Technology

Plantronics' Wireless Winner


The headset maker's CS70 Executive is stylish, high quality, and long range. The geek police had better find someone else to pick on

It's hard to get around the innate geekiness that is associated with wearing a phone headset in the office. One of my co-workers shamed a colleague so much that it put him off wearing one for months. I've been happily using Plantronics' CS70 "Executive" Wireless Headset for months now, content in the knowledge that if I'm a geek, I may be the coolest geek there is.

Plantronics, which has devoted massive time and energy over the past couple of years to making the headset standard-use for everything from PCs and cell phones to office and home handsets, turned out the high-end CS70 with the fashion-conscious (or self-conscious) person in mind. While the $250 unit shares the same base as other wireless headsets the company sells, this monaural over-the-ear version steps up the design several notches in a bid to entice the busy executive.

Easy to install and configure to your voice, the charcoal black unit, with silver and brushed aluminum accents, offers an extremely comfortable fit. On one or two occasions, I forgot I was wearing it and walked out of the office before realizing my gaffe.

MORE THAN LOOKS.

The great thing about the device is that it frees you up to multitask—an increasingly common part of all our lives. I could take notes without getting a sore neck from balancing a phone against my shoulder, walk to retrieve important documents from outside the phone cord range, or simply pace. A long, clear tube captures the voice clearly, and a flashing yellow indicator on the side of the unit helps alert others to the fact that you're on a call.

In addition to good looks, the device offers DECT 6.0 technology, which uses a low-range wireless spectrum to prevent interference from other wireless devices, and has a true range of about 300 ft. That's unlike a lot of technologies that promise such a range, but only in the best of conditions. In my tests, I could clearly talk and hear others several floors below or above my office, where the base was stationed.

The device offers about six hours of talk time and 28 hours standby, and automatically begins recharging when you place it on its base. The included HL10 handset lifter, an option on other Plantronics units, automatically lifts the receiver off the desktop phone when you either lift the wireless headset from its base or press a button on its side.

With the CS70 offering to improve productivity and to keep you from becoming a target of the fashion police, I recommend the device wholeheartedly.


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