Plantronics M2500 Bluetooth Headset review: Plantronics M2500 Bluetooth Headset

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MSRP: $89.95
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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Comfortable fit; attractive design; decent sound quality.

The Bad Hard-to-press buttons; somewhat loose on the ear.

The Bottom Line The Plantronics M2500 is a simple, straightforward headset with good sound quality.

7.3 Overall

The Plantronics M2500 is a compact, multifunction Bluetooth headset that offers a simple, fast way to use the hands-free capabilities of Bluetooth phones. The silver-and-blue case will look attractive with most phones, although we could do without the large Plantronics name brand along the side. At $70, the M2500 is fairly priced.

At first glance, it looks like the M2500's earpiece is too large, but this so-called SoundGuide earphone is actually pretty comfortable. Be advised, however, that it is very important that you direct the hole in the rubber earphone toward your ear canal; switch ears without rotating the earphone, and you won't be able to hear a thing. Even properly aligned, the phone doesn't fill the ear canal, and we heard some background noise when talking on the street. However, it's a better overall fit than with the Plantronics M3500 .

As on most headsets, the Plantronics controls are minimal. There is no display for caller ID or an internal menu system. A single LED indicates when the device is charging, fully charged, or ready to link up to a host phone. Use the multifunction toggle to turn the device on, adjust the volume, and activate the Mute function. Answer calls with the other volume option.

When testing the Plantronics M2500 with the Nextel i605 , we had to look up the activation procedure in the manual, which took some decoding, thanks to translations in 11 languages and countless region-specific instructions. Stick with it, and you'll find the process includes simultaneously pressing both buttons, waiting for an LED signal, and letting go.

That said, the headset worked great. We could hear the caller clearly, and although users could tell we were on a headset, they had no serious complaints. The range was also in line with that of other Bluetooth headsets; once you get more than 15 feet away from your phone, you start to hit static and lose your connection. We got 4 hours, 20 minutes of talk time with the device--less than the rated 5 hours but still a decent amount. On standby, the device made it nearly a week without a recharge, more or less meeting the promised time of five days.

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