Bluetooth headsets are two a dozen these days so what makes Plantronics think it has the answer with the Discovery 640?
For starters, the Discovery is one of the most interesting designs weï¿½ve seen in a long time. Although the actual headset itself follows the usual design, itï¿½s the accompanying charger and kit that goes with it that got us interested.
Coming in what looks like one of those snazzy compass sets you used to get at school, the metal case with its felt interior houses the Bluetooth headset, three different sized ear pieces, an ear stabliser, and six different charging options.
Six, I hear you cry, must be a typo. But in a moment of genius plantronics has included dongles for Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Siemens and Motorola chargers so you donï¿½t have to worry about packing two chargers on a trip. Furthermore the unit also comes with the ability to charge the unit via a standard AA battery so if all goes horribly wrong you can survive with out a power socket.
Charging takes 3 hours and for that you get 5 hours talk time, 70 hours standby and the promise of adding an extra 15 hours via the AA battery if you are out on the road.
The actual unit is light, it weighs a mere 9grams, and surprisingly comfortable to wear especially as youï¿½ve got the three different tips that go someway to fitting your ear. Additionally you can rotate the tip so it will suit lefties and righties accordingly.
Actual controls on the device are simple, but effective. The call accept and cancel button is at the top of the headset and large enough to find easily, while the volume is on the side. Pressing both buttons at the same time allows you to mute your calls.
The snug ear fit and the lack of over-ear clasp will appeal to some and not to others. Personally we prefer it, as it isnï¿½t as heavy on your ear as some headsets and the different rubberised in-ear grips do well to keep it in place.
In our tests the call quality was good both from a speaking end and a hearing end and tests with GarageBand means you could even get away using this to record podcasts or for VoIP calls over the Internet.
The charging elements are what make this stand out from the crowd and if that is important then this headset from Plantronics is a good choice.