Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Plantronics K100

The K100 is a bit of an oddity. on the one hand its a simple sunvisor handsfree car kit. The likes of which we've seen time and time again. It has an inbuilt speaker, a rechargeable battery, a clip and a uniquely a ruddy great big volume dial in the middle. A great idea, especially when driving; the last thing you need to be doing is fumbling around trying to find the right button to increase or decrease the volume. 
Unlike other car kits though, the Visor K100 has an inbuilt FM transmitter. The sticker on the outside states that it "Streams Audio to car speakers". Naively I assumed this was audio as in music, but after testing, I can confirm that the audio from telephone conversations is also transmitted through the car hifi. Initially I had some problems locking onto the radio station. The frequency auto selects and the unit transmits on that same frequency. With the absence of any display panel, the unit relies on voice. So you click the FM button and the device tells you not only that FM is switched on, but also that its transmitting on frequency 95.1 (for example). I assumed the strength of the signal would be sufficient for me to be able to scan over the frequency and for the radio to lock onto it. But no, I had to manually dial the frequency in first and then store it. 
The K100 is very lightweight and the speaker significantly poor, as if to suggest its only really there to act as a backup for when the FM link is lost. What irks me most about these sun visors is that they hook onto the wrong side of the visor. I appreciate that if the units were clipped onto the front edge of the visor, you'd not be able to put your visor down, but clipping something to the edge closest to your face means that the weight of the unit pulls the visor down. Hit a speed bump and it could break your nose!
The K100 is a welcome addition to our product range, I'm grateful we've got a combined music/phone FM car kit back in stock. Indeed it's a clever peice of kit. To me, I could see it selling by the bucket load at £40, disappointingly, its £59.99, which puts it up against the Venturi mini, for which its not really great competition. The venturi mini sits neatly in your cigarette lighter, so you never need to recharge it, plus it displays the frequency, interrupts the music stream (even from another source) using TA technology, plus it also uses RDS technology to display call information on your radio display.
Nice try Plantronics, but someone did it much better two years ago.  


No comments:

Post a Comment

Google Drive for Desktop.