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Why Bluetooth headset is a must buy
Leslie D'Monte in Mumbai | August 19, 2006
Of course, you've seen that and know it's a bluetooth (see 'What is Bluetooth?' if you don't) headset. But what follows is that which catches your eye � the person finishes the call and removes the headset from the ear and fits it neatly in a pen-like-stand in his pocket. Now that's something you've not seen before.
It's the Plantronics Discovery 645 Bluetooth headset with DSP (digital signal processing which reduces transmitted background noise, thus enhancing the sound quality).
The Discovery 645 wireless headset is ultra-light (weighs only nine grams) and comfortable, delivers clear communication, and includes an innovative charging system.
The problem with bluetooth headsets is that you generally need to carry its charger and the mobile phone charger too. This is indeed a cumbersome exercise.
The Discovery headset dispenses with the need to do so. It has a unique, pen-sized carrying case that stores a AAA battery which charges the headset between calls for up to nine hours of talk time.
It gives a personalised fit with three sizes of soft gel ear tips. You could have an optional 'ear stabiliser' that fits over the ear. Besides, there's a sleek, lightweight wireless design with chrome carrying case.
The headset supports last number redial, and voice-activated dialing for easy mobile use. What's interesting is that the pocket case vibrates when there's an incoming call.
This means you know you've got a call even when the music is blasting your eardrums at a discotheque. The headset works with multiple Bluetooth devices (like Jabra) � phones, PDAs or laptops � and gives you the freedom to roam up to 33 feet (it's clear up to 25 feet and sometimes crackles after that distance) from your Bluetooth device.
The pairing (Headsets are connected to phones using a procedure called 'pairing'. By following a few simple steps, a phone can be paired with a headset) with my Nokia 7710 took a couple of minutes.
Each time you switch off bluetooth, you need to activate it (same applies if you take the headset out of the 33-feet range) before using the headset again. You may choose to have it in the ear all the time if you want to listen to MP3s.
Unfortunately, it does not allow me to listen to FM radio on the bluetooth headset and hence I have to use my Nokia corded headset. This is because the radio antenna is part of the Nokia corded headset. Plantronics should think about this since nearly 40 per cent of the phones are from Nokia.
That apart, the pity is that the Discovery 645 will be launched by Plantronics only next month. You can, of course, buy it from the US if you're travelling abroad. It sells for a little less than $170. But if that's not an option and you just can't wait, you can go for it's lesser cousin � the Discovery 640 � which is available in India at Rs 4,700.
The difference between the two (besides the price, of course) is that the Discovery 640 does not have DSP. And that's the difference between a noisy and silent background. If noise cancellation does not matter, then the choice is made for you.
What is Bluetooth?
Bluetooth takes its name from Harald Bluetooth, a Viking and former King of Denmark who was renowned for his ability to help people communicate. It eliminates the need for wires between computers, printers, monitors, mobile phones, personal digital assistants, and other devices.
Bluetooth wireless technology takes advantage of the 2.4GHz frequency to make it globally compatible. The range of Bluetooth communications is approximately 30 feet, but the signal can permeate walls of a house or office unlike your remote's infrared.
Is bluetooth safe?
Bluetooth utilises radio signals 1000 times weaker than the standard wireless technologies used by mobile phones. However, the issue of possible health concerns from cellular radio frequency emissions continues to be a topic of discussion.
All mobile phones sold in the US must comply with the FCC's standard of a SAR reading of 1.6 watts per kilogram or less. The internationally-accepted standard for measuring RF absorption by human tissue is Specific Absorption Rate or SAR.
Plantronics claims independent studies have shown that SAR readings for its Bluetooth models are virtually zero