Logitech ClearChat PC Wireless Headset Review
By André Gordirro on December 9, 2008


Introduction

It’s always a pleasure to test new wireless devices. After all, there’s nothing more annoying then a veritable jungle of wiring hanging from the PC. The Logitech Clear Chat PC Wireless is a headset (microphone + headphone) that not only is cordless but also truly plug-and-play, being very easy to install and promptly use. It’s better for VoIP applications than gaming and listening to music, as we are about to see on our test.


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Figure 1: The Clear Chat bundle.

The package contains the headset itself, a charger, the USB transmitter and a wired cradle for the transmitter. The Clear Chat has a padded thin metal headband and a bendable microphone outside the left ear cup. The right ear cup houses the controls (on/off, volume and mute mic) and the charger jack. The small ear cups are mounted on articulated joints that allow a better fit.


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Figure 2: The headband.


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Figure 3: Right ear cup.


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Figure 4: Left ear cup with microphone.

Installing the Clear Chat

Man, how good it is to use a gadget right out-of-the-box! Or almost: you need to charge the Clear Chat for a couple of hours before using it for real. But once this was done, we were already putting the headset through test. You just have to plug the transmitter to an available USB port and open the Windows Control Panel to set the audio and sound devices (so there is no conflict with some other audio in/output) and then it’s working hassle free.


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Figure 5: The charger and transmitter cradle.

First, we installed the wired cradle for the transmitter on the back of our PC. The cradle has a 7-foot cable to widen the range of the transmitter – Logitech states that the Clear Chat works within 33 feet of the USB transmitter but the actual distance in our test proved to be much less than that. Since the main reason for the device is to provide a cordless experience, we ditched the wired cradle and plugged the transmitter directly to the PC. We also used the remaining spare USB port on our Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard. That made the whole thing perfect, since now our keyboard handled both mouse and headset, leaving a spare USB port on the back of our PC.

Testing the Clear Chat

Clear chat indeed: conversation was loud and clear. We used the device with instant messaging applications like MSN and also VOIP software like Skype. Several people we chatted with complimented the quality of the sound. During our daily Team Fortress 2 sessions, our teammates said we were being heard fine. Unfortunately the Clear Chat lacked range and punch with gaming sound (gunshots, explosions and music theme). It’s only ok for gaming. It doesn’t provide an experience like the previously tested Razer Piranha. The small ear cups are partially to blame as they don’t allow for complete immersion. You can hear some ambient noise through them. The music listening experience is even worse: the sound is flat and the music sounds dull.

Using the Clear Chat is a very simple matter. You can control the volume and mute the microphone with a quick touch to the right ear cup (a red LED on the mic alerts the muteness). Once you start the device the LED quickly blinks to indicate that the headset is turned on. The Clear Chat is small and comfortable and we used it for hours without feeling any discomfort. Logitech states that the battery lasts for about six hours, which was more or less accurate. Keep an eye on the LED near the on/off button: once it goes red, it’s time to recharge the headset. We got distracted and failed to notice the warning and ended up with a powerless device during a Team Fortress 2 match. It could have happened during something more serious, like a business talk over Skype for instance. The battery recharges in about 2.5 hours.

Sound transmission uses the 2.4 GHz frequency, the same one used by cordless phones. We felt no interference of other wireless devices nearby.

Specifications

The Logitech Clear Chat PC Wireless main specifications are:

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

Conclusions

Strong Point

Weak Points

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Logitech-ClearChat-PC-Wireless-Headset-Review/667


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