Medusa Street XE 

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This is described as a headset but while it does have a microphone it is of the sort attached to a lead and while it is probably fine for phone calls etc. but I found them less than perfect for say speech recognition use, however the headphone part was fine.

SPEEDLINK Medusa Street XS Stereo Headset
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For something to be described as a headset means to me equally able to listen as to hear and for me its listening ability to what you say is not great. Anything coming out of the ‘ear’ part was good be it speech or music no complaints.

Each arm has 3cm of expansion to accommodate even the largest head. For me no arm extension and the headset was exactly vertical at the sides for a comfortable fit this being 19cm from outside of one pad to the other pad. The distance from tip of the pads to the top of the well-padded headband was 20cm.

The instructions consisted of a couple of illustrations in a large multi-language sheet so these leave you to line up and follow the illustrations to understand.

Most headphones assume that the lead will come from the left pad so that’s how I wore them. Each pad has 90 degrees of movement so if worn in the way I described they would come off and sit round the neck with the pads to the body.

The lead is 1.1metres long and ends in a straight 3.5mm plug; 20cm down the lead from the left ear pad is the 4.5x2.5x.8cm box which contains the microphone. On one side is a large two position switch to mute the unit. On the other side is a two thumb turn volume control which goes from mute to plenty of volume.

If you have perfect eyesight then the pale grey indication of what the switch and knob are for but for mere mortals then a strong light and magnifying glass will be needed to get the information.

The inside of the pads have a thin foam covering and the ear pads themselves are the over ear type with around 1.5cm of padding. Uncompressed there is nearly 1.5cm between the solid top of the headband to the underside.

I would agree with the quality of the drivers for the hearing of both voice and music. Unless the sample I was sent had a faulty microphone I would definitely disagree with their claims re the microphone.

Having a ‘dangle’ microphone is never going to be good for voice transmission the number of people who hold the microphone part to speak even on earbuds means that it must be a problem.

I tried a total of four PCs as well as two phones and results were consistently poor for the microphone surely to call it a headset means the microphone should be near the mouth – not around 15cm away.

If this was just a pair of headphones then they are comfortable and give good sound reproduction. As a headset they are poor as the microphone even when held just below the mouth it is at best substandard. I see they do other headsets with the normal boom type mic to call something a headset needs such a microphone.

So no smiley ratings as whatever I give will be wrong either for headphones or microphone.

They are available for £29.99 with free delivery.

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