Review: Plantronics Discovery 925 Bluetooth Headset

By Ryan Blundell on 30 Jul 2008 12:22 pm
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Plantronics Discovery 925 Bluetooth Headset

Looks Good, Sounds Better!

Waaaaay back at CTIA, Kevin shared with us some of the ultra sexy accessories that were coming out. One of these happened to be the Discovery 925 Bluetooth Headset from Plantronics….. I’ll wait for you to stop drooling….

Out of all of the Bluetooth accessories I’ve reviewed for CrackBerry.com, I always found myself going back to the Discovery 665; it was a reliable, high quality and moderately priced product.  You could say that, in terms of function and appearance, it was totally tubular (is that still cool?). Stepping away from their well recognized ‘bullet’ design, the Discovery 925 adds a touch of flair with its head-turning, slim ‘V’ look. I’ve said in the past, the function will never be replaced by fashion, and it’s seldom that the two can co-exist. More and more, colleagues (and I) have been scoping out what the other mobile folks are yakking on. Some may be beautiful, but using them can be a beast.

Will Plantronics dodge the bullet by dodging their own bullet design? Let’s find out.

A true tech-cessory?

I almost didn't want to open it!

Contents of the package.

Even the packaging is beautiful, should I open it or use it as a centre piece? Less than a minute of tittering with childish levity and the Discovery 925 is out and about. Along with the headset, you are also given small, medium and large sized gel ear tips, the AC Adapter, micro USB cable and a carrying case. This isn’t an ordinary case you’re looking at either. True, the leather brandishing the Plantronics logo, is a splendid change from the clunky plastic cases out there. The case also houses a rechargeable battery, which will provide one full charge for the 925. Now you can carry fewer cables with you more often. One would think that such a case would add quite a bit of bulk, but the case slips nicely inside a pocket, briefcase or bag. Once inside the case, your headset is secured in place by both the charging port and the magnetic flap at the top.

The cosmetic differences between the 665 and 925 are quite numerous. As I mentioned, we’ve come to expect the ‘bullet’ design from Plantronics. A powerful Bluetooth device housed inside a humble shell. Perhaps, someone at Plantronics decided “Hey! We’ve got it, why not flaunt it?!” The hollow VFrame designed boom mic is accentuated beautifully with the diamond shape.

Its sexy measurements work out to be:

  • 2.7 inches long  
  • 0.9 inches wide 
  • 0.5 inches thick (the last two are based on the diamond shaped section)

Inside the boom mic, the Discovery 925’s antenna can be found. With such dimension, you would assume this headset carries weight, and would possibly need an ear loop. On the scale, the 925 weighs in at only 0.28 ounces, so it won’t weigh you down.  Good on you Plantronics, as there is no ear loop needed nor required. The controls have been made discreet, as to not take away from the suave sophisticated look that is the Discovery 925. The multi-control button is found on the diamond, the Plantronics logo in the centre, so you know what geniuses were behind it. The Indicator light is found behind the logo, blinking either blue or red to indicate connectivity and battery life. The single button for volume control was a new concept for me, but it seemed to fit the overall design. It has three volume levels to choose from by simply tapping the button.

With the multi function button you have access to the usual controls; answer/end/reject calls, voice activated dialing and redialing.

Speaking of fit, I have never had a Bluetooth headset (sans ear loop) that had fit so well. I always had problems with this type popping out at the most inconvenient moments, like at say 100 km/h. The ultra soft gel, coupled with the stabilizing tip, makes for a headset with comfort, stability and easy “plug and play”. The headset can be worn for extended periods of time, as no discomfort was experienced. Once the right size gel is found, it tightly grips the ear insert. I sometimes had trouble with the ear tip on the 665 popping out as I tried to take it off. I knew the 925 would stay put and keep me connected.

When the Discovery 925 is powered on, its QuickPair technology makes it ready to go in pairing mode. Follow the typical initial set up step and you’re all set to be seen and heard. The headset also incorporates Bluetooth 2.0 plus Enhanced Data Rate (EDR). Its range is 33 feet. The talk time of the headset comes in at an average 5 hours of talk time and 7 days of standby time. With the multipoint technology activated, the standby time is reduced to roughly 5 hours. The Discovery 925 takes 3 hours for a full charge whether you are charging by the USB, Case or AC Adapter. When charging at home, you can connect the headset directly to the adapter, rather than following an adapter>case> headset connection. If you follow the latter, the headset will be charged first and then the case. To check your battery life, look towards your multi-function and volume buttons. Press and hold for 2 second and your status will be revealed; One Red Flash means full power, 2 flashes means ½ power and 3 flashes tells you to find a charger.

This case will keep your headset charged and protected

Charge on the go, no more wires!

Sound

Like the 665, the Discovery 925 is equipped with Audio IQ noise control technology. Note that I said noise control, not noise cancellation. To quote myself from the Discovery 665 review:

According to Plantronics, “Audio iQ is the future of smart headset design.”

Its digital signal processing adjusts the voice levels automatically for both incoming and outgoing audio. For the incoming, it will adjust the volume level, based on the noise level around you. Kind of like some cars that increase the volume of the stereo the faster you go. For the outgoing it will attempt to reduce the background noise by up to 50%.

Audio IQ is the industry’s first DSP technology that optimizes audio levels on both side of the call and works just as, well if not better, on the Discovery 925 than the Discovery 665. There seemed to be a much richer, full bodied sound experienced. I could easily hear the caller with the Air Conditioner blasting, horns honking, even the window opened slightly. My background noise, though just barely audible, wasn’t a nuisance to my caller. My outgoing audio was in fact clearer. I applaud both Audio IQ and the physical design of the Discovery 925 for this. The VFrame draws the extended mic closer to your face and mouth, giving more focus on what YOU are saying. I find that I’m using a Bluetooth headset more and more outside the car. I’m now double-checking the grocery list with my wife while in the store and carrying conversations from the car to my office.

The V is for Va-va-va-voom!

Conclusion

Have you noticed that the Plantronics line is currently named after NASA Spacecrafts? (Discovery, Voyager and Explorer) I find it fitting seeing as how “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” was first transmitted through a Plantronics headset!

Appealing to my eyes and ears, the Plantronics Discovery 925 is in fact a successful successor to the 665. It’s almost as though the 925 and Audio IQ were made for each other. It’s the most comfortable, non-ear looped headset I’ve tried, hands down! Though a bit on the pricy side ($149.95, but it's available from ShopCrackBerry.com for a crazy $89.95), you are getting more than just a beautiful piece of technology. There’s quality to be found everywhere, from the headset design, the sound, even the gorgeous carrying/charging case. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go strut my stuff with my sexy new headset.

Plantronics Discovery 925 Bluetooth Headset Review Summary:
Plantronics Discovery 925 Bluetooth Headset
Plantronics Discovery 925 Bluetooth Headset

Pros:

  • Audio IQ Technology
  • Light Weight
  • Ultra Sexy
  • Charging Case

Cons:

  • No Ear Loop

Buy Now:
Purchase the Plantronics Discovery 925 Bluetooth Headset in Black or Gold at the ShopCrackBerry.com Store

29 comments

inkwell

How does it compare to the Jawbone 2, minus price?

Len

I recently purchased a Z9i from Crackberry and have to say, I am disappointed, especially after all the reading I did beforehand. The Z9i has a lot of static that I never had with my ole' trusty and rusty Moto H555. And range is horrible. I lose my connection when I walk out of my office, about 8 feet! The H555 would stay connected if I left my phone in my office and went upstairs! I'd sure like to hear from someone that might have had experience with both.

Fortunately, I am still within 30 days to return the Blueant and get something else, like maybe, a...9...2...5.

K9_Rider

I also purchase the Z9i after reading all the "hype". Although I didn't have distance or static problems I found the volume to be too low (the volume on my 8830WE is set by the Z9i at about 30%). After about 3 weeks the Z9i began "slipping" and I found myself adjusting the thing about every 2-3 minutes.

I returned it and got the 925. Works flawlessly. I've had it in for 8 hours at a time with no discomfort.

After much research I narrowed my choices to the Z9i and the 925... I should have gone with the 925 first.

Len

....did you consider the JB2?

K9_Rider

I did consider the JB2 but did not try one. The opinions seem to be very polarized... either you love it or you absolutely hate the fit. I've had Motos and older Plantronics prior to the 925 and never liked the way they fit. Got tired of having them stick out at funny angles or pushing them into my ear to carry on a conversation.

I did look at a JB2 at my local BB and wasn't convinced that their earhook design was going to work for me. Although it's smaller that the original JB, it was still a bit "treky" for my taste.

I was a bit skeptical about the in ear design on the 925, but it stays put, lines up with my ear canal and lies flat on my face.

jwhite4304#WP

i had same problem with z9i and returned it within two days, static, lost connection, picking up too much background noise, etc. I will give the 925 a try.

Jim

ammy james

It was pleasant for me to read through your written content.

SevereDeceit

I purchased this headset from the shop CrackBerry store and I love it. It is so light you do not need an earloop and the sound quality is great. People have been asking me around the office what kind of Bluetooth is that. I like the "quick pair" technology, all you do when you get the headset is turn it on and it automatically will sync to the phone. Great product, works and looks awesome I'm very happy...

anonymous

If you are even moderately active this wont work for you. Even walking down the sidewalk will jar it loose out of your ear. If you stand in one spot all day and dont move this headset is for you.

bellavino

I bought the 925 and unfortunately it is not good for small ears. Even the smallest ear piece that comes with it (or none) is too big for me. I still insist on trying to use the 925 (after spending $$$), but I have to hold it into my ear the whole time, and pressing it into my ears causes all sorts of interesting things to happen as any place you grab it, presses a button.

It does sound good if you don't move, but at about 15 ft away from BB it loses clarity signigifcantly. Sadly I have much better luck with my wired earbud headset.

I bought a Samsung WEP 410 that fits, but it won't talk to my BB. Aggghhh will there ever be a nice earbud bluetooth that fits into small ears?

Sugarpie

I am looking for a bluetooth that will fit in my ears and not have to hold it to hear. I wonder if you can try it out for 30 days...

jwhite4304#WP

I agree after trying multiple bluetooth headsets, Jawbone, BlueAnt Z9i, etc. this is the one I kept. Noise cancellation is not up to some but for everyday use in the car, work and play it is very good. Extremely comfortable to wear and excellent battery life.
Jimbo

Mike I

i own an older Plantronics with an ear loop and it functions well with my CIC (Completly in the earcanal) hearing aids.

The ear buds hold tight and also works well.

Anyone know how the 925 works with hearing aids?

Anonymous

After using the 665 for 2 years under extreme conditions (outdoors with winds blowing to 30 mph, in the car with the windows down at 75 mph) I opted for the 925. By far one of the best headsets I've owned. Keep up the good work, Plantronics!

Blacklatino

My PD 925 is awesome. Compared to my other former Plantronics headsets, they are definitely doing something right:)

Boston Papa

JB is a piece of junk compare to the PD925. Sound quality on the other is better with JB but thats about it

ScottR423

I own both of these Bluetooth Headsets, and thought I'd post what I've learned so far.

Jawbone 2: Getting a proper fit is tricky, be sure to adjust the ear loop wire as it can be bent to a tighter grip around the back of your ear. I found that the gel tips that came with the D925 help solve this issue, you can buy them separately if you decide to go with the Jawbone 2. Fitting the Jawbone 2 is critical for 2 reasons, 1 is that the NoiseAssasin doesn't activate unless the noise activity sensor at the bottom is touching your face, and the other reason is that if you are constantly adjusting the fit you will defitely hang up calls when pressing it back into your ear. This brings up my second complaint about the Jawbone 2, the hidden buttons are too easy to press (causing disconnects and unintended power off) and can be confusing at first. I am now used to the functionality of the buttons and hang up on fewer calls since I'm not adjusting it back into my ear. The incoming sound is not as loud as the D925 but definitely better in quality. The outgoing sound is good if you turn the NoiseAssasin off, and better than the D925 with it on when in extreme background noise conditions. I found that the outgoing sound is lousy if you use the NoiseAssasin while in a quiet surrounding. Jawbone 2 is definitely #2 when comparing side by side, but is the only one that can handle the extreme background noise. I found that I rarely use it and that the D925 noise cancelling works for most circumstances. Great quality device that takes some constant tweaking and getting used to. It functions well and has all the features you need with the exception of multipoint bluetooth support. I think I'll keep it, but have my wife use it most of the time.

D925: Getting a good fit took less than 30 seconds! The boom is closer to your mouth which makes for a better outgoing sound in most situations. Carrying case is nice so that you have a place to keep the headset safe (you will probably notice this case in your pocket before throwing it in the washer) and as an added bonus you get to charge your headset when you're not near a plug or don't have the charging cable. Incoming sound is strong but not full, works great though for most conversations. Buttons and functionality are easy to figure out and it also supports multipoint! Definitely my #1 choice for the price.

All the people I have talked to through these headsets have no complaints, and I can hear them loud and clear. I guess if you can get through the nuances of the Jawbone 2 with the adjustments to fit it, you may benefit from the NoiseAssasin if you find yourself outside often or in busy shopping areas, etc. Otherwise, I'd go with the D925.

calspock

bad fit, bad sound, poor reception....JUNK!!!

flyboyottawa

I bought a 925, had a little bit of trouble getting it to stay in my ear at first, but finally got used to it. I loved the audio. I could use it in the server room and still have a clear conversation... Then I lost it. Bought a new one, and it sounded like a kazoo. Took it back, got another one, and it is every bit as good as my origional. I guess Plantronics must be having some quality control problems, but I can say 2 of the 3 I tried were excellent. I highly recommend it.

moe-blackberry

I own the 925 and love it. I am fairly active and have not had any poblem with it sliding out of my ear. The sound quality is great and I had no difficulty getting a comfortable fit.

adrzas99

I really hate bluetooths with a passion but I love this one. First, I wear glasses and I hate a bluetooths that goes around my ear. This one is so comfortable and you can easily switch ears and take it in and out. I also love the extra battery pack. You don't have to remember to charge your BT every day. This is the best bluetooth you will not regret it and the price is great.

ComicDom1

I also have been shopping for the best Bluetooth device to work with my BlackBerry Storm. I am a guy that wanted a bluetooth device that would work in my noisy car on the hwy and walking in the park, biking, or shopping in public. The device needed to have some sort of noise reduction or cancellation to work well for me. In the past the best choice for me has always been to use a wired headset and the one I use and own is a Plantronics MX500C. So the wired headset was my standard for comparison and I hoped to get something close to it.

So far I have tried the Motorola H710, Jawbone II, Blue Ant V1, and now I have the Plantronics 925.

The best feedback came from my girlfriend when comparing each of these Bluetooth devices. Since we both have Black Berry Storm's we both were going to be critical of the Bluetooth headsets that were being tried. To keep things consistent and simple, I was the one using the different devices and she was the one listening.

When using the H710 her comments were that the my voice was not clear and sometimes mushy. Many times words in a conversation were dropped, and I could not hear the voice dialing commands of my phone clearly. If there was any kind of back ground noise around me she complained that it severely affected the conversation on her end.

I found the Jaw bone II a very different fit, and even after trying the different ear pieces it still made the inside of my ear somewhat tender and sore. The device and noise reduction worked pretty well, but with max noise reduction enabled my girlfriend said it really affected my voice audio quality. She said my voice sounded very tiny.
As another mentioned having to press the big button on the outside of the Jawbone II can press it all the way into your ear and also change the positioning. I have read where some claimed the Jawbone II would not work for you if you have a Beard. We found that statement to be false. So in the end, I found the even though the noise reduction worked very well, the operation, uncomfortable fit, propritary charging unit, made it undesirable for me.

Next came the Blue Ant V1 which I had high hopes for. I found this unit a very comfortable fit. It paired quickly and the voice command built into the head set was very clear. It seemed to work very well for the first day. After reading stories on Amazon of people claiming the noise control with their car windows down was very good, I put it on that night and got in my car and tested it that evening. Again it worked well the first day but degraded from there. The next day, I started to have issues with audio quality coming in and voice quality going out. My girlfriend said I was dropping words, and like others here have said they were getting static sounds with the Blue Ant 9zi, I was having similar problem. With Maximum noise reduction enabled, my girlfriend said it sounded like I was talking in a drum and there were sometimes echos. I talked to tech support several different times over a 4 day period. What was interesting is that I was discouraged from doing the firmware update they have posted on their website, and told that they felt after a full reset of the V1 and several conversations I had with them where they heard static and words dropping out, that I had a defective unit and should return it. I even found that the little button that you press to change from standard voice isolation to max noise isolation sometimes malfunctioned. So I returned the Blue Ant V1 to amazon. I really wished the device had worked better and maybe a replacement would have but on the heels of the new version of the voice controlled Q1 hitting the shelves around April 2009 with slightly improved technology and added features to control wind noise up to 10mph, I think I have decided to wait. On the plus side Blue Ant is the only one so far that I tried that offers a 2 year warranty on their product. In the meantime I still need a usable or passable head set to use while waiting. My other option of course is to use wired so I just may do that.

Two days prior to sending back the Blue Ant V1 I bought the Plantronics 925. The fit is pretty good and stable even though there is not an ear loop involved. It paired quickly and my girlfriend said that the voice quality from the 925 was the best so far with the exception of back ground noise traveling in the car or noise when in a busy grocery store. Audio IQ does adjust the sound somewhat and there is not an echo problem but this device would benefit from Noise reduction technology and the added windsmart microphone. Since I need one for my girl friend and one for myself, I am still testing this device.

I personally think from my experience, the Voice Quality is best on the 925, the Noise control is best on the Jawbone II and the fit is best on the Blue Ant V1. Voice control in the head set may not be a big plus for many of you, but it is for me. I like the feature and miss it, but that feature alone is not enough to overlook the other issues I encountered. To be fair I should try another Blue Ant V1, but as I stated above it makes more sense for me to wait for the newly announced Blue Ant Q1.

Jason

moe-blackberry

I own and love the 925. It is comfortable to wear for long periods of time and the sound quality is excellent. I've owned many others and this by far is the best.

moe-blackberry

I own and love the 925. It is comfortable to wear for long periods of time and the sound quality is excellent. I've owned many others and this by far is the best.

Jambey

This is the ONLY brand I have seen with no ear loop - are you kidding me? That is what is awesome about it!!! You want to walk around with some ugly thing around your ear? I have the 665 abd it still works great after 3 years

SnoShark87

This is the first and only blue tooth device I've ever used.

The sound is great, the extra portable charging case is totally sweet, but I've tried every single ear piece and NONE of them fit that great. Also in the summer, the ear pieces slip on the speaker. I mean, they work, but an ear loop would make it 100 times better, now that I am thinking about it. I should just make one.

Sounds like I've got a project for tonight! Wish me luck!

---

I guess, before I'd buy it, I'd make sure it fits perfectly. And if it doesn't, look at other options.

peterpan45

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ammyjames

Significantly nice write up,