Plantronics headsets last the distance

New Bluetooth and DECT wireless headsets claim to offer significantly better battery life and longer range than was previously possible
Written by Jonathan Bennett, Contributor

Plantronics launched its latest Bluetooth headset, the M3000, on Wednesday, with a far longer battery life than its predecessors.

Previous generations of Bluetooth headsets typically had two to three hours of talktime and around three to four days' standby. In contrast, Plantronics claims the M3000 will provide up to eight hours' talktime and eight days' standby time, which is equal to, if not better than, most Bluetooth-equipped mobile phones.

As well as extending the useful life of the headset, Plantronics has also made it compatible with virtually all Bluetooth-equipped phones by including both the headset and hands-free profiles in the unit. As well as the supplied over-the-ear clip, the M3000 can be used with over-the-head or back-of-the-neck headbands for those who find the normal clip uncomfortable.

The M3000 works up to 10 metres from a phone, like other Bluetooth devices, and as with most headsets it supports a phone's voice-dialling function, so the headset can be used to make calls with a phone kept in a bag or pocket.

At the same launch, Plantronics showed its new wireless headset product for landline phones, the CS60. Rather than being Bluetooth-based, the CS670 uses DECT wireless -- the system used in many domestic cordless phones -- to get greater range.

Plantronics claims the device has a range of about 100 metres, which would be 10 times Bluetooth's maximum range. While other DECT headsets are already available, Plantronics believes this to be the first clip-on one to come to market.

The CS60 is an add-on to an existing desktop phone; since it does not come with a keypad, calls have to dialled from the desk phone even though they can be answered from anywhere within range.

The M3000 is expected to retail at £79.99 including VAT, and will be available from late summer 2003. The CS60 will cost £249.99 including VAT and will be available from early summer.

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