Plantronics has a long and storied past making headsets, with their devices even gracing the heads of Apollo astronauts. Here on Earth, it seems impossible to avoid noticing one of their iconic Voyager line of Bluetooth headsets protruding out of someone’s ear while walking down, say, New York City’s Broadway or Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. The latest incarnation of their legendary line, the aptly named Plantronics Voyager Legend Bluetooth Headset ($100), gets some high-tech upgrades, a slimmer profile and improved sound.
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Discovering great headphones from a company that specializes in making bags was surprisng at first, when we reviewed Incase’s Sonic headphones late last year. A month later we were less stunned when we grunted in approval at their Capsule in-ear ‘phones during our budget(ish) canalphone shootout.
This time around we played with a new denim-clad version of the on-the-ear IncaseReflex headphones ($80) — which sit between the $150 over-the-ear Sonic and the canalphone Capsules — and came away with the impression that the Reflex may very well be the best bang-for-buck of the bunch.
This isn’t the smallest headset. In fact, Motorola’s Elite Sliver Bluetooth Headset ($130) is actually bulkier than many other personal BT headsets. Its trick, though, is to hide most of the bulk behind the user’s ear, leaving just a sliver — hence the name — of technology visbile.
But the Sliver isn’t just a one-trick pony; its case also doubles as a battery that will top off the Sliver when the headset is housed in the case (which actually does triple duty as a charger).
A long time ago, before this site was born, we reviewed the Altec Lansing BackBeat 906 Bluetooth headphones, and liked ‘em. Plantronics had their own identical version of the 906, as they had owned Plantronics since 2005 (the two companies parted ways about the time the 906 was released).
The Plantronics BackBeat Go ($100) is an evolution of the 906. Same principle — wireless (meaning there’s no wire conecting the player with the headset) music and calls in a compact form via the magic of Bluetooth — but in an even smaller and more svelte form factor. Should be even more fantstic, right? Let’s take a look.
While other manufacturers might tart up their headphones with loud colors, obnoxious logos and frills, the Klipsch Image One ($150) drops all extraneous nonsense in favor of making you happy through its three impressive strengths: perfomance, comfort and portability — a triple threat that makes these headphones a contender for best traveling companion.
If you’re looking for another alternative to sharing media content and making free phone calls over WiFi, you might want to check out Sidecar for Android and iOS. The recently released app allows users a plethora of sharing options as long as all recepients have the app installed. If you try to make a call to someone who doesn’t yet have the app, it will send them a text message asking them to check out the app. Features of Sidecar include