Hands-On With Plantronics Ruggedized Explorer 370 Headset

PlantronicsPlantronics introduced its Explorer 370 headset today. Thankfully this isn’t another Bluetooth headset for “suits” or ticket-avoiding drivers. This one is designed for outdoor workers, sports enthusiasts, and active outdoors people. The Explorer 370 features a “ruggedized” design and boasts military grade durability for active outdoor use. The company is touting that it meets MIL-STD 810 standards issued by the United States Army’s Developmental Test Command to prove that its equipment can survive in the ‘field’. The Explorer 370 is “water, dust, and shock resistant and features windscreen technology.” But we couldn’t just take your word for it, Plantronics. Granted I didn’t go camping or rock climbing with the device, but I put the Explorer 370 to the test this windy and snowy New York City weekend. The rugged headset doesn’t make you sacrifice comfort; the ear loop kept the money-clip sized headset firmly in my ear during a walk from Time Square to Gramercy Park and also during a stint of 10 jumping jacks. On my windy walk, I could hear my friend’s voice quite clearly over the street noise and periodic wind gusts. She seemed to hear my voice clearly, but she did mention hearing a bit of street noise. I do have to say that callers heard me more clearly than they usually do when I’m using my BlackBerry 8830’s built-in microphone. I think I have to spend more time with the Explorer 370 to see if it blocks background noise as well as the Motopure H12. waterTalking on the headset while walking around in the snow wasn’t “torture” enough to put the Explorer 370’s water resistance to the test. I decided to pour about a half a cup of water on it. The rubber face of the headset lacks any openings so the beads of water simply wiped right off. Something about the headset tells me that it could not withstand being submerged in water. I can’t say I was in harsh enough conditions here in Midtown Manhattan to accurately determine whether Explorer 370 is shock-resistant and dust-proof. However, after a number of drop tests (or throw down on the pavement tests), the headset still maintained the same sound quality. The face of the headset did suffer a few scratches and nicks. The new Plantronics Explorer 370 will be available for around $79.95. Check back soon for a full review.

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  1. Windstream Says:

    I’d like to see a more detailed test between the 370 and the Jawbone on windscreen vs. wind shield technology? Any comments?

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