Able Planet PS500MM Headset Review
Very adjustable mic
Linx Audio technology is cool
Comes with a carrying case
Works with USB or standard mic/headphone inputs
Higher quality sound from speakers and mic
Small and functional volume slider on the main wire
No wireless option
Cannot detach mic
Smaller ear cups can be uncomfortable
Slightly higher price point
The USB option might cause problems when first used
The Able Planet True Fidelity PS500MM wired headset’s focus is to maintain a high level of audio clarity even at low sound levels while still being versatile to work with a number of different applications.
Able Planet is based mostly around the use of Linx Audio technology. It was originally created to help the hearing impaired by keeping the sound levels low but still retaining refined audio quality. Although this headset was designed for the PC gamer, the average user will find plenty of features and benefits as well.
From a cosmetic stand point, the headset has a typical over-the-head design. Coated in a black matte finish, the headband is highly adjustable. When extended, thin metal frames are exposed from the black plastic coating providing an inside look at the skeleton of the unit. The underside of the headband is laced with a very comfortable pillow, resulting in top-of-your-head comfort. As a whole, the headset is very lightweight as compared to other units, making it more comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.
My biggest complaint about this headset is the size of the ear cups. Although coated in a very comfortable leather, the cups themselves are pretty small. Unlike other headsets that completely cover the ear, these ear cups basically cover the ear hole – not the entire ear. It might depend on each individual user, but you will have to find your sweet spot before you obtain the maximum level of comfort. I found that placing the headset a little more towards the back of the head works best even though your first instinct will be place the ear cups in the direction of your temple. Also, most times I am at my computer, I wear eye glasses. I find that headsets that completely cover the ear are usually a nightmare for eye glass wearers as the frame of the glasses will basically be digging into your skull. While this problem does not happen with this headset, there will be some fiddling before you find something that works for you.
The PS500MM, by default, uses both a headphone and microphone jack (the pink and green inputs). However, USB users need not fear as an adapter comes with the unit (along with a draw string carrying case). Simply plug the headphone and mic jack into the USB adapter and you are good to go. Unfortunately, the first time I plugged in this USB headset, my PC gave me some strange errors. But after a system restart, everything was up and running just as it should be with no other technical problems. Negatively, there is a cord that is attached to each ear cup instead of going with a one-cord design. Having two wires brings more symmetry to the unit but doubles your chances of having it get in the way.
One of the coolest features about this headset is the flexibility of the microphone. Made of a very bendable material, the user can place the mic in just about any position. Most other mics can only be adjusted on the Y Axis, but this flexible and sturdy material in this unit is extremely welcoming and useful. Not only does this make it easy to find the best distance away from your mouth, but you can also bend it in a way where it will never obstruct your view. However, because this mic is made of a higher quality material, there is no option to disconnect it.
The cord of the headset features a volume slider and microphone mute toggle switch which can be clipped to clothing. Unlike other headsets, this volume knob is easy to work with because it is small and lightweight. Other volume knobs can be heavy, clunky and can get in the way when trying to use the keyboard.
Of course the comfort and durability of the unit is important, but so is the quality of the performance. The Linx Audio system really does provide a higher quality listening experience. Even at lower volumes, it is still possible to hear more subtle details. Also, bass is played much deeper and fuller than other headsets that I have tested. Whether watching a movie, playing games, or listening to Mp3’s, the sound quality is higher than I expected. The mic also provides a high level clarity and works exactly how you want it to. I noticed a higher level of quality when recording sample clips of the Mygamer Podcast, calls over Skype, and even when playing online games. The only trick is finding that perfect balance between mic-to-mouth distance. Once established, the guess work is eliminated.
The PS5000 is definitely a higher quality headset. From the construction of the unit to the sound quality of the Linx Audio technology and highly adjustable microphone, this unit should impress. However, some people with bigger ears or eye glass wearers might find the smaller ear cups to be a little tricky to find a comfortable spot with. Whether plugging the PS500MM directly into your sound card or through USB, this unit has you covered. But with a price tag of around $100, the price is a little on the steeper side, especially considering this is a wired headset. But there are outlets online where you can score one for a little cheaper.
Visit http://www.ableplanet.com/ for more.