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Contemporary headsets come with a USB plug that is easy to install (plug and pull) onto computers and other devices with USB ports. This technology ensures that sound is processed by a headset' s sound processing system instead of a computer' s sound card.
USB headphones deliver superior sound quality when compared to analog headsets. Another great feature that you will be impressed with its noise-canceling technology that is integrated into the headphones and in the mic.
A wide variety of USB headsets are available from various manufacturers. In fact, there are too many individual USB headphones with mic to consider, but you need to know exactly what to look for. This article provides you with critical buying tips that you will need.
What Are USB Headsets?
USB headphones feature a combination of headphones and a microphone, which are connected through a Universal Serial Bus connector to a personal computer or any other device that supports the USB interface.
The best USB headset features a full range of sound for superior quality. It should not come as a surprise that the most impressive aspect of USB headsets is audio performance.
Most advanced models come with a noise reduction or noise canceling mic for hands-free operation from your personal computer. This makes them ideal for speech recognition, interactive gaming, or PC voice applications.
Whether your most important use is for multi-player video game, voice-activated software program, or telecommunications, headphones with USB plugs provide clear communication and long-lasting comfort.
Advantages of USB Headsets
USB headphones provide good sound quality without the noise that comes with many wired headphones that connect to a PC or any other device via analog connections. The USB connector on the headset is remarkably easy to install and uninstall, just plug and pull.
The best USB headphones have exceptional dictation. They usually have contemporary speech recognition with tremendously high accuracy. Most models come with a well-positioned microphone that makes voice dictation a breeze.
USB headphones with microphone offer outstanding narration. They allow for a natural way of generating narration. Usually, most headsets come with inadequate sound quality for skilled voiceover work. However, headphones with USB connections are known to be amazing for producing training videos.
Basically, there are very few drawbacks of USB headphones when compared to headsets with analog connections. Headsets with USB connections are pricier than their counterparts, especially when dealing with wireless USB headphones.
Who are USB Headsets For?
The use of USB headset with mic ranges from one person to a small organization or even a big company. If you are in the market for a superior quality sound that is free of noise or distortion, then look no further than headphones with USB connections.
Gamers are big fans of USB headset. Nearly every single gamer uses a headset. This is particularly the case for Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, where a player requires a combination of a mic and headphones to interact with other players during gaming.
In the world of games, the term immersion refers to how you become absorbed in a game while you play. You forget where you really are and feel as though you are in the gaming world. One of the gears that help you achieve such a feeling is a USB gaming headset.
Some of you may be wondering about USB headset Xbox One. Technically, you can' t use any USB headset with mic with the Xbox One console; not unless they are specifically engineered for Xbox one. This is so since the Xbox One does not operate the same way PS4 or PC do.
However, according to research there are some prodigies that have found a way of connecting their USB headset with the Xbox One console. The only catch is that the procedure is not that easy or straightforward.
As the internet extended throughout the world, a team of IP telephony devotees began to spread the word about a technology called Voice over Internet Protocol, which has made worldwide voice calling convenient, especially for businesses.
VOIP is now a common practice for most organizations across the globe. As a result, most businesses that need a heavy use of Voice over Internet Protocol telephony, use USB headsets to make the process easier in order to improve efficiency for the employees.
Most USB headphones with microphone designs come equipped with microphone sensitivity controls and volume. They also have a separate button for holding or muting a call, which makes the employees sound professional to the clients during calls.
Usually, USB headphones may not be able to produce high-quality sound needed for professional narration. However, they are capable of producing natural voiceover. You can use a USB headset to create training videos.
The Different Variants of USB Headsets
Wired USB Headsets
Wired USB headphones are typically suitable for users who are at a fixed desk or location. They do not allow a lot of movement, and the USB connection can simply be flexible in their localized environment.
Wired headsets are more affordable compared to wireless ones. There is no additional technology needed to make them work. Apart from the fact that there are some that come with a micro USB connection.
Micro USB headphones plug into a device (such as a smartphone) via micro USB instead of a regular USB connection. Most of these headsets are normally the in-ear types, which are discussed below.
There are a number of variations of wired USB headsets, and they include the following.
- USB headsets with a mic and two earpieces
They are the most popular USB headphones with mic on the market. They deliver high-quality audio and stereo playback. Usually, the attached microphone has excellent response and recognition while providing a good deal of adjustability.
The best models feature padded ear cushions and a fully adjustable headband that keeps the headset snug as well as comfortable on your head even through extended gaming sessions. Some models have the earpieces attached to a neckband.
Most advanced products on the market feature noise canceling mic. By using a noise canceling mic, the headphones are able to achieve near-perfect noise reduction/cancellation.
- USB headsets with one earpiece and a mic
If you are looking for uniqueness, then you should choose this type of USB headset. The one earpiece setting makes it easy to wear. The one earpiece design also allows you to identify the surrounding noise. However, playback is normally restricted to mono sound.
One earpiece headsets with a mic are affordably priced. Lightweight design and noise canceling mic guarantee hours of uninterrupted chats.
- USB headsets with in-ear earpiece
Another option for you is in-ear USB headphones. One of the most commendable models is Logitech USB headset. They bring the sound closer to the ear and usually include some sort of physical shielding from the outside world of noise in the form of foam or rubber earpieces.
In-ear USB headphones are remarkably lightweight as well as unobtrusive; they help prevent echoes and feedback. Normally, the USB cable is equipped with a microphone, which guarantees superior sound quality.
Wireless USB Headsets
All the aforementioned USB headset with mic variants are wired. However, there are also USB wireless headphones, which come with a base station for connecting the USB to a PC. The USB headphones with microphone communicate with the base station wirelessly.
There are two major wireless communication protocols: DECT and Bluetooth.
- DECT USB Headset
DECT technology is widespread for cordless phones and it presents better performance with USB headsets. USB headsets that feature DECT technology provide more range than their Bluetooth counterparts, up to four hundred feet in some cases.
Headphones with DECT have controls to allow for answering (or hanging up) a call as well as volume (and mute). They have a built-in battery that allows for extended talk time and the unique ability to charge via USB.
More advanced models allow for connection to a desk phone or Skype for Business, allowing for receipt of calls from either device to the headset and easy selection from the base station.
- Bluetooth USB Headphones
Bluetooth headsets have the same elegances as their wired counterparts but have more flexibility in terms of their location usage because they are not tied to the USB cable. The main benefit of Bluetooth headsets over DECT and wired is the ability to connect to smartphones, allowing you to answer calls without having to make any configuration changes.
There are two variants of Bluetooth headsets: Bluetooth headphones with a base station and Bluetooth enabled headphones.
Bluetooth headphones with a base station are usually common with office telephones and cell phones. They are not Bluetooth enabled, but the base station is Bluetooth enabled and it is the one that wirelessly connects the headsets to a smartphone.
On the other hand, Bluetooth enabled headsets do not come with a base station. They directly connect to a cell phone through Bluetooth technology and they do not need a charging base. They are also remarkably small and lightweight.
What to Look for When Buying USB Headsets?
When buying a USB headset, it is most important to consider sound quality, microphone quality, compatibility, and comfort among others.
It goes without saying that the most important feature of any USB headphones is sound quality. One of the features that define a high-quality USB headset with microphone is noise-canceling technology, which helps to protect your ear, chat/music from outside noise.
One of the features that define microphone quality is noise canceling. Apart from being integrated into the headset, you should settle for a model that has noise canceling technology integrated into the microphone.
You need to choose a model that is compatible with your PC/device and its software. A top-quality USB headset has to be compatible with operating systems, such as Apple or Microsoft. It should also be compatible with different communications software, such as Lync or Skype.
Regardless of the aesthetics of the USB headphones with mic or USB wireless headphones, you need to choose a model with long-term wearing comfort, since you might have to wear them for many hours at a time, especially when participating in interactive gaming.
Before buying a specific product, you should compare models to find the ones that suit you best. You will be wearing them a lot so you better like them. And, being aware of the characteristics of your specific USB headphones will provide useful info during critical listening, recording, mixing or mastering.
Type and Functionality
Shop for what you need as far as USB headset is concerned. Therefore, do not settle for an inferior choice that' s lacking some vital features. With that said, you need to decide whether you need wired or wireless USB headphones.
The benefit of using cordless headphones is the ability to move around with them as you carry on with your conversation or music listening. Mobility is extremely important in corporate environments, where an employee responding to a call has to move from one point to another.
You also need to consider whether you need USB headsets with two earpiece and a mic, one earpiece with a mic, or in-ear USB headsets.
This is a tough category to judge, especially if you are working on a tight budget and you need a USB headset with superior performance. We urge you not to settle for cheap headsets, since they may have awful ergonomics and poor voice quality. Choose a model that will be worth paying for.
Irrespective of your application (listening to music, gaming, or answering calls), you need to take a reasonable amount of care when choosing USB headsets. Well, no one pair will be right for every use, but if you know what to consider, you will definitely choose the best model.
Make sure you choose a model that provides long-term wearing comfort, especially if you are a gamer. The ability to produce high-quality sound with very low distortion is important. Also, you need a reliable and durable model that will last, especially if you are the kind of person who likes to toss things around.
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