and you d be using the AAA charger adapter, so you have to make sure you carry that with you if you plan on leaving the charger at home. The range seems to be a little lower than the website suggest also, when I got around 10 ft or so away from the phone, the signal started to break up badly.

The sound quality on the Discovery 640 when standing right near the cell phone was pretty good, the person on the other end s voice was decently loud and clear with a very slight muffle. The problem with this device is how I sound to others. The Discovery 640 doesn t have any type of background noise cancellation so the person on the other end heard everything going on in your surroundings at a magnified level. Which led to a lot of repeating myself over and over again. It was completely annoying and made the device almost impossible to use unless you were in a very quiet room.

I really liked all the features and attachments of the Discovery 640 and really wanted this to be my permanent headset but at the end of about a week, I had to return it because it was just too impossible to use due to the problems others had hearing me. There have been models made after this one so maybe they have added sufficient noise suppression, but for me, the Plantronics Discovery 640 just didn t work out.

The manufactures specs of the Discovery 640 states that it weighs in at about 9 grams (very light) and has 5 hours talk time and about a 33ft range. The retail price on the Plantronics website is $129.99, but it can be found for about $63.99 At Newegg.com.

David L Jones is a blogger/podcaster for the website http://www.jonzee.com where the topics are online shopping and consumer information. There you will find this article and more like it, and also links to the podcast "The Jonzee.com Podcast"



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