Plantronics Calisto BT300 II Enhanced Bluetooth Headset Review

It’s here, it’s here! (Actually, it arrived a few days ago, but you get the point.)

A few days ago ThinkGeek was having a special T-shirt sale and my shirts from the geek overlords have arrived. Meh.

Then the very next day, a little package from Nuance arrived in my mailbox. Dragon Naturally Speaking 12 just came out this month, so of course I downloaded my digital copy right away. (After playing with the new version of Dragon, I’m not convinced that Dragon Naturally Speaking 12 is better… yet. We’ll see how I like it after using the new wireless bluetooth headset.)

I’m a big fan of voice-recognition software and talking to my computer. I’ve been using Dragon 11 premium wireless to blog for the past little bit, and I’m quite happy with the results.

When the Dragon digital download became available on August 3, I bought it right away, but I struggled with the download because their servers were overloaded. (It was opening day after all, and I’m sure everyone was trying to download this 3 GB file.)

At the checkout page, there was an interesting offer to buy the Plantronics Calisto II Bluetooth headset on sale (basically save $50.) Now I already own the bluetooth headset that came with Dragon 11, but this one is apparently an “enhanced” Bluetooth headset.

I’m a sucker for technology and deals. I did a quick Google search but I couldn’t find any information about the difference between the new Plantronics Calisto II headset and the old Plantronics Calisto I headset that shipped with Dragon Naturally Speaking 11 premium wireless edition.

I did call customer support (mainly because their chat window was useless and the customer agent online was basically just directing me to call them to close the deal.) When I actually spoke with someone in person, they said the difference between the new Plantronics Calisto II headset and the old Plantronics Calisto I headset is bandwidth.

Here are a few other differences to help you decide if you need to buy the new version of the Plantronics headset that comes with the new Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12:

Difference between the new Plantronics Calisto BT300 II headset with Bluetooth USB adapter (Dragon Naturally Speaking 12), and the old Plantronics Calisto BT 300 headset (that came with Dragon Naturally Speaking 11)

Now that my new Plantronics Calisto II headset has arrived, it looks like there actually are a few difference. (The Plantronics Calisto BT 300 II headset has a wider bandwidth.)

  1. The USB dongle is much smaller on the Plantronics Calisto II headset. (The Bluetooth headset that came with Dragon Naturally Speaking 11 premium wireless is about four times longer than the little USB stub that comes with Dragon Naturally Speaking 12.) This dongle is designed so it doesn’t get knocked out of laptops. 
  2. Dragon 12 recognizes the new Plantronics Calisto II headset as an “enhanced Bluetooth” headset (and recognizes the old Plantronics Calisto 300 headset as a regular “Bluetooth microphone.”) Even though I upgraded my user profile from Dragon naturally speaking 11, and I’ve blogged using Dragon 12 with the updated profile using my old wireless Bluetooth headset (for example, this post and this post,) when I plugged in the new Plantronics Calisto two headset, Dragon Naturally Speaking 12 didn’t work until I created a new source for my user profile for my new enhanced Bluetooth microphone. (I had to go through the four-minute general training process.) In other words, Dragon naturally speaking 12 works fine with my old Plantronics Calisto one headset, but it appears to work better with the new Plantronics Calisto two headset. (I feel like Dragon Naturally Speaking is making fewer word recognition errors, but it’s too soon to tell. Dragon 12, got 96.6% of the words correct in this post and 97% of the words correct in this post. To put that in perspective, Dragon Naturally Speaking 11 was, on average, accurate 97.6% of the time.
  3. Dragon Naturally Speaking 12 seems to be much slower using the enhanced Bluetooth Calisto headset when correcting mistakes. In fact, I stopped correcting mistakes in this document because it was ridiculously slow. Right now, I’m using Windows 7 (64 bit), i7, and 12 gigs of RAM. This is the same machine that I’ve been using with Dragon Naturally Speaking for the past six months without any problems. (Here are the blog posts that I dictated with Dragon using this machine.) Everything was fine when I correct mistakes using Dragon Naturally Speaking 12 and my old Plantronics Calisto BT 300 I headset. But today, when I switched to the new Plantronics Calisto BT300 II headset, Dragon just lags when I try to correct words. It’s much quicker for me to just the highlight the words and dictate them again. Maybe there’s some odd background processes running right now, but I didn’t see any. Maybe today is just a quirky day, but I don’t think so. Maybe it is a glitch in Dragon Naturally Speaking 12. Time will tell.

Did you upgrade to the new Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12? Did you get the new bluetooth wireless headset? What did you think of it?

This blog post was dictated using Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 premium in Microsoft Word.

  • There were 765 words in the first draft of this post.
  • Dragon Naturally Speaking made 15 word errors which mean that it transcribed 98.0% of the words correctly.
  • The voice recognition software also made an additional 7 punctuation / capitalization errors meaning the total accuracy rate was 97.1%.

Click here to find out more about the Dragon NaturallySpeaking Student / Teacher version.

2 thoughts on “Plantronics Calisto BT300 II Enhanced Bluetooth Headset Review”

  1. Hello, I’m also very interested to see what the results are regarding this new headset. Have you been able to find it anywhere else cheaper? Have you been able to fix the issue regarding the correction menu? Thank you so much for putting this post. It definitely gave me information that I was looking for.

    1. Hey Robert – my pleasure. I haven’t looked to see if I could get it cheaper elsewhere. I know that in the past, it was cheaper to buy the Dragon NaturallySpeaking headset bundled with the software (as opposed to buying the Calisto headset afterwards) – that’s what made me decide to get it this time.

      Now, the new headset isn’t working for me and I’m using my old wireless bluetooth headset that came with Dragon 11. Life has been busy so I haven’t had a chance to call Nuance technical support to see what the problem is. I’ve seen around in the forums people suggesting that you have to create the enhanced bluetooth profile, but I’ve already done that and performance still lags. (i.e. the corrections menu, voice transcription…)

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