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Palm Compact Wireless Headset

Tue Oct 25, 2005 - 3:14 PM EDT - By Douglas Morse

Overview

The name ‘Palm compact wireless headset for the Treo 650’ is a bit of a misnomer. This is a standard Bluetooth headset that has the Treo logo emblazoned on the side. It also happens to use the same adapter end as the Treo itself. Otherwise, it can be used with any Bluetooth enabled phone.


Design


The Palm Treo Headset is a small, lightweight earpiece. The earloop itself is crunched much more towards the top of the unit, making it a bit more low profile than most. The earloop is a soft plastic that can bend nicely into shape&mdasha nice change from some of the hard plastic, unbendable ones. It also easily switches from left to right ear use. The speaker is a raised circle that rests nicely in the ear without the discomfort of an in-ear solution. The volume buttons are on the inside edge of the unit with raised ‘ ’ and ‘-‘ signs for control. The multi-function button is in the usual place: on the face of the unit, though it sits a bit higher than most.

The color is a combination of unobtrusive light metallic gray offset with a slightly darker gray. For what it’s worth, the earloop is black. The headset paired quickly with ease following instructions in the clear manual.

The most striking thing about the Treo Headset is what comes in the box—a large AC adapter that has interchangeable international adapter ends. These adapters slide in to the charger itself, locking into place with ends for many European countries such as England, France and Switzerland and probably many other countries as well. The adapter is a bit bulkier than usual to accommodate the interchangeable ends, though is still surprisingly lightweight.


Functionality


Those adapters make the unit very versatile. Coupled with the dedicated end that can charge either the headset or Treo, you have an excellent combination. If you’re planning on going on a trip for a few weeks or even months and aren’t planning on syncing, this is a great solution.

The headset itself is comfortable and adjustable. I had a bit of trouble with the multifunction button simply because it was placed higher than others. In addition, when I pressed the button to answer a call, there was not the usual tone to let me know I had hit the button correctly and the call was transferring to the headset. Nor was there one for hanging up. I missed these features. The headset also supports other features such as redial (press the call button twice on the headset) call reject and call waiting.

Of course sound quality is the most important thing for a headset and alas, the quality is not as good as some headsets I’ve tested. The fidelity is my major complaint. The voice quality is a bit bassy and echoey. The headset is subject to interference from wireless networks, which often introduce a crackling sound. I’ve found that some headsets are better than others at filtering out extraneous wireless noise than others and this is not one of them. Despite those caveats, under good conditions, I could have long conversations with out many ‘what?’ ‘what?’ interjections. Finally, I didn’t realize that the battery was low on the headset and the sound degraded rapidly. Fully charging the unit fixed the problem.

I did have to re-pair the headset once or twice and I’m not sure why. Maybe it was after I had turned it off. Some have suggested deleting the Bluetooth device cache before pairing to remove any stray devices.


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