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mVox Duo Communicator review: mVox Duo Communicator

mVox Duo Communicator

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Nicole Lee
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Nicole Lee

Former Editor

Nicole Lee is a senior associate editor for CNET, covering cell phones, Bluetooth headsets, and all things mobile. She's also a fan of comic books, video games, and of course, shiny gadgets.

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As we mentioned, the mVox Duo Communicator doesn't have a lot going for it in the design department. Measuring 3 inches long by 1.2 inches wide by 1 inch deep, the Duo Communicator is quite possibly one of the largest Bluetooth headsets we've ever seen. It has a mostly silver-and-gray design, which is fine, but the model we received had silver paint chipping away everywhere, making it look a little cheap.

7.0

mVox Duo Communicator

The Good

The mVox Duo Communicator can be used as both a Bluetooth headset as well as a speakerphone. It also has an array of features that include voice recognition and VoIP compatibility.

The Bad

The mVox Duo Communicator is a clunky and heavy device that looks quite unsightly. The voice-recognition software requires a rather lengthy setup time and a slight learning curve.

The Bottom Line

The mVox Duo Communicator has multiple uses and adds voice command capabilities to any phone, though it is a very bulky and unattractive device.
The mVox Duo Communicator aims to combine both a Bluetooth headset and a Bluetooth speakerphone into a single, portable device. One of the first of its kind, the mVox Duo Communicator can act as an all-in-one Bluetooth headset, VoIP headset, handsfree car kit, and mobile conference phone. It also comes with voice-recognition software that you can use to program all sorts of voice commands to the headset. This essentially adds voice-command capabilities to any cell phone, which is great if your cell phone doesn't have that feature. Unfortunately, the mVox Duo Communicator is bulky, clunky, and an altogether unattractive device. That said, if you want a multifunction Bluetooth communication device, the mVox Duo Communicator may be well worth the $250 you'll have to pay for it.

On the front of the headset is a blue LED that flashes when the device is turned on. On the right spine are the power/mute button, the Headset Talk button, and a charger jack, while the volume rocker is on the left. On the back are the earpiece and a speakerphone button, which also houses a red LED that flashes when the speakerphone function is activated. There's also a rubbery flexible ear loop that can be adjusted to fit either ear. All the buttons felt a little spongy, but they were still very tactile and can be pressed easily. While the headset fit just fine around the ear, its large size and weight feels really awkward when worn on the side of one's face, as if it were weighing down our ear.

If you wish to use the mVox Duo as a speakerphone, all you need to do is insert the headset into the included black holster. The holster has a large clip on its back, which you can then clip to your shirt, to, say, replace a handsfree car kit. Once inserted, the speakerphone is immediately activated. In order to return to headset mode, just remove it from the holster--it's just that easy. In headset mode, you would use the Headset Talk button to make, receive, and answer calls; while in speakerphone mode, you would use the speakerphone button instead.

A key portion to this whole mVox Duo package is the included mVox Wizard software, which works only on Windows PCs. The software is used to set up a list of contacts with as many as three different phone numbers for each person, then you must go through a wizard that sets up the mVox Duo for voice recognition. (You will be prompted to attach your headset to the PC via a USB cable.) There's even a smart conflict-detection feature that warns against possible pronunciation mistakes, such as if you have the names "Brian" and "Ryan" in your contacts list, and asks you to repeat each name a couple of times so that it will know which name you're saying. The entire voice-calibration process takes a good 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how many names you want to add to your contacts list, and there's a slight learning curve involved in pronouncing certain words properly.

After the voice calibration, you must then sync the settings to the headset. You'll have to read the full manual to go through the proper procedures in dialing a number, but it's actually pretty easy once you figure it out. For example, to dial someone on the contacts list, you have to do is press the Talk button (or the speakerphone button, if you're in speakerphone mode), and the Duo will say "Name please." Then you would respond with "Nicole mobile" if you wanted to call Nicole's cell phone, or "Nicole home" if you wanted to call Nicole's home number. The cell phone that the Duo is paired with automatically dials the appropriate number.

We paired the mVox Duo with the T-Mobile Sidekick 3 successfully without any problems. In headset mode, call quality was pretty good--we heard our callers just fine, and they also reported very clear and distinct voice quality, presumably due to the Duo's noise and echo cancellation technologies. Speakerphone mode was surprisingly great as well, with outstanding volume and clarity. We can definitely see this being used as a conference-call device.

We then tested out the voice command features. It's worth noting here that the T-Mobile Sidekick 3 does not have native support for voice commands or voice dialing. There were a few stumbling blocks when we first tried it, mostly because we were still unsure of the correct tone of voice to use when saying the commands. But once we figured out the right tone and speed to speak in, everything went very smoothly. With the mVox Duo Communicator, you can now add voice-command capabilities to any cell phone, which we think is quite cool, indeed.

Other features of the mVox Duo Communicator include VoIP capabilities (it's compatible with Skype, Gizmo Project, and more), last number redial, and call mute. The mVox Duo has a rated talk time of seven hours in headset mode and three hours in speakerphone mode. It has a rated standby time of 6.25 days.

7.0

mVox Duo Communicator

Score Breakdown

Design 6Features 7Performance 8