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TWICE
08/21/2006

Accessories

Jabra Launches Two Headsets This Month
BY COLLEEN BOHEN

GN Netcom To Market Verizon Headsets
BY JOHN LAPOSKY

LOMBARD, ILL. —Jabra is launching two new Bluetooth-enabled headsets this month. The Jabra BT325s is a corded stereo headset that connects with a 3.5mm jack to an MP3 player, PC, mobile music phone or other similar device but can also connect wirelessly to Bluetooth enabled cellphones. It features up to 8 hours of talk or music time and up to 240 hours of standby time. The water resistant headset features a multi-colored light LED indicator to keep the user abreast of Bluetooth, battery and charging status. Other features include advanced Bluetooth phone controls which perform functions like on/off, call answer/end/reject/hold/wait, last number redial, voice dialing, mute and more.

NAHUA, N . H . — G N Netcom has inked a licensing agreement to produce a line of Verizon-branded telephone headsets for use with the carrier's broadband services and next-generation applications, including online gaming and IP telephony. GN Netcom will produce, ship and provide technical and customer support for the broadband headsets. Terms ofthe deal were not disclosed. According to both companies, the pact provides a complementary distribution opportunity in the marketplace, while allowing GN Netcom the opportunity to further penetrate and expand into new headset segments such as online gaming, VoIP and Web calling. "We will enhance our customers' broadband experiences by offering them

innovative headsets that are hands-free, convenient and have superb sound quality," said Andrea Fant-Hobbs, Verizon's brand management and media services VP. "Our relationship with GN Netcom directly supports our commitment to provide our customers richer, deeper, broader communications experiences." David Wood, senior VP/GM for GN Netcom's North American operations, said, "As the use of broadband applications continues to rise, so does the need for high-quality headsets. Together with Verizon, we are responding to this increased demand as more consumers realize the benefits of headsets, including increased freedom and functionality across broadband applications." The headset designs are still being worked out, but Wood indicated the technologies and form factors are be-

ing driven by Verizon's planned services. "Our aim is to provide the product solution that complements the services," Wood told TWICE, "Gaming, communications, music ... we will optimize the designs to how consumers will use the products." Wood expects to have a line ready by International CES in January. He also expects to announce soon a partnership agreement with a gaming company, but the details were still being ironed out at press time. The agreement between Verizon and GN Netcom was facilitated by Brandgenuity, a New York-based licensing agency. GN Netcom sells headsets to the consumer market under the Jabra brand and is a major supplier of headsets to commercial call centers and to mobile phone manufacturers under OEM contracts. •

Plantronics Bows Now BInotooth Hoadsots
BYJOHNLAPOSKY

The Jabra BT325s is a corded stereo headset that connects with a 3.5mm jack to an MP3 player, PC, mobile music phone or other similar device. The BT 325s is shipping this month and is set to retail for a suggested $89. Also shipping this month is the Jabra BT620S, which the company claims is the longest playing stereo Bluetooth headset on the market, featuring 16 hours of talk time, 14 hours of music streaming and 240 hours of standby time. The headset is meant to be used wirelessly with both the phone and music products, and it allows users to connect to both products simultaneously. The highfrequency speakers feature phone controls on the left and music controls on the right. It comes complete with an AC adapter and mini USB jack so the product can be charged from the PC. The BT620S has a suggested retail price of $129. •

NEW YORK — Plantronics has added on to its Discovery and Explorer lines of Bluetooth headsets. At the top of the Discovery line is the new Plantronics Discovery 655, which expands on the design of previous Discovery headsets and features new styling and an ergonomic fit that complements the contours and lines of the human face, according to the company. Weighing only 9 grams, the Discovery 655 employs digital signal processing to actively reduce background noise for clearer conversations. It includes a AAA charging pocket that provides up to 10 hours of talk time and a headset storage jacket with a vibrate ring indicator to offer a convenient way to charge, store and transport the headset. The headset also comes with a mini-USB adapter to charge from a PC or mobile phone power supply. Plantronics also introduced the Discovery 640E, which reflects the design of the original Discovery 640 product and

The Discovery 655wUl retail for $149.

comes with fewer charging adapters at a reduced price. The Plantronics Discovery 655 and Discovery 640E headsets have suggested retails of $149.95 and $119.95, respectively. Both products will be available in August at www.plantronics.com and at retailers this fall. The three new products in the Explorer line are aimed at first-time Bluetooth users. The Explorer 330 is engineered for "effortless call control," said the company. The headset incorporates call features such as volume, answer/end call, last-number redial and voice-activated

dialing into a single button. The Explorer 340 and Explorer 350 feature new styling and come in multiple colors. The Explorer 350 comes with in-car accessories for charging and stowing. The Explorer 350and Explorer 340 have suggested retails of $89.95 and $79.95, respectively. Both products will be available in August at on the Plantronics Web site and at retailers in the fall. The Explorer 330 carries a $79.95 price tag and will be available at retail this fall. Plantronics announced the details of each product line at a press event in New York last month. Said Renee Niemi, mobile and entertainment. "Plantronics designs its products to effectively marry the intricacies of superior sound technology with fashionable design and comfort— and does so in a very small and elegant package. Our new lineup of Bluetooth headsets demonstrates this design philosophy and continues our legacy of providing consumers with reliable, intuitive and feature-rich products." Q

Samsung Launches WEP200 Bluetooth Headset
BY COLLEEN BOHEN

RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J. — Samsung is launching its new WEP200 Bluetooth headset. The headset is said to be about the size of a paperclip, weighing in at only 9.2 grams. It provides users with a wireless connection to their cellphones, but eliminates the ear hook typical of most of the more-visible headsets currently on the market. Samsung says the headset.

equipped for Bluetooth version 2.0, offers 4 hours of talk time and 70 hours of standby time. The headset features a standard mini-boom microphone design and an LED indicator light along with indicator alert tones serve to let the user know when the headset is in active mode, standby mode, and when the battery is low. If a call is lost, the headset will automatically reconnect if the unit is brought

back into its range within 18 seconds of the initial disconnect. It will also reconnect when powered off and on again. Depending on the handset, users can also answer call waiting and put calls on hold. Other features include: call receiving and rejecting, last call dialing, volume controls, voice dialing and a mute option. The WEP200 is set to retail in September for $89.99. •