Plantronics .Audio 995 wireless headphones
These wireless headphones have good range and decent sound quality
- Good microphone, comfortable for on-ear headphones, good range and battery life
- No 3.5mm connection option, inferior sound to wired headphones
If you value mobility over sound quality, the Plantronics .Audio 995 wireless headset is a great option. We never experienced audio break-up, and the decent sound quality and good microphone made voice communication a breeze.
Price$ 199.95 (AUD)
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Plantronics' .Audio 995 is a pair of wireless headphones that connect to a Windows or Mac OS computer via USB. This headset is comfortable to wear for long periods, with a clear microphone and decent sound quality making it well suited to voice chatting.
Following slightly different design cues to the Plantronics GameCom series, the .Audio 955 uses Plantronics' standard black plastic with silver accents for the ear-cups, while the head-band’s padding and ear-pads are covered in a soft, perforated faux-leather. It's not going to win any awards for the materials used in their construction, but this headset is nonetheless sturdy and well built.
The .Audio series misses out on the GameCom’s hidden microphone, but the boom mic automatically mutes when swung up out of the way. Sound from the microphone is clear enough for Skype calls and in-game voice chat — it would be passable for limited recording work although it’s no match for a dedicated setup.
The left ear-cup of the Plantronics .Audio 955 houses the power button, a USB port for charging the internal battery and four buttons for skipping tracks and volume control. Rather than altering the power level of the headphones, adjusting the volume changes Windows volume settings. With the headphones always at a specific volume, battery life is consistent with around 4 hours from a full charge.
The .Audio 995 headset is compatible with both Windows and recent versions of Mac OS. Installation is painless, with no proprietary software required; it takes under 30 seconds.
The range is as good if not better than other wireless headphones we’ve tested, functioning free of distortion or interference over 10 metres away from the USB dongle. The headphones will shut off after a short time if out of range of the receiver.
Sound quality is acceptable given the small on-ear design and wireless transmission format; a wired headphone jack would have helped us assess how much the wireless streaming affected sound. Bass and treble are slightly recessed, with mid-range being more audible and prominent. We suspect this is a conscious decision given the headset is bent towards voice communication — movie dialogue and voice chatting is certainly clear and detailed. The headphones are consistent in their audio reproduction even at higher volumes — in loud environments we were still able to hear voice and music in our testing.
Wireless headphones always carry a significant price premium, and the Plantronics .Audio 955 headset isn't any different. It's not unreasonably expensive, though. If you need a pair of efficient wireless headphones the Plantronics .Audio 955 is a good choice.
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