Bone-conducting headset goes wireless

Like its wired predecessor, NTT DoCoMo's Sound Leaf Plus is almost its twin in design, sans the wires. What's less visible are the tweaks.

Damien Koh/CNET Networks

Last year's Sound Leaf headset, which caught our eye during CommunicAsia 2007, is back this year and makes no bones about going Bluetooth.

Like its wired predecessor, NTT DoCoMo's Sound Leaf Plus is almost its twin in design, sans the wires. What's less visible are the tweaks, from a vibrate feature to signal an incoming call to a three-step tone control for comfortable sound levels while talking. It's also a mite lighter at 45 grams compared with its older sibling's 52. Not surprisingly, the tradeoff for wireless convenience is a dip in battery life, dropping to 15 hours from the original's 25-hour talktime.

The Sound Leaf series works in tandem with DoCoMo's FOMA handsets and uses bone conduction technology to deliver sound. Once plugged into the earphone/mic port of the phone, the user can talk by placing the receiver anywhere on his skull or close to the ear. This is great for the hearing impaired as well as in places where ambient noise makes it difficult to hear.

The Sound Leaf Plus runs on two AAA batteries. But like its sibling, this looks set to stay firmly on Japanese soil, where it is available for about $323. (Get more CommunicAsia 2008 coverage here.)

(Source: Crave Asia)

 

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