How do you differentiate your Bluetooth headset from all the others out there? By making the design a bit more "fashion" focused. But has the idea worked for Plantronics and its Discovery 925 model? We made some calls to find out.
Unlike Jawbone, which has gone for a solid slab of stylised plastic, Pantronics has instead opted for a wireframe design that looks more like a tie-pin than a Bluetooth headset.
Lightweight and coming in a variety of colours from white to gold, there is no ear hook to hang it off your ear. Instead you get a rubberised in-ear attachment that fits your ear snugly: very snugly.
For those with strange ear sizes there are three different sized earpieces in the box and it's a lucky thing too because the first fitting we tried was incredibly uncomfortable.
Pair it with your phone (it takes less than a minute) and you're ready to make calls. It's all very simple and we had no problem going through the pairing process. In test calls quality is very good. No one could tell that we were on a headset over the handset.
"It pinches off some of the nuances of expression, bites into some of the sharp detail so things sound a little softer and less lively than the best Bluetooth headsets on the market", our Reviews Editor had to say after a phone call to him.
"Sounds pretty clear, pretty swizz", said our News Editor.
However not all were impressed, our Ad Manager wasn't too chuffed; "Not great now that you come to mention it!" was the reply when asked what they thought after we had made the call.
From my end, the performance was good, people on the other end could be heard clearly, with the only complaint being that the default volume setting was a little on the loud side. Something that would no doubt help as you're driving down the motorway with the top of your sports car down, wind blowing through your hair (or bald pate...).
All that talking means you'll have to do some charging and rather than a big power socket or a USB (you do get both) the docking station doubles as the case. It's leather so looks more like a lipstick case than a Bluetooth headset box and the design is innovative enough that it will likely impress the most ardent of gadget critics.
One perhaps for the ladies, although Mrs Pocket-lint felt it was a bit "Star Treky", the Plantronics Discovery 925 delivers the goods, comes with a nice "executive" leather case, but could be seen by boys as too feminine in its design and too large for girls with smaller heads (niche we know).
The end result? Something that for us, from a style point of view, was a bit muddled: luckily the audio for the most part works a treat.