By David Ponce
Bluetooth headsets aren’t groundbreaking technology, nor are they good candidates for long winded, in-depth reviews; hence our choice of “Quick Review” format. That said, Plantronics is pretty much the leader when it comes to headsets of any type, and the Discovery 640 we got to review was just as good as most of their other offerings.
Out here, we’ll give you the verdict: small, simple and easy to use, the Discovery 640 features multiple charging options with the innovative use of a modular AAA battery charger. It could be a little more comfortable to wear, but that’s a minor annoyance. The price is fair, though not a bargain. For more details, read on.
The Discovery 640 is really small and light. It weighs 9 grams, and since there’s no boom mic, the unit looks barely bigger than a little finger. This is nice, as we tend to prefer designs that minimize their footprint on our face. It attaches to the ear via one of three interchangeable gel ear tips, with an optional ear hook, and can be rotated through about 90 degrees once in place.
The unit had a tendency to fall out of this reviewers’ ear during testing, though the use of the hook helped with this problem. Even without the hook, if forced deep enough into the ear canal and positioned against the cheekbone, the 640 would not move or fall. But such mucking about with a headset may not always be the best option while in a hurry. Still, it was light and barely noticeable on the ear, so this was a minor inconvenience. The 640 also features a rocking-arm volume control knob, and an all-purpose power button, both of which are easy to find during a call.
In the package, aside from the three gel tips and ear hook, you get two other things: a carrying case/charger, and a AAA battery attachment for on-the-go charging. This combination actually added quite a bit of value to the headset. The carrying case is very small, and fits the Discovery 640 on one end, and the wall charger on the other. When not charging, the belt clip allows you to transport your 640 easily, while a vibrating function lets you know you’re getting a call, even if your phone is on silent or (if you’re a girl) in your purse. Simply detaching the headset from the carrying case to place it in your ear answers the call.
The added AAA battery attachment snaps into the bottom of the carrying case and charges the unit while on the go. When snapped together, the entire setup is no bigger than a marker pen, and can be placed in a shirt pocket with ease.
Voice quality was good on both ends, and the sensitivity of the microphone was adequate. Battery life was excellent. Bluetooth range was normal, at about 30 feet.
Overall, the Discovery 640 is an excellent option for the road warrior. The modular AAA battery charger is an innovative addition to the standard Bluetooth headset fare, while the vibrating carrying case/charger also adds value. The intrinsic design of the headset makes for sub-optimal comfort, but this is minor enough to be ignored altogether. At $130, it’s money well spent, though it certainly is not as cheap as several other alternatives on the market.
– Detachable AAA battery charger
– Vibrating carrying case/charger
– Slightly uncomfortable
[ Product Page ]