What to buy
- Plantronics Voyager 510 - $99
- Plantronics Explorer 340 - $79
- Sony Ericsson HBH-PV705 - $85
- Sony Ericsson HBH-610a - $99
The Voyager 510 scored highest for both ease of use and performance. It received the best score for overall comfort, and microphone sensitivity - producing natural voice tones. However, its battery life was highly variable.
We tested the features of the headsets using two recent-model mobile phones — a Nokia 6280 and a Sony Ericsson W810i.
- All models paired with both phones readily. We were able to use the volume control on the earpiece to adjust the sound to a comfortable level. We didn’t have any problems answering calls, but rejecting calls, redialling and voice dialling caused problems for some headsets. The Nokia BH-202 and Plantronics Explorer 340 couldn’t reject calls when paired with either phone. The Sony Ericsson HBH-PV700 and Sony Ericsson HBH-PV705 don’t have a redial function.
- If your phone and headset support voice dialling you can press a button on the headset, speak a pre-arranged name for your contact and the mobile will call the number. Both phones support voice-dial, but not all the headsets could initiate voice dialling on both phones. The Nokia BH-200 couldn’t initiate voice dialling when paired with either phone. You may also come across other functions such as microphone mute and call holding but we didn’t examine these features.
- The Plantronics Voyager 510, Plantronics Explorer 340, Nokia BH-202 and both Motorola units showed inconsistencies, with battery life varying in some cases by up to five hours between subsequent tests. Despite additional testing, we aren’t sure of the cause of these differences and we didn’t include these results in the overall score.