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After trying many different headsets, I'm pleased with this one., Jan. 30 2012
I've owned about 8 or 9 Bluetooth headsets over the years. It's surprising how much they vary in terms of how easy they are to use and what they can actually do. The Plantronics M50 is the first model I've owned that hasn't been missing some (in my opinion) important feature, or hasn't had something about it I found irritating.
To begin with, I'll discuss comfort. I've had headsets that were so comfortable to wear I would literally forget that I had them on. I've had others that, despite otherwise great features, I eventually dumped because I couldn't wear them without discomfort. This is largely a personal issue, but I've yet to be able to stand any design that significantly penetrates into the ear canal. I've learned to look for two things: First, adjustable or switcheable over-the-ear loops, so one can find an optimum fit. Second, a design that presses against the ear, rather than protruding into it. The Plantronics M50 falls sort of in between these two. The over-the-ear loop is not designed to be adjustable, but I was able to increase my comfort level by gently heating the loop with a blow dryer for a minute and bending it to open just a little wider. The earbud itself doesn't squeeze into the ear, but does have a small protrusion that extends slightly into the ear canal. I cut this rubber protrusion about 3mm shorter. The end result for me is the most comfortable fit I've experienced to date. I can wear this headset for hours without the slightest irritation.
Another feature I look for is good volume. I'm over 50, and my hearing is not what it used to be. This unit delivers ample volume for me, even in rather noisy environments.
Other things I like: It can stream music or podcasts from my iPhone. Generally this is only possible with stereo headsets (or specifically, ones that support "A2DP"). It has a simple slide-switch for turning on. It provides status information through voice. It can redial by double-clicking, and I can activate voice dial on it without having to touch my phone. It displays a battery level icon on my iPhone - the first headset I've ever owned that did that. Lastly, if I leave my iPhone on my desk or somewhere and walk away, it tells me when I've moved out of range. Nice to know, but even nicer is that it automatically reconnects when I walk back into range. I've never had that happen with other headsets.
Overall I must say I am extremely pleased with the Plantronics M50. It provides all the features I look for, and costs much less than some headsets I've tried.