Plantronics .Audio 910 920 headset

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Plantronics .Audio 910 920 headset

The Plantronics .Audio 910 (replaced by the new 920) Bluetooth VoIP headset was recently released. It works with Skype and other VoIP softphones, so I'll have to get my hands on one to review. Looking at the Plantronics .Audio 910/920 features, it looks very similar to the Plantronics 510-USB headset I reviewed. Just look at the product photos to the right, including one from my Plantronics 510-USB review.
Plantronics .Audio 910

Plantronics .Audio 910 Bluetooth VoIP Headset

Plantronics .Audio 910 VoIP Headset with Bluetooth dongle

Plantronics .Audio 910 VoIP Headset with Bluetooth dongle

Plantronics 510-USB VoIP Headset

Plantronics 510-USB headset with dongle - Identical to Plantronics .Audio 910, no?

Both the Plantronics 510-USB headset and the Plantronics .Audio 910 headset support Bluetooth and both feature Plantronic's Multipoint technology which lets you connect to both your mobile phone and your PC. Thus, both headset models can answer and end Skype calls from the headset while away from your PC. The ability for Skype users to have remote ring detection and call answer/end from the headset is a very cool feature.

To be perfectly honest, I don't see anything different for the Plantronics 510-USB vs. the Plantronics .Audio 910. They even look identical. They both have the Windsmart technology as well. I read some reviews that stated the Plantronics .Audio 910/920 is better suited for "home users" and the Plantronics 501-USB is for "business users" since it supports enterprise softphone applications from Cisco, Avaya, and more. In my Plantronics 510-USB review, I wrote: "The system integrates with enterprise softphone software from leading companies -- including Avaya, Cisco, Nortel, Skype, and others -- to offer call notification and remote call answering through the headset. It also is compatible with most popular consumer VoIP services, like AOL, MSN, and Yahoo! although it doesn't feature remote call answer with these yet."

That last part, may be the key part. One theory I have is that Plantronics is differentiating the 510 vs the .Audio headset by customizing their Persono softphone application to either business or home users. Thus, the Persono application on the 510 headset will focus on enterprise telephony applications (Avaya., Cisco, Nortel) plus mobile phone support, and the .Audio headset will focus on home users (Skype, MSN, Yahoo) plus mobile phone support. Of course, the 510-USB does support Skype, so that sort of shoots that theory to hell.

However, I believe Plantronics when they initially developed the 510-USB, they tried to make this headset an "all purpose" headset targeting both business users and home consumers. I think with the saturation of the Bluetooth headset market and tons of competitors, Plantronics is now attempting to use "software" to differentiate their various headset models. I am 99% certain the 510-USB and the .Audio 910 / 920 are the the identical hardware, however Plantronics is bundling different software capabilities depending on if you purchase the "enterprise model" (510-USB) or the "consumer model" (.Audio 920).

You know what's going to happen, right? People will buy the less expensive model and get a copy of the more advanced Persono Call software on some P2P network like Bittorrent. Of course, Plantronics could easily put some firmware on the headset to check if the headset should be running the more advanced software. Check out the .Audio 910's / 920's features

  • USB Bluetooth adapter gives you connectivity to Internet calls
  • Skype users can receive notification of incoming calls and answer/end calls remotely via the headset
  • Improves incoming and outgoing Internet call audio quality with Noise-Canceling microphone with WindSmart technology
  • Approximately 6 hours talk time makes it easy to stay connected
  • Roam up to 33 feet from your Bluetooth device
  • Convenient USB charging right from your PC
  • Perfect for cellular phones, PDAs or VoIP through your laptop or PC.
  • Includes BUA-100 Adapter with extra ear pieces and USB charging cable.

You can buy the Plantronics .Audio 910/920 headset on Amazon now.

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