Review: Plantronics .Audio 510 USB

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Plantronics announced a new line in headphones at this year’s CeBIT, called .Audio, aimed at the multimedia user.  The .Audio 510 USB is their mid-spec offering, designed for gaming, music, internet telephony and other voice applications.

The key feature of the headphones is the noise-canceling microphone – essential for those people who record their podcasts next to motorways and the like. Facetiousness aside, this feature works well, although only cuts in when you talk, leaving the listener with the background noise the rest of the time.

With a plush but lightweight headset, the 40 mm stereo speakers have enough padding to make you feel like an air traffic controller. A very comfortable air traffic controller, at that. The microphone features ‘Quick Adjust’ so you can stick it out of the way if you’re just using the headphones for music.

Plugging directly into your USB port, the volume control and mute button are incorporated inline, helpful for both music lovers and those using them for VoiP. The sound quality is excellent, with heavy bass lines coming through clearly.

The one complaint would be the volume control. Featuring a click button for increasing and decreasing levels, each click seems to signify a massive leap in volume – you go from normal to ear-splitting in two clicks.

If a microphone is important to you, for gaming/podcasting/VoiP/whatever, these are an excellent option. For music alone, the volume control prevents a 100% recommendation (despite the excellent sound quality). But for £39.99, they’re worth looking into.

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