Hardware

Mobile Phone | Accessories

Long-Term Field Test: 01.01.2012–31.10.2015


Plantronics M50 Bluetooth Headset

Bluetooth® Headset Plantronics© M50™

The Bluetooth® Headset Plantronics© M50™ is ideal for all who don´t want call only with their smartphone.
Stream music, podcasts or GPS navigation voice announcings to your headset.

Cause of the separate power switch you can switch off the headset here and there and so you can save energy for a longer operation time.

Noise from wind and background will be filtered for an extra clear tonal quality.
Voice announcings informs you about the remain call time, connection status etc.
Answer Calls, End Calls and the Volume you can control comfortably with the buttons at the device.

Due to Multipoint technology two bluetooth devices can be used simultaneously with this headset.
This is great when you must use two smartphones e.g. one for business and one for personal use.

Ordering Process

29.12.2011: Ordered one Plantronics M50 at amazon.de. The price: 28.00 EUR.
31.12.2011: My favorite DHL Packstation announces me via SMS: parcel received!
01.01.2012: Before the first use – charging the battery as described in the manual full two hours.
01.06.2012: The price now is at 24.99 EUR. Very reasonable price, insider´s tip! Much other headsets have not the same quality at the same or higher price!

Addition

15.03.2014: Unfortunately since a long time this headset is a discontinued model.
Cause of the battery is built-in and not changeable from a customer I can not longer recommend to buy that model.
Reason: at all current offered devices the battery status now is very low maybe already dead. Furthermore the price of now offered old devices would have to be less than from a new one with fresh battery. But the opposite happens – dubiouse dealers offers this discontinued model at Amazon for more as one hundred EUR!
For a not longer saleable phase-out model with exceeded storage time that is daylight robbery …

Symbol Lighbulb as hint for the following tip Instead of paying insane hundred EUR or USD for an very outdated device better buy its improved successor M70 for about 25 EUR or less!

Box Contents

  • Bluetooth Headset Plantronics M50
  • Charger
  • Charging cable for charging in the automobile

Tech Specs

Headset Weight: 11 g
Measurements: 10.5 x 6 x 18 cm

Call Time: up to 11 hours
Standby Time: up to 11 days

Kind of accumulator: 3.5 Volt Lithium-Ion polymer, rechargeable, not changeable

Charging:  at micro USB jack for USB cable or with the supplied charger
Charge Time: 2 hours for a full chargepower demand: 5 Volt, 180 mA

Wearing style: behind the ear, left or right, microphone strap

Bluetooth Technology: Version 3.0
Profile: Advanced Audio Distribution v1.2 (A2DP), Hands-free v1.6 (HFP), Headset v1.2 (HSP)

Coverage: up to 10 meters, Class II

Noise Cancelling Microphone with WindSmart® Technology reduces noice from wind and other background noise.

Storage and Operating Temperature Range: 0–40 °C.
Temperature at Charging: 0–40 °C.

Experience

Handling

After unbox I first try how I can fast attach the headset on the ear. This is important when I have the headset not on the ear while I get a call.

In the manual on the next-to-last page the handling is illustrated how you can change using the ear hook from left to right and vice versa.
This is very easy and don´t worry to break it because the ear hook is stable pivoted on the casing with a hinge.

Wear Comfort

The wear comfort is very good. This headset you can plug fast on your ear, at that the stable foldable colourless plastic ear hook is very helpful.
With 11 grams this headset is so lightweight that you can wear it for hours.

It is no in-ear system, not lying close on the outer ear. The sound transmission made from silicone lies soft and without any pressure at the outside of the auditory canal. This is the most pleasant kind of wearing a headset, which fits for all persons.

Tonal Quality: Audio Transmission on your side

Noiseless, very good. The volume is adjustable in five steps from silent to very loud.

Tonal Quality: Audio Transmission at the remote station

In the meantime I have phoned  very much with this headset and no one has lamented about bad sound or couldn´t understand me.
An exception was the time while I was using the local cellular net from Telefónica Germany and later on the cellular net from Vodafone.
At these times the call quality was bad with interrupts and sound like a robot like in the start time of GSM technology.
This was no failure of the headset but an overloaded cellular network. Since I have changed to T-Mobile these issues are history.

Testing Environment

Up to 14.02.2012 I have used the cellular network of Telefónica Germany to call German landline and to call mobile phones.
From 15.02.2012 to 20.02.2013 I have used the cellular network of Vodafone. In the first half year the radio reception was almost very good.
Since 21.02.2013 I use the cellular network from Deutsche Telekom (aka T-Mobile) only. This is clearly recognizable way better than its competitors here in my sphere of activity.
The fixed-line telephones of my counterpart stations are good devices without issues.

A friend of mine who has often long telephone calls with me uses the following mobile phones which are well-known for their good tonal quality:

  • Sony Ericsson W890i (the predecessor W880i I had used myself a long time)
  • Motorola Milestone

During the test period I have telephoned with the smartphones Samsung Galaxy Note and BlackBerry Z10.

The judgement of the tonal quality was objectively, because the counterpart statons doesn´t knew if I use my headset and which of my phones I use now and what does it cost. Prejudices or  oder envy couldn´t impair their judgements.

Pros

  • reliable stable Bluetooth connection with all tested mobile phones
  • stream music, podcasts or GPS navigation voice announcings to the headset
  • thank of separate power button anytime power off to save energy
  • extra long talk and standby times
  • noise filtering reduces wind and background noise for better tonal quality
  • voice announcings informs you about the remain call time, connection status etc.
  • control answer calls, end calls and the volume comfortably with the buttons at the device
  • due to Multipoint technology two Bluetooth devices can be used simultaneously with this headset
  • stable design, after drop down on the ground the headset is not broken
  • lightweight and barely noticeable – maybe you will forget it sometimes after a long wearing time
  • comfortably perfect fit at the ear, it won´t bother you (no guarantee, humans are different …)

Cons

  • omnidirectional microphone transmits all external noise, therefore less suitable for use in the car
  • the voice control of the smartphone does not always work satisfactorily with loud background noises (escalator, station announcements etc.)
  • microphone mute is fiddly because the tiny volume buttons [+][-] have to be pressed simultaneously and are too close together

Conclusion

This little and lightweight high-tech device eases the daily routine with good tonal quality, easy using and robust design.

I would purchase this Bluetooth headset again, because it is very handy, offers very good tonal quality in both directions, can be paired with every (?) mobile phone and can be used parallel on two mobile phones – so you have to handle only one headset and of course you save the money for a second headset!

Addition 22.10.2015: Since a long time this model is outdated and has made the way for its advanced successor M70 what is cheaper as the M50!

Alternatives

  • Plantronics M70 – advanced successor of the M50 (with HD-Voice)
  • Plantronics M90 – equivalent to M70, but with a special USB charge cable in the box – with that you can connect two devices on one USB jack
    (e.g. connect a M90 with the USB jack from your PC/Mac and connect another USB device on the same USB jack with that PC/Mac)

Photo, f.l.t.r.: Jabra Supreme+, Plantronics M50, Plantronics M70

Photo, f. l. t. r.: Jabra Supreme+ (with fold-out microphone bracket), Plantronics M50, Plantronics M70

Photo, f.l.t.r.: Jabra Supreme+, Plantronics M50, Plantronics M70

Photo, f. l. t. r.: Jabra Supreme+ (with fold-out microphone bracket), Plantronics M50, Plantronics M70

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