Okay, Grandma never used USB headsets. Heck, she likely never used computers with USB ports either. The point is, USB headsets today have come a long way from where they were just a few years ago.
This blog is intended to give you a quick overview on USB headset options that are available today. USB headsets are becoming more popular and common largely due to the expanding use of PC based applications such as desk top video conferencing, desk top web-based training and webinars, listening to music while working and more. That said, let’s have a look at some of the choices.
This is a headset that has a wire and USB plug that allows it to be connected directly to the USB port on your PC or Laptop. You can get these headsets pre-configured with a USB plug, or, you can adapt an existing Quick Disconnect (QD) headset (used with a desk phone) by using a QD to USB adapter cord. This is an attractive option if you currently use a headset for your office phone and would rather keep it. Here’s what a typical USB adapter cable looks like.
As you’ll see from the image above, you’ll have audio controls on the cable. Typically, you have control over the hearing volume (vol up and down), mute as well as answer/end calls.
Among the many available choices includes Discover D711 (monaural) and D712 (binaural) these headsets feature noise cancelling microphone, in-line controls, foam AND leatherette ear cushions and a full 3-year, advance replacement warranty.
If you work in a noisy office and find all that background noise to be a distraction, check out the Jabra Evolve 80. The Evolve 80 has comfortable ear cushions that completely encircle the ears combined with an electronic feature to further eliminate the distracting room noise. This feature is called Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). This is a button on the earpiece that when activated, lowers the sound you hear. It comes with a USB connector as well as a 3.5mm connector which gives you the ability to use the headset with a PC, laptop, tablet or Smartphone.
Keep in mind that there are other wearing styles besides over the head so if an on ear style is more to your liking, those too are available.
There’s a lot of interest in wireless communications in the office and wireless USB headsets is part of that. No cords to get in the way. More flexibility on where you can go and what you can do while being connected.
Let’s take a quick look at a few of the popular options available to you today.
Jabra is producing an excellent line of computer headsets. The Evolve 75 is a wireless, double ear model that includes the Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) feature like the one found on the Evolve 80 discussed earlier. An over-the-head, single ear version is available in the Evolve 65. These Bluetooth enabled wireless headsets will give you up to 100 feet of wireless talk range and a design that’s comfortable and stylish.
There are a couple of reasons why this model would be appealing. First, it provides up to 350 feet of wireless talk range because it broadcasts on Dect 6.0 vs. Bluetooth. Equally appealing is that it can be worn over the ear, over the head or behind the neck. This feature alone makes it an easy choice if you’re unsure of your preferred wearing style or if you’re looking at a large-scale deployment.
A lot of people use Bluetooth headsets with their mobile phones and have usually gone through a process to find one that they like and are comfortable with. A Plantronics Voyager Legend Bluetooth headset has a UC/USB counterpart (Legend UC) which makes finding a comfortable wireless, USB headset pretty easy if you use that model. Many other Bluetooth headsets are also USB capable so if an on-ear Bluetooth headset is more to your liking then you should be able to find a good solution that’s lightweight, comfortable and great sounding. Best of all this USB headset typically double as a Bluetooth headset too.
The need and use of USB headsets, whether wired or wireless, will only increase with time. With Unified Communications deployments on the rise and PC based applications growing, both are helping to fuel this rise in USB headset usage.
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