Plantronics Discovery 655 Bluetooth Headset review: Plantronics Discovery 655 Bluetooth Headset

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MSRP: $149.95
4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The Plantronics Discovery 655 comes with three different charging options, a vibrate mode, and different earbud sizes. It's comfortable and has great audio quality.

The Bad The Plantronics Discovery 655's volume buttons are tiny, and the optional ear hook is uncomfortable.

The Bottom Line The Plantronics Discovery 655 has a great functional design that offers excellent performance.

8.3 Overall

The Plantronics Discovery 655 Bluetooth headset is an upgrade of the previous Discovery 640 series. Like the previous two models, the 655 still has multiple charging options, and it maintains the same silver and black finish. There are a few differences, however, as we'll note later. The headset is retailed at a hefty $149.95, but you do get an excellent headset for the price.

The 655 is a bit more slender than its predecessors. Instead of the same cylindrical shape of the previous models, it has a more tapered form factor. It's also reasonably compact at only 0.6 by 0.5 by 2.0 inches and weighs a slight 0.3 ounces. Yet like its predecessors, the 655 fits directly in either ear with a rubberized ear gel. Overall the fit was comfortable and secure, and it even comes with two additional earbuds in different sizes. While there is an optional ear hook for increased stability, we preferred to go without it--the fit was tight and uncomfortable.

The controls on the Discovery 655 are dead simple; just a multifunction button on the front and a volume control right underneath. While we liked the multifunction button, we weren't fans of the volume control as the tiny rubberized buttons were a little tricky to press. The multifunction button flashes blue when the headset is on, then alternates between red and blue when the headset is in pairing mode.

As previously mentioned, the Discovery 655 comes with a selection of charging options. With the first option, you slip the headset into a carrying case, which then connects to the wall charger. Though you must use the carrying case for the wall charger, it's very small and it even has a little clip on the back to attach to your shirt pocket. Also, if the headset is in the case when a call is received, it will vibrate, letting you know there's an incoming call. When you take the headset out of the case, it will automatically answer the call without you having to reach for your cell phone as well. We found this to be an especially useful feature when your cell phone isn't as easily accessible, such as if it's in your purse or backpack.

There are also other charging options made specifically for those constantly on the go. There is a small tube that can be attached to both the carrying case and an included USB cable, so you can easily charge your headset with your computer. Finally, there's an ingenious cylindrical charger that you can insert a AAA battery in, attach it to the carrying case, and charge your headset without the need for a wall charger. The Discovery 655 even comes with the AAA battery included in the package. Unlike the Discovery 640, the 655 does not come with the adapters for attaching the headset to your cell phone charger.

We tested the Plantronics Discovery 655 with the T-Mobile Sidekick 3. The pairing process was smooth, and we were up and running within seconds. Audio quality was great, perhaps due to the 655's Digital Signal Processing that promises crystal-clear sound. We found that we did need to raise our voices a little at times so that callers could hear us, but that wasn't too much of a deterrent. Call features include the normal answering, ending, rejecting, and making calls; call mute; last-number redial; voice dialing; and switching a call from the phone to the headset and vice versa. The 655 has a rated talk time of 3.5 hours with a regular charge and 10 hours with the AAA battery. It has a rated standby time of three days.

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