The Audio 910 headset is a high quality, if somewhat intricate, headset. You’ll find that out after a brief struggle to remove it from its unnecessarily over-engineered packaging.
It ships with a USB charger, the headset itself and three earphone tips. There’s also a USB dongle which we immediately mistook for yet another Bluetooth adapter. The dongle actually connects to the computer as a USB audio device and then connects itself to the headset via Bluetooth.
Although it makes headset-based VoIP communication very simple, the value of this setup is debatable. The dongle replaces all other audio devices, so even if the headset is turned off, audio from your computer is still transmitted into oblivion until you pull it out of the USB port. In defence of this system, applications like Skype can be controlled from the headset after you install the included Personocall software. The Audio 910 can still be used with an inbuilt Bluetooth controller like any other Bluetooth headset.
Strangely, the volume and power buttons are located at the top of the unit behind your ear. It seems counter-intuitive until you move the headset to your other ear and realise the controls are in the same place as they were earlier. They’re a little small, but you get used to them and their placement quickly.
The tip of the microphone is made out of a very fine grey material that reminds us of those sandpaper block-style skin cleaning things that the Body Shop sells. Conceptually, it acts like the fluffy windsocks that cover boom microphones on film sets. Although you can’t see any direct path between your mouth and the microphone, tiny openings let your voice through while diffusing ambient wind.
Our reservations about the headset could have been avoided if Window’s sound management was up to scratch. Because the dongle rules the audio device list with an iron fist, all sound (including music that you may have been listening to) is routed through the headset. And because the headset doesn’t support A2DP, it makes quality audio sound as though it’s being played over a phone line. You can change the priority of the audio devices in the control panel, but you can't dedicate one device to Skype and one to the rest of the computer's audio output.
It’s not stunning value for money, but once you pair it with multiple devices (it’s not mentioned in the manual, but you need to hold volume up and the answer button) it does become tempting. It’s comfortable and well designed, with a very well implemented microphone, so if you use your computer for telephony exclusively and need a Bluetooth headset for your mobile, it’s worth considering.