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REASONS FOR CHOICE I did an above average (for me) amount of research before choosing this headset and tried several different models belonging to friends and colleagues. I travel frequently and required good earpiece volume for noisy environments (train, driving etc) and comfort for wearing extended periods of time. It also had to work well with my Treo 650 (it does). For other features, average/satisfactory performance would have satisfied me. I was not disappointed, as the Discovery 640 met and exceeded my criteria.
PRICE At time of writing 27/2/06, this headset is available online for around £50 incl. VAT and delivery. Good value in my opinion. I can't comment on High Street Prices.
WHAT DO YOU GET? The headset comes in a nice, slim, silver, hard case - easy to slip into your briefcase or handbag without worrying about damage. Flip the case over and there is a small mirror on the back - okay, not a necessity, but a nice touch and attention to detail. Inside you will find the headset, three sizes of soft ear gels, ear-loop, four small charging adapters (these adapt various mobile phone chargers to charge to the discovery, so you only need one charger for both, although the 640 does come with its own charger), charging 'pen clip' (which also allows storage in your jacket pocket in standby mode) and battery charger case for AAA battery (this allows you to boost the talk time to 15 hours and standby to 180 hours). All the above may make the case sound bulky; it isn't - it would slip in a jacket pocket.
COMFORT AND WEARABILITY This headset is worn 'in ear' a little like the stereo ear buds that are popular with portable music players etc. Normally, I avoid this type of headset as I find them uncomfortable and prefer 'over ear' stereo headphones. The difference here is that the ones with the Discovery are not rigid and are made of soft gel. Three sizes are provided to give a comfortable, secure fit. I'm female and wear the smallest size ☺ Amazingly, the headset feels (and is) very secure. As it only weighs 9g, I've hardly felt as if I'm wearing it and it hasn't felt as if it would fall out. It's extremely comfortable and, once you get used to it, very quick to put on. To be honest, I had to practice putting it on, but then as I said, I'm not used to 'in ear' style anything! It's designed for use without the optional ear loop, but I wear this when cycling and although my running days are over (!), I have no doubt you could easily run using this. It's solid. The in ear design also makes in-call volume very good.
OTHER FEATURES The Discovery uses Bluetooth V1.2, which the blurb states is meant to reduce interference. I think this, together with range of use, is pretty subjective since it depends on many, often unpredictable, factors. I usually keep my phone in my handbag whilst out and about and have had no problems with dropped calls etc. Similarly, I can walk around the house without loss of signal. My experience may not be yours. It beeps when out of range, so at least you know!
The headset 'beeps' in your ear when a call is incoming at which point a quick touch of the button answers it and ends it.. Personally, I have my Discovery/Treo set to answer calls automatically, which I find very convenient, especially when driving. In addition to the call button there are two buttons for volume up and down and a small light flashes whilst the headset is in use.
Call quality appears excellent. Anyone that I have asked has been unaware that I was even using a headset rather than my mobile, and I've received no adverse comments otherwise. Battery life seems to agree with the stated 5 hours talktime, or 60 hours standby.
It's small! Under my hair, it's invisible and ladies might run the risk of appearing as if they are talking to themselves!
The Discovery paired easily with my Treo and also with my partners XDA. It will remain paired to two phones, but not linked. To switch between phones, you need to start a call on the phone, at which time the Discovery will form a new link. Handy for sharing (which I do only under pressure!).
I HAVEN'T TRIED…. You can mute calls, reject them, transfer them to your phone and there is a last number redial and voice recognition feature (the latter my Treo doesn't support). Apparently, when the headset is in the pen clip, it will vibrate if there is an incoming call. For purchase separately there is an AC/DC and USB charger. The supplied adapters support Nokia, Siemens, Motorola and Sony Ericsson - none of which I own. I have no reason to believe that none of the above work given the excellent performance otherwise, just that it would be untrue to state that I've tried them.
SUMMARY The quality of this headset is excellent. Nothing about it looks cheap or plastic. Compared to others I've tried, it's streets ahead in terms of style and quality. Comfort, wearing stability and performance of basic features is excellent, but I can't comment on the advanced features, as I don't have need of them. You'll find much more for your money than a headset wrapped in plastic packaging.
I am a day long wearer of bluetooth headsets in connection with my job. even though I have no hair to hide it people still think I am talking to myself. I have just been given this headset by my employer and it is the best I have had so far.
lazza123 27.02.2006 18:48
Great review, it coverered everything I would (and do) need to know when choosing a head set Thanks Larry
This is the ultra stylish new bluetooth headset from Plantronics. The Discovery 640x ... more
wireless headset is light and comfortable, includes an innovative charging system and is wrapped in a chrome carrying case. It supports last number redial, and voice-activated dialling for easy mobile use.