Plantronics has been a household name for quality Bluetooth headsets for some years now, and for good reason. We dubbed theand its stylish sibling, the , as two of the best in the industry late last year primarily because of Plantronics' excellent audio quality technology. Not content to rest on its laurels, the company has once again come out with a fantastic little headset, called the Plantronics Savor M1100.
The Savor M1100 has all of the features you would want out of a modern headset--wind noise reduction, digital sound processing, automatic volume adjustment, multipoint, and A2DP streaming--but it also offers a few extras we find particularly intriguing. One of them is access to Plantronics Vocalyst, an automated phone service that lets you perform a variety of tasks like sending e-mail and posting tweets simply by using your voice.
Even though the Vocalyst is not an entirely free service (more on that below), all of these features and the excellent audio quality make the Savor M1100 one of the best Bluetooth headsets we've tried to date. We think it is well worth its $99 retail price.
Measuring 2.2 inches long by 0.7 inch wide by 0.5 inch thick, the Savor M1100 is small, slim, and black from top to bottom except for gunmetal gray along its sides. It takes design inspiration from the Discovery 975 with its V-frame build that tapers down to a point. Though not as flashy as other headsets like the Jawbone Icon, we appreciate the Savor M1100's discreet understated style.
The unique V-frame allows Plantronics to incorporate three microphones on the face of the M1100--one near the top, one in the middle, and one at the end tip. Also on the front are two buttons, though you can't see them. The multifunction call button is at the top, and the voice recognition button is in the middle. Even though these are "invisible" buttons, they're fairly easy to press, and are far enough apart that you won't mistake one for the other. The Savor M1100 is the only headset we know that has a button just for voice commands--we really appreciate this as it makes controlling the headset that much easier.
On the left side of the headset is a sliding power switch; on the right is a single volume/mute button, and the microUSB charging port is on top. As always, we like having a dedicated power switch as it is easier to power the headset off when not in use. We do prefer a volume rocker instead of the single volume button however, since you need to cycle through the different volumes instead of just shifting it up and down. The Savor M1100's automatic volume adjustment helps alleviate this concern.
The earpiece on the Savor M1100 comes with the usual Plantronics ear gel cover with the attached hoop. This style of ear gel lets you wear the headset without needing the optional ear hook. Plantronics has thoughtfully supplied a couple of different-size ear gels, and you can twist them to fit either the left or right ear as well. We found the fit to be quite comfortable, and didn't feel like it was in any danger of falling out.
As we mentioned, the Savor M1100 has a number of notable features. They include multipoint connectivity, A2DP streaming, and voice alerts to let you know of incoming calls and other notifications. Similar to the BlueAnt series of headsets, you can press the voice recognition button and ask it "What can I say?" to be presented with a series of voice commands. Some of the voice commands include "Pairing," "Am I Connected," "Check Battery," "Redial," "Cancel," "Call Information" (this calls Bing 411), "Answer" to answer an incoming call, and "Ignore" to ignore it. The latter two functions don't require you to press the voice recognition button first.
If you happen to have an Android or a BlackBerry smartphone, you can download apps that will read incoming text messages to you. You can also send stock text replies like "I'm in a meeting, and I'll text you back later." If you have an iPhone, you'll be able to see the headset battery meter next to the iPhone's own battery icon.