Plantronics have got their foot firmly in the door of every call centre from here to India, but they do have one product that ticks all the sleek/stylish buttons we’d be looking for. The Pulsar 590 is a Bluetooth headset that is designed to work seamlessly between your phone and media player, or in English, not cock up when you’re switching between your music and your phone.
As far as working seamlessly between devices, I can’t tell you anything to dispute this (once you’ve paired it – read on). If you’re listening to music and a phone call comes in, a tone is played over the music and from here, you can accept, mute, change the volume and end the call all from the controls on the earphone. After the call, the music automatically cuts back in.
Time wise, you get 12 hours talk time and 10 hours audio. There is also an external battery level indicator, which is in the form of several flashes when you first turn on the headset or adapter.
If I was the kind of person to nit pick, which I guess is the purpose of reviews, I’d say not all phones are easy. Whilst my Sony Ericsson paired perfectly first time, the LG phone did no such thing. Whilst it looked paired, acted paired and smelled paired, it was impossible to actually pick up calls on it.
Other things that need work: it took a couple of times of turning the headsets each time to invoke the red/blue flash that meant it was ready to pair. Text messages also mean that the music is turned off for no apparent reason for a few seconds, but after it happens once you’ll be expecting it. Finally, there was a scary moment when I was on the phone and noticed that the volume display on my iPod was going mental – it was picking up the levels from my phone call. Still, none of these things actually stop it from working or really hinder the experience (unless you’ve got an LG). One thing that was a pain was the fact that you can’t skip tracks from the headset when you’re using the universal adapter. This is exclusively available to those phones with AVRCP. Grrrr. And as Gemma quite rightly pointed out, if youre using these in the dark, which is not beyond the realms of possibility, the flashing blue light on one of the ear pieces will make you think you’ve got a police car tailing you.
Put simply, these won’t be returning to their rightful home. They’re mine now. Despite the few problems encountered, when they work, they work beautifully. Whilst there are certainly smaller Bluetooth headsets available for phones, for those of us that miss calls because we’re engrossed in Coldplay, these are great. And for £75, worth rewarding your long-suffering, little rewarded ears with.
By Susi Weaser | July 21st, 2006