It is not uncommon for us to have an item or two as part of a giveaway but to have four of the same item ready to send to four lucky Gear Diary readers… that IS unusual. The giveaway item is, as Judie posted the other day, the Plantronics Marque M155 Bluetooth headset. Yes, we have two of the M155s in white and two in black to give away and the contest doesn’t end until Sunday. At an MSRP of $59.99 (you can get it for less if you price check on the internet) it is one of the less expensive headsets we’ve reviewed. That left me wondering… is it any good? So with the giveaway in full force I thought we might take a closer look at it.
Here’s what Plantronics has to say:
Sleek and lightweight, the Plantronics Marque M155 Bluetooth headset is ideal for smartphone users, freeing you to tap, type and swipe. Turn it on and it steps you through a voice-guided pairing for Android smartphones and iPhone. When a call comes in, just say “Answer” – no buttons to press. You can even listen to music, podcasts or GPS directions, and with our Vocalyst service you can use your voice to manage emails, texts and update Facebook® or Twitter®. The free MyHeadset app gives you tips and tools to get more from Marque. Plantronics Marque, the smart way to connect with your smartphone.
Here is the Marquee M155 next to Elana’s and my Bluetooth headset of choice, the Plantronics Voyager Pro. Doesn’t the Voyager look like a giant when up against the M155?
In the box you get the headset, a wall charger, three in-ear loops and one over the ear loop. Clearly this isn’t the most accessorized headset but it does come with the essentials. Moreover, the most important “accessory” IS included and it isn’t even a physical item… more on that shortly.
When listing the features the company has this to say:
Talk while you tap, type and swipe
Just say “Answer” to take a call
Get Android™ and iPhone apps
Stream tunes, podcasts and more
Clean. Simple. Smart.
The easiest way to answer hands-free.
MyHeadset app gives you tips and tools for Android smartphones or iPhone
Headset talks you through pairing process for Android smartphones or iPhone
Vocalyst service lets you use your voice to manage emails, texts and update Facebook® or Twitter®
Stream music, podcasts, internet radio, GPS directions and more
Excellent sound quality in an amazingly lightweight design
It is a pretty healthy list of functions and features, especially in a headset whose price is significantly south of $100. It does leave one wondering where Plantronics had to cut corners in order to get this price but, to be honest, I can’t find any. The headset is solid, the build quality is excellent, the headset is easy to use, the audio is quite good on both sides of the conversation and it is comfortable to wear for a significant period of time without encountering much, if any, ear fatigue. I was surprised.
The “Accessory” that matters.
The headset also comes with a neat feature- one year of access to Vocalyst Basic. Jason discussed the service some time back and his description is still appropriate. (Check it out here.) The service is great even if you have an iPhone 4S because it adds a nice range of handsfree functionality to your phone. And if you pay to upgrade to the Pro level of the service you can use your voice to create tasks in Toodledo, check you calendar and even create new notes in Evernote.
So what you have here is a small, unassuming Bluetooth headset that is comfortable, sounds good, fully-featured and priced to sell. Not a bad combination. Oh, and a final note. I had read elsewhere that the M155 did not work with Siri. I wanted to double-check that, so I broke out my iPhone 4S, let the headset auto-pair with it (love that feature) and tried to use Siri. Guess what? Worked like a charm. I pushed the main button and held it for a few seconds. Then, like magic, a familiar voice came over it. Yes, if you have this headset you can pretty much leave your iPhone 4S in your pocket. Now THAT’S a nice feature.
What I Like: Small; Stylish; Comfortable; Decent sound; Decent call time; Vocalyst is a nice addition
What Needs Improvement: This is a headset you are sure to lose. Fortunately at $34 on Amazon it isn’t as big a deal as it would be were it a headset priced over $100.