Plantronics' Savor Bluetooth Headset Speaks with iPhone, Android

 
 
By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2010-10-18
 
 
 

The Plantronics Savor M1100 Bluetooth headset is a stylish and powerful smartphone accessory that can accept voice commands and respond in spoken language to status requests. When combined with the Vocalyst voice-and-text service, the headset yields a practically magical, nearly hands-free user experience.

The Savor M1100, which weighs a featherlight 9 grams, worked seamlessly with both an Apple iPhone and an Android-based smartphone. When used with the iPhone, the Savor battery life was also displayed as an icon next to the iPhone battery icon. This Bluetooth feature is expected to be added to the Android OS soon.

For images of the Savor M1100 in action, click here.

The Savor M1100 was announced September 27 and is available now for $99.

The Savor uses three microphones that are governed by Plantronics Audio IQ3 and DSP to overcome ambient noise. In my test calls using both an Apple iPhone and a Sanyo ZIO Android smartphone on the Sprint network, my callers sounded clear in the headset. Callers, likewise, reported that I was easy to understand. Pairing the headset to the phones was straightforward and easy to do using Plantronics Multipoint connection pairing procedure, which let me connect to either phone handset.

After turning on the headset, a pleasant voice immediately confirmed that action and also announced the amount of talk time left on the headset. Incoming calls were announced and immediately followed with a spoken list of options to either accept or reject the call. Voice interactions with the headset were immediate and accurate. Plantronics has created a simple and elegant voice-interaction system that was helpful without seeming needlessly redundant.

With a single tap of the rocker switch I was greeted with, "Say a command." If I hesitated for more than ten seconds I was reminded that I could ask, "What can I say?" to get a list of voice commands. Among other things, I could check the battery life, call information, and find out which phone the headset was connected to. My favorite command, however, was, "Call Vocalyst."

The Vocalyst system is a voice-and-text service that is set up using a Web portal. I created a list of three favorite contacts with phone numbers and email addresses, configured my weather, news and sports, and linked the system to my primary phone. Although the Savor M1100 can be paired with multiple devices, the Vocalyst service works only with a single enrolled phone number.

The Vocalyst system is a substantially provided by Dial2Do, but is nonetheless an impressive addition to the sub-$100 Savor. Using the Savor headset and 1-year complimentary subscription provided in the box, I was able to text and email (voice attachments sent as an email) to my pre-defined contacts. The service was able to read email messages and Tweets to me over the headset. As well, I was able to get news and sports information. The email reading system was nothing less than astounding, both in pronunciation and inflection based on punctuation. I could tell it was a robot, but a robot that had gone to the same Henry Higgins school of elocution as Eliza Doolittle did.

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