With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I figured I should do at least ONE product recommendation with a spin towards the couples out there. (Of course if you are reading this and Valentine’s Day is NOT nearby, you can just fill in whatever gift-giving holiday is closest: Birthday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, Hanukah, etc.) Everyone has a cell phone nowadays, and most of these cell phones have Bluetooth built in for connecting headsets and other devices. Now recently (at least in California), it is against the law to talk on the phone without using a “hands-free device” when you are driving in your car. All the more reason to get a Bluetooth headset.
The Plantronics Discovery 925 is one of those Bluetooth headsets that you can actually be proud of wearing. You don’t look like some alien or someone without any sense of style. In fact, there are many celebrities who use these Plantronics because of their looks alone. For me, however, looks is only part of the equation. I’m interested in seeing how tech-y it is, what its functions are, where it shines and where some more polish could be applied.
I received a matching “His and Her” set just in time for Valentine’s Day. The products were identical with the exception of the color of the headset and their associated carrying cases: mine was “Black” and my wife’s was “Majestic Purple.” The packaging (seen below) gives almost a complete viewÂ of the product, so you know what you are getting. I like this better than the “peer down through a hole” type of display. The top part of the packaging shows the headset and carrying case while the lower part conceals the power charger, manual, etc.
Included in the box are:
- Bluetooth Headset
- Carrying case
- USB cable
- Power charger
- 3 ear piece adapters (1 is already attached to the headset)
The Plantronics blends right in with other stylish accessories you may have.
The headset itself has only two buttons, one for power & call controls (answer/hang-up) and one for volume & a few other controls (3 levels of volume that you can toggle through). Be sure to read the manual for a variety of options using the headset buttons. For example, you can actually turn OFF the online indicator (that annoying flashing blue light that all Bluetooth headsets seem to have when you are connected to a call) by simply holding the volume button for 4 seconds. Pairing is very straight forward and easy; simply set your phone into “discovery mode” and once the headset is detected, enter “0000” on your phones keypad. They have a Quick Pairing mode that will automatically put the headset into pairing mode for 10 minutes if it hasn’t been paired yet. This is extremely convenient.
The quality of the sound is very clear and strong. I tested this at a distance of about 20 feet from the headset it was paired to and did not notice any major loss of fidelity or signal. If you have multiple wireless networks within your area or are near large electronics (e.g., microwave or refrigerator), you may notice some popping noises. I didn’t have any occurrences of this in my testing however.
There are a few design and technology items that are particularly worth noting. The small carrying case is one of them. The case not only serves to protect the headset when not in use, it also has a built-in battery that will charge your headset when you are out on the road. What a GREAT concept! My wife, for example, is known to spend many hours on her cell phone as she shuttles our kids to and from school and other activities. This great case extends how long she can go without having to fully charge the headset in the wall. She also mentioned how GREAT it was to actually have a case with a headset, simply because headsets are so easy to misplace. What is also nice is that there is a USB connector for charging both in the headset as well as at the bottom of the case. As expected, charging time is faster if you plug directly into the wall as opposed to using only the USB cable and a computer.
Another nice design feature is the way the headset sits comfortably in one’s ear. There is no need for an over-the-ear hook (which I have always found to be hard to use, frequently requiring two hands to do properly). The Discovery 925 comes with 3 “eartips” which are “self-stabilizing.” What this means is that it actually sits tightly within the ear but in such a way that it is hardly noticeable. I commend Plantronics for doing this “right!”
Another innovative technology piece is actually something that I have not tested yet. They have something called “Multipoint” which allows you to stay connected to two cell devices at once. What this means is you could conceivably connect one cell phone and another cell phone at the same time to one single headset. This allows you to have two cell phones on and make/receive calls on both. Note: you cannot place one call on hold while you answer another. You must disconnect the first call.
The manual is clear and simple and not difficult to understand. This is a nice change from many others I have seen and had the displeasure of trying to figure out. Specifications include:
- Talk Time â€“ 5 hrs
- Standby Time â€“ up to 175 hours (Multipoint off); up to 100 hrs (Multipoint on)
- Charging times:
- Headset using AC â€“ 3 hrs
- Headset using USB â€“ 3 hrs
- Headset using Case â€“ 3 hrs
- Headset/Case using AC â€“ 3 hrs
- Headset/Case using USB â€“ 9 hrs
- Range â€“ up to 33 feet
- Earpiece weight â€“ 8 grams
Lastly, the headset uses AudioIQ which is a Digital Signal Processing (DSP) technology to help with noise reduction and improving audio clarity on both sides of the call.
My only complaints about this headset is that you have to cycle through the 3 volume settings instead of having a raise/lower volume. Also, I wish that the incoming ring tone sounded more like a ring than just a few beeps. There should be a bit more distinction. Other than that, I haven’t found much to gripe about, but I will continue to test and update this review as appropriate.
HTD Says: if you are looking for an elegant and stylish, yet technologically advanced Bluetooth headset with some innovative features for you or your significant other, the Plantronics Discovery 925 is one that should definitely be on the top of your list.