Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Six Little Ideas About Headsets

I spend a lot of time in a headset and I never know what's going to work for me. I've done wireless, one ear, clip ons, speakers and a mic -- really too many to count. I've recently reassessed my headphone needs and I've come to a few conclusions about what works for me:

  1. Wireless doesn't work for me: I like the idea of being able to wander the yard with my headset, but in reality, they clip, cut out, and aren't charged up when I need them.
  2. If you wear glasses, an ear-bud style may be preferable: The overhead traditional "can" style headset can pinch your ears against your specs and over the long haul this is painful. In-ear may be a better choice for the four-eyes set.
  3. Position of mic is critical: I hate having to find the sweet spot for my mic every time I take a call, so having a mic that is both out of the way so I can sip and snack when not on calls and right there when I do get a call is nice.
  4. Changing it up can help: Sometimes I'll use one headset for a few days to give my ears a break, or if I know I'm going to be heads-down working for a few hours, use the speakers for a bit and ignore incoming calls if they come. 
  5. Test your sound daily: My computer likes to unset its preferences and options on my sound options, so I do a daily test call to the Skype call testing service to make sure the rig has found the right mic, and that the levels are okay.
  6. Know your mute button: This is the most important thing -- know how to mute your mic on the device itself. Oh and know how to un-mute yourself, too. Get good at this because you need to be able to filter out the barking, whining, flushing, or other audio detritus that may occasionally fill your peaceful home office.
So yeah, headsets. I'm a little in love with my new Plantronics earbuds. They are comfy and sound great.  I'm sure I'll fall out of love with them soon, but for now, they are full of awesome.

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