Given my personal style (or lack thereof), I’m one tricky customer when it comes to my demands for a viable mono headset. I wear dangly earrings, my hair is long, and I depend on my eyeglasses quite a bit. Triple trouble for a Bluetooth user, you might say.
Donning the $50 Plantronics M55, which works without (and with) an ear hook, is a piece of cake. The ear gel cover sports a protruding loop, balancing the weight distribution in the ear so the headset won’t slip out. I popped the M55 in my ear, made a minor adjustment to point the microphone downwards, and I was good to go.
Like many other Plantronics headsets, which support this hookless style, the M55 didn’t interfere with my droopy earrings, long locks, or peepers. This lightweight unit felt secure and snug, even in my small ears. However, as the company only provides one ear gel cover size, this fit may not work for you. Plus, after wearing the M55 for more than a couple of hours, I was ready to take it off and give my (fatigued) right ear a break.
I liked the alerts that occurred every time I switched on the M55: “Power on. Talk time ten hours,” for example. This compact unit sports an all-purpose call button––to end calls, activate voice commands, and redial (via double-tap)––which is a cinch to use. I could press anywhere on the upper portion of the headset, and its discernible feedback meant I could buzz through my taps with certainty. The M55 also lets me pick up or reject a call by saying “Answer” or “Ignore”—which worked every time without flaw. The M55 also allows you to manage emails, texts, and update Facebook and Twitter using your voice (via the Vocalyst app which is one of several apps that works with the M55).
Call quality on both ends of the line was excellent, the majority of the time. Voices coming in through the M55 felt almost as though the callers were sitting beside me. At the same time, callers on the other end reported back that my yapping frequently sounded clear and close-up, albeit with a slight “metallic” effect. Occasionally, some callers thought my voice sounded far away and robotic. Another nice aspect: The M55’s handling of extraneous noise was reasonably solid. As I was jabbering, it forced my tunes into the background, so unless you were listening hard for it, the music was unobtrusive. All that said, these slight drawbacks were not invasive enough to force us to zap the conversations.
This story, "Review: Plantronics M55 works with several apps" was originally published by TechHive.