[REVIEW] PLANTRONICS Discovery 655 and Pulsar 260

Discussion in 'PC Audio' started by spikes, May 31, 2007.

  1. spikes

    spikes Member

    Joined:
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    Anyware dropped off two new toys for me to play with :D

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    As seen in the above photo, they are a Plantronics Discovery 655 and a Pulsar 260 headset

    Specs Stolen from the Plantronics website :)

    Discovery 655
    • Digital Signal Processing (DSP) lets you be heard like never before by actively reducing transmitted background noise, resulting in crystal clear conversations
    • The small, ergonomic design provides long-wearing comfort and weighs only 9 grams
    • An innovative charging pocket provides a convenient and secure way to charge, store and transport the headset. This unique charging pocket stores a AAA battery that charges the headset between calls—a Plantronics industry first—for up to 10 hours of talk time, and vibrates to indicate incoming calls
    • Sleek design and personalized fit with three sizes of soft gel ear tips. Optional ear stabilizer fits securely over the ear
    • Headset can be worn in right or left ear
    • Mini USB headset charger allows you to easily recharge from a computer
    • Supports last number redial and voice-activated dialing for easy mobile use1
    • Freedom to roam up to 33 feet from your Bluetooth device

    Pulsar 260
    • Enjoy wireless stereo music on your Bluetooth® enabled mobile phone*
    • Immerse yourself in stereo music and phone conversations
    • Stream music from your stereo Bluetooth® mobile phone, never miss a call
    • Compatible with stereo Bluetooth® mobile phones*
    • Noise-isolating earbuds immerse you in music or conversation
    • Three earbud sizes ensure ideal fit
    • Take calls and enjoy music with one headset
    • Smoothly switch between music and phone calls
    • Never miss a call while jamming to your tunes
    • Fingertip control for volume and music selections
    • Up to 7 hours of listen time and 9 hours of talk time
    • Works up to 33 feet from your Bluetooth® devices
    • Recharge in two hours or less
    • Easy to store and use on-the-go
    • Lightweight design with secure clip fits your active lifestyle
    • Supports Bluetooth hands-free headset A2DP, AVRCP and GAVDP profiles

    Enough blabber, time for the review :D

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    Plantronics Discovery 655

    The Plantronics Discovery 655 makes use of the basic in-ear design, it offers a sleek looking, compact design. The headset itself is durable and won't be scratched very easily nor being a fingerprint magnet. So far, you would have gathered it is good looking aesthetically, not to mention the 655 also provides a low weight of 9g, and measurements of 54mm x 12mm x 9mm.

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    One of the main advantages of the 655 is that it can be worn on both the left and right ears, and changing between ears is a quick and effortless task. The unit ships with 3 different sizes of soft gel ear buds that are easily swapped out by the user. The medium sized gel tip comes installed and is configured for wearing on the right ear. For those that prefer to wear the headset on the left ear, all that is required is a twist of the ear bud. An optional ear loop is included for those seeking extra stability. Also Included in the 655 package are a pocket charging cradle, AAA battery, ac charger, mini USB charger adapter, a mini USB to USB cable, and a user's manual.

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    The 655's physical controls are simple and easy to use, consisting of two volume controls (up and down) and a single call control button. The unit's call control button is the main controller on the headset and handles call answering or ending, and the making of calls. This button is also the device's main power switch. It is surrounded by an LED that is used as the device's power and connectivity indicator. The volume control also handles muting, and can be easily found by touch when the headset is in use. Pressing the volume button closest to the ear increases volume, while the other decrease the volume. To turn on audio mute while on a call, press both volume buttons simultaneously. To deactivate the mute, press both again.

    Using the 655 is pretty straightforward. To power up the headset, just press and hold the call control button until the LED glows blue, indicating the device is now ready for making calls. When the headset is first turned on, the LED will flash red from one to three times, indicating the charge level that remains in the battery. I personally like this feature and am quite used to the single red flash that indicates less than 1

    Testing


    After answering/making calls for most of a day, I didn't even get the low battery indicator, in fact, my Sony Ericsson P910i died before the Plantronics did

    DSP got me curious; does it really make a difference? Sound quality was loud and clear. Riding down the street with the windows opened we were still able to hear the conversation on the other end with very little problems.

    With the windows rolled down, going down the road at 50km/h. The background noise really started to kick in and made the conservation inaudible on the other end.

    Conclusions

    You might want to give this a pass if you work in noisy environments but still, this a solid headset that works well with a variety of phones and comes with some first-class accessories including a vibrating alert.
    Normally, headset manufactures often ship with enough charge in the device and a charger. Here, Plantronics has included an unique battery charger, wall charger and a USB charger as well!

    Pros:
    • Sleek, compact and lightweight
    • Doesn’t attract scratches and fingerprints
    • Excellent sound quality

    Cons:
    • Basically useless in noisy environments


    Plantronics Pulsar 260


    Personally, I don't care for in-ear headphones. When properly worn, they usually feel like they're so far in your ear that you can feel them touching your brain. But if any company can make them right, Plantronics can. Their set came with 3 pairs of different sized earbuds, and I found a pair that fit and felt great.

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    I found it very easy to pair the 260 to my Sony Ericsson P910i phone, the 260 offers the A2DP bluetooth profile, which allows you to wirelessly listen to music and answer phone calls without the need for an adapter.

    I was able to listen to music and answer calls with no problem. They connected to all three devices with no problem. Everything was going well. In-ear headphones should provide great sound at lower volume than other types of headphones, while also providing inherent noise cancellation effects, because the headphones form a seal in your ear. These did that. But they didn't seem to play very loudly. I slowly increased the volume on the controls. The controls consists of the volume, track, pause, play etc. that control the remote device. The first time I used it, it worked fine. But what I found confused me at first. If you press the control buttons faster than once every five seconds or so, the sound begins to skip. This happened to me consistently, and would not stop until I stopped the player and loaded a new song.
    I enjoyed the sound from the headphones, but they didn't get very loud. They did isolate sound fairly well.

    The headphones worked much better with my phone, where volume is not such an issue. When a phone call comes in, you just press the call control button on the headphone cable, and the music shuts down and the call comes in :)

    The battery lasts a long time. Plantronics boasts seven hours of listening time, nine hours of talk time, and 200 hours of standby time. All I know is, after the initial charge a couple of days ago, I haven’t recharged it since. And it also has a mini USB charger, which means you can charge off your computer.

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    Pros:
    • Good sound quality, background cancelling
    • Wireless Bluetooth headphones
    Cons:
    • intolerable skipping when pressed too often
    • Too many cables - feels like a wired mp3 player
    • volume not high enough
    • un-even headphone cables

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    Click image for Plantronics' website
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2007

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