Smarter Ways to Use Your Mac

Logitech Premium USB Headset 30

These days, there are a wide variety of microphones on the market. You have your desk mics and your built-in mics, but then there's headsets. Headsets are truly the most practical mic usage for most people. They're relatively small, generally have good quality mics, and pretty much do what you paid for it to do. The problem is finding the right headset for each individual person.

With the ever growing popularity of iChat AV audio and video chats, Skype VoIP calls, and online gaming with team audio chats, your Mac's internal microphone and speakers simply don't make the cut. For those serious about microphone quality, there is the Logitech Premium USB Headset 300.

For me and much of the mainstream Mac-using population, we want a headset that is affordable, comfortable, has a higher quality mic than your phone, and does what it's supposed to. The Logitech Premium USB Headset 300 (which I will refer to as the Premium 300) perfectly fits this description.

To fully assess the Premium 300's strengths and weaknesses, I used it in several different situations over a period of one month. Throughout the month, I audio chatted with iChat, called some friends around the country with Skype, played multiplayer games with team audio chat options, recorded a podcast, and used OS X's Speakable Items. My fellow audio chatters noticed an improvement in the quality of my voice, my podcast sounded much better than the ones which used my internal mic, and Speakable Items actually started to recognize my voice. With the Premium 300, there was much less echoing, buzzing, etc than there was with my internal microphone.

The USB connectivity of the Premium 300 allows you to switch between your internal microphone and the Premium 300 via the Sound preference pane in your Mac's System Preferences. You can even choose to have your main audio input and output to be your internal mic and speakers, while using the Premium 300 for iChat AV. This is a great option for me since I usually listen to music on my Mac, and now I can divert the music to a different output than the chat audio. By the way, the Premium 300's headphones are of good quality, but they're not something which you would want to use to listen to your music. You should leave that to a better pair of speakers or headphones.

Another interesting feature of the Premium 300 is its built in volume control. It allows you to adjust the volume of the currently selected audio output in the System Preferences and mute the headset's microphone. This is very useful for quick volume adjustments, and will even adjust your Mac's main audio output if it is selected as the active output in the System Preferences.

Overall, the Logitech Premium USB Headset 300 hosts a great deal of features in a very practical package. If sound quality and comfort are your main concerns, this is the headset for you.

Pros: Affordable, good sound quality, comfortable for extended wear

Cons: Volume control isn't dedicated to the headset's volume

MB Buying Advice: If you're looking for an excellent replacement microphone, this headset is a great value at $50 MSRP.

Posted by: MacBrilliance News Staff on Jan 01, 05 | 10:21 pm