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  1. tcatnat's Avatar
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       #1  
    OK, a week ago I received my new Treo 650 from my employer and personally bought myself the Cardo Scala 500 BT headset. I purchased it based on reviews I have read both consumer based and so called professional reviewers. I tested it for 2 days but wanted to get something out as I know a few may be waiting for some feedback on this device.

    Physical Characteristics
    Very light and pretty compact for its form factor. The era loop has a rubberized coating on it which makes it fit nicely without sliding around. It has what they call a multi-function wheel on the back that controls ON/OFF, volume up/down, mute. It has a control button on the side to accept/initiate/reject/transfer calls. It also has an LED on the side to give you the status of the headset.

    In the Box
    Headset, ear-lop, glass clip, charging cradle, power supply, belt clip holder, lanyard, and directions/CD.

    Charging
    Funny, they tell you to charge it for 4 hours the first time however; mine was done charging in less than 1 Ĺ hours. I know this because I sat the cradle on my counter and an 1 Ĺ hours later I walked in my kitchen and the charging light was off. So it may have taken considerably less, maybe not.

    Pairing
    The Scala 500 paired flawlessly with my Sprint Treo 650, even after I screwed up one of the steps (type is very small). I would have to say it took less than 5 minutes even with my mis-step. I have shut off both the headset and Treo multiple times and have never had to repair. I even took the battery out of my Treo last night and it still repaired without any problems.

    Another pairing test. I left the headset on and in the center console of my truck and went into a store with my Treo, well out of range of BT. I got back in my truck and was quickly able to make a call, so they two devices paired right back up even after being separated for about two hours.

    Fit
    The ear-loop is bendable so you should be able to get almost the perfect fit. I t took me a little while and a few tries to get it to fit to my likely. The fact that you can bend it is pretty nice for different shaped ears.

    Day 1

    First Test
    My first test was just a quick call to the Treo from my home phone to make sure it paired correctly. Everything worked flawlessly but there was a faint hissing sound in the background.

    Road Test
    So I hop in my 2003 Explorer for a short road trip. I get on the highway, set the cruise control at 75 mph and make my first official call with the Scala 500. Called my folks and off the bat I noticed that the volume was a little low, but so was the hissing. I quickly reach for the volume rocker and up the volume. Each increase on the volume scale gives you a little beep which I did not care for but not horrible. My mom said she could hear me fine as I could her. The volume did seem a little low but maybe due to the road noise at 75 mph and the radio on in the background. Tap the Control button to hang up, a little confirmation tone and the call ended.

    Incoming Call Test
    Low and behold about 15 minutes later my brother calls me. I tap the Control button on the side to answer the call, the confirmation tone again and the call quickly connected. Call quality was pretty much the same, very clear and did seem slightly louder than the previous call. Maybe my mom was talking low. Again I could hear everything fine but guess I just would have like another step or two up on the volume scale. Again, slight hissing noticed.

    The Wandering Test
    Later that day I make a call from home to my brother in Alaska. Again voice quality is clear but thereís that hissing again. Ever so slight, but noticeable. (Now Iím wondering if there is interference in my house or something.) Hereís the stickler. To this point Iíve always had the phone within two feet of the headset when calling. So I place the phone on the table and start walking around my house. Low and behold, disconnected. Now, the headset went dead so I ran to the phone to see if the call transferred to the Treo but the call was ended. Iím not sure if my brother hung up or I lost Sprint service, which is not the greatest in my house.

    Later analysis of my distance form the phone showed between 25-30 feet through about 4 walls (wood construction) and there was a wireless B router in between me and the Treo (Iím not sure if the router and BT work on similar frequencies, maybe someone here can comment on this.)

    Conclusion
    The Scala 500 is very comfortable. I wore it for about 1 Ĺ hours straight without any discomfort. It may take a few tries to get the perfect fit from the ear-loop but it is worth the effort. I like the charging cradle, the belt clip holder is almost useless accept that I can place the headset in the holder and clip it inside the center console of my truck. I have not used the lanyard or the glass-clip (20/20 vision).

    I always had a slight hissing in the background while using the Scala. I called their support and after repairing it was still there. Cardo has agreed to replace the unit and is confident that the new one will be a big improvement. Their support essentially blamed the performance of the unit on the BT radio strength of the Treo 650. I wonder f this can be tested; anyone?

    Other than that I really like the Scala 500. It answers quickly, transfers calls quickly and the range seems to be OK, although not the 30 feet they claim. I should have my replacement unit this week and will update this review once I receive it. Many others here have had success with the Scala so Iím hoping I just got a bad unit.

    BTW: I paid $44 including shipping from eBay for a new Scala 500.
  2. tcatnat's Avatar
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       #2  
    Well, I got my replacement unit and I must say I am disappointed. First off, it does not appear to be new, it looks like a refurb. The one I had used a cradle for charging, the one they sent me has no cradle.

    Although the volume is louder (could be the Sprint ROM update though) I still have static and some occassional crackling when I was 2 feet away from my Treo 650. I am so disappointed with this headset. Now I have to start all over again. Anyone want to buy a used scala cheap? LOL.
  3. #3  
    So..does the cord connect directly to the headset, rather then using a cradle? I'd love that, since I use an eargel on mine.
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by tcatnat
    Well, I got my replacement unit and I must say I am disappointed. First off, it does not appear to be new, it looks like a refurb. The one I had used a cradle for charging, the one they sent me has no cradle.

    Although the volume is louder (could be the Sprint ROM update though) I still have static and some occassional crackling when I was 2 feet away from my Treo 650. I am so disappointed with this headset. Now I have to start all over again. Anyone want to buy a used scala cheap? LOL.
    I have the same exact issue. I returned mine and got one that doesn't fit in the cradle either. I think the Scala SUCKS big time. I have that HIGH hissing, even if my phone volume is at 3 or 4 bars and I just hit the Scala up 1 setting. And the static, OMG is annoying. I can't go 6 feet without this thing crackling to no end.

    I'm looking at another BT headset now!!
  5. jekswang's Avatar
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    #5  
    does your Scala ring? Mine will ring on an incoming call when paired with my BT phone, but doesn't seem to ring when paired with my Treo 600 (and BT adapter).
  6. #6  
    For what I payed for my Scala, I'm happy. It auto connects in a decent amount of time (could be faster), static isn't horrible as long as you keep the phone within a few feet (and on the same side of your body, but hey, I'm a big guy), and it seems to answer relatively quickly (again, could be faster). Granted, it doesn't support voice dialing, and it aint perfect, but...hey! You know what? This thing does SUCK! It isn't capable of much of anything. I think maybe I'm just...settling...and that's really the problem. Or (and I'm gonna postulate a theory that could get me flamed beyond repair) PalmOne put out a product with flawed BT technology! I love my Treo, even more so since the Sprint ROM update fixed my memory and volume issues, but let's face it. The BT was NOT implemented well, and therefore ANY review of ANY BT headset is going to be skewed! My Scala works like a champ, on ANY side of my body with my employee's LG PM325 or another employee's Moto V710. The first foray into BT phones by P1 was a miss. Not an earth shattering one, but a miss nonetheless. Oh well. Where's Cobalt and my BT 1.2 Treo already!
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