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Plantronics M55 bluetooth headset review
In the box:
Another low-cost headset by Plantronics from their new line: this kind of features set is normally found in more expensive solutions, and we get a car adapter in the package, too.
This one looks very much alike the Plantronics M25, but the design and the package set are different as here we also get a compact car charger adapter with a USB input jack. I cannot show it to you at the moment, but it looks quite good. The headset is compact, but I like its design no so much as that of the M25 though. The front panel is made of black glossy plastic; it is easy to scratch it and fingerprints are quite visible on it. On the edges, we see black perforated plastic. The speaker is covered with a grid. The perforated panel adds some special appeal to the headset, so it looks really nice.
On the rear side, there is a microUSB input jack, without any end cap. The headset is assembled really well, and it produces no creaks when squeezed.
Wearing and comfort of usage
The headset can be worn with or without the ear hook. The manufacturer has finally eliminated the stuck nozzle, and now it is a regular one. It is removable, it has a protuberance, and it fits well into the ear. Under a hat or long hair, the M25 is almost invisible. The ergonomics is really good and you can wear the headset without discomfort of any sort.
On the front panel, there is a multifunctional button that allows you to receive calls, activate the coupling mode, and switch between the lines. The power button is on the one edge, which is quite comfortable as it allows you to quickly switch your M55 to the standby mode and to save the battery power. On the other edge, you will find the volume control. The volume gets changed in cycles, and it is quite easy to get used to it. So there are no problems with the controls: everything is logical and clear, and easy to learn what is where.
The indicator on the front panel is not very much annoying. To be more precise, there are two indicators, and one of them may be red, for example, when the coupling mode is activated. I always stand up for moving these "side running lights" to the rear end or to the edges though.
The manufacturer claims up to eleven hours of talktime and eleven days on standby. If you turn the headset off and leave it, fully charged, it can preserve the charge for about five months. The numbers are not bad, but normally users do not pay much attention to the battery life when buying devices of this kind. In practice, design and sound quality are far more important. And the M55 performs pretty well there. So the long battery life in the sleeping mode is just an extra advantage.
Phone connection and sound quality
I have tested this headset with an iPhone 4S. I have found no problems with coupling; everything worked properly and pretty fast. The operation distance range is about six meters – the test was made inside an office building. The ones you talk with can hear you well, even when the surroundings are relatively noisy. The volume is high and the device renders voices really well, preserving their specific tones. So I liked the voice rendering quality provided by the M55 very much, especially keeping in mind that we are talking about a low-cost device here.
The headset uses the Bluetooth 3.0 profile.
The headset supports multipoint connection: I have tested it with two iPhones 4S, and everything worked well. When connected to an iPhone, there is a battery indicator on the handset screen. The manual says the same feature may be available for Android OS devices. A2DP is also supported, so you can easily listen to your favorite music with one ear, with the sound quality being pretty high. I have also tested it with an iPhone. There are voice hints about the maximum volume and the coupling mode activated. So that is the kind of a low-cost product that we get here. Even more expensive headsets do not always provide such an extensive set of features.
The Plantronics M55 is expected to hit the shelves this fall. Its price will amount to 1,100 rubles. It is really good Plantronics have decided to remove that tightly fixed nozzle and to improve the design and functionality. The M55 and M25 are only the first swallows, and now other manufacturers will also have to work hard to bring the features of their expensive headsets to the low-end solutions.
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Published — 21 June 2012
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