Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Product microreview: Plantronics DSP400 headset

Product microreview: Plantronics DSP400 headset

My old headset was quietly disintegrating, so Mrs G treated me to a new one for my birthday. I’d been recommended the spiffy Plantronics headset, so decided to give it a try.
I don’t have a camera with me, but you can take a look at it here.
Key features:
Folds up.
Has a small boxy thing on the cable that allegedly does some magic with the audio.
Comes with a “free” dose of SkypeOut credit.
Volume and mute controls on the cord.
What I like about it:
Sounds quite nice.
Compact in my laptop bag.
LED on mute.
What I don’t like about it:
The microphone boom doesn’t swivel down as far as I’d like, so it doesn’t rest on my head as well as my old headset.
Cord is too long.
The largish DSP on the cord makes it hard to wrap up.
Doesn’t come with a carry case, which I’d expect for the price I paid.
Being USB-based, I can’t just yank the speaker jack out and share the conversation with those around me in the room using the PC speakers.
Feels a bit flimsy.
The activation code for the Skype credit should be scratch’n’sniff so people can’t buy, activate and return.
There seems to be some software and drivers to download off their web site, but there was no CD in my package. If I’ve bought a returned product and the CD is missing, then their packaging shouldn’t be so easy to open and re-close. If there isn’t a CD, then his is just plain confusing.
What could be done better elsewhere:
Skype doesn’t seem to have any understanding of this sort of “smart” accessory, so you can’t see I’m muted or the volume is zero when you’re trying to ring me.
Would I buy it again? Yes, desipte all the drawbacks, it’s the best thing on the market so far that I’ve seen. But there’s room for a better product.
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