The Plantronics Explorer 360 isn't the cheapest Bluetooth headset on the block, but it still offers plenty of business-appropriate style for the money. Although you can find cheaper headsets with comparable call quality, the Explorer 360 still offers decent sound, and it's a solid pick for people who want to look professional from head to toe.
Like other Plantronics headsets, the Explorer 360 has an industrial look that's perfect for mobile professionals. The steel blue body has a slight metallic finish, with silver accents and a black color block running down the center. At 2.1 x 0.8 x 0.7 inches, it's both long and angular in shape. On the front is a single button for answering, ending, and pairing. On the top side, you'll find a skinny, clearly labeled volume rocker.
We had no problem fitting the rubber earpiece inside our ear, but its contoured shape can occasionally be uncomfortable. The thin earhooks felt secure, but we wish the tips were less pointy.
Pairing the Explorer 360 with our Samsung phone was easy. Like other Plantronics headsets, you hold the button down until it flashes red and blue (if it just glows blue, that means the headset is on but not in pairing mode).
When we made a call from a bar, our caller said the Explorer 360 delivered excellent voice quality. However, the volume on our end was low; not the worst, but we still had to strain to make out our friend's voice. When we called from a street corner, we came in loud and clear but sounded more distant than with other headsets such as theJabra BT3010. On the bright side, the volume was excellent on our end.
Range and Battery Life
The Explorer 360 has a rated Bluetooth range of 33 feet. Although we could still hear our caller at that distance, the connection started to break up at around 25 feet. Although the battery is rated for 7 hours of talk time--an hour less than theNokia BH-101--it required less-frequent recharging.
Explorer 360 Verdict
We like the Explorer 360's boardroom-ready design, and when it came to making calls in a noisy environment, it fared very well. Its distant voice quality and unreliable volume--coupled with its relatively high price--keep us from giving it a higher rating.