Plantronics .Audio 370 Multimedia Headset

Plantronics ramps up the hype with the .Audio 370s, and while they can't quite live up to this star billing, they are still a good set of general use gaming headphones.


8.0
CNET Rating
9.0
User Rating


Design
The .Audio 370 Headset is a full-sized unit -- similar in design to the Creative Fatal1ty Professional Series Gaming Headset, albeit not at the same kind of wallet-terrifying price. The adjustable headset -- which comprises a semi-flexible upper frame and a softer, more malleable lower inner frame -- is surprisingly adjustable, and even those with the largest or smallest of crania should be able to accommodate it. It incorporates a chunky swivel boom microphone on the left earpiece, and an in-line mute/volume switch on the extremely lengthy cable. When we reviewed the aforementioned Fatal1ty headset, we pondered whether any gamer actually needed to sit 2.4m away from their PC; it would seem that Plantronics thinks gamers need more movement (or are almost staggeringly obese, and need more cable to wind over their voluptuous stomachs), as the .Audio 370 has a 2.9m cable which terminates in separate audio and microphone plugs.

Features
Plantronics hypes the .Audio 370 as a gamer's headset -- in fact the tag they use is "Full-Throttle Multi-Player Gaming", so presumably if you're a more timid, half-throttle solo player, don't apply. The hype on the back of the box continues in the same alarming (and somewhat amusing) manner. Apparently, the open-ear design "fuels the excitement of team gaming" -- and all these years we'd thought that being in a team fuelled the excitement. Who knew it was what style of headphone you wore?

Marketing feature hype aside, the .Audio 370s feature a 40mm stereo speaker pair with a claimed frequency response between 20Hz and 20KHz, and a noise-cancelling microphone with a claimed frequency of 100Hz to 8KHz. The inline control gives you a quick muting action via a switch, as well as a small rotating volume control.

Performance
We tested the .Audio 370 within its claimed gaming environment, as well as for more everyday mundane audio applications, including VoIP calls and just listening to music on a variety of devices. From a pure audio standpoint, the headphones gave good but not spectacular quality, which is in line with the asking price of AU$79. Rather akin to the Fatal1ty headset, when things got extreme in either bass or treble, the headphones struggled a little.

We predictably hit the same problem that's always going to be present with any headphones that enclose your ears -- aside from the problem of looking like a Cyberman -- in that extended use can make the sides of your head feel uncharacteristically warm. It's especially noticeable when gaming, simply because you're normally more excited and have faster blood flow. We never felt like we were actively on fire, or anything like that -- but it was still a noticeable effect.

We also noticed that while it's great in theory having nearly three metres of cable to play with, that same distance is also ideal for tangling around other cords, stray pets and even itself given half a chance. It's also a tangle peril; if the headphones are stowed in a bag -- say for use at a LAN party. On a similar note, the foam surrounding the microphone is relatively thin and feels like it wouldn't survive much in the way of heavy travel.



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Ansak posted a comment   

The Good:Audio Quality is excellent, very comfy

The Bad:Mic broke wouldn't stay at mouth level, then broke within a week.

Great for listening to music but don't rely on the mic working.

 

Ph477 posted a comment   

The Good:Really comfortable

The Bad:Audio quality poor, Mic broken

Got a pair of these headphones for $20. 3 days later the mic boom started to sag. 2 more days later it failed entirely, free falling to it's lowest position.

Audio seems to have little or no bass and seems to crackle at certain frequencies.

Alastair
10
Rating
 

Alastair posted a review   

The Good:Open ear design doesn't sacrifice sound quality

The Bad:microphone boom could be more robust

for $30 I don't think this headset could be beat the sound quality is better then any set of headphones for this price and the microphone quality is also excellent with no noticeable background noise whatsoever.

 

Slinkyfest posted a comment   

The Good:Nice sound quality, perfect for gaming and very comfortable. Plus I got it for $20.00 on boxing day.

The Bad:The mic stopped working on its third day. The swivel boom on the mic is shot and it just drops, the cord is too long

Great headset for a good price. Its only drawback is the non-functioning mic.

B4nks
8
Rating
 

B4nks posted a review   

The Good:Hear only what you want to hear
Great Mic quality
Price is RIGHT

The Bad:Mic protection - Every Plantronics piece I've used mic seemed to have deteriorated on me
There's always better!

This reviewer obviously isn't a competitive gamer, I'm not sure. The open ear concept without sacrificing anything while attending LANs is one of the greatest any team can ask for. Especially when Thousands of dollars are up for grabs.

NRedx
9
Rating
 

NRedx posted a review   

The Good:Good sound, clear bass, great for music, great for voip, microphone seems sturdy, great for most music, comfortable

The Bad:Struggles with Beethoven's Symphonies as the high bits make a rattling noise, too long of a cord, control box is somewhat flimsy (when taken out of the package it split in two, but that's easily repaired), and microphone covering is thin

Overall good product, suits my needs.




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User Reviews / Comments  Plantronics .Audio 370 Multimedia Headset

  • Ansak

    Ansak

    "Great for listening to music but don't rely on the mic working."

  • Ph477

    Ph477

    "Got a pair of these headphones for $20. 3 days later the mic boom started to sag. 2 more days later it failed entirely, free falling to it's lowest position.

    Audio seems to have litt..."

  • Alastair

    Alastair

    Rating10

    "for $30 I don't think this headset could be beat the sound quality is better then any set of headphones for this price and the microphone quality is also excellent with no noticeable background noi..."

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