With VoIP services becoming the next big thing, Plantronics are hoping that its entry level headset for the PC, the Audio 45 will offer everything that beginners will need from a USB headset.
The headset comes with a telescoping microphone boom ensuring the correct positioning in front of your mouth (ideal for speech recognition applications) and the lightweight design means that it won't become too heavy if you plan to wear it for long periods of time. Additionally because it's an all-in-one solution, the headset allows you to keep your hands free to use the computer at the same time.
The Audio 45 comes with an optional USB dongle that means installation is simple, as well as saving you the hassle of routing around the back of computer trying to find the headphone and mic sockets. This also acts an extension for the 2.9metre cable length, which is also standard on the Audio 60 and 90 higher up the range- another bonus. Then mix in the lightweight design, hypoallergenic soft foam ear cushions, mute button, headphone volume control and good quality sound and you have a strong contender when it comes to talking to your computer.
For £40 this is a good entry-level unit. It's a bit on the large side (you'll feel like you're sitting in mission control) but this is due to the headphone speakers, the foam ear cushions and a descent sized mic that produce good results. Yes you could opt for a cheap £5 microphone and place it somewhere on the desk, but then the results just wouldn't be as good.