News - Plantronics To Preview New Bluetooth Headset at CES 2001

News - Plantronics To Preview New Bluetooth Headset at CES 2001

— Second-generation chipset to power new wireless headset for mobile users —

LAS VEGAS, NV — January 5, 2001 — Plantronics, Inc., (NYSE:PLT), the world leader in communications headsets, today announced that the company will preview its new Bluetooth™ headset in the Plantronics booth at Winter CES 2001 in Las Vegas. The stylish, lightweight headset will deliver hands-free, wireless convenience to mobile users, allowing them to communicate with other Bluetooth devices such as mobile phones, PDAs and laptops.

"We're very excited to unveil our first Bluetooth product," said Ken Kannappan, Plantronics president and CEO. "People want to be free to communicate comfortably and naturally, without wires. As Bluetooth gains momentum, we see the headset becoming central to emerging voice-driven technologies, so people will no longer have to depend on keyboards or dial pads to communicate."

The new headset is powered by second-generation chipset technology, and is the result of a worldwide Bluetooth development effort by Plantronics. "As one of the earliest members of the Bluetooth consortium, we evaluated the first-generation chips and found that they could not deliver the sound quality, performance and value that our customers have come to expect," said Owen Brown, Plantronics chief technology officer.

"We've designed for the second-generation chips," Brown continued, "which provide superior sound quality, extended talk time and lighter weight. We will leverage our expertise from our mobile headset to create Bluetooth solutions for office and computer applications."

Plantronics first Bluetooth headset is an over-the-ear style for the convenience of mobile users. "We're delivering a Bluetooth solution based on what our customers have asked for," said Joyce Shimizu, president of Plantronics Mobile Communications Division. "In focus groups and interviews, mobile users identified sound quality, comfort and style as very important in a Bluetooth headset. Our new headset combines a very sleek, stylish design with a comfortable fit and outstanding sound quality-it's ideal for the mobile user," Shimizu added.

Plantronics Bluetooth headset is an entirely new design, created to deliver the promise of wireless comfort and convenience. The battery and controls are incorporated into the headset itself, in a lightweight, balanced design. Users can answer a call, hang up, adjust the volume and even mute the microphone with the touch of a button. The controls provide tactile feedback, so they can be easily operated with one hand. The user receives additional information through audible tones that indicate various conditions, such as when mute is engaged, the battery is low, and more.

The new headset has an adjustable boom and a noise-canceling microphone that reduces background noise and enhances voice clarity, which is a necessity with voice portals and voice-driven applications. For recharging, there will be a wall charging unit and a car adapter with a "Y" connection, so users can charge both a cell phone and the headset.

The new Bluetooth headset will be on display at the Plantronics booth #2751 in the South Halls 1-2 of the Las Vegas Convention Center, along with Plantronics complete line of headsets for home, office, wireless and computer applications.

The worldwide introduction of the new Plantronics Bluetooth headset is scheduled for March of this year. In the U.S., the introduction will be at the CTIA show, March 20-22 in Las Vegas; for Europe, the introduction will be at CeBIT in Hannover, Germany, March 22-28. At that time, the company will release information on pricing and availability.

About Bluetooth
Plantronics was one of the earliest members of the Bluetooth consortium (number 20), and was the first headset company to join the Bluetooth initiative, which now includes over 2000 companies. Plantronics is now an Associate Member of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG). Associate Members are a select group of the consortium with early access to working drafts of specifications for new Bluetooth functions, and the opportunity to become more active in technical working groups.

Bluetooth™ is a low-cost, short-range wireless technology that promises to eliminate the cables and wires that currently connect most computing and communications devices. Cahners In-Stat Group estimates that Bluetooth-enabled devices will exceed 200 million by 2003, and that by 2005, Bluetooth will be built into more than 670 million products, with revenues over $3 billion.

About Plantronics
Plantronics, Inc., introduced the first lightweight communications headset in 1962 and is recognized as the world leader in communications headsets. Already the number one supplier of communications headsets in the call center market, Plantronics has expanded into the office, residential, mobile/cellular and computer audio market segments. The publicly held company (PLT: NYSE), headquartered in Santa Cruz, CA, was founded in 1961 and maintains offices in 19 countries with more than 2,600 employees. Plantronics products are sold and supported through a worldwide network of authorized Plantronics partners, and are available nationwide through retail, consumer electronics, cellular and PCS stores. Products and information about the company can also be found at or by calling (800) 544-4660.

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