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Dave Winer writes about getting a new Bluetooth headset for use with his Mac. Since I have been unhappy with juggling wires, etc. with the 2 USB headsets I have for travel and use with my MacBook Pro, I thought I’d give the one he picked out a shot. Popped out to J&R and grabbed a set for $109.

For completeness of features, the Plantronics Pulsar 590A seems to represent the top of the heap. The number of accessories in the box make it possible to use with just about every wired or wireless application imaginable from airplane seat audio to mobile phone calls and home stereo listening. It took all of 30 seconds to configure for the Mac, both as a headset and stereo headphones. By no means should you consider the wireless audio quality on par with a good wired headset. There are noticeable artifacts in the audio which are very likely attributable to the bluetooth implementation in OS X (and interrupts) more than the headset hardware. Listening to iTunes is better than earbuds, but not as satisfying as my nice, wired headphones. However, the headset is a bit more comfortable than the wired one. Downside is that the earpieces have foam covering instead of that faux leather stuff that most have. Means that skin oils are ultimately gonna eat them up. So the question is whether I’ll need replacements before the LiIon batteries croak, rendering the whole set disposable.

But dude! They are wireless AND they come with a hot little integrated microphone, making it possible to eliminate 2 pieces of gear (headset, headphones) I am regularly forced to travel with. Haven’t had a chance to test out the audio input quality of the mic, but I am guessing it is going to be better than the MBP built-in mic and probably not as good as that expensive honkin’ thing Leo Laporte just bought.

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