Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Good Headset, Bad Headset

I wear my PC headset all the livelong day so comfort and performance is really important for me. I've tried a bunch of different headsets, and found one that really suits me.

The smaller headset is the one that came with my Motorola Bluetooth device. It is strange from an ergonomic viewpoint -- how can something that has so little correspondence with the shape of my ears possibly be comfortable? I tried it for a while and found that it was echo-filled and apt to fall off my head at inopportune moments. For being a small headset, it pinched and was just generally not that great.

Undaunted, I went back online and found the Plantronics headset with the small boom and a nice curvy wrap around earpiece. The earbud rests comfortably inside my little pinnia and the mic picks up my voice nicely. I can wear this thing all day and it doesn't pinch, nor give me a headache (all things that the stinkin' Motorola headset did).

I also discovered the secret to reducing echo for my teleconference partners: turning the volume on my earpiece way down. People are still quite audible, but they don't hear themselves through the mic. If only I could get the folks on the other end to do the same. Anyone who has ever teleconferenced knows the disconcerting effect of hearing your voice echoing back at you half a second out of synch.

It gives me a newfound respect for news anchors and sports casters -- these people have the producer talking in one ear, they're reading a script off a Teleprompter, they're feigning interest in their interview subject, and they have to smile whilst doing it. I completely lose my focus if my IM goes off while I'm teleconferencing with someone else. This is probably a skill I should work on -- I could be triply productive while talking, IMing and programming all at once.

Or maybe I should just focus on one darn thing at a time.

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