|At a Glance|
|Product||Plantronics .Audio 910 Bluetooth Headset (AUDIO910)|
|Summary||A step in the right direction, the Plantronics .Audio 910 raises your expectations but then disappoints...just like the last four Bluetooth headsets you've purchased.|
|Pros||· Promise of seamless switching between Skype and cell
· Much improved Skype performance over open mic and speakers
· Bluetooth adapter included
|Cons||· Hard to turn on and off
· Cumbersome to use with multiple programs
· Significant constant background noise
How many Bluetooth headsets have you gone through? The Plantronics .Audio 910 is the fifth Bluetooth headset that I've used. And like all the headsets before it, the .Audio 910 was disappointing. My sense of the past three years of Bluetooth is that things are improving, in that the .Audio 910 was less disappointing than the last headset I used. But, the improvement is slow and apparently we customers had better adjust our expectations downward.
What is Total Mobility?
I love the value proposition that Plantronics is aiming for. The Plantronics packaging says "Total Mobility Bluetooth Headset." Seamless switching is important, but Plantronics does not take seamless switching nearly far enough. And, there are a couple little things like audio quality and range that I need more of.
My list of unmet total-mobility-Bluetooth-headset requirements after using the .Audio 910 is:
- Seamless switching between Skype, iChat/AIM, MSN Messenger (based on whichever application is on-top).
- Seamless switching of the above applications on both XP and OS X platforms. And while you are at it, throw in Ubuntu.
- Seamless switching between application sounds and operating system sounds.
- Seamless switching between PC and my Treo 700p.
- Seamless switching between my PC and my POTS (plain old telephone service) phone.
- Seamless switching off of the Bluetooth headset, computer mic and speakers. And vice versa. (Currently you have to manually set every program individually for audio output, audio input, and interface sounds.)
- Crystal clear audio (no ocean in the background, no "burbling" of voices),
- Long range (i.e., 50 feet)
Six of my eight wants are for seamless "it just works" switching. But today's reality is a pallid version of the promise. Applications are greedy, fighting over audio and video devices, demanding monopolies on peripherals before working.