So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Plantronics .Audio 480 Virtual Phone Booth
- Great design, excellent sound quality, noise-cancelling earphones and microphone
- Cable is so short that it restricts the usefulness of the device for some people
The Plantronics .Audio 480 Virtual Phone Booth is an excellent product that is hampered by one poor design decision. If the cable had been longer we would have been much happier with this headset.
Price$ 119.00 (AUD)
The Plantronics .Audio 480 Virtual Phone Booth is a discrete and lightweight headset designed for VoIP calls using a notebook. Both its ear buds have a canal headphone design which blocks out all exterior noise (as though you were in a virtual phone booth). The sound quality of the unit is excellent and the microphone picks up excellent voice while also cancelling quite a bit of background noise. The only complaint we have with these headphones is that the cable is extremely short.
The .Audio 480 is designed to be portable and as such doesn't have an over the head band. Each speaker sits in the ear with the earpiece creating a seal so as to block out unwanted noise. The earpiece has a small curved flap which is placed under the folds of the pinna to keep it in place.
The unit is extremely comfortable to use and the microphone is so light you tend to forget it is perched on the corner of your mouth. We ran tests to check the sound quality and were more than pleased with the results. The microphone picked up voice extremely well and the headphones produced clear sound without error. Since they are noise-cancelling headphones, they may take some getting used to as the loss of exterior sound also means a loss of awareness to exterior events.
We were very happy with the performance of the 480 which is all the more reason why we were disappointed with them on the whole. The cable on this model is extremely short. It is so short that it will not be able to reach to the back of your PC and is only designed for people who are using a notebook. Even then, they greatly restrict your movements because there is not enough leeway to allow you to move around at your desk while hooked up. With a longer cable we would have no problems recommending these headphones to all users but as they stand they are really only good for a limited demographic.
The .Audio 480 Virtual Phone Booth comes in USB or non-USB editions. The USB edition is the same as this version but comes with a USB converter dongle.
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