Plantronics C520 headset

Plantronics Blackwire C520

I’ve always been a fan of Sennheiser. I have a Sennheiser HD 218 because its on-ear and not too big.
But on my work, I’m constantly switching between a headphone and a headset for using Skype or Google Hangouts.
Time to find a headset that delivers the Sennheiser sound with a microphone for conferencing.

After an intense search I found the Plantronics C520.

Plantronics Blackwire C520


Reasons to buy

  • On-ear leather cushions
  • Both listening to music and conference calling sounds great thanks to the built-in equalizer
  • Great noise-canceling microphones
  • Volume controls and microphone mute button

Linux compatibility

I’m using the headset since Ubuntu 13.10 and recently upgraded to 14.04. These test results apply to both.

What works

  • The speakers and the microphone.
  • Noise cancellation
  • Volume control (volume up/down/mute)

What does not

  • The ‘smart sensor’ technology that automatically answers the call when you pick up the headset.
  • The ‘call’ button on the volume control to enable the smart sensor
  • Automatically switch to the headset when plugging in. You’ll need to choose the headset as audio device in the sound settings.


The most important things work, the sound quality is great, even the volume controls work.
The built-in equalizer automatically switches from ’music’ to ‘speech’ when you for example start a Skype call or when you start a program that uses the microphone.

The headset meets my expectations, its comfortable to wear it all day and has great audio quality!



  1. A problem I have with my pair is that the volume buttons seem to trigger back/forward actions in my browser – have you experienced this? I’m running stock Ubuntu 14.04.

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