Win a Plantronics Bluetooth headset from Gadling!

As the number of states introducing hands-free laws slowly grows, it is becoming more important than ever to practice safe talking when you are in your car.

Since we care about your safety (and want to prevent you from facing a steep fine), we have teamed up with Plantronics to help you get your hands on a top-of-the-line Bluetooth headset. We’ve got six headsets to give away, and all you need to do in order to win one of these is leave a comment telling us the weirdest place you have ever made a phone call.

Once you have entered the contest, you’ll have a chance at winning either a Plantronics Discovery 975 (retail price $129.99) or a Plantronics Voyager Pro (retail price $99.99).

The Discovery 975 is one of the coolest looking headsets on the market, and comes in a stylish leather case that doubles as a portable charger.

The Voyager Pro is the perfect headset for busy professionals who demand the best sound quality on both ends of their call.

  • To enter, simply leave a comment answering the question posted above.
  • The comment must be left before Tuesday February 9th 2010 at 5:00 PM Eastern Time.
  • You may enter only once.
  • Six Prize Winners will be randomly selected to receive one Plantronics Bluetooth headset (sorry, we’ll pick the headset for you, but winners will receive either one of the three Voyager units, or one of the three Discovery units).
  • Open to legal residents of the 50 United States, and the District of Columbia who are 18 and older.
  • The total value of each prize is either approximately $99.99 (for the Voyager) or approximately $129.99 (for the Discovery).
  • Click here for the complete official rules of this giveaway.

Heading to the Winter Olympics? Talking and driving could cost you $160!

If you are heading to the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, be sure to bring a hands-free headset.

Starting today, British Columbia police will be on the lookout for anyone using their phone without a headset of hands-free car kit. Their new hands-free law went into effect on January 1st, and the grace period for offenders ends today, just in time for thousands of visitors to visit their area.

Penalties are pricey – $167 CAD (about $160 USD). In addition to phone calls, British Columbia also bans text messaging, sending email or anything else that involves looking at the screen of your device.

Bottom line is put your phone down and pay attention to the road (good advice anywhere in the world).

Similar laws are already in place in the United States and a good overview of current states with hands-free laws can be found here.

Mobile headset maker Plantronics has put together some tips on safe driving with your phone, and later this week they’ll join Gadling in giving away some of the hottest Bluetooth headsets on the market.
Safety Tips for Hands-free Devices

Plantronics offers the following tips for keeping both hands on the wheel and both eyes on the road when using your cell phone and hands-free device while driving:

  • Trial Run: Practice using your phone and headset together before you drive. Familiarize yourself with the headset controls. Adjust the fit and the microphone on your headset, check the headset settings on your cell phone and stow the phone so it’s out of your way but still accessible.
  • Be Prepared: Program all your frequently called numbers into your phone. This includes your boss, your kids’ babysitter and your favorite neighborhood pizza place. And don’t forget about speed and voice dialing; most phones have those options, so use them as much as possible.
  • Set Up for Success: Just as you check your rearview mirror and secure your seatbelt before driving, be sure to put your headset on and ensure its connected properly to your phone.
  • Driving Comes First: Remember: your first priority is driving. You should only place and receive calls when it’s absolutely necessary.

Plantronics giving away Bluetooth headsets in Twitter contest

As the end of the year approaches, some new states will be on the list of places where it is against the law to use your mobile phone without a hands-free device.

On January 1st, Hawaii joins the states and cities banning the use of mobile devices when driving. You are still allowed to use a hands-free headset, but you can not hold your phone, read your email or send text messages.

Violations will cost $150, or $500 if you caused an accident when using your phone.

A new Oregon state law also goes into effect on January 1st prohibiting the use of mobile devices for text messaging. Only adult drivers will be allowed to make phone calls when driving, and only when using a hands-free device.

To raise awareness of these new laws, Plantronics is offering free headsets to Twitter users. If you fancy a chance at winning one of their Voyager Pro or Discovery 975 headsets, head on over to Twitter and follow @plantronics, then send a tweet including @plantronics, #behandsfree and a link to during the Sweepstakes Period (December 1-29, 2009). One winner will even receive a headset and a $1000 gas card!

Plantronics also has a great overview of the laws by state, and as these laws all seem to vary from state to state, it really does pay to play it safe and invest in a good headset.

Daily gear deal – $179 camcorder, $35 stereo Bluetooth headset and more

Do you ever worry about losing your laptop charger? Why not play it safe and order yourself one of these Targus APA10US Universal Notebook chargers for $24.45. The charger comes with a variety of power tips for most popular notebook brands, and shipping is free!

Looking for an affordable way to capture the memories of your upcoming summer vacation? Look no further than this Sanyo Xacti VPC-CG9 9 Megapixel digital camera with 5x optical zoom. The camera normally retails for about $350, but is currently on sale for just $175.

Cut the cord on your music headphone with the Plantronics Voyager 855 stereo Bluetooth headset. You’ll need a compatible Bluetooth stereo phone, mp3 player or adapter. The Voyager 855 can be converted to a normal headset with the included mono ear hook. Normal price is $129.99, now on sale for just $36.50, with free shipping.

And finally, if you still need some shiny new luggage for your upcoming trip, check out the great overview of luggage sales over at our shopping portal. You’ll find some great deals on luggage sets and hard shell rolling bags.

Daily deal – Plantronics Voyager 510 Bluetooth headset for $33

My daily deal for today is for the Plantronics Voyager 510 Bluetooth headset.

This particular headset is one of the highest rated Bluetooth products on the market, and while it may not be the sexiest, it does have stunning sound quality (for both people on the call).

The microphone boom also features a noise reducing microphone which can cancel out noise from wind and other sources of distraction. And just look how happy the man on that box is, this headset clearly makes you feel awesome!

The Voyager 510 has great battery life, the manufacturer rates it for up to 6 hours of talk time and 100 hours on standby. The headset also features “multipoint”, which allows you to connect to more than one device at the same time.

The Voyager 510 usually retails for around $60, but has it on sale for just $32.99. Since the item is over $25, Amazon will even ship it for free.