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Palm's Next Generation Treo Ultralight Wireless Headset Revealed

Following the success of its Treo Compact Wireless Headset Palm is preparing the launch of a next generation Bluetooth headset to be called the ‘Treo Ultralight Wireless Headset’ pictured here on the right.

As many informed Treonauts will immediately have noticed this new Ultralight Wireless Headset is in fact a Palm branded version (the Palm logo has been placed on the call answer button) of the recently released Plantronics Discovery 645 Bluetooth headset which is itself an upgrade to the popular Discovery 640 model (I previously reviewed it here). 

The main disctinction between the Discovery 645 (aka ‘Treo Ultralight Wireless Headset’) and the Discovery 640 is the fact that Plantronics has added a DSP (Digital Signal Processing) chip which actively reduces background noise and thus significantly improves sound quality when compared to the 640.  The same DSP technology can also be found on my favourite (when price is no object) Jabra JX10 headset (reviewed here) and also the Motorola H700 which is by far the most ‘pocketable’ headset available (reviewed here).  The comparison chart below lists the differences between these top 5 Bluetooth headsets.


Evidently Palm is making quite a leap upgrading from the Compact Wireless Headset (bottom right below) to the forthcoming Ultralight Wireless Headset (top right) as both size and weight are dramatically reduced (from 16.9g to 9.0g) and thanks to the new DSP technology sound is also significantly improved.

Purely from a design perspective though I personally still consider the Jabra JX10 (above top left) to be the headset to beat being by far the most elegant of all with the Discovery 645 a close second.  Also I found the lack of a USB charging cable in the Plantronics 645 kit to be more than a little annoying considering that this is rapidly becoming a standard – it does however include a USB tip but you’ll need to purchase the USB cable separately.  There is no indication yet if Palm’s version will include a USB charging cable (it didn’t with the Compact Wireless Headset) but I do know that it will include a tip with which you will be able to use the standard Treo AC adapter to charge the headset though. 

The Plantronics 645 also suffers from a comparatively low Standby Time of only 3 days compared with the 8 days provided by the JX10 but arguably this can be increased to a more decent 6 days when used with the included pen-shaped AAA battery adapter (pictured above) in which the headset can be charged between calls.

Leaving the above downsides aside the Plantronics Discovery 645 (aka ‘Treo Ultralight Wireless Headset’) is an extremely comfortable headset to wear (I prefer to use the ear loop but you can also simply pop the headset directly into your ear) and the large Call Answer button and volume control at the front are practical and within easy reach.  More importantly, as I mentioned earlier, the call quality is excellent which will make the future Ultralight Wireless Headset a terrific companion for your Treo.

While the Plantronics Discovery 645 is available to purchase today, Palm’s branded version – the Ultralight Wireless Heaset – is expected to be launched in about two months following the launch of the Treo 700p on both Sprint and Verizon in a couple of weeks time.

UPDATE: The Discovery 645 has now been reduced from $144.95 to $99.95 following larger volume shipments by Plantronics – a price reduction which I have no doubt will further push this Bluetooth headset to the top.

Treonauts are always on the path of discovery

Posted by Andrew on May 22, 2006 at 09:13 AM

Treo Accessories , Treo Bluetooth Headset

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by John | May 22, 2006 9:34:55 AM

The treo 700p is out! i just got the email from palm, and it's on the verizon site for sale

by Evan Martin | May 23, 2006 4:44:19 AM

what happend to the Treo 700w no one likes it no more??! :( :(

by Cognetic | May 24, 2006 1:58:23 PM

A major feature missing in the 645 versus the 640, is MULTIPOINT pairing. I have no idea what they were thinking by eliminating a feature benefit that distinguished this Plantronics line from the competitors until the 645 model!!

by Ted Thrash | May 27, 2006 4:10:06 PM

I bought a plantronics 640 2 weeks ago to use with a sprint treo 650. I also use a Motorola 815E from Verizon, one for business and the other, personal. The multipoint pairing capability works beautifully! However, I am not real thrilled with the outgoing sound quality while driving.

Are there any BT headsets offering multipoint pairing that have better sound quality than the Plantronics 640?

by plantronics cs70 | Jun 2, 2006 6:23:25 PM

I'd try the Plantronics 510, it works very well with my Treo

by GN | Jun 5, 2006 2:08:11 PM

Is there any diff. between the Palm version and the Plantronics? other than just the brand?

by Steve | Aug 1, 2006 9:28:45 PM

Yes the palm version comes with an adapter that allows the treo power cable to charge the headset. I think the plantronics version comes with a few other adapters for cellphone makers (nokia etc) but no treo adapter.

by steve | Aug 1, 2006 9:32:08 PM

BTW, i like the palm ultralight...just bought it and must say the sound is plenty loud. Quality is decent and the fit is comfortable (w/o the loop). Very small and very light. Only beef is that there sometimes is static when moving too far away from the treo but since i'll have the treo in my belt holster i don't see any problems with this.

Had a problem with pairing until I RTFM and saw i was doing it wrong :)

by Tina | Sep 7, 2006 4:11:35 PM

Hi all!

An important FYI.... (also posted in Forum)

In the past month, I've bought three Ultralights - one for myself, one for my husband, and one for a friend. When I went to buy the last one, the Palm Store Rep told me they'd been having some issues with people bringing them back because they were having charging problems so I might want to go get the new Plantronics instead. But I liked the ability to charge the Ultralight off the Treo charger so I still bought one (after checking that it was charging properly from the battery).

However, yesterday my friend told me hers was no longer working right, so she gave it to me to trade in for her. And when I got over to the Palm Store this afternoon... the nice young rep asked me if I could wait until next week to return it because the model has officially been recalled. Palm is apparently releasing a revised version that ships out on the 11th, so next week I'll be taking all 3 Ultralights in and trading them for the new version.

Happy Treo-ing!

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