The Plantronics M100 Bluetooth headset more or less follows a similar path as the Jabra’s EasyGo albeit with a handful of additional features. Now tech enthusiasts who love engaging in long chats could find a comforting solution in Bluetooth headsets. These handy peripherals bring complete freedom of movement and have reached a wider consumer base over the years. After laying our hands on the EasyGo lately, the next to fall into our review pan is the M100. This unit falls short of several attributes to fit into Plantronics’ premium zone and affixes itself into the company’s mid-range closet.
The M100 comes with an intricately designed packaging box adorning a see-through upper half, providing a clear view of the device. Just below the transparent region, a paper drapes the lower section which carries the accompaniments. As you open the box, a secure packaging has been designed with sections that hold the user guide, warranty card, two additional eartips with loop and charger. The eartips and charger are neatly placed in separate plastic packets.
This Bluetooth headset takes its design elements from metallic gray-rubberized blue combo molded in a tapering shape. Its rubberized back shows off a 3 x 3 matrix and LED indicator on the lower side while the speaker protrudes outwards posing gel ‘eartips with loop’ for a comfort fit. The sides take on the volume control and the main power switch and the upper edge affixes the mini USB connector. It equips dual microphones positioned on each side in the form of small holes. The detachable earhook enables it to be used with both ears. The front side has been fashioned to reveal a clickable portion controlling the device that has been spaced between the rubberized lines.
Design wise, Plantronics M100 is not different from the usual Bluetooth headsets. However, its smooth surface and eye-catching color combination could enable it enter the stylish quarter of the Bluetooth headset segment. The eartips with a loop form a distinct factor of this peripheral. It not only gives you the choice to pick from three eartips but also adds to the comfort as the loop cozily tucks itself for prolonged listening. The transparent gel eartips and earhook look and feel sturdy, and are quite flexible as well.
Getting started is simple while a novice can latch onto the included handy start guide. All one needs to do is activate Bluetooth on their phone. The headset flashes red-blue as you press and hold the Call button to enter the pairing mode. You need to simply connect to the device using the phone by entering the stated (check the guide) passcode. It hardly took us one-two minutes to connect the headset and we opted for automatic connection. The peripheral is functional up to a range of 33 feet. When out of signal, the voice alert instantly informed us about the disconnected status while it automatically connects when in range. Voice alerts keep you informed about battery, volume and connectivity status. We could connect to two Bluetooth enabled handsets using this device.
On charging it for half an hour, a talk time of 30 minutes has been offered while 90 minutes charge provides up to 6 hours of chatting time. We managed to talk for around 30 minutes after charging it for half an hour. With average usage, its battery life kept us engaged up to 5-6 hours. Also prolonged usage didn’t really burden our ears as the device is extremely light at 55 x 18.5 x 8.1mm and 9 grams. The LED indicator keeps you updated about varying statuses. You will need to refer to the start guide which pens down LED flashes indicating battery and charging status of the device. However, the voice alert function comes to the rescue each time and you don’t need to look elsewhere. Whenever you switch on the device, the voice alert informs about the remaining talk time.
We found the call button a tad hard and would have preferred the usual click that covers a larger upper space. On tapping twice you can redial a number while a lost connection is addressed with a single tap. The voice control comes with Mute function just by pressing it for a second. The M100 exhibits an additional battery meter when used with the iPhone. However, this feature is currently limited only for the dainty Apple device.
Although the dual microphone functionality is appreciated, we found the call quality to be average and it didn’t match up to what we’d expected. While outdoors, it automatically adjusts the volume depending upon the surrounding noise. Moreover, the wind and echo cancelling technology works to a great extent while travelling but yet again the voice quality could have been better. The volume control again is simple to use with a single button that switches between Min-Lo-Med-Hi-Max. The voice alerts further come to the rescue while using the controls.
It is quite comfortable for prolonged usage. This is further extended by the flexible eartips with loop and earhook.
The design is very attractive and the Plantronics M100 is maintained extremely light with a small form factor.
The included voice prompt ability keeps you updated about the several functionalities of the device.
The battery meter is limited only to the iPhone.
We definitely expected better call quality from this headset.
The M100 does not pop out from Plantronics’ premium headset closet. This mid-range device is price tagged at Rs. 4,199 and backed by a limited one year warranty. The company has dished out a good-looking device with a bunch of useful features. However, we feel the call quality could have been elevated by Plantronics. Getting back on to our rating meter, the Plantronics M100 Headset gets 8 out of 10.