Plantronics Pulsar 260

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Plantronics Pulsar 260
  • Plantronics Pulsar 260
  • Plantronics Pulsar 260
  • Plantronics Pulsar 260

Pros

  • Lightweight, pendant design, easy to sync

Cons

  • Mediocre sound quality for music, below average call quality, delay in resumption of music after a call

Bottom Line

The Pulsar 260 aims to allow the convenience of music listening and hands-free phone calls, but its poor quality for music means it's not recommended.

Would you buy this?

The Plantronics Pulsar 260 is a wireless Bluetooth stereo headset that can stream music via any A2DP compatible mobile phone, and manage your phone calls. Its lightweight pendant design features a control panel that allows you to navigate through tracks and answer/end calls. Unfortunately though, sound quality for music is extremely poor.

Unlike Motorola's S705 SoundPilot, the Pulsar 260 doesn't have a display for showing caller ID. Instead, it relies on just an indicator light, and a five way navigational pad. It's a convenient setup, and allows you to switch seamlessly from music to telephone calls without touching your phone. The Pulsar 260 offers basic functionality including play, stop and volume controls, and a call button on the cord answers and ends calls.

A2DP stands for Advanced Audio Distribution Profile and is a technology that lets devices stream stereo sound via Bluetooth. It is necessary on audio devices that want to stream music using this protocol. Connecting the Pulsar 260 is simply a matter of pairing it with your phone, like you would a regular Bluetooth device. The Pulsar 260 connected in a matter of seconds and the connection remained problem-free throughout our testing.

Unfortunately, the Pulsar 260 is extremely poor for music playback. Apart from a notable hissing sound in the background, the sound lacks quality, is far from crisp or clear and suffers from excessive distortion, making tracks sound distant. With no real definition between the different ranges of music, the Pulsar sounds as if you are listening through a thick blanket. Plantronics includes an audio-out cable for connection to a standard 3.5mm jack for external sound, but overall the 260 is simply mediocre for music listening.

The quality of mobile phone calls is marginally better, but still below average. Inbound audio is loud, but could be clearer, while outbound calls suffer from a noticeable echo, sounded quite distant. Calls are answered by pressing the call handling button and rejected by holding it down. When a call comes in during music playback, the music will pause and your phone's ringtone will play. If the phone is on silent mode, the music will simply pause. On completion of the call the audio will play again, albeit after a delay of a few seconds.

A lanyard included in the sales package means you can hang the Pulsar 260 around your neck and the included pair of earbuds use a 2.5mm jack to plug into the device. The battery allows up to nine hours talk time and seven hours music listening time, and the Pulsar charges via a standard mini-USB connection. An AC adapter is also included in the sales package.

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