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Plantronics Pulsar 590A review: Plantronics Pulsar 590A

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The Good Great wireless range. Easy switching between Bluetooth and Wireless audio.

The Bad Headphones can get a touch warm. Constant flashing.

The Bottom Line The asking price for the Plantronics Pulsar 590A Ultimate Stereo Bluetooth Headset will be a sticking point for many consumers, but in terms of getting value for money they're hard to overlook. They sound great, work well with bluetooth mobile phones and have excellent battery life.

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Design
When you hit the words "Bluetooth Headset", you generally tend to think of small hearing-aid style devices as worn by fearfully fashionable city types who'll probably walk in front of a bus one day while they're broadcasting mobile call details to all and sundry. Plantronics' so-called "Ultimate" Bluetooth Headset takes a different tack, with a full stereo headset that looks more like something that's fallen out of a Walkman box, circa 1984 -- until you realise that the whole shebang is entirely wireless.

Upon opening the box for the Pulsar 590A, you'll be struck by how much is in the box aside from the headset itself. There's a slim CD-case style carrier, for a start. Within it you'll find both an AC and USB adaptor that plugs into the charging stand for the headset, as well as an audio extension cord and a pairing device for standard audio ports.

The headset itself is huge by Bluetooth headset standards, but of about average size for a decent set of stereo headphones. Testing on a trial candidate with an admittedly large head, we found them mostly comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. The external side of the right earpiece holds all of the headset's controls for volume, call reception and switching between pairing with a compatible Bluetooth mobile phone and the pairing device itself. The basic idea of the headset is that you have an audio source -- market figures would suggest an iPod, but it'll work with any standard 3.5mm audio plug socket -- and a mobile phone within reach, paired to both. While you're not on the phone, you listen to music, switching out when needed.

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The headphones fold in on themselves in order to plug in to the charging station. Click here to enlarge.

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