If you happen to have an Android or a BlackBerry smartphone, you can download apps that will read incoming text messages to you. You can also send stock text replies like "I'm in a meeting, and I'll text you back later." If you have an iPhone, you'll be able to see the headset battery meter next to the iPhone's own battery icon.
The Savor M1100 is also unique in that it has built-in access to the Plantronics Vocalyst automated phone service. You need to register your headset via a unique activation code on the Vocalyst Web site first. After that, simply tap the voice recognition button, say "Call Vocalyst," and your phone will automatically dial the Vocalyst number.
The Basic Vocalyst service lets you hear updates on the weather, and your favorite sports, finance, and newsfeeds--simply state a command like "sports" or "weather" to access them. You can set up reminders and update Evernote with voice recordings. You can also set up your e-mail and Twitter accounts on Vocalyst so that you can listen to incoming messages. If you want, you can also send e-mails and tweets. The Basic service records your voice, and then it'll send the links to the audio files. Note that when sending out messages, you don't get confirmation prompts and they are sent out immediately, so you should probably watch what you say.
If you would rather have your voice transcribed into text, you'll have to upgrade to the Vocalyst Pro service for $3.50 a month or $35 a year. The Pro service lets you dictate text messages, e-mails, calendar appointments, task lists, expense reports, and blog posts to a variety of services that include Ping FM, Blogger, Wordpress, Tumblr, Remember The Milk, Xpenser, 30 Boxes, and more.
The Basic level is free for the first year with purchase of the Savor M1100. Every year thereafter, it will cost $2.49 a month or $24.99 a year. If you want the Pro level after the first year, that will cost $5.99 a month or $59.99 a year. We applaud the variety of services Vocalyst offers, but we probably wouldn't pay that much for it. For power users who need to check their e-mail and Twitter messages on a constant basis, perhaps it is a better deal.
We paired the Plantronics Savor M1100 with the Apple iPhone 3G. We were pleasantly surprised by how much the headset enhanced the audio quality of most calls. Utilizing Plantronics Audio IQ 3 noise suppression technology, an improved wind noise reduction system, and the aforementioned three microphones, we found that the Savor M1100 delivered excellent sound. We had no problems listening to what our callers had to say, though there was a low static hum at times.
Callers reported loud and clear audio quality, and the headset did a great job at canceling out most environmental noise. We tested it while we were in a car, at a busy restaurant during lunch hour, and in a quiet office, and it performed excellently in all situations. Callers did say our voice quality was a little harsh and not as natural as that of a landline, but that had more to do with the phone than the headset.
The Plantronics Savor M1100 has a rated talk time of 4 hours and standby time of 7 days.