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Stereo Headsets -- Plantronics Voyager 855 Bluetooth Headset

Wireless headsets for mobile phones are so mono -- designed for only voice calls. But mobile phones are becoming music players -- to sync, download, and stream music in full-up stereo -- which demands that your second ear come into play.

Which is the idea behind the Plantronics Voyager 855 Bluetooth Headset ($149/$129). It adds a second earbud connected with a detachable cable for full stereo sound. (And yes, it's not strictly wire-less with the cable to the second earbud.)

The cable cleverly connects though a detachable ear loop, which leads to some of the other interesting differences from conventional phone headsets:

- The design is an in-ear headset, with no ear loops -- The ear buds fit snugly in the ear to hold the headset in place, and to help block out noise. As a result, the headset is easier to quickly put on and take off, especially if you are wearing glasses over the ear. (It does include optional ear loops if desired.)

- The side of the headset has a sliding boom that extends closer to better catch your voice. And it also serves to answer and end calls.

The Voyager also has two-way noise reduction, reducing background noise and adjusting audio levels to enhance sound quality on both ends of the conversation.

Plus, it can pair two devices, so you can switch between listening to music and taking incoming calls.

And you don't need to get out your devices to operate them -- the headset supports the Bluetooth remote control protocol, with dedicated controls for call and music playback (volume, mute, call answer /end, track forward/back, pause/play).

Plantronics also offers the Voyager 815 Bluetooth Headset, a mono version of the 855, without the stereo cable and earbud ($129/$99).

See my Audio Accessories Gallery for details and related products

    Find the Plantronics Voyager 855 Headset on Amazon.com

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