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Review of Plantronics Explorer 240 Bluetooth Headset
In the box:
Here comes another inexpensive headset for every day. If you do not need anything special look no further. Many consumers will be more than happy, but in some markets Plantronics will do better with additional advertisement. The company boasts good products, but they could enjoy more popularity and the only thing to hold Plantronics back is the fact that people do not know that apart from a basic Explorer 240 they offer a feature rich model 975 and other gadgets I can easily recommend to purchase.
Design and Construction
Once again we have a simple package, the plastic tube you do not feel like getting rid of, positive colours with predominant white and easy to read information. The package is traditional and I am especially happy to see a standard charger here to use it with any microUSB enabled gadget. There is no car adaptor, which is a pity. The headset looks simple with shiny black plastic, silver elements on each side and properly fixed tips. At the back we see a microUSB jack and interestingly designed microphone nestled near the earloop, which also bears the logo of the company. I have not seen such a simple branding for a long time. Usually manufacturers highlight the brand, but in this case the headset seems to be too anonymous. The weight is 11 g., but it is not too comfortable to carry in a jeans pocket because of the cumbersome earloop. The strap hole is not offered.
As I have already mentioned we have a built in tip and the earloop reminding of Jabra models 4 years ago. It looks too old-fashioned and designers had to understand that this solution limits users quite a lot. Standard tips suit everybody, while a detachable earloop is also handy. This should be a default approach! I felt comfortable with the headset, but it takes time to adjust. I asked a friend to try it on and the tight tip was not appropriate for him. Bear it in mind while choosing the headset and try model 240 in the store.
We have an on/off button, volume controls and the multifunctional key on the front panel. The latter is responsible for calls, activating the last dialled number and voice dialling. Everything is typical here. Pressings are accompanied with clicks. The light indicator at the front is tiny.
The manufacturer claims up to 5 hours of talktime and one week on the standby, which is not too long. The charging is carried out via microUSB. You can use the cable or charger from the box. It is definitely up to you.
Bluetooth 2.1 has EDR and we get DSP. The model has one microphone and offers decent sound quality, but there is echo and strange noises at times. On several occasions interlocutors asked me not to use the headset when I was in a car with an open window, while in an office environment there were no complaints. The operation distance is around four meters. If you move further there can be some issues. The overall sound quality is B-.
We have a nice package, decent looks, convenient controls, acceptable operation time and sound quality. Unfortunately I have some reservation about the loop and tips. This solution is from another era and not everybody will be happy. The headset costs around $30, which can buy you something better. Choose from Jabra BT2080, Nokia BH-108, Nokia BH-105, Samsung HM1600 and Jabra BT4010 among other things. To be honest I cannot recommend this headset to purchase.
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Published — 30 August 2011
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