If you don't work in an office for a living, you might think mobile phone headsets are a bit of a waste of time. Plantronics is hoping to change all that with the release of the M11100.
The M11100 headset is a premium A2DP-capable model that comes with a suite of impressive features including three microphones, AudioQ3 noise cancellation and inbuilt voice alerts. But the standout feature is Vocalyst: an online service that basically acts like a personal assistant inside your headset.
Vocalyst is a voice-activated phone service that gives you far more options than a typical Blutooth headset. It allows you to complete a variety of complex tasks; such as sending e-mails and posting tweets, by using your voice
To use the service, you ring the Vocalyst number and speak a relevant command into the M11100 headset. This includes "listen to reminders”, “listen to emails”, “news”, “sports” , “Finance”, “Weather” and “Listen to Tweets”. The service will then read whatever you've selected in a charmingly synthetic female voice.
While the voice sounds a bit robotic, it gets the job done and could come in handy while driving. Audio quality also seems excellent.
In addition to keeping you up to speed with weather, news, finance and Twitter updates, the service can also be used to send emailed voice recordings. Again, this will be particularly handy when you need to send an urgent email while on the road.
The Vocalyst service has been localised for the Australian market. In addition to local weather forecasts, it comes with an impressive range of national news feeds to choose from (we went with the ABC news website during our brief demo).
The Vocalyst service comes in two versions: a Basic plan, which costs $2.49 USD/Month ($24.99 USD/Year) and a Pro version, which costs $5.99 USD/Month ($59.99 USD/Year). The Pro version adds the ability to transcribe spoken emails into text along with a swathe of extra software intergration (you can upload spoken words to Wordpress, for example).
Currently, Plantronics is offering a free 12 month trial of the Basic Vocalyst service to anyone who purchases the M11100 headset, which retails for $129.00.
We'll be putting the Plantronics M11100 through its paces later in the week: stay tuned for an in-depth review, coming soon.