I am sitting in the auto dealer’s cafe area as my car is being serviced, wearing my Plantronics Legend headset. It is, by far, the Bluetooth headset of choice for me. Not everyone needs all the Explorer’s features or wants to spend over $100 on a headset though. For them, there is the new $59.99 Plantronics Explorer 500.
This new headset has great features and sound- it offers certified HD voice clarity, smartphone voice control, multi-lingual notifications, and USB charging strap but keeps the price reasonable.
I met with representatives from Plantronics yesterday and had the chance to not only see the Explorer 500 but to do some comparisons to the headsets it replaces- the Marque 155 and Marque 165. The new headset has the same general design as the Marque 155 and 165 but offers a streamlined look, much improved voice quality and better wind and noise cancelation. In addition, it has the same general feature-set, including the deep sleep functionality that will let you leave the headset in the drawer for months at a time and still find it holding a charge. Of course, the idea with a headset is to actually keep it with you and USE it. And there is good news here… the Plantronics Explorer 500 has a unique USB-to-microUSB that will keep your headset charge and, in the process, delight you. More on that in a moment. First, let’s run down the features Plantronics highlights on the product page.
FREE YOUR HANDS FROM YOUR SMARTPHONE: Control your phone or phablet while you juggle life with both hands. Toss those tangled earbuds and go wireless, using voice commands to ask Siri for advice, request reminders from Cortana, or hear directions from Google.
SOUND YOUR BEST IN A NOISY WORLD: Provides the full GSMA certified HD Voice experience on wideband enabled phones and networks. Be heard clearly with HD Voice and our signature noise and wind canceling technologies.
HEAR A FAMILIAR LANGUAGE: Choose English, Spanish, or French as the language you’ll hear whispering important status notifications. Hear when it’s time to recharge, reconnect a lost connection, and more.
This is where the new cable comes in. As the company notes:
KEEP CONVERSATIONS WITHIN REACH: Connect the Explorer 500 to the USB charging strap and loop it around your bag or key ring to keep your headset within easy reach. No need to hunt for a charging cable now that the strap is nearby.
Yes, the Plantronics Explorer 500 comes with a short USB-to-microUSB cable that magnetically connects to itself. That means you can loop the cable over your rearview mirror, your laptop bag handle or anything else you can think of and always know it is within reach. I was so impressed with this cable that I encouraged Plantronics to sell it as a stand-alone product. I have no clue if that will happen but I do know this… as much as you will LIKE this small headset (and you will!!) you will LOVE the included cable.
Yes, at $59.99 the Plantronics Explorer 500 Bluetooth headset comes in at the apparent sweet spot for those not looking to sped over $100 on a headset without cutting corners. It sounds like a premium headset because it is a premium headset. You can learn more here.