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Customer Review

1,274 of 1,309 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This headset is the closest to perfect I've used., September 20, 2011
This review is from: Plantronics M50 Wireless Bluetooth Headset - Retail Packaging - Black (Wireless Phone Accessory)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This headset is the closest to perfect I've used.

Features:

* Dedicated sliding on/off switch.
* Streaming of music, audio, podcasts, etc.
* Long battery life
* Noise and wind cancellation
* Voice notifications

Pros:
* Connects instantly to phone. No missed calls due to on/off delay.
* Small size.
* Light weight.
* Loud, crisp, audio.
* Battery lasts a LONG time.
* Standard micro-USB charging jack.
* Can stream music or other audio from phone to headset. Great for listening to talk radio, podcasts, etc.
* Great Bluetooth range.

Cons:
* Single volume button rather than up/down volume.
* Noise cancellation not as effective as some other headsets.
* At max volume, it can crackle at times.

Review:
I have used about a dozen different Bluetooth headsets and this one is now my favorite. It's not perfect but it is the closest to perfect I've used. I've always been torn between the Moto and Plantronics brand headsets. The reason is the Moto headsets turn on instantly when you open the boom. They are also very comfortable. The problem is that the boom hinge breaks over time or if you put the headset in your pocket. Also, the battery life is okay but not great. Last, while the early Moto headsets had great voice quality, the newer ones are muffled sounding.

The Plantronics headsets get louder then other brands and they last. I have 4 different models and I've never had one of them break. They are rugged! Some aren't very comfortable though. Their battery lasts a very long time so I don't have to carry another charger when I travel for a day or two, which is good since Plantronics uses a proprietary charger. I always wondered why they don't use a standard mini or micro USB jack like everyone else. While I always liked Plantronics best, there was lots of room for improvement.

Enter the Plantronics M50. First, it has a slide switch for power. One of the most annoying things about most Bluetooth headsets is you must press and hold the power button for several seconds to power on the headset. By the time you do this, your call may be missed. This headset powers up instantly with the slide of the power switch. No delays and no missed calls. It is so small and light, you barely notice it is on your ear. It fits securely so I don't worry about it flying off my head if I bend down, turn my head quickly or I'm running to catch my flight. It gets plenty loud, which is a big complaint with other brand headsets. And, it uses a standard micro USB charging jack so I can charge it with my phone's charger. It includes a charger as well. The unit has 3 controls: a power on/off slider, a volume button and an answer/hang up button. It also has a status LED. The LED is red when charging, blue when talking, flashing red/blue for pairing and off when streaming audio. To pair the unit, turn it on, press and hold the answer button for a few seconds until the LED toggles red/blue and then follow your phone's pairing procedure.

When in operation, the headset gives you status messages through the earpiece so you aren't wondering if you turned it on or off, etc. When you switch the headset on, it speaks, "Power On, Battery High, Connected". When you switch it off; it says, "Power Off". The unit uses a single volume button that toggles between 3 volume settings. Each push toggles to the next setting high/med/low/med/high. With each push of the button, you hear a tone that gets louder or lower with the volume setting. When you reach maximum volume, the headset says, "Maximum Volume". As the battery gets weaker, the headset will give a voice prompt of "Battery Medium" and "Battery Low". At maximum volume, the audio did crackle sometimes but it was very loud so that is to be expected. While the headset only has 3 volume levels, you have finer volume control using the phones volume buttons.

The range of this headset is excellent. Most headset crackle if I have the headset on my right ear and the phone in my left front pocket. No cracking from this headset. While this headset claims to be noise and wind canceling, I didn't find the cancellation feature to be as effective as my Voyager 520. That said, the outgoing voice quality is excellent; crisp, clear and loud. Even with background noise present, my voice punched through.

Now for the best feature of all. This headset allows you to stream audio from the phone to the headset! You can listen to music, stream radio, podcasts or GPS directions directly to the headset. I have a radio app and a police scanner app on my Android phone and it is great to be able to listen privately through the headset. Don't expect high fidelity but it is fine for voice and okay for music if you are not too picky and don't care that it is not stereo. The LED is not illuminated when using the streaming function, so you do not attract unwanted attention. If the phone rings while you are listening, you get a tune in the earpiece as well as ringer or vibration on the phone. Just press the answer button and you can answer the phone. The streaming audio is silenced. This part isn't perfect and it caused a force close on one of my Droid apps. I'm not sure if that is a headset or app problem. It was a minor nuisance but the important thing is I was able to take my call. One note about the answer button... There is no visible button. You just press the outside surface of the headset where it meets you ear. It was easier than many headsets that have a protruding button.

This headset has a feature called "Multipoint" that lets you pair it with 2 phones and allows you to answer either phone. I have no use for that feature so I did not test it.

Conclusion:
This is a great little headset that combines all the features I want and need. It is small, light, loud and comfortable. It charges with my phone's charger and it streams audio. What's not to love?
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Tracked by 6 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 30 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 18, 2012 7:42:30 PM PST
Robedm says:
I noticed your statement that it has 3 volume levels and I would like to comment that mine has 5.

Posted on Mar 22, 2012 10:59:39 AM PDT
I have owned many, many headsets. One of my all time favorites was the Plantronics Voyager 510. (Perhaps the most comfortable headset ever made.) But what I have found to be the best at this time is the Blu Ant Q2. It is comfortable. It will connect to two phones. Streams music. Talks to you about status, incoming calls, etc. Has been very reliable with my iPhone and Blackberry. Has an Android app. It has the loudest, clearest sound of any of the highest quality headsets. It will last me a couple of days of normal use without needing a recharge. (But will only last me about 6 hours of constant music streaming.) So for now, IMHO this is the best. I am looking forward to see what the next generation headsets will bring.

Posted on May 25, 2012 1:59:12 PM PDT
roozoomom says:
Thanks for the thorough review, I feel more comfortable knowing more about what I'm getting.

Posted on Aug 16, 2012 11:25:11 PM PDT
thanks so much for this post it made me feel secure about what i bought...can u help me im trying to play pandora on it and i caant hear it

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 18, 2012 7:04:54 PM PDT
The Toolman says:
That's strange. Mine has 5 if I use the volume buttons on the phone but only cycles through 3 if I use the volume button on the headset itself.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 18, 2012 7:09:06 PM PDT
The Toolman says:
Re: the Pandora question, go into the advanced bluetooth settings of your phone and be sure to check the option for "Media Audio".

Good luck,

Joe

Posted on Dec 10, 2012 2:32:34 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 11, 2012 5:10:07 AM PST]

Posted on Feb 13, 2013 4:55:42 PM PST
Russ B says:
Thanks for the in depth review.

I have one question: Can you pause the streaming audio by pushing a button on the headset, I don't mean when I'm taking a call, but when someone is talking to me, can I pause\unpause my music?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2013 5:59:43 PM PST
The Toolman says:
I'm not sure but I'll try it tomorrow and let you know.

Joe

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 14, 2013 9:01:15 AM PST
The Toolman says:
I could not find a way to pause the music from the headset. If you press the call button briefly, it beeps in the earpiece but does nothing more; music continues to play. A long press puts the phone into voice dialing mode. You can lower the volume to where you could hold a conversation but I can't find a way to completely turn off the music or pause it from the headset, other than to switch it off.
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