Plantronics Audio 500 USB Digital Multimedia Headset
- Good sound quality, comfortable
- Boring design, need to manually configure audio output
The Audio 500 is a decent, reasonably-priced headset that is simple to install and operate.
Price$ 79.00 (AUD)
"Tried and tested" would be the nice way of describing Plantronics' Audio 500 USB Digital Multimedia Headset design. Otherwise, it's just plain unimaginative.
The Audio 500 has a headband style design. Audio is delivered through two adjustable swivel-mounted ear cushions and a boom-mounted microphone that tucks neatly up and away when not in use. Less neat is the 3 metre long headphone USB cable, which features a remote that houses volume control and mute buttons, but there's really not much to do about cabling unless you're willing to spend more money on a wireless headset.
The headset is lightweight and comfortable, and despite its flimsy appearance, sound quality is impressive. Voice, music and sound effects are delivered in clear stereo, and the microphone is well positioned to pick up the user's voice without any popping and only minimal background noise. The volume control works well, and the microphone mutes cleanly.
Setting up the Audio 500 is a simple plug-and-play process. The headset connects via USB, and Windows XP automatically recognised the hardware and installed all its necessary drivers in seconds.
In subsequent trials, however, the device still took a few seconds to initiate each time - even though the drivers were already installed. Swapping audio outputs from the sound card to the headset and vice versa while running a program sometimes required Windows to be manually prompted via the Sounds and Audio Devices dialogue box ini the Control Panel. Even so, the drivers didn't seem to allow output devices to be swapped while sounds were still being played.
All in all, the Audio 500 is a decent, sturdy headset that is simple enough to install and operate, and its retail price of $79 is reasonable. The device is especially well suited to VOIP calls due to the inline mute button, and is also a comfortable, inexpensive solution for gaming, and other multimedia applications.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Google Daydream VR headset
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Huawei Mate 9
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® Portable SSD
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 4 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 5 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
Latest News Articles
- Apple's AirPods could deliver audio with multiple wireless protocols
- First look: Nuheara IQbuds smart Bluetooth ear buds do more than just music
- Convoy International restructures business focus
- Beats Solo2 headphones go wireless for $399
- Astro A38 review: A staggering price to pay for convenience
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- LG G6: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- CCTechnical Project ManagerNSW
- FTInformation Security ConsultantACT
- FTSOE Team LeaderNSW
- FTSoftware Development ManagerACT
- FTProduct Manager - FintechNSW
- TPAgile Implementation LeadNSW
- FTDevops EngineerVIC
- CCSecurity ManagerACT
- CCChange AnalystQLD
- FTSoftware Tech Lead - C++ Back Office Trading SystemsNSW
- FTOracle eBusiness Functional Consultant. (Procurement)NSW
- FTSenior Capacity Planner | Contract through till DecemberVIC
- FTPHP DeveloperNSW
- CCTest AnalystQLD
- CCAutomation Developer - LinuxNSW
- FTNetwork EngineerACT
- CCService Desk ConsultantACT
- FTProject SchedulerACT
- CCChange ManagerNSW
- FTJunior Wintel Systems AdministratorNSW
- CCNetwork Engineer (cisco)NSW
- FTJunior-Mid Level Implementation CoordinatorQLD
- CCProject Scheduler/CoordinatorVIC