- By Carlos A. Soto
- Aug 06, 2004
Not too long ago I was driving in the District of Columbia when I noticed that the police were stopping drivers for using a cell phone without a hands-free headset. The district's law had just taken effect, and the idea of a $100 fine had just crossed my mind when my cell phone rang.
Luckily, I had already started reviewing the M3000 Bluetooth wireless headset by Plantronics Inc. of Santa Cruz, Calif. I simply put the small, one-inch device on my ear, pressed the answer button and I was up and running'or, talking.
The device only weighs 30 grams, so it's easily portable. Likewise, it has a nickel-metal hydride battery capable of eight hours of talk time or 200 hours of standby. The battery takes only two hours to fully recharge, so it lasts longer, and recharges faster, than most cell phone batteries.
The Bluetooth range on the device is 30 feet, so in the office you can have your phone in your briefcase or on the desk and use the headset. I drive a sport utility vehicle and was able to answer my phone using the M3000 while the phone was in my bag about 12 feet away from me.
The problems with many Bluetooth headsets involve price and performance. Past units have often dropped calls, conflicted with my cell phones or made it difficult to hear the person on the other line regardless of the ambient noise.
Since I started using the M3000 in May I haven't had a single conflict or dropped call despite using the unit seven days a week for an average of 20 minutes per conversation. And at $140, the M3000 is among the more affordable Bluetooth headsets.
The unit is easy to use and takes only five minutes to set up and connect to a cell phone. The headset has four easy-to-find buttons. The largest is more than just an answer button'it can also transfer a call if you hold the button down for a couple of seconds. Likewise, holding down the same button when receiving a call rejects the incoming call.
The M3000 also has the ability to dial the last number called by simply pushing the talk button quickly twice.