Other Gadgets

Plantronics K100 review - Frees your hand and mind

Team Smartbuy | Updated on August 17, 2011

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By now most cell phone users are either being forced to use a hands-free due to legislation or because they are sensible enough to avoid skirmishes with the law or worse, meet with an accident.

However, despite a rash of new hands-free and Bluetooth headsets being launched there seems to be a never ending quest for greater versatility amongst users. They don't fit right, there are ones with connectivity issues, some can't do anything else and many just don't last.

Plantronics' latest K100 could be the answer to all those who hate those fragile hands-frees that feature uncomfortable silicone cups and have also lost quite a few along the way. Coming from one of the largest independent hands-free manufacturers, the new K100 packs in quite a bit more than just wireless, Bluetooth connectivity for mobile phones.

Most cars users still have to fumble with their in-ear hands-free headsets, because only a small clique of car makers offers the feature in their vehicles. Even when they do, often the feature is only available on the high-end variants.

The Plantronics K100 is a clip-on hands-free meant for use in cars. It adopts a minimalist design approach and actually looks like a cool modern day take on a traditional pocket radio. The device is designed to be clipped on to the visor. Two microphones located on the top of the unit are directed towards you as you drive and they save you the trouble of speaking at the top of your voice.

You activate the Bluetooth pairing mode on the Plantronics K100 with a long-press of the multi-function button till the indicator light starts blinking red/blue. Then you look for the device like you would do for any Bluetooth-enabled system and pair it with your smartphone.

One of the most interesting features of the K100 is its ability to stream audio via the car speakers. This can be done by setting the FM transmitter's frequency of the car's A/V system and the K100 at the same wavelength.

Once mounted, we pressed the FM button on the K100 for it to announce the FM transit channel. We then matched the specific FM frequency in the FM tuner in the car to that emitted by the K100. Now, we were all ready to transmit calls and stream audio; for example, GPS directions from our handset to the car stereo. Do keep in mind that this feature will only work with devices that are A2DP-enabled.

The sound quality over the K100 was decent and comfortably loud enough to be heard while you are in a car with a bunch of people.

Published on March 02, 2011

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