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Plantronics Discovery 640 Bluetooth Headset: Impressive

On average I test about two new Bluetooth headsets a month and typically I don’t even bother to review them because they tend to leave me fairly unimpressed.

However, this past week I had the opportunity to be pleasantly surprised and extremely impressed with the new ultra-light Plantronics Discovery 640 headset (now reduced to $89.95) pictured below.

The Plantronics Discovery 640 now definitely makes it to my list of top Bluetooth headsets alongside Palm’s Compact Wireless Headset ($59.95) and Sony Ericsson HBH 662 ($84.95) pictured below left and right respectively. 

Each of these headsets has unique features with Palm’s having the best overall value, Sony Ericsson’s the highest quality and now Plantronics’ the lightest and smallest of any BT headset at only 0.3oz/9gm.

The only two areas where the Discovery 640 comes up a little short is in Talk+Standby time and also its range which Plantronics claims is 33 feet but in my experience is closer to 11 feet.  In all other respects such as sound quality, build quality, fitting ease and comfort I had nothing but top marks to give this headset.

The complete accessories package that comes with the Discovery 640 is similarly impressive starting with an elegant aluminium case above (perfect as a gift) that conveniently holds everything except the wall charger.

Among the Discovery 640’s most innovative features is the the ability to recharge the headset using only an AAA battery with the included pocket charger pictured below (one battery is good for two full charges or 10 hours of talk time) which locks into a charging pocket that also acts as a carrying case.

Additionally, there are four adapters which allow you to use a Nokia, Siemens, Motorola or Sony Ericsson wall or car charger to power the headset.  Unfortunately Plantronics ‘forgot’ to make a similar adapter that could be used with the standard Palm charging connected for our Treo but I hope that they’ll think about doing this in the future.

Overall, if you’re looking for an ultra-light, high quality and innovative new BT headset you certainly won’t be disappointed with Plantronics’ Discovery 640.

Treonauts are always looking for new gear

Posted by Andrew on December 14, 2005 at 01:40 PM

Treo Accessories , Treo Bluetooth Headset

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by Alex | Dec 14, 2005 5:12:18 PM

The autolink feature doesn't work on the sony hbh-300 even though you have listed that it does. Does it really work on this plantronics?

by John A | Dec 14, 2005 5:27:59 PM

I've had quite a few earpieces, both wired and Bluetooth, and the Discovery 640 is bt FAR the most comfortable, lightest, best sounding and most elegant headset I've owned! It is the Porsche of headsets. The best part is that it's so small and inconspicuous, I don't feel self-conscious wearing it around town. :-)

by A. Davis | Dec 14, 2005 9:22:27 PM

The 33 foot range is if you have BT 1.2 or 2.0. The Treo 650 has only BT 1.1 which gives a usable range of about 10 or so feet.

How does it work with your 700w? I had read that the 700w would have BT 1.2. If so, is the range for this headset better with the 700w than with the 650?

by Y. Lee | Dec 14, 2005 11:11:18 PM

Hi Andrew thanks for all the reviews that you have posted for BT headsets. I was wondering perhaps if you had by any chance tried out the new Motorola H700 and if so what did you think of it? Does it work well with the Treo650?

by adam | Dec 15, 2005 2:37:18 AM

I agree that this is by far the best bluetooth headset. I really like the way it has a pen like carrying case. I usually just carry it clipped to the inside of my shirt. The thing I like most about it is the battery attachment so that it is always charging when not in use.

This really makes it handy as I usually don't have a charger or forget the charger. I only have a couple gripes regarding this. One is the way the ear piece is attached. it's very flimsy. I've had a few instances where the ear piece just fell off because of the way it was positioned. you need to always have it turned. it's also easy for the ear piece to snap off. The other gripe is that the ear piece vibrates beginning on the 3rd ring as opposed to all rings and it is somewhat weak.

Other than that, it's really fantastic.

by Andrew | Dec 15, 2005 2:25:26 PM

Alex - yes, the auto-link feature does work perfectly well on the Plantronics Discovery 640. I will correct the HBH 300 data.

A. Davis - still haven't paired my Treo 700w to a BT headset...

Cheers, A.

by Michael | Dec 15, 2005 3:43:21 PM

I have a treo 650 and thought about getting this device b4 the review, but with only 10 ft of distance. ick...

well, how can i tell what kinda bt ver. i have?

by Mike | Dec 17, 2005 11:16:40 PM

I'm most concerned about connect times. The HBH-660 appears to have the quickest connect time (time for the headset to recognize that a call is being handled by the Treo). How does the Plantronics compare to the HBH in that respect?

by plantronics discovery | Dec 18, 2005 1:37:53 AM

I use the 640 with my Treo and I love it! Works better than any of the previous BT headset I've tried.

by plant | Dec 27, 2005 4:59:35 PM

I love my 640. I've also use it with other BT phones and it works great.

by plantronics | Dec 28, 2005 1:00:01 PM

33ft is the limit of bluetooth regardless if it's 1.2 or 1.1

by CJ | Jan 6, 2006 9:34:45 PM

I stumbled on the discovery 640 for my 650 and it is the best bt unit I have ever used.

I have had:
motorola hs810 -bad experience

jabra bt250

Nokia hs-4w(good sound quality but it made my ear ache after a couple of hours and people on the other end complained of echoes

My boss bought a d640 for his treo and after I tried it , I went out and bought one immediately.

IT is the most comfortable unit I have ever tried,

it has the best incoming and outgoing quality I have ever used(the ear piece volume is positively LOUD.

I can wear it all day without any problems

and best of all, it has full hands-free functionality.

The only downside?
I could not wait so I paid a whopping $129.99 for mine when I could have got it online for $74-89

by CJ | Jan 10, 2006 3:28:47 PM

I just wanted to add to my review that I posted a few days ago.

1. contrary to what the review says, THE DISCOVERY 640 HAS REDIAL. Its funny. I bought the nokia hs-4w because it is on palm's website for full support. The hs-4w manual says to push the button twice quickly for redial but it never worked. That unit did not have redial.

I scanned the manual for the discovery 640 and I dont remember it mentioning redial but for giggles I tried the nokia method, AND IT WORKS. IN FACT, IT WORKS EVERY TIME.

2. The volume and clarity on this unit are unreal. At its loudest setting, it will hurt your ears, and is much louder than the treo 650 volume. I was in my morning meeting with 18 people and my manager was speaking. Getting bored, I decided to check my voice mail. The lady standing about 1.5 feet from me looked at my ear piece- she could hear it from a foot away- thats how loud this mojo is.

3. I wear my unit ALL day- 8 hours. IT is comfortable to wear but I have noticed that it does not stay in place eg when I am eating, so I find that I have to use the clip. no big deal really but just letting you know.

4. It links up just as fast as the nokia hs-4w but unlike the nokia, it does not go to sleep. The nokia would have to be repowered up every three or so hours. THis unit does not do that.

The only thing I want that I dont get on this unit is a voice that announces the number so I dont even have to look at the treo to know if I want to pick up.

by CJ | Jan 10, 2006 3:38:26 PM


The discovery 640 DOES support redial on the treo 650, making it one of the units that offers FULL handsfree functionality.

Please admin, fix this on the chart so others dont miss out on this great unit.

by Adam | Jan 11, 2006 5:56:24 PM

Perhaps I'm want too much, but if they package this thing to have a pen styled case with a pocket clip, why wouldn't they put a pen/stylus on the end of the case?

by Joegrt | Jan 12, 2006 8:08:31 PM

I love this headset, I just got a treo 700 and it works well with the Discovery 640. Highly recommend it.

by Beka | Jan 16, 2006 10:28:20 AM

I have the Plantronics Discovery 640 and a Motorola e815. Redial works perfectly. My distance range is about 15 feet open air. Other than that I love this headset.

Looking to get a 700w but read that this headset had some major problems with the 650. If there are any problems I'd rather keep the kick ass headset and go without a Treo.

Thoughts or opinions anyone?

by CJ | Jan 16, 2006 6:17:19 PM

major problems with 650? not in my experience. It has been PERFECT with the 650. and my boss is extrememly happy with the dsicovery 640/ treo 650 performance. I dont see how a headset can be better, short of improving the range

by BJ | Jan 18, 2006 9:03:50 PM

Awful sound on user end with Treo 700w - any ideas. I bought 2 to be safe and both sound awful on my end, but who I'm talking to says they can hear me great. It paired easy, but my sound is garbled and interfered with horribly. What to do - anyone else have this issue with a Treo 700w????

by BJ | Jan 19, 2006 12:58:07 AM

FOUND MY FIX - VERIZON HAD MY TREO 700w TTY/TTD set to Full - for hearing impaired - it thus distorted any headset attached.
SO - now that I've found that fix - I've used this headset and it AWSOME - I tried Jabra's best (it was very good) and Motorola's best (it was nor very good). This is a whole different level - so small, so light, so loud - Unbelievable sound - so easy to pair. My best tech purchase to date!!

by JR | Jan 31, 2006 3:44:39 PM

If I'm using my GPS navigation software (Tom Tom) and a call comes in, can I still get the call on the BT headset? I don't care if the GPS software exits and I have to return to it after the call is finished.

by bp | Mar 11, 2006 2:25:45 AM

Has anyone had any issues pairing the Plantronics 640 with a Treo 650 with the Sprint 1.13a update? I can't seem to get the Treo to 'find' the headset (...and yes, I do realize I only have 30 seconds after the headset is turned on for discovery mode to be active).

Any recommendations?

by thezo | Apr 19, 2006 2:47:57 PM

i just got the 640 for my treo 700w

i dunno whats wrong with it...it paired up fine but the sound is really bad...garbled and cutting off...theres a constant crackling noise...my tty isnt on

any body have a fix...i like the headset i just need it to work...once i put it in my pocket...its over...somebody help!

by edizzle | Jul 11, 2006 4:17:18 PM

FYI..the adapter for the sony ericson can be used with the charger of the treo to charge the 640....for some odd reason my 650 isnt' picking up the 640..sigh..seemed awesome

by JC | Aug 18, 2006 8:02:51 AM

Re: Palm 700P and Plantronics 640 (650)
I spoke with Plantronics Tech. Support (8/06)... She advised that the Discovery 640 (650 Palm version with palm charging adapter) had known problems with the 700P... That is drop calls etc. and that they were "working" on it... She could not clarify if they were hardware or software problems... Or that if I bought the Plantronics 640 (650) and that when the updates were resolved that I could fix them.
Any word Plantronic 640 (650) compatibility with the Treo 700P. TY

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