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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon September 24, 2011
Color: Black|Package Type: Standard Packaging|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have a lot to say, so those of you that want the short version here it is. Mind you this is my first pass over a few days of usage.

SUMMARY:
PROS:
1. Extremely comfortable secure headset
2. Quick and simple pairing
3. Great sound quality (my 4th headset so I know the difference)
4. Nice voice prompts for pairing, turning on, connecting, accepting calls and battery life.

CONS:
1. Since Vocalyst is a phone call it burns minutes.
2. Voice pairing instructions were wrong, but if you have done this before, it is simple enough.
3. Vocalyst service seems convoluted (you have to call them to do anything) and at this time nothing seems really worth it.
4. Sending an email via Vocalyst sends a voice email. I wanted text.
5. Sending Texts are a Pro level feature that costs extra bucks ($35-$59/year). I don't know if they are voice texts or text ones. Assume Voice.
5. Could not find the "MyHeadset" app in Marketplace, so I could not test that. Am I too soon? Will update if I am.
6. Mute means the headset is muted, not the cell phone itself.

EARPIECE COMFORT AND SECURITY
For me this was the most secure and comfortable earpiece I have worn yet. The soft nylon fits on the inside of your ear near the outside and a little plastic ring scoops onto the ridge of your outer ear. No pain and I shook my head around and let my hair fall near it. It did not budge. This usually launches most ear pieces and I end up resorting to an over the ear clip, which conflicts with my eyeglass arm. Love it.

PAIRING
It is true that the headset walks you through pairing. First is asks you whether you have Android or iphone. Then you get each step and it waits for you to press the button. However the instructions for my Android phone were wrong. It told me to go to Settings and look for the General list...Too bad my settings for Bluetooth were under Wireless & Networks. The rest of the menu info was equally useless, but it did tell me the correct headset name once I started searching. It also talked when it was found and paired. I like that it tells that it's on and when a connection is made, when you get a call, etc.

CALL QUALITY
My first two days so almost too soon to tell. I will update this if there are issues, but often, you find them out pretty quick. Mind you one of these phone calls were accidental, but I'm not sure if that was the head set or me. This time at least it was not my supervisor at 11:30 PM. That was when when I got the new Android phone....Sheesh.
I do like the fact when you put on the headset it tells you how many hours of talk time you have...5 hours is pretty good. Even I can't talk that much.

SETTING UP VOCALYST
Since you have to type in your data, I found this easier to do online than on my phone. Once done, I got a confirmation email but when I tried to use it, it said I was not set up yet...so much for email confirmations. Whoops my bad... typed in the wrong number. I'm including this stupidity here as I did find the solution on their FAQ page. Mind you, I was too sure to check before and had just assumed the problem was on their side. For some reason also I could not get it to accept my yahoo email, but it worked with my gmail email. Yes, I double checked and retried it.

Having used Vocalyst now, I'm not impressed. I don't like the idea of calling them to use these services. I guess I envisioned these services available on the phone. Maybe I'm being parochial, but we will see over time how much I use these. Another thing is since this is a phone call rather than access to my phone and data services, I'm burning minutes. Since like everyone else my phone minutes are limited, this is not a plus.

HAD SOME MINOR ISSUES GETTING UNDERSTOOD
First I had issues getting my voiced recognized. Shouting when it does not understand you, though satisfying, is counter-productive. Once I got it to work, and then added email contacts, I found out, you have to close the browser and reopen before the added email contacts are found on the other side. I kept trying to send an email and it kept telling me I had no contacts, though it clearly showed two on my list.

SENDING AN EMAIL EMBEDS A VOICE MAIL INTO AN EMAIL
Next when I started an email, I was not sure how to stop. I think I went through a variety of words before I got it. Mind you the person receiving this also heard all of this as well. Yes, heard...It send a sound file embedded in an email. If the person reading it had no ability to listen, it was pointless. I guess I expected it to convert it to text. This defeats most of the utility of this feature to me. As sending a text is part of the Pro features, I won't be demoing that.

LISTEN TO EMAIL IS NOT RELAXING
Later I listened to my email and that was intense. I'm not much of a verbal person. I did notice that it spoke very quickly and when it was relaying phone numbers in the email, it almost felt like I was being yelled at. No thank you.
Since I have listened to News and Weather. Unlike the radio, the computer generated speech struck me as abrupt and rushed. I found myself tensing.

VOCALYST IS ONLY FREE FOR FIRST YEAR
On the packaging it says:
* Vocalyst voice service*

That little important * means that Vocalyst has fees associated.
For the first year, the basic service is free. The 2nd year is listed as $2.49/month, or $24.99/yr.
This means you can:
* Record and listen to a reminder
* Send and receive emails
* Listen to a news, finance, weather or sports feed
* Post to Facebook or Twitter
* Listen to your Twitter timeline
* Post to your Evernote account

The pro plan if you sign up now is $3.50/month or $35.00/yr. Or if you wait $5.00/month or $59.99/year.
This gives you in addition to the above some important extras
* Listen to your calendar and add appointments
* Post to a number of blogs
* Send a text message to a phone contact-you notice that is a premium service???

CALL MUTE
Goofing around with some of the controls I noted that when I use the mute option, it muted the headset but it did not seem to disable the handset microphone. I have verified this twice. I don't know if that is typical, but certainly not the way I would expect it to work. What good is a mute button that does not close both microphones?

PACKAGING
The packaging was wonderful. So often you nearly destroy the thing you purchased to get it out of the container. Not this headset. Packaging was well done. Cut the tape, pinch the top and it slides out. Then inside there was a nice little clamshell package that held the instructions and spare earpieces. Nice that you can keep this to store the stuff. I always ended up using a baggie afterward. The headset was well protected and on display in a structurally sound little clipped plastic mount. Took a moment to free it, but you know it didn't get mishandled carrying home.
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VINE VOICEon September 23, 2011
Color: Black|Package Type: Standard Packaging|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It has a nice, slim look. The earpiece stays in my ear without the hook, but YMMV.

Power button is easy to access. Pairing is guided by voice prompts.

The Volume button - there's only one - is a little hard to press, though. And it cycles. If you're at the lowest volume and you press the "lower volume" button, it cycles back to the loudest. And vice-versa. So if you want a lower volume, you'll have to pass through the higher ones first. Annoying.

Also, the lowest volume setting is still pretty loud - a little too loud for me.

You're supposed to be able to answer or ignore calls by saying "answer" or "ignore." However, it had trouble recognizing my command. Initially I had to speak up quite loudly for it to finally obey. But it worked OK a couple of days later. It varies with your surrounding noise.

The command button is on the stiff side - pressing it while on your ear may be uncomfortable. Better to use your fingernail rather than trying to press with your fingertip - less force needed that way.

Comes with a wall charger, and cell phone app that shows battery status. Battery status is also announced when you power it on. Nice!

Plantronics offers the Vocalyst service that lets you send emails, send yourself email reminders, listen to your inbox, Twitter & FaceBook, listen to news feeds, etc. The Pro version lets you send texts, use ToodleDo, 30 Boxes, post blog entries using speech-to-text, etc. You get 1 year of Vocalyst Basic free with a code included with the device; after that, it's $24.99 for Basic per year, or $59.99 for Pro per year, with slightly higher monthly rates available. I'll add impressions after trying it out a bit. If it works as advertised, the prices are reasonable. But due to the trouble it had recognizing "answer", I'm skeptical. Also, the free version may not convert speech to text - hard to tell from their site. If so, this is a serious mistake - who wants to pay to try out the service to see if it works?

PROS:

Sleek
Stays on the ear (depends on your ear size, though)
Different-sized earpieces and hook included
Wall charger
Voice answer/ignore
Battery status indicator via cell phone app
Voice notification of battery life - nice!
Potentially powerful Vocalyst capabilities - 1 year basic service

CONS:

Voice answer/ignore is iffy - may need loud voice
Multifunction button is hard to press with fingertip (UPDATE: OK with fingernail)
Volume button hard to press
Volume settings cycle instead of letting you go louder/softer immediately
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VINE VOICEon September 24, 2011
Color: Black|Package Type: Standard Packaging|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have a few other Plantronics headsets, which is probably why this one showed up for review. I use a Voyager Pro+ and a wireless telephone headset for long teleconferences. Both of those have outstanding audio quality and comfort. This headset is incredibly small and compact compared to my other ones, is easy to wear for a few hours, and is really a better product if you are in a quiet environment like your house or office.
This is not the thing to use in the car with the top down or walking outside if there is a breeze. You also want to avoid this product if there is a lot of background noise because the mic really is a long way from your mouth. .

I called a few people to ask about the sound quality and while all agreed that I sounded a bit like I was at the bottom of a well, the sound quality wasn't noticeably bad, which is probably the best that can be expected from a little gizmo like this.

Unpacking and set-up were a breeze. There are two little tapes on the top of the package that you pull and the the guts of the carton just come out the top. The packaging is really top notch. Once you free the ear piece, turn it on and stick it in your ear, just follow the audible instructions if you have an iPhone or Android. If you happen to have an Android phone, there is apparently an app that does some cool things, but I have an iPhone, so I wasn't able to try it. I can't comment on the battery life, but it has survived a few hour long teleconferences without issue.

Overall, this is a nice little gadget, and if Amazon wanted it back, it's likely that I would buy one to replace it. I imagine that I will be buying one for my wife in any case.
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on November 20, 2012
I'm on my second one of these. The first, sadly, went through the wash (as did my subsequent headset, a Jabra that was cheaper and just didn't live up). Granted it's now selling for half what I paid before, I really liked the first one.

This is a nice, sleek design. There's nothing clunky about it. It's light too, and the ear gels stay firmly in-ear while being so much more comfortable than any other designs I've tried. There are three sizes included along with an over-the-ear connector if you have stubborn ears. The connect button is well-placed and not easy to accidentally hit while putting the headset in your ear. Same for the on/off switch: easy to locate by hand, hard to hit accidentally. The volume control leaves a little to be desired, in that you have to cycle through low-to-high volumes and "round the horn" to get back to a lower one you passed by. Not a big deal though unless you have music playing (which can get real loud real fast).

The device pairs easily. I read some reviews that said the printed instructions were wrong. I honestly never even opened them. Just put the thing in your ear, turn it on, and it will guide you easy-peasy. Or if you're familiar with bluetooth pairing already, it's no different than any other device. No special codes to enter for it to work. It will pair with two phones without losing the paired info. I did this with my first one and had no problems. I haven't had any reason to do it with my new one, but I'll assume it works fine.

Volume is good. Sound is clear and really quite good for a mono earpiece. I'll often wear mine to bed, listening to music, so as not to bother the wife. With 5 hours of use on a full charge (and yes, 5 hours is realistic - I'm often on long conference calls and have twice hit the limit at about 5 hours). Charges up real quick too, which is great. But even better, it tells you, in a pleasant voice (and don't dismiss the "pleasant" because I've had headsets with grating voices), how much time you have on your charge. And it shows your battery level on your iPhone (at least it does on my 4s). Both are super-handy features for having confidence of your time before you pop onto an important call. The charger is a standard mini-USB, so cables are easy to find for wall and PC charging. If you're like me, you already have extras laying around.

There's some optional service/software. Don't waste your time with it. You can still use the "answer" command without it (with mixed results), and most modern smart phones already have similar features built-in or available via apps. Plantronic's version is a service that requires dialing out. I'm not sure what they were thinking with that.

I highly recommend this headset. Hopefully this one isn't left in a pocket to run through the wash, like its predecessor. The one feature I haven't seen on this or any other earpiece is some means of locating it (audibly or by bright flashing LED). I would love to have that feature. But heaven-forbid it goes through spin cycle, I assure you my next headset would be a third one of these. For $30 bucks it's just the best I've owned, even if you never use the Vocalyst service.
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on December 14, 2013
I don't hate this product but I think It's time I stop buying cheap headsets lol This has the smallest range known to man (of course that's an exaggeration) but If i'm in my room and then go to the living room or bathroom which is around the corner or across the hall, my connection is struggling. I think this sums it up. However, it DOES work with voice command on android and it does keep a charge longer than expected.
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Color: White|Package Type: Standard Packaging|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is now my 3rd Plantronics. Each one has gotten better and more simple to use. Being a retired Senior I am not a power user. In fact, just use it to keep the phone and any radiation as far from my old skull as possible. My current cell phone is a Samsung Samsung A697. It won't even allow me to use most of this headsets features but what it does do is make what I can take advantage of EASY.

It comes with a/c charger (120-240v), small, medium & large silicone eartips and clip on ear loop. 1 year warranty as well. But I have a Plantonics over 10 years old that woks good as new so doubt you will ever need it? It includes a MyHeadset app with tools & tips for Android or iPhones (if lucky enough to own one). MY favorite feature being old and not really fond of learning lots of new stuff is it also has a voice that literally TELLS you what to do & how to do it to pair this to your phone. Has Vocalyst voice service as well with service updates for Facebook and Twitter.

It allows streaming music, podcasts, internet radio, GPS direction and what have you as well. You can take calls without pressing any button-Just say "ANSWER"....I love the sound of this headset most importantly as it is clear and easy on my old ear. There are times I never get to utilize all the advanced features these headsets offer. But being retired and without the money OR need to use them, I am just grateful some companies also make the everyday simple features still work really well for folks like myself. I would give this a solid 5 stars but being unable to test all the features (with my limited cell phone) I will give it 4+ and again mention, I have NEVER had any Plantronics product die or ever fail me. EVER and I am 62 years old and trust me, I have had a LOT of trouble with other brands and items.
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on October 31, 2013
Great headset except for the noise cancellation. The sound is very clear for me, and the interface is as easy as can be, but you cannot use it with any level of background noise. I cannot use it while driving (even with the radio off) which is why I bought it in the first place. Everyone says it sounds like I'm under water and can't understand me even when speaking very clearly. My advice: spend a little more on a nicer headset with better noise cancellation.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon December 9, 2013
My wife and I both have this bluetooth and we really like them. In the state of Illinois we passed a law that goes into effect on 1-1-14 that you cant be on your phone in your car unless you have hands free. The ear piece seems to hold the headset in your ear without the use of the optional ear hook. It is also nice that it actually goes in your ear unlike the old Motorolo that I had that laid on your ear. The reason for the 4 star rating is that it increases the sound of background noise tremendously. For instance, If I am on the phone with my wife and I turn the sink water on it is so loud she cant hear anything but the water running or getting in the car...the car door "open door charm" is extremly loud. I don't really consider that noise cancelling when it BOOSTS the sound in the background. Other than that its a pretty nice headset.

PROS: Slim Design, Price is right, Holds a charge very well. Voice command prompts. Voice set up on initial install makes it very easy to pair with your phone.

CONS: Boosts background noise considerably.
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on June 24, 2013
I rarely write reviews, but I rely on them heavily. So thought I'd chip in. The sound quality in my ear is very good. But others cannot hear me well unless i am sitting in absolute silence. That rarely happens. If you're using this in a business context, while on the road, sometimes in noisy airports or even in a cab, it's useless. Pay more for the noice canceling. (i have had good experience with the voyager). If, on the other hand, you do your calls in a closet, well then this is the headset for you. works fine. And if you mostlly listen in, probably ok too.
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on May 5, 2014
After a dozen BT headsets from all the major manufacturers I can say this is a good value, but it's not great. Here's why; I use my phone for business calls and can't afford them not being able to hear me, while the sound quality on my end is OK, I hear from callers enough to know this is a problem. Also, just walking outside with my phone in my back pocket, this loses it's connection unless it's held up about a foot away from my earpiece. Strange but consistent with other Plantronics I've had, might just be my area. For under $20 it's a good value.

If you want the BEST quality, I'd have to say it's the BOSE BT headset, at $150 it's a painful price, but the sound quality on both ends is flawless. The range and signal strength is also much better, no lost signal when walking outside or anywhere else for that matter. The other downside aside from price is the talk time, constant listening to podcasts with a dozen calls a day mixed in lasts 4-5 hours max, so it's an issue. The comfort level is the best I've ever had.

So if you want the best value for $20, I think you're looking at it, if you want something much more, check out the Bose.
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