REVIEW: Plantronics M3000 Bluetooth headset
Plantronics has done a great job with M3000 wireless Bluetooth headset. It is superior to previous model M1000 in every criterion. Though it is targeted at owners of latest Bluetooth enabled mobile phones, it can also be used with PCs and other devices which are Bluetooth enabled. You can use this with PC if you use any voice applications like calling overseas using VoIP or using Voice recognition software for dictation. IBM already ships another Plantronics headset, DSP-300 with its Via Voice 10 Pro USB edition.
Most people donít know Plantronics as it has always operated at higher spectrum of market and produced headsets costing lots of money but of very high quality for aviation, space and call centers. Recently with its USB PC headsets and Bluetooth mobile headsets it has entered consumer territory.
M3000, made of very high quality plastic, at first glance looks big. It is big at 30gram when compared to Nextlink Bluespoon Digital at 10gram. But when you wear M3000 using one of the 2 supplied earloops it doesnít feel big or weigh much on ear. It hangs little loose on ear but that is allowing it to be painless to ear. With extra weight you get nice features. Like 8 hour talk time, 200 hours standby time, convenient separate buttons for all functions and very good range. I could keep phone in one end of home and keep walking around any corner of home up to 8 meter with 2 brick walls in between and still receive a very clear reception. Only suggestion for user is to avoid walking around or standing in wind while on call as it reduces ability to hear clearly.
I used it for 6 hours continuously during my trial and didnít feel any pain on ears. Quality of sound is best at medium volume level. Sound is better than speaker sound of Siemens S55 or Philips Fisio 826 handset which I used for testing. †In phones like Siemens S55 you can use its Handsfree profile and do things normally not done, like transferring calls from and to Handset by pressing holding down talk button for 2 seconds. Philips Fisio 826 doesnít support this so you can not use all this features but only answer call or take over call from handset. You canít transfer it back or redial last dialed number.
200 hour of standby and 8 hour of talk time is 2 to 5 times what any of current Bluetooth phones offer and hence more than adequate, if you travel outside city for day or two no need to worry about charging. It takes around 90 minute to charge it.†
Other useful features are.
Redial last number by double pressing talk button.
Reject calls by holding talk button
Separate mute button to mute calls with single press. Most other handset require more complicated procedure for mute. You will hear beep every minute when in mute mode to remind you of caller waiting.
User replaceable 270mAh †NiMH battery. This feature will let you use your headset for more than years when original battery wears off.
Only downside about this device is, it ships with 110V charger and expects you to buy universal 110-220V charger from them as accessory. I find it pretty cheap trick to make people buy something which should have been in box in first place. People travel with their tri-band phones all over world and not just to 110V countries. Even 3-5 year old Palm Vx shipped with universal charger. Plantronics needs to understand that it is an accessory company and survives because of shortcomings of main products of companies like Nokia, Sony or Siemens, it canít expect people to be happy to buy accessory for accessory.
At US$100 street price it offers best value for money Bluetooth headset when you consider its longest battery life and sturdy design.