Plantronics CS70N

This Bluetooth headset from Plantronics offers hands-free calling for offices.

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Plantronics CS70N
  • Plantronics CS70N
  • Plantronics CS70N
  • Plantronics CS70N

Pros

  • Convenience factor, good audio quality

Cons

  • Expensive, chunky headset design, headset buttons are stiff, some echo when near walls

Bottom Line

The CS70N is a convenient albeit not outstanding product. If you really need to get away from your desk while on the phone it is worth a look, but be prepared to pay top dollar.

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The Plantronics CS70N allows you to take calls on a desktop phone through a wireless Bluetooth headset. Consisting of a base station and a Bluetooth headset, as well as an optional handset lifter, the CS70N is ideal if you are constantly away from your desk but still need to remain in touch. Plantronics claims the CS70N offers "sleek, comfortable styling" though we're not sure we entirely agree. The base station is quite large, but its dark grey and silver colour scheme should fit in well with most modern office décor. The headset is also quite large; the piece that hooks behind your ear is particularly chunky and somewhat uncomfortable if worn for long periods (which the CS70N is supposed to be). Thankfully Plantronics provides a range of different sized ear tips in the sales package. We found the rubber gel-style tips to be the most comfortable; they come in small, medium and large sizes.

Set up and operation of the CS70N is simple and relatively hassle-free, though it does add a lot of messy looking wired connections to your desk. Once connected, the call control button answers and ends calls, while two rubber keys on top of the headset control volume. Unfortunately, these are very spongy and therefore require a firmer than usual press to activate, making them a little uncomfortable to use.

Our review unit included a handset lifter (HL10) in the package, though the base unit and headset can be bought without it. If you are considering this unit, we definitely suggest opting for the handset lifter. Without it using the CS70N is somewhat annoying — to make a call, you will to pick up the handset manually. With the handset lifter attached, simply pressing the call control button lifts the handset off the hook. The HL10 also drops the phone back into its cradle once you end a call.

The quality of incoming and outgoing audio is excellent. At the bottom of the base station (really not the best place for controls) is a microphone audio switch with four presets; we achieved the best results using the second setting, but depending on your environment and your phone this may differ. Our only complaint about outgoing audio is that the unit does tend to echo when you are talking near a wall. Incoming audio, on the other hand, is loud, crisp and clear for the most part. As previously mentioned, adjusting volume with the stiff, rubber buttons on the headset is annoying.

Plantronics claims the CS70N has a range of up to 100 metres, but in an office with plenty of walls and doors the effective range will be far shorter. In our office, the CS70N worked fine up to 30 metres away, but any further and sound quality dropped dramatically, making it practically unusable.

The CS70N offers six hours of talk time. You can charge the headset by simply placing it in the base station's cradle.

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