Plantronics markets the Marque M155 as a Bluetooth headset for smartphone users with some extra features that make this a very useful accessory if you have an iPhone or an Android.
What I’m looking for in a headset is simple: small and light. The M155′s ability to play podcasts, music, and other audio means I’ll want to have it in a lot. Fortunately, it’s small and inconspicuous enough that I hopefully don’t come across as the kind of jerk who wears a Bluetooth headset everywhere they go.
It comes in black or white casings, and I think the black version does the best job of even blending in with my hair.
There are three buttons on the M155. The Power switch is pretty much self-explanitory, and so is the Volume rocker. On the front is the large Call button which can be used to answer or refuse an incoming call; but there’s also an even better option (more on that later). A long press will launch my phone’s voice-dialing app. On the iPhone, that’s Siri.
On the top of this device is the micro-USB port for recharging. This is a standard port, and you can use either the bundled cable or one you already have. It can be plugging into your computer’s USB port or a dedicated charger (not included). On the underside is an LED that indicates whether this headset is charging, has a low battery, or is ready to be paired.
The Plantronics Marque M155 handles the basic job of a wireless headset just fine. But that’s just the beginning, especially if you have an iPhone or Android smartphone.
A simple but very convenient feature is voice control. When the phone rings, just say “answer” or “ignore”. This accessory also gives you voice prompts, telling you things like how many hours of use are left on the battery whenever you turn it on, or when a recharge is urgently needed.
In addition, as I mentioned earlier, the M155 can also act has a headphone, not just a headset. This means that it can play just about any audio coming out of your smartphone. As I mentioned earlier, I frequently use this for podcasts, but it also works for music, the audio portion of a video you’re watching, games, nearly anything you want. Just keep in mind, though, the audio quality isn’t the best.
Plantronics also offers a free iOS or Android app for users of this accessory. While this acts as a handy users’ guide, the best feature is a small diagram that appears on your smartphone’s homescreen to show you the headset’s battery status. It is rated for 5 hours of use, and in my testing that seems to be about right. If you just have it on standby, it will go much longer than that of course, but 5 hours of calling seems more than anyone should have to go through in one day.
Just about my only complaint with the Marque M155 is that it could stand to be a bit louder. In a quiet room or a car not traveling too fast, it’s fine. But once you get on the highway, it gets drowned out by general car noise. Neither of the cars I tried it in are particularly quiet, so you might not have this particular issue if you drive a luxury vehicle.
In addition, this accessory doesn’t do the best job of staying connected to my iPhone 4S. Sometimes I’ll turn it on and it won’t find the handset, forcing me to go into Settings and order the two devices to connect.
The suggested price for the Plantronics Marque M155 is $60, but even the tiniest amount of looking around online found this accessory on sale for $35 – $40. That’s a good price for a quality Bluetooth headset.
This is an unobtrusive but still powerful accessory. While it’s true you can get a wireless headset for less, if you have an Android or iPhone, you might find the extra features worth the few extra dollars you’ll spend.