Plantronics Discovery 640 Bluetooth Headset ReviewTue, Feb 14, 2006 - 12:00 AM
What You Get In The Box
What you get in the box
The first thing you notice when you take this set out of the box is the very cool looking storage case that you can use to put all the accessories in. The second thing you might think is, ?Damn, I?ve got a lot of pieces here.? This is because Plantronics did something that I wish more headset companies would do: package their product with charging mechanisms that work with a variety of phone chargers. If you have a Nokia, Siemens, Motorola, or Sony Ericsson phone, you can use that charging adapter to charge the Disco 640. Very nice and it cuts down on the number of plugs that you have to pack for your daily commute or transcontinental flight
Besides the Storage Case and Headset, you get the Headset Charging Pocket; three sizes of Ear Gels; an ?Ear Loop? to use for extra snug fit; Battery Charger; Charging Adaptors for Sony, Nokia, Siemens, and Motorola; and lastly, the AC Power Adapter.
This is by far the most abundant amount of hardware that I have seen a headset company provide out of the box. Plantronics is really trying to make your life easier with multiple options for fit and daily use.
Looking at the Discovery 640, it is indeed smooth and seemingly uncomplicated with the amount of controls that are provided. You only have the Control Button, the Volume +/-/mute button, and the Headset Status Indicator. Very streamlined, but as you?ll see, very versatile.
After initial charging, you turn the Disco 640 on by holding down the Call Control button until the Status indicator glows blue ? or if you are wearing the set, you?ll hear beep. To turn the headset off, you just hold the Control button down for 6-8 seconds and the Status indicator will glow red, beep and turn off.
What is really nice about this set is the Status Indicator can give you a bunch of information just by looking at it. When the indicator flashes blue every 6-10 seconds, the headset is operating normally. A series of red flashes when turned on also indicates the battery strength. A special flash will even alert you to a missed call.
Pairing this headset up with our Motorola RAZR and Treo 650 was as simple as any headset we have tested. Each phone recognized the headset with no difficulty and took less than a minute to get set up and going.
Because the Disco 640 is an ?ear-the-ear? type of headset, the sound quality is quite good. The ear gels provided did a very good job of isolating voice of the callers that you are talking to. When using the headset in an automobile or on a busy city street, it is very easy to hear what your caller is saying. I found myself turning down the set every once in a while also. The fit for me was very good using the medium size provided. I was able to wear it for long periods of time without having any discomfort or fatigue.
Even though Plantronics has supplied three different sizes of Ear Gels, there is still some question about the fit for every user out there. This is why the Discover 640 comes with a stabilizing loop. Admittedly, wearing this loop was kind of uncomfortable and didn?t do anything to boost our ?cool factor?. Regardless, the loop is there if you need it.
Voice quality when using the Discovery 640 in ?loud? environments was mediocre. Because the headset does not have a microphone boom or any active noise cancellation, a crowded room, a bar, or a very noisy street can really impair the conversation that you are having. What you get in size and comfort, you give up in trying to hold a conversation in a noisy environment.
Battery life for this Plantronics set was quite long and it was easily able to survive a full day?s work between charges. A very cool thing that Plantronics has included with this set is the Battery Charger. This charger holds a AAA-sized battery and it makes charging this headset extremely easy. While using this set, I found myself being able to quickly slip the Disco 640 into its charger/holder between conversations or during lulls in my work day. I only wish that Plantronics would have made the AAA battery rechargeable so that I didn?t have to worry about replacing it. If used exclusively, the battery in the charger lasts less than a week.