MX500 Headset | Plantronics | 2005
MX500 Mobile Headset        Plantronics, 2005
The Plantronics MX500 is a top-of-the-line corded mobile headset with exceptional audio and comfort. It features a unique under-the-ear wearing style with near studio-quality wind noise reduction via a porous plastic mic boom tip.
As a follow up to the popular MX150 (left) and MX100 (right) headsets with their comfortable and stabilizing "flexgrip" tail, the direction was unanimously chosen to employ a similar securing method to promote easy donning and extended comfort on the MX500. 
MX500's flexgrip tail and an early sketch. This MX505 shows the Noise Canceling mic boom (microphone resides in boom tip), designed by Matt Bentley and Soohyun Ham.
Beginning from an under-the-ear concept model designed by Fred Polito and Soohyun Ham (headset test model seen on woman), the MX500 geometry was refined using Plantronics' famed "Wall of Ears", multiple rounds of fit/comfort testing and 3-D geometric modeling and analysis.
On voice tube variants (mic resides in the body of headset), the voice tubes are removable, allowing the user to select their desired boom length. This also shows one of the original 2005 color schemes dubbed "khaki sport". A headset being wearable device, we intentionally chose colors and materials popular in current clothing and fashion accessories, rather than consumer electronics.
Design inspiration, beyond the general shape dictated for comfort and fit, came from the resurgence of streamlined modern shapes and turn-of-the-century bakelite jewelry found in contemporary products and accessories. The streamlined style has been a standard visual language for technology, and the bakelite forms make reference to wearable accessories. Together, the mix gave me meaningful formal references for the design of a wearable communications device.
4 color/material/finish (CMF) palettes were inspired by current street, consumer and runway apparel trends.
In the end, "Khaki Sport" was selected as the apparel oriented color palette to be used in production. Above, some of the CMF inspiration pulled from apparel ad campaigns, cultural events and product reviews.
Used as illustrations for internal Plantronics use only, the above 5 images used magazine images as backdrops to capture the mood of the product.
The MX500 was adapted to become the x30, an official headset for use with the Xbox 360.
It was also modified to become the MS200 aviation headset.

To hear an audio sample recorded with the MX500i 3-in-1 VoIP model, go here:
Industrial Design Andy Richardson
Human Factors
Gabrielle Bungardt
Headset Architecture
Fred Polito, Soohyun Ham
Mechanical Engineering
Cliff Gyotoku
Acoustic Engineering
Jim Bobisuthi
Surface Design
Mark Kelly

MX500 Headset | Plantronics | 2005

MX500 Headset | Plantronics | 2005

The Plantronics MX500 is a top-of-the-line, corded mobile headset with a unique under-the-ear wearing style, superior audio quality and wind nois Read More


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