Plantronics Audio 470 USB Review
My Experience Using the Plantronics Audio 470 USB Headset
This is a review of the Plantronics Audio 470 USB headset. The most current version is the 476 DSP. I am using this headset to write this review. I have been using Dragon Naturally Speaking voice recognition software for a couple of years now. I first started using voice recognition software with a product from IBM called ViaVoice Gold. This was about 1998 and at that time Dragon Naturally Speaking was a direct competitor and both products generated considerable errors when dictating. Moving forward to the present time voice recognition software has greatly improved. This is in part due to better programming, but also to the astounding rate of hardware development. The driving force behind the quality improvement is the improvement of the powerful Intel processors inside today’s personal computers.
It’s not very expensive for the average person to purchase voice recognition software. But to get the full benefits of the voice recognition software you need more than just the software you need a fast computer and an excellent microphone. And this is where the
Plantronics Sudio 470 USB headset microphone comes into play.
When I first began dictating with voice recognition software I just usef the microphone they put in the box. This is what most people will probably do, because it's in a sense "free" as it's included with the package. This is actually a pretty big mistake that most people make. The microphones that come bundled with the software are very average in their ability to accurately process the voice commands whereas a high-quality microphone has a much easier time of taking your voice and converting it properly to text on the screen. Nuance the manufacturer of the Dragon naturally speaking voice recognition software tests certain manufacturer’s microphone and headset products for compatibility with their voice recognition products. If you visit their website you can find a list of microphones and headphones that work best with Dragon Naturally Speaking. On that list you will find Plantronics brand products do very well.
Clearly not every microphone and headset product in the world is tested, so you may have a very good microphone already that will work just fine that is not on the list. But if you don't have a microphone I recommend that you visit their website and select one of the products from their list or just take my word for it that this product Plantronics Audio 470 USB headset microphone is one of the best.
What I like most about this model is that it's very light weight and it doesn't bother you to wear while you're working on your computer. It's also an excellent microphone if you like to use voice over IP products like Skype. The soft foam ear pieces are very much like any other midrange headset. But this model doesn't put extra pressure on your ears so it's very comfortable wear. There is a small downside however while it's easy to adjust sometimes the adjustments can slip as you move around turning your head from side to side. Also it's pretty easy to lose the foam piece that covers the tip of the microphone. I've managed to lose mind several times but it doesn't seem to matter because the microphone functions properly without it. I suppose somebody who is what I call a wet talker, the kind of person that tends to spray a little saliva when they talk, might want to make sure that the foam covers the microphone as there are little metal pieces that are exposed. I don't know if you could possibly damage the microphone by not having the foam piece in place but there is no reason to find out.
For people wanting to know specifics about the features of this microphone headset I'm including the bullet list from the Plantronics website:
* Over the Head Headset
* Dual Earpiece
* Optimized For Skype, Windows Live & Yahoo Messenger
* USB-Enhanced Digital Sound Quality
* Adjustable Microphone Boom
* Convenient In-Line
Volume / Mute Control
* Analog or USB Connection
* Ideal for Laptop & Travel w/ Unique Foldable Design - Listen to Music & Watch DVD's
As you can see this features list doesn't really say that much. I honestly don't know how much you could say about a headset microphone without actually wearing in trying it out for yourself. I actually tried a couple of other products besides the Plantronics and I didn't find that they worked nearly as well. When she trained Dragon naturally speaking, which you do every time you use it you will find that the accuracy and recognition of your voice gets better and better and better. Over time it gets so good that you hardly have to edit your text at all. The hardest part about using voice recognition software is simply learning how to speak in a way that the computer will quickly and promptly turn into text on your screen. And it's important that you make sure that you include the punctuation.
If users will simply take the time to read the manual and do the training and then combine that with the quality of Plantronics headset they can typically improve their ability to create content much faster than they can typing. Another advantage is that you can dictate into a recorder and then use Dragon NaturallySpeaking to create the content a later date. This is a very powerful feature.
Now this review probably sounds like more of an endorsement or review for Dragon NaturallySpeaking and in a way it kind of it is but more importantly it's a review for the quality of the Plantronics headsets. So if you're looking for an easy way to create articles, or you're not a very good typist you should probably look into getting a Plantronics microphone headset and a copy of Dragon Naturally Speaking.
There's really not much are more I can say Plantronics Audio 470 USB headset other than it works great and you should give it a try.of the
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