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Plantronics .Audio 310

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£12.00 Best Offer by: amazon.co.uk marketplace See more offers
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      29.08.2012 11:38
      Very helpful



      decent starter headset for voice applications

      I bought this headset when I was exploring the possibilities of using voice recognition software to write instead of having to type everything up. I don't mind typing straight into the word processor as my speed of thinking is comparable to my speed of normal typing, but when copy-typing from notes or longhand pages, the fact that I can't touch type slows me down terribly.

      Voice recognition software has advanced considerably in recent years and a package is included as a standard on in Windows 7/Vista. At less than £15, and with fairly positive reviews on Amazon, this headset seemed to be a good one to try voice recognition with.

      It looks and feels reasonably sturdy, and so far it has not broken (but then it has not had much use) even though my family go through headphones and earphones faster than through pens and pencils. It sits comfortable on my head anyway, the ear element where it should be and without rubbing and the mike, which is adjustable, appears to be sensibly positioned too. It's easy to adjust as well, on a telescopic, flexible rod that can be moved to the right position in relation to the speaker's mouth.

      It's also worth saying that this is a typical HEAD set, not one of those neck-brace type things that I just completely fail to see the point of.

      The experiment with voice recognition ended with a degree of moderate success, and although I have so far given up on it, I have a feeling that the problems were mostly to do with the software and my accent rather than microphone (essentially, the Windows software was incapable of learning my way of pronouncing the little but essential word ''the''). The microphone picked up everything I said (I did have to speak fairly loudly, louder than even my normal voice level) and the fact that it was often 'mistyped has to be down to the software. I might buy a specialist package if I get serious about this at some point in time.

      Since then I tested the mike for making normal voice recordings and even a VOIP call, and it works fine, although the sound could be a little louder. The microphone claims to have noise-cancelling design and in my experience it is fairly good at picking up the speech and NOT picking up other noise, but then I always used in a quiet environment with no noticeable distractions. I am not sure how it would work in an office for example.

      The mono-headphone part is pretty good too. For the reasons mentioned above I never buy any ear or headphones beyond medium price as the risk of destruction is too high and anyway nobody here is a connoisseur of sound quality. With this caveat, the quality of the sound that emerged from the headphone element of this headset is perfectly satisfactory for any normal headphone use, i.e. calls, watching films or videos on the computer or background listening to music (though I am sure those who know about such things would baulk at the idea of losing the stereo effect). The ''monaural'' design means that you don't lose contact with the reality which has, obviously, both positive and negative sides. One bonus for me is that I can more easily hear how loud I am taking if VOIP calling anybody.

      All in all, in my (admittedly completely non-expert) opinion, it's a decent headset for calls, using audio on the web and possibly even voice recognition typing by native speakers (with a decent software).


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