With hands-free headsets gradually making the transition from safe and square, to stylish and sought after, recent years have seen a host of brands gun for that enviable position of the space on your ear.
With that in mind, comes Plantronics latest Bluetooth offering - the Plantronics M1100. Harnessing the latest technological advances, it’s specially designed for the mobile professional and social network butterfly alike.
With an added emphasis of ‘communication on the move’, the headset allows users to email, update their Facebook status and even Tweet on the go.
All this is achieved through Plantronics' new ‘Vocalyst’ software, an online voice service accessed by connecting your phone and uttering ‘Call Vocalyst’ after pressing the voice recognition button.
Once ‘online’ the latest sports, finance and weather news are at your disposal – simply tell the friendly Vocalyst lady which you require.
While a novel idea, the execution of these headlines wasn’t quite as smooth and coherent as we’d like and the England-India score or Rio Ferdinand’s latest tweet can get a little lost in translation. Though to be fair, the latter may not be Plantronics' fault.
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Once you’ve added your contacts online, use of email is simple enough, as Vocalyst types out your message as you dictate. Watch your words though: the service will send the email as soon as you’ve finished talking.
The Plantronics M1100 itself is light, stylish and fits in the ear snugly, something that this writer’s awkward shaped auricles never take for granted.
A three-mic design and Plantronic’s audio IQ suppression means sound quality is good, conversations are clear and unhampered by environmental noise or questionable sounds from your car’s engine on the M1.
The design of the Plantronics M1100 is simple yet effective with one button apiece for voice recognition, power and volume - but chattier types may struggle with the specified 4-hours of talk time.
The Plantronics M1100 comes with one year’s subscription to the Vocalyst service. Plantronics does not reveal how much it costs after that period has expired.
An upgrade to Vocalyst PRO is also said to be available which converts speech for a text message reply.
It’s no secret that the market is already somewhat saturated with hands-free devices, but we think the Plantronics M1100 has enough going for it to ensure its Vocalyst-enabled voice is heard amongst the din.