We imagine the Bluetooth headset space is a tough one to compete in. Your customers mostly want your products to be invisible and yet the designers are still expected to pack new features into these increasingly smaller devices. Plantronics has found an interesting way to add value to its latest unit without adding to its footprint.
Last year'sstands out as our favourite headset in the Plantronics stable, with its unique boom-like microphone design. The Savor is a little more conservative in its aesthetic, though the geometric triangle mic design is cooler looking than many of the other models from competing manufacturers. Its 9-gram weight is as light as you'd like for a device that will be supported entirely by your ear, and it's definitely small enough to toss in your pocket or purse when not in use.
In keeping with wanting our headsets to be invisible, Plantronics maintains a low profile with the M1100 with a subdued two-tone colour palette of greys over its plastic body. This minimalism extends to the physical controls, with an on/off switch and a single volume button. While we like this simple approach, the single volume button is problematic, making the user scan through volume settings ranging from lowest to highest in that direction only — from the loudest setting it jumps back to the lowest.
The audio from the M1100 is excellent, up there with Plantronics' best units. People we spoke to were impressed with how clear we sounded through the microphone of the M1100, though they also told us that it was still obvious that we weren't using the microphone on our mobile handset. The M1100 is capable of streaming stereo music to its single speaker, too, but it is a poor substitute for headphones dedicated to the purpose.
The headset supports a great range of voice commands and offers good voice feedback as well, capable of reporting on the state of the battery and the pairing status of the headset, amongst other things.