So, what do I like about the Savi Go? Let’s start with the basics. It sounds good to my ear. It’s definitely well suited to wideband calling using G.722, which is my most common use case. It generates enough volume in the earpiece, which has been a problem for me with other headsets.
As to how it sounds, you don’t have to take my word for it. Here is a recording of my voice made using the Savi Go (MP3 or WAV). I recorded the first couple of paragraphs from a Polycom paper on Applications Of Stereo Conferencing. I read the text into the Savi Go over a call placed between Eyebeam 1.5 and a Polycom SoundPoint IP650. The call was G.722 encoded and recorded to a WAV file on the IP650. The wave file was trimmed and converted to an MP3 using Cool Edit Pro v2.1.
The spectral energy display offered in Cool Edit Pro (also the newer Adobe Audition) clearly shows that the Savi Go provides voice energy all the way up to the 8 KHz limit imposed by G.722 coding. Click on the image above to see the full resolution display if you like.
I also like the fact that it has a microphone boom that comes a considerable distance around to the corner of my mouth. I’ve said this several timed previously (here and here), a mic mounted on the side of my head makes me uneasy. I much prefer a traditional boom mounted mic out in front. I accept that this is a matter of personal preference, and makes the headset a little less portable.
I like the fact that it can be converted from wearing on-the-ear to over-the-head. For portable applications the on-the-ear approach is preferable, but I really like a proper headband for long-term use in office-bound situations.
Battery life has been good. I used it heavily on a few days, including about 6 hours in one day on conference calls and didn’t have a power problem. The only time I had it run completely down was when I left it off the charging stand for 36 hours, then used it for 5 hours straight the next afternoon. In that case it issued a warning beep every couple of minutes for the last 10 minutes before it actually shut off.
The charging stand that comes with the headset is a very good idea. It gives the headset a safe place to rest on my desktop, which can be a chaotic place. It makes it easy to locate the headset when a call is ringing through to my soft phone.
There is also a cable that allows charging directly from the USB port on a laptop. That both charging methods are provided is ideal. The USB charging cable, along with the over-the-ear style clip, stay permanently in my laptop bag for traveling use.
The headset has a single control. Pushing the button in and holding it will turn the headset off/on. Sliding the button fore or aft adjusts the earpiece volume up and down.
When the headset is used in conjunction with Plantronics’ PerSono Software the push-button acts to answer and incoming call or hang up a call. The PerSono Suite supports several of the more common enterprise UC clients (soft phones) including those from Avaya, Cisco and Microsoft. However, with the exception of Skype the consumer soft phones that I use were not supported in this manner.
In the past I’ve gone so far as to buy a USB Kensington Bluetooth dongle in the hope that it would make another headset (Jabra) useful with a non-Bluetooth capable PC. I was seriously disappointed to find that the Kensington dongle was very unreliable. It may have borne the Kensington name but it was from a some cheap Asian manufacturer. The drivers provided were terrible and Kensington offered very limited support for it on their web site. I eventually gave up in frustration and those devices were consigned to my little leather box.
The fact that the Savi Go is a complete package, including the Bluetooth dongle, is a welcome change from that prior circumstance. I know that if I have a problem I can trust that Plantronics will handle it in any case, whether the issue is with the headset or Bluetooth dongle. To my delight, I’ve had no such troubles. The Bluetooth dongle has worked on my Windows XP desktop, HP notebook and even my HP Mini 2140 netbook running Windows 7 RC.
Prior Bluetooth headsets that I’ve tried priced from $49-119. Those headsets were only useful with a cell phone and then only in narrowband. To use them with a PC required that the PC have built-in Bluetooth, or I could add an external Bluetooth interface at an added cost. In contrast, the Savi Go is more expensive. While it lists for $199 I found it at a variety of online vendors for $150-180. Overstock.com had about the best deal I could find at $139.
This pricing, even discounted, makes the Savi Go the most expensive Bluetooth headset that I’ve tried…but not by much. I find that the incrementally higher cost is easily justified given its flexibility, features and performance.
So now I find myself in a most awkward place. After years of dismissing Bluetooth headsets as just a waste of time & money I have found one in the Savi Go that I truly enjoy using…and would even recommend to others.